How to sell Leaf mulching service

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Whitlawn, Dec 12, 2000.

  1. Whitlawn

    Whitlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I would like to know if anyone out there has any ideas on how to sell customers on mulching leaves on a regular basis rather than trying to do curbside pickups and total yard cleanups? I don't have a leaf truck for vacuuming leaves, so
    how else can I make money during the winter?
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    Ijust emphasise how much better it is if
    they are gone rather than laying in a pile
    waiting for the next wind. I can also save
    them some money by mulching instead of pickup.
  3. dylan

    dylan Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 273

    I copied this post from another thread on the benefits of leaf mulching. You could stress the benefits of leaving the leaves on the turf.

    This is my second year mulching leaves. I use a backpack to blow the leaves out of beds and then hit them a few times with the mower. Once customers see that you can make 5" of maple and oak leaves disappear without a trace and do it without a rake, they are amazed. I will never rake again.
    On some properties with big ditches that collect a lot of blowing leaves (2-3 feet tall piles the lenght of the ditch) I used a mulching push mower and keep eating away at the pile turnig it to 2" of dust. The next spring there is not a trace of the leaves.

    I have an article here from the Grounds Maintenance Magazine written by Zac Reicher and Glenn Hardebeck from Purdue University. (aug issue) They studied the effects of mulching leaves into the turf. They had different plots of grass and applied 6-8" of mulched leaves to all of them. Some plots were supplied supplemental nitrogen in varing amounts and some got none. The results were:
    The grass with no nitrogen supplement did not do so well.
    The grass that got any amount of nitrogen did well.
    They feel that as the leaves breakdown there will be some depletion of nitrogen but it would not be a problem because most lawns are fertilized in the fall anyway.
    There was no buildup of leaf mat in the soil.
    There was an increase in microbial activity. This prevented build up of leaf mat.
    Increased soil microbial activity indicates improved soil quality.
    Increased water filtration rates.
    Improved soil properties.
    No effect on nutrient availability or pH in the soil.
    (NOTE: If low pH leaves were mulched in to a soil with a low buffering capacity (oak into sandy) the pH will go down)
    (could be corrected by lime)
    A heavily shaded lawn, already thinned from shade may not be able to withstand the extra abuse of leaf mulching.
    You must match the leaf disposal method to the site.

    In conclusion, mulching leaves can save tremendous amounts of time and labour. It is cheaper than using expensive vacumns, disposal fees, labour and special trucks/ trailers for hauling.
    It can be an effective bidding tool, because an overall maintenance program that includes fall leaf disposal could be performed for less money if you employ leaf mulching.
    You could protray yourself as an "eco-friendly" operator because you are not filling up landfills.

    Hope this helps someone.

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