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Going to be a good year for lawn renovations!

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Florida Gardener, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Im now up to 6 houses with Zoysia of my own. I also have a palmetto, Seville, and floratam yard i will be aerifying and another floratam that really needs it. Also going to keep networking with others for more jobs...going to be a very busy year!
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  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    Very cool. I have one zoysia customer who's lawn looks real nice BUT was rotary mowed. After talking to greendoc for a while I actually convinced the home owner to buy a reel and he ordered a toro 21 flex greens mower yesterday. I still don't think there is a big need in my area for reel mowing because there aren't many zoysia or Bermuda lawns. 98% of fine lawns are St Augustine. I think I've gotten a total of one call for reel mowing in 11 years. I wish there was more cause I think they look awesome and maybe there's a niche to be had, maybe but it would have to be created not found. I already own the aerator, verticuter and top dresser. Zoysia IS NOT the maintenance free lawn it's sold as.
     
  3. for sure. There are def pros to Zoysia but it is more maintenance if you want a golf course look.

    i really would love to get a market going for continual aeration on st Augustine. i think it can be done, just have to get people to look at it like something they SHOULD do each year.
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  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    On the reel mowing market...I do not ever expect it to stand on its own. At least in the foreseeable future. I will tell my first accounts were from educating the customer. That lead to my PCO seeing the results and getting really excited about it which opened up a whole another market.
    We have 1 account that we have gained that is not even being reel mowed but because we offer the service the home owner has contracted our service back in the late fall period.
    The account is 21k of Celebration Bermuda...to reel mow with our 20 inch reel you can imagine the cost was crazy even considering the home owners status. We resolved it by the home owner agreeing to purchase a gang reel and not knowing the outcome of how the cut quality will be. The homeowner has been paying the price for reel cutting agreed upon with the gang reel ..but has not yet purchased the gang reel. Been a nice account all winter long. We also control the L and O on this account...so there is that.....all because we offered the service and had photos to show of our reel service.

    Is it going to carry your company alone ...nope but I certain circles that are looking for it you can fill their needs and know that you monopolize the market on it...so it is your price or the service is not happening. As Chris has pointed out these account tend to worry less about the cost of all the "extra's" as well...that has been my experience so far as well.

    Right now is a good time for selling reel mowing services for the following reason...if you go by a Zoysia lawn right now here that is maintained with a rotary ...chances are the color is less that ideal. You go by a lawn under the same mgmt by PCO , exposure, etc etc that is reel cut...the reel cut lawn is greener by far.
     
  5. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    Agree with everything you said HOWEVER there are literally almost no zoysia lawns in this area, not zero but close. You guys are in different market, may as well be comparing mars to Kansas.


     
  6. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    Why are you pushing aeration on SA? Compaction issues? I would think verticutting would be more of a need and a more viable service. I do it and make pretty good money on that service. I also have an aerator.........tends to collect a lot of dust.


     
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    :) I just figured your part was like ours. EMPIRE has did such a great job marketing that over the last 6 years or so Zoysia has been more and more in demand because of these...sometimes false marketing traits such as drought tolerance etc. The result has been a increase in zoysia lawns here....but still by no means is it the dominate turf of choice..that still belongs to SA.

    Several years in now, people who bought into the hype of empire are often amazed when you can explain to them some options on how to get it looking much more like the turf they envisioned. Many times here that is simply adjusting the irrigation and cutting lower with a rotary as the most likely have heard so much mis information. Sad but true is the fact that having limited knowledge about the Zoyisa can make you a hero in their eyes with some simple cultural practice changes.
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    There might be a place for aeration if the objective is to get growing media where it should be. Like some organic matter into straight sand. On my grasses, I need to replace the toxic subsoil and coral growing media with clean sand, but they are fine textured enough that repeated topdressings with sand will accomplish that. Given the high water and nutrient requirements of St Augustine, I know it is easier to deal with on sand heavily amended. As I said. my ideal lawn is sand amended with 30% organic matter.
     
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Zoysia looks a lot better when it is irrigated to replace 75% or better of ET and reel cut. My goal is to always have zoysia looking like it was straight from the sod farm where they reel cut and do not make it wilt from lack of water. The other myth that I need to bust is that zoysia is resistant to diseases and insects.
     
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I am under the same impression on the aeration on SA and aeration. In our area Scotts really pushes this service and not many others any more....I think Massey but the general consensus is that Aeration is not often needed with the exception of some areas such as "the landing strips" on either side of the driveway where the owners step out of their vehicle every day in the same spot and walk the same path to pavers. For this I honestly have told people to go buy a foot aeration device from Depot or Lowes as the cost of aeration from me is really not a good return on investment IMHO in most cases for those small effected areas. That or change the behavior of the same parking spot/walking path.
    With Sand being on the larger side for soil the thought I think is that it is much like a "playball pin" at Mc Donalds. When the kid jumps in it just moves the balls /soil particles over a little. That has been my experience personally and the example that comes to mind is taking over a lawn in which the previous LCO did not change patterns often if at all. It does not take a once very apparent rutted lawn and have the site diminished within a small number of visits.

    Chris may be experiencing different soil structures , which given the vast possible changes even within Florida is entirely possible.

    I am eagerly watching from a distance how his renovation side of the business progresses. I am still playing with the idea of marketing more verticutting as the few I have did have been profitable in of course a learning experience and IMHO have helped the turf a lot. The cool thing you mentioned when I called FL Landscape is future customers walk right up to you when they see you performing the service....intrigued and ready to sign up.
     

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