1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Texas Roll Call

Discussion in 'Network: South' started by PlantscapeSolutions, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Water conservation. I'm sure San Antonio is the same way.
  2. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    I'm noticing the same. Mostly all Baramuda being put down, with Zoysia in the real high end homes. Nearly everything I'm seeing built now is Baramuda. I seen ya'll talking about the late winter and dormacy, however, that was a week ago. My SA Lawns, several are looking crappy, while most are about 85-90% now and starting to look excellent. The ones that are looking crappy, there are obvious symptoms there's been no irrigation on them. We had a messed up winter, now it looks like it's going to be a really hot summer this year. I'm taking a round about estimate, I think we're going to see temps. hanging around 107 this summer. Anyone want to call me up on that bet? :drinkup:

    I think in another few weeks I'm going to be taking my Zoysia from 7/8" up to about 1.25" because I have a feeling this summer is going to be brutal. :cool2:
  3. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 768

    I'm from San Antonio. I don't think we've had enough water, because when I started passing out flyers I noticed quite a few lawns still look almost dead. Maybe the only green lawns are people who are watering them. And like somebody mentioned, we'll probably have water restrictions soon. :(
  4. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    You are already on a once a week restriction. San Antonio is a tough place because they always have restrictions. I think at one point SA was on a 14 day restriction.

    I have some tricks for the once a week schedule that help but I can't share them. I don't want everyone to start doing it and then the city start to get more strict. Austin has been once a week since the summer of 2009. At one point we went to the two day schedule but it only lasted six weeks.

    I top dress most of my customers lawns and it can make the difference between cutting every week or every two weeks. Most guys are missing the boat on top dressing and they don't even know it.
  5. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 768

    I did not know that. I asked a customer how often he watered and he said "Every day." lol I guess he just ignored the restriction. I don't even think you're supposed to water grass every day, but I didn't tell him that.

    Thanks. I'm going to look up top dressing when I get a chance.
  6. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    I'll save you some searching. Go to http://plantscapesolutions.net/top-dressing/ and you can check out the info on my website.

    I just did a search for "Lawn top dressing San Antonio" and there is almost nobody who even offers the service there.

    There is an old YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rnsKqtGO0k for top dressing by Green With Envy Lawn & Landscape in SA but that's it. The company doesn't even have the old video linked to their site anymore. If anyone in SA does any sort of decent top dressing info on their website with some SEO work they will easily end up on the first page of Google organically.

    I just found this info as well https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eco-Lawn-San-Antonio/232779570243036. The guy has no phone number and you have to look hard to find a picture with website info in it. Here is the guys website http://ecolawnsa.com/. He even has pricing listed. he is doing it for a little too cheap.

    He spreads a yard of material for about $130. I did it for $138 the last two years but next year I'm going back to my first year pricing which was about $79 per 1000 square feet or $168 per cubic yard.

    ABC Pest & Lawn (ABC Environmental Services) may cover SA also but if they do they have zero SEO in place and can't be found in search results. In general it looks like SA is a big old virgin market just waiting to be taken for a roll in the hay.

    You can top dressing from November 1st thru about April 1st. I do holiday lighting so I don't start until about January 15th myself. I have a decent higher end clientele and that is who you want to target. For get the regular $300K and less homes. It the $300K thru million plus homes you want. The larger the lawns the better so you have more work and less travel time.

    The Ecolawn machine is $6k and you need a dump trailer to do this very efficiently and that keeps competition to a minimum. The more you can haul the more efficient you will be. You also need to find a source for the material and likely have it custom made because you need about 30% sand in your compost for the machine to be able to spread it.

    I was lucky and had 35 jobs sold before I even bought my machine. I poked and prodded my customers with info multiple times and little by little lined up the jobs. I did about $35K in sales my first year with about a 75% profit margin. The key though is the big trailer to keep you working and not running out of material multiple times a day.

    I know here the Dillo Dirt Company was thinking about targeting SA in the future. He has a small company like me. I'm
  7. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 768

    Thank you for the information. It looks like you've put a lot into your website. Eventually I need to get a website up, but right now I'm probably not going to have time to work on it because I'm focusing on passing out flyers to get more customers.

    I'm interested in expanding my services to include landscaping services as soon as I can. I've done some work for small lawn service in my area that does landscaping, so maybe I can learn more from him. In fact, we put some decomposed granite down yesterday.

    It does like a sizable investment to do the top dressing efficiently. Can you do it without a 6K machine? Or would the profit be too low? I'm sure the dump trailer would be good for other materials too. Maybe I can start with smaller landscaping jobs and set some money aside out of that for better equipment. I need to offer more services so I have things to do in the winter anyway, and so I get more business.
  8. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    You can do it without a machine but it's a lot of hard work. At the very least you need a decent trailer with twin 7K axles and a Diesel truck to pull it.
  9. Hope Landscaping

    Hope Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    Here in Lewisville (north of Dallas) we are already in a two day a week restriction. It's ridiculous, I just did some sod work for someone who lives on a corner, they'll never skate by doing any kind of tricks. The St. Augustine still looks horrible here, especially in the shaded areas.
  10. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,308

    No offense to you, your obviously not the customer and the customer doesn't think like I do. When I put Zoysia in our front and back lawn; cost including the Zoysia grass, top soil, compost, a little fertilizer, my time, etc. ran over 3k+ for the entire lawn. We we're obviously on drought restriction; as mentioned since 2009, the city nearly doubled our watering bill for over watering. It is what it is, but to me, the cities fines or "higher" water bills don't equate to the cost of the new lawn.

Share This Page