Southern NJ and Southeastern PA LCO's: How long's your season?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pl1985, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I live in Camden County NJ. This year I did my first cuts the second week of April, and my last planned cutting day is November 2nd. How long do you cut for? Here you do have the cheapskates who will stop service in September or even 1 or 2 at the end of August, but I'm still cutting at least 75% of my customers and maybe 1 in 4 weekly customers have switched to bi-weekly at this point. I know that at least 50% of customers I could cut into the 2nd week of November, but after a point, even if the first frost hasn't hit yet, it's really pushing the envelope to keep cutting on a weekly basis. My policy is, unless you call to skip a week if it doesn't need it or switch to bi-weekly, I will cut the grass regardless and you will be charged. For better customers I do gradually cut it shorter so it looks good all winter; plus the first week of April is usually mostly weeds anyway so the winter grass height wouldn't really affect the next season's start date. If I was on a contract system instead of per-cut, obviously I would be cutting a lot of people bi-weekly this time of year. Next season, weather permitting, I'm going to be moving my first cutting week back to the first week of April and make my last cutting day November 7th. That will make it a 32 week season.

    How long is your season and what do you experience in terms of late starters in the spring or early drop-offs in the fall, as a percentage of your customers (with rough dates included)?
     
  2. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    If you can get 32 weeks more power to you. I would be hard pressed to get that much around here on certain lawns. My bermuda lawns don't really get going until mid April to May just depends how warm our spring is. Other grasses and weeds will get a few more weeks. To have 100% of my schedule weekly it is usually May-Sep. Mar, APR and Oct are sporadic.
     
  3. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 731

    I'm in nj to, and I think 32 cuts is pushing it. Depending on weather Mar, Apr, Oct and Nov the grass is slow, only the yards that have heavy fert programs and irrgated are growing fast enough so you can cut weekly and even those are usually every 2 weeks once end of Oct comes. I think 27-30 is a better number. This year has been bad with no rain for about 3-4 weeks in Sept the grass really stopped.
     
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I've performed final cuts the week before Christmas.

    Almost every year I'm out after Thanksgiving for sure.

    This season looks like a late one with mid 70's during the day and only into the 50's at night, it will keep growing. If the lawns are fertilized (as most good lawns should be these coming weeks), this easily takes this year into December.

    I started cutting Easter Monday this year (2nd week of April), and like I said December looks to be busy unless we get early snow. Thats 32 weeks, but this area had several weeks of drought conditions (I skipped 3 consecutive weeks in September/Oct, some even 4!).
     
  5. cutedge

    cutedge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    I'm right in Gloucester county and I usually plan the cutting season no less than 28 weeks, but this year looks like we may go more. Everything is still growing and there's hardly any leaves that have turned yet
     

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