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Clueless in MD

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnalbert, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. lawnalbert

    lawnalbert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I just moved to northern Maryland from coastal South Carolina a few months ago.
    I have pretty decent equipment and have been doing residential yard maintenance (primarily mow, trim, edge, blow) part-time, year round for about three years.
    My problem is this: I haven't a clue when the season starts and ends here for this kind of work and have no idea of the going rate. At this point in time I'm really interested in residential lawn maintenance only but I'll do a little bit of incidental stuff to get and keep an account. For any additional significant amount of planting, mulching or trimming, etc. I would normally charge a reasonable rate based on my estimated time to complete the job.
    So......can anybody familiar with the northern MD/DE market area give me a clue as to what is the going rate for an hour's worth of lawn maintenance on an average lot. And yeah...I know it would just be ballpark but it would sure be helpful for me as a starting point to get out and start marketing.
    Finally, when does the grass need to start getting cut around here and when does it stop growing?
    Thanks a lot for any help anyone can give.
  2. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    Depending on the weather we usually start mowing the first or second week of april. As for what an hours is worth around here, $45 is about the average price for one man hour. I know some companies that charge 60$/hr and some that charge 35$/hr and everywhere in between. Analyze your costs and what your time is worth and go from there. Luckily there isnt too much competition for mowing so you can charge a decent price. The prices I mentioned are for general landscaping BTW. Good luck.
  3. desii

    desii LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    I'm moving to Delaware...:walking: Sorry, but there's tons of competition in the mowing biz around here. All you need is a truck w/trailer, mower and a dog and your set...LOL.
  4. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Posts: 977

    I was out driving around today and saw some green grass that might need to be cut last week of march
  5. lawnalbert

    lawnalbert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Thanks for the information, guys. So I'm thinking maybe $40-45 for your average residential lot (mow, trim, blow and go)? Also, in this climate, is two cuts a month during the growing season sound about right?
  6. Ravenwood Landscaping

    Ravenwood Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    Two cuts? It depends on the season. In the spring, you're looking at doing at least once a week, if not 2 times every couple of weeks. Then you can draw back towards the summer depending on the rain. You have a little bit of comptetion in Cecil county including me (although I won't be up as high as Elkton), but it's a fast growing market with the military base coming into Harford over the next 4-5 years. There will be a large influx of people into the area from all over the country. You might want to focus some of your effort into Fair Hill areas (read: $$) as much of Cecil county is full of "countryfolk". I from Cecil county, so I'm familiar with the residents.
  7. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 462

    plan on cutting weekly
  8. lawnalbert

    lawnalbert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    So I'm getting the drift that during the heavy growing season that folks are receptive to weekly visits. I know that would have been a hard sell in South Carolina, at least in my experience. Most folks just didn't want to make that kind of expenditure. But that was there and here is here. Do most local landscapers offer to perform cuts as they are required, subject to a maximum and minimum number?
    Again, in SC, kind of the rule of thumb was to keep St. Agustine at three inches and centipede at one and one-half inches. Bi-weekly would pretty much accomplish that during the entire growing season.
    Any advice as what to offer would be appreciated and thanks for everybody's help so far.
    (By the way, Ravenwood, your website is awesome...both informative and elegant).
  9. davink

    davink LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 73

    Ravenwood, I like the website also, just wanted to let you know of a type O on the services page
    Holiday Decorating

    "Don't have time to put the holiday lights up this year? Afraid if falling head over heels into your bushes again? Climbing on a 25 foot tall ladder not your most favorite thing to do? Call us!"

    Shouldn't it be afraid "of" falling?

    Just thought I would let you know. The page looks great though, do you guys get much business with the holiday dec? I have thought about doing that as well, not sure if there is much of ares market here though.... I think the price would have to be pretty high to make it worth the time.
  10. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    I have 4 lawns that need cutting early next week , So looks like the season maybe starting alittle early this year. Most of my residential lawns are getting cut for $40 or $45 per weekly cut, I do have some for $50 and one for $75. Most people like it once a week but you won't hear them (atleast mine don't) complain about it if you show up every 5-6 days. My clients understand that it may not be every 7 days it maybe 5-8 days depending on the days of the week (No sat or Sun, unless its a make up day do to weather) or the weather on or around that seventh day changes the mowing schedule.

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