thoughts on biweekly mulching in the fall

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by zackvbra, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. MainTainZ Property Svcs.

    MainTainZ Property Svcs. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    My first couple of years in business, I did the rake, tarp, and bagging method. For the last 18 years, pretty much all my customer's leaves get mulched. I usually do 4 leaf mulchings per fall season per customer. The first three are not real thorough cleanups. By that, I mean we blow out the beds and around the house, driveway, sidewalks, curb, etc. but we don't go all out. Then we mulch the leave. I usually charge my regular customers double what I would charge to just mow. Then on the final cleanup of the season, we blow off roofs, clean out gutters, clean out the beds really well, and any other areas then we mulch the leaves and if need be after mulching we will run a bagger over the yard. Very seldom do we have to do the bagging step. I usually charge about 4x the price for a regular mowing and then I charge a fee for the roof and gutter cleaning. This model has worked very well for me over the years and the labor is very minimal compared to completely blowing a yard clean or bagging without mulching. I love leaves. They have proven to be very profitable for my company. I usually use snapper pros with a homemade mulch plug and a scag turf tiger with plug. No special blades. I have mulched leaves that were pushed up to waist deep and when done, they were gone..Oak leaves will usually be mulched and then run a bagger over them. This has worked for us for all these years and all my customers are extremely happy with this model.

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  2. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,421

    another "varies by region" scenario.
     
  3. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    Yeppp. Theres barely any leaves in those pics. You're not mulching/making leaves disappear in the fall in the northeast like that. .
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  4. MainTainZ Property Svcs.

    MainTainZ Property Svcs. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    I've done leaf piles knee deep to waist high and made them disappear..I live in the mountains of East Tn and we have major leaves.
     
  5. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    You didnt make them all disappear in the second pic and you're definitely not making cold, wet, icy, etc... waist deep leaves in the northeast disappear unless you tarp or blow or plow or use a leaf loader and trailer or blow them to the woods. You may spend hours mulching them but you're not going to make them disappear, especially acres of them. If you could there wouldnt be a need for such equipment to be built or for leaf rigs running up and down the road.
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  6. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    You probably could if you did it EVERY week. But not even just that, this would never fly where I am. People are perfectly willing to pay for a full blown clean up, and are not going to be happy to have someone mow their lawn for hours crushing leaves to dust. What works for some areas doesn't work for others. I wish I could get away with this though. Bagging leaves all October is such a pain.
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  7. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,686

    Not to mention turning their soaking wet yards into a "mudbowl" repeatedly going back and forth. You could do a good job mulching them every week but even that catches up with us in the northeast when a big blow/storm comes in and definitely not waist or knee deep. Would be nice but definitely wouldn't pay as well as having to get rid of them.
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  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Blowing into piles is better than bagging with a mower, in many instances... like doing it once with a blower every 2 weeks instead of 2-3 times with a bagger, becuz if it gets too much the bagger will only plug up...
     
  9. TheLugNutZ

    TheLugNutZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    For the full leaf cleanups are people willing to pay for it 2 or 3 times, or do people usually just wait until they are all down and do it once? If that's the case , that sucks because in my neighborhood they would end up knee high..
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  10. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    I clean up ad many times as I can. If we waited til the end and did it all in one shot, we'd be working until mid January. Most municipalities stop picking up early December, so you have to do as much as you can before hand.

    I think I saw you post about starting next year right? The best thing to do is what I do, when I sign someone up in the spring, we go through the entire season's needs on day one. They all fill out customer forms that list what services they'd like to get. That way I don't have to make calls asking if they want clean ups.
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