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 on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Those who scalp warm season grasses...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by walker-talker, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I know many of you that are from OK do this and others also, but I was wondering what is the earliest you get started. Last year I didn't get started until late March/early April, which made it difficult because it coinsided with regular mowing (fescue). I was thinking of trying to book clients at the beginning of March....is this too early? When do you usually get started?

    Thanks
    Matt
     
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I usually cut my bermuda down in March. After that the bermuda is starting to green up already. If you cut it down early it will start to green up faster and you get an extra cut or 2 in for the year.
     
  3. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    March, even early April, whenever time allows. Not before the freezing weather is past, not after the Bermuda or Zoysia starts to come out of dormancy.

    How are you charging for scalping in comparison to your charge for a regular mowing of the same lawn?
     
  4. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    I start March 1st. I also send out a letter around mid Feb. to let customers know our plans, the ones who want to wait have a few weeks to call and say so. I have scapled bermuda lawns, and then had a foot of snow the following week, and found no damage or problem with scalping early.
     
  5. Last year it was the 3rd week of march and we had a early spring.1st week of march is too soon here.Weather too cold and might even have snow on the ground.Rule of thumb here is anytime after St.pats days
     
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Scalping is hard to bid, unless you do it like leaves and bid by the hour. Last year I did only 12 lawns and only cut one of those lawns on a regular basis. The one I do cut is around 3500sq ft. I cut for $25 and scalp for $90. I did one scalp last year...charged $300 and took me 2 hours....did another one for $300 and took me 10 hours (got burned on that one). Overall I averaged $68 an hour, but keep in mind how hard this is on your equipment. I am going to go out today and get address of new lawns (just drive around) and soon will be sending flyers. I was thinking of offering a free dethatching for anyone who books during the month of March. I think this will help get new business and give me a months worth of business that I would not have otherwise. I will add part of the cost into the estimate and this will be a one time offer to new clients only. Most people that get their lawns scalped have had a few different LCO's do them. Once they find someone that can do a good job and done right, they will keep them.....and that would be me. I had an old time last year tell me that in the 15 years he had been living there he has never had anyone come out more equipped to do the job. He said every year that him and his wife would have to go back to do the job again. He also said that I was the most expensive one to ever do the job...lol

    Thanks for the info....guess I better get busy marketing.
    Matt
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I have absolutely no idea of what "scalping" is (I'm a joysee guy). Would someone explain it to me in layman's terms?
     
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Cutting warm season grass (bermuda & zoysia) about 1"-1.5" and removing debris. The only thing I can see that it actually does is cause it to green quicker or since it's cut so low you can see the green shoots quicker. I do this mainly for older folks and they are very anal about it......"it has to be done every year" and done to their liking.
     
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    So you have to vac or rake up all the clippings I take it? And is scalping a one-time deal each year?
     
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Yes..you have to collect the grass and haul (I use my Walker in combination with my leaf loader). Yes....one time each year. Some feel that it only needs it every other year. There has been many of arguments here on LS about the pros and cons to this, but you can do a search if you really want to....I really don't want to get into it...lol
     

Share This Page