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Spring Clean-ups

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by The Green Barber, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. The Green Barber

    The Green Barber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    This is my first year in business. What is included in spring clean-ups? what machines do you use? do you roll the lawns, de-thatch, and how do you price the jobs out. I'm located in Buffalo, NY, is it time to do spring-clean-ups? I have had a couple request for lawn rolling. how do you price them? How heavy of a roller do you need? Please any info helpful
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Every house is different. If it's pretty clean, I will do more work. My general rule of thumb is the property should look noticably cleaner, neater and significantly better when I drive away. On a new customer that has a lot of left over leaves, I might skip the edging, and do it on my on my first mow, while on a clean property I'll edge the beds and all the walks. I usually turn the beds after getting leaves and debris from under the ornamentals and shrubs.

    I only dethatch my zoysia lawns at a very high setting, just to thin it out, improve surface air circulation and allow for new growth to fill in.

    Lawn rolling? The only time I roll a lawn is after seeding. Otherwise, I don't see any benefit to it. I price my cleanups from 75 to 100 usually, although I offered a $50 discount to new customers this year. Customers that don't agree to the full season don't get it. I shy away from one time cleanups unless I think I have a good chance for signing them as a regular customer.

    I usually find I underestimate my cleanups because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and end up spending more time than I thought, but for new customers, a great cleanup will win them over immediately... seriously, they become more friendly and talkative, and begin to consider other services, like mulching. I try to make it look better than the last guy likely did. First impressions, all that comes into play.
  3. The Green Barber

    The Green Barber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Whitey4, when you edge the beds and sidewalks, do you use a gas power edger or, the good old shovel? If the ground is still wet, do you still edge. Do you use a rake attachment on a weed trimmer to turn the mulch?
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    I use a spade to edge beds, and a Husky 326LS weed whacker for edging walks. If it's dry enough to get leaves, it's dry enough to edge. I'm pretty fast with a spade, and it's better if the ground is wet. I put a trough at the bed edges, and can hide some moss and other unattractive stuff with the spade quickly. It's all about how good it looks when the owner gets home from work that day. No machine can beat bed edging with a spade for appearance. I use two long handled manual cultivators.... the three pronged type for mulch and the spiked type for around trees with shallow roots.

    Fresh turned soil always looks good. In fact, I think it's why so many of my customers go for the black or dark brown fine mulch... they want that look to last for more than a day. Makes my life easier too, as I don't have to turn the beds every week... a shot of Roundup here and there.... (yes, I'm certified in NY by the DEC)

    I might be more efficient if I went with more attachments/machines, but this is how I like to do it. Case in point....

    A cleanup today that was a $80 job, but had a $50 new customer discount also needed a mow. So, I got the $30 plus a weekly mow price, but I was there for 4 hours. I went the extra yard.... guy had an old water feature, a small ignored little pond. I spent a half hour getting all the pine needles and leaves out of the water. The customer didn't expect that, and now asked me if I could restore it.... it (installed by the previous owner) had a small fountain pump, a two foot waterfall and a fairly nice little rock garden around it. The thing was burried.... and now that it's clean....

    For new customers, I want to blow them away. First impression. Think I'm done, spend another hour. I find that consistantly, when I do this, it leads to more profitable work, like mulching, and now a water feature. A short conversation about either getting rid of this water feature (biting bugs like mosquitoes) or getting it cleaned up with some chlorine.... more work for me. Now he wants me to drain it, and make an assessment.

    NEVER skimp on new customer spring cleanups. I've yet to see when it didn't pay off.

    Now that it looks good again, this customer wants to do something with it.
  5. Jb3NH

    Jb3NH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Well said.
  6. sweetlou

    sweetlou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    how do you price cleanups in Long island at 75 to 100. I dont know what part of LI your in but every legit guy I know starts at 150, for a basic 75 by 100ft property.Im not being sarcastic its just thats the cheapest I have heard yet.Your telling me you spent 4hours at a house for 30$ plus your bragging about the fact you got the extra for the cut.My friend I know your going to come back with some sarcastic answer but anyway If I were you I definetly would not be giving advice to people.You say your DEC certified which leads me to believe all your liscensing is in order,sohow in the world are you doing 4hr cleanups for 100$,please save the reply because any LCO out here would laugh the balls off if they cought wind of the bullshit your spewing out.
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    How the heck do you enter the landscaping business and not know what a spring clean-up is??????????????????????????????????????? WTF???? Do you know what a mower is? What is grass?

    Whitey- I don't get you either. I
  8. The Green Barber

    The Green Barber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I know what a spring clean up is, I was asking what is included?? Like does a basic package include. Do you charge cleaning flower beds separately. does your price include hauling the debris away?........ as far as the sarcasm, I'm surprised your in the business with that type of attitude. Sorry you did'nt understand my question, but your reply to my post was very unprofessional.
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    In my eyes, a spring clean-up is ANYTHING that needs cleaned up and or removed, manicured and so on...... You wouldn't want to clean up the twiggs, rack/collect leafs then not clean up the flower beds. Or let branches laying around the outsides of the property. You would clean up whatever needs cleaned.

    I have yet to do any work as of right now but that will change this coming week (I hope).... I have everything in order and will start to pimp my services next week. I have lettering being made for my Explorer to put on the rear side windows. It should look pretty good on the factory tinted windows. I just hope I can land enough work to survive this summer. I've seen Joe blows all over the place. I know they are not legit as they are driving around in a beat up farm truck with a push mower in the back with no name at all. At least I'll be legal.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,985

    whitey takes pride in his work, some of us in here love this type of work and want to keep our customers yards as nice as possible. Im alaways going the extra mile for my customers, it is great for referals and saves money on advertising

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