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View Full Version : What is included in spring cleanup?


Precision Lawns
12-17-2004, 12:17 PM
We are just starting out this spring and are debating whether or not to offer spring cleanup, or if it will be too much. The labor is just me and my partner. We are planning on doing both commercial and residential accounts - pretty much as much work as we can get. We just see that a lot of guys on here are charging lots of $$$ for spring cleanup, which means it's probably pretty extensive and we're not sure if we should take it on our first season. What do you offer in your spring cleanups and how much do you charge for that service? Is it a good marketing strategy for two guys just starting out or is it suicide?

packerbacker
12-17-2004, 12:20 PM
I usually go in, if there any leaves, pick them up, give the grass a cut, cut back any winter growth on plants. Most of my customers want mulch in the spring so i do that also


55 an hour for the cleanup and 65 per yard of mulch

out4now
12-17-2004, 12:20 PM
Just don't take on more than you can do at first. To get an idea of what it takes you may have to do a few before you can really push that particular service. As you get a feel for the time and costs involved you take on more jobs and price accordingly. You'll be fine.

Precision Lawns
12-17-2004, 12:27 PM
out4now - that's exactly what we're trying to do :) . If all it is is getting the leaves up, cutting back winter growth and putting down some mulch, we can handle that. We just didn't want to offer a service we were ill-equipped to do - or a service that we didn't even understand! It couldn't help our reputation if we went out to a customer's house, promised them a spring cleanup, quoted them an hourly estimate, and then didn't do the work they were expecting.

packerbacker
12-17-2004, 12:30 PM
out4now - that's exactly what we're trying to do :) . If all it is is getting the leaves up, cutting back winter growth and putting down some mulch, we can handle that. We just didn't want to offer a service we were ill-equipped to do - or a service that we didn't even understand! It couldn't help our reputation if we went out to a customer's house, promised them a spring cleanup, quoted them an hourly estimate, and then didn't do the work they were expecting.




Basically all a spring cleanup is doing is getting the grass ready to be cut for the season and getting the beds ready for planting or mulching. Lot easier then fall cleanup. Most of the time for me its just spending an extra 25-35 min at each house.

out4now
12-17-2004, 12:38 PM
Depends on what you want to put in it. Pulling weeds, adding mulch, perenial flowers, leaves or pine needles depending on where you are. Some guys here also check out the irrigation system, and outdoor lighting as well and walk through with the customer to tell them what ought to be done in the comming season,(contract already filled out in back pocket waiting for signature of course). Some guys push a fert app here which works pretty slow until the temps come up and does benefit the grass but customers may not be impressed by the app beacuse they don't see an instantaious change. They also include citrus clean up and tree fertlizer for the citrus. Recentlly we have an invasion of roof rats so more people are opting to have citrus trees removed at spring clean up time. Lawncare is year round here for the most part so guys use it more as a sales pitch time doing whatever they think they can really just to sell the customer a contract. I've even seen guys go so far as to do "cactus ferts" and blow off and rake gravel yards.

billc
12-17-2004, 12:54 PM
55 an hour for the cleanup and 65 per yard of mulch

Is the $65 per yard for mulch including labor?

packerbacker
12-17-2004, 12:57 PM
Is the $65 per yard for mulch including labor?
'



Yes, a yard of cedar (which most people want) around here is $30.00.

I use about 4 yards at each house for a total PROFIT of $140.00.

I can get 4 yards down in about 2 hours by myself.

Garden Panzer
12-17-2004, 01:02 PM
if you're just starting out, picking up leaves and pulling weeds and mowing is fine..... before you cut any plants you should know what you are doing- you could botch a tree or something....
here'a a good link:
http://www.plantamnesty.org


:waving:

bobbygedd
12-17-2004, 01:25 PM
just make sure you make it very clear to the customer on what is included and what isnt. one time i did a good spring cleanup for a one timer, and she says, "well, you're not done yet." there was an old rusty washing machine in the back, an old rusty bike, and other metal scraps that she says should have been included. another time, a lady had stone beds, and kids. over the course of the season, the kids playing in the yard knocked alot of the 3/4" stones out of the beds, then by stepping on them, they got impedded into the lawn. when i was done, the customer didn't want to pay, she felt that part of the cleanup would involve digging the stones (about 300 pieces) out of the turf with my fingers. make sure you are very clear on what will be done. in fact, have it in writing.

Braxton
12-17-2004, 03:35 PM
When y'all quote a price, do you reveal the hourly rate and charge accordingly, or do you look at the property, decide how long it will take, and give a quote for the job as a whole? If you reveal the hourly, does that "turn off" many potential customers?

Thanks.

Braxton

bobbygedd
12-17-2004, 03:38 PM
i would never quote hourly. my own experience shows they don't bite too often

Expert Lawns
12-17-2004, 03:57 PM
I love doing mulch installs. Great money in the spring. As soon as the snow parts way, we start layin it down.

Many customers just get the mulch because it looks good. What other benefits does it have? I'm talking about inside of landscaped areas. I know that mulch around trees helps protect them from the weedwhacker or lawn mower. What reall benefits does it have in landscaped areas?

packerbacker
12-17-2004, 04:14 PM
I love doing mulch installs. Great money in the spring. As soon as the snow parts way, we start layin it down.

Many customers just get the mulch because it looks good. What other benefits does it have? I'm talking about inside of landscaped areas. I know that mulch around trees helps protect them from the weedwhacker or lawn mower. What reall benefits does it have in landscaped areas?




Mulches are a labor saving device for the gardener. A layer of mulch will help prevent the germination of many weed seeds, reducing the need for cultivation or the use of herbicides. Mulches also help moderate the soil temperature and retain moisture during dry weather, reducing the need for watering. Mulches protect the soil from the impact of raindrops that can cause crusting. Crusting can prevent the germination of seedlings.

Mulches also can be used to enhance the look of your garden. Many bark mulches provide uniformly rich brown color that contrasts with the plants. The mulch helps keep plants clean by reducing the splash of soil onto leaves during rainstorms, and helps infiltration of the rainfall into the garden.

Precision Lawns
12-17-2004, 04:22 PM
my partner and I have both worked extensively with other landscapers and lawn care providers... I just moved into the nashville area and I'm still adjusting to the new plants and grasses. things are going well... most shrubs are the same. it's mostly just getting used to cool weather grasses. since I came from warmer weather.

tailoredlook
12-17-2004, 05:09 PM
I clean up any leaves out of the beds, on the turf or in corners. pull any dead flowers or shrubs edge and clean up beds to get ready for mulch.