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banjogum
06-27-2012, 10:50 AM
Hi - I have a customer who has traditional mulched beds (MANY - like 8 large ones - with shrubs, perennials in them) in his yard. He wants me to remove the mulch and change over to stone (river rock or something like it). I'm in the process of bidding this job and wondered if anyone had any useful suggestions? Should I remove all the mulch or just lay fabric and add the stone? Any advice on bidding this properly would be appreciated too.

macgyver_GA
06-27-2012, 10:53 AM
You'll want to let him know that he's going to have to water the shrubs a lot more often. That river rock doesn't hold moisture as well as normal Organic material mulch does and the soil will dry out much faster.

banjogum
06-27-2012, 11:17 AM
Yeah, I am definitely not a fan at all of the stone either. He seems to think (like many people do) that stone is "cheaper" and less labor intensive in the long run - go figure. I'm still going to try to get him to stick with the mulch but he wants this quote ...

phasthound
06-27-2012, 11:40 AM
Big mistake, I hate when they do that. :nono:
Best of luck.

Dr.NewEarth
06-27-2012, 12:44 PM
Hi - I have a customer who has traditional mulched beds (MANY - like 8 large ones - with shrubs, perennials in them) in his yard. He wants me to remove the mulch and change over to stone (river rock or something like it). I'm in the process of bidding this job and wondered if anyone had any useful suggestions? Should I remove all the mulch or just lay fabric and add the stone? Any advice on bidding this properly would be appreciated too.

Work smarter not harder. If you can do the job without removing the mulch, then power to you.

banjogum
06-27-2012, 01:13 PM
That's what I was really hoping to do! Do you think I should lay fabric over the mulch before adding the stone?

Dr.NewEarth
06-27-2012, 01:18 PM
That's what I was really hoping to do! Do you think I should lay fabric over the mulch before adding the stone?

Yes, lay the fabric and overlap it. As the mulch decomposes nitrogen fixing weeds like clover and buttercups can grow.

Duekster
06-27-2012, 02:08 PM
I love me some river rock and DG beds provided there is a nice drip system and the right kind of plants in the bed. .

underESTIMATED
07-10-2012, 05:45 PM
I actually just did a job like this, but at an assisted living facility.

The area is 30x80ish - 12 yards is about the average laid done every year.

The area itself is a PITA for weeding, it's all open...3 bushes, but is built on a swamp, so shitton of weeds.

We just put down commercial grade greenhouse fabric (I would use a pond liner the next time) and went overtop the existing mulch (not my decision) and used #1's and #2's on it.

We brought in 6 wine barrells, filled with $250-$300 of annuals and done!

Used about 33 tons of rock. Took 3 men, 1 machine, and 2 tandems 8 hours to complete.

Definitely a job that pays nicely, if they want to pay for it...who cares? Make it worth your wild!

Coffeecraver
07-14-2012, 05:24 AM
Remove all the mulch. Whatever price you use to install the mulch charge that price for the removal plus a hauling fee per load.

Next survey the root system of the plants involved.
You will not get stone to lay down and smooth out like mulch.
Areas that have large roots exposed you will need to build the grade gradually to cover them.This could cause you to use more stone than you calculated.

The stone bed should drop a few inches in grade through out the beds.
Remove excess soil to achieve this as needed. You will need to have a good edge to hold the stone in the bed.

Next apply the fabric of choice,be careful not to strangle the plants with it.
Too much next to plants can repel the water and cause the plants to dry out. I use the U Staples ( the kind you find in the electrical aisle) to hold the fabric tight to the ground,I just pound them in with a hammer.
The apply the stone evenly throughout.

This job can be labor intensive, I personally do not like it but if that's what pays the bills.

Good Luck :)

Smallaxe
07-14-2012, 05:56 AM
Considering the roots is an important idea, so leaving the mulch there is a good idea if you can make it work... I would bid with the idea you may have to remove some in order to get your fabric to seam well...

Snyder's Lawn Inc
07-14-2012, 09:49 AM
Yeah, I am definitely not a fan at all of the stone either. He seems to think (like many people do) that stone is "cheaper" and less labor intensive in the long run - go figure. I'm still going to try to get him to stick with the mulch but he wants this quote ...

You thinking about yourself loosen money if he goes with rock in the Future
Over the years notice with rock beds the plants root deeper vs mulch beds
Myself if customer want low maintance beds Rock is way to go but if the beds are flowers then yes mulch or moss is the key

With Rock beds you run a blower clean the beds vs mulch you cant have to hand pick stuff out
Weeds will grow any

I push rock all the time any more some the mulch out there cost same as rock
Around here that is
might have more install labor vs mulch the first year but in long run in 3 years mulch will cost more