Weeding and mulching questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    How much would you charge per sq. ft. or whatever to weed current mulch beds if there are an estimated 1-2 weeds per sq. ft.? Not dandelions just a weed.

    The owner wants to put down Preen after I'm done weeding but before I mulch. Do I need to wait a certain amount of time after he puts it down to start mulching? I'm not familiar with Preen.

    Then when I mulch it, I can buy it by the cubic yard loaded on the trailer around $18-21 varying. Or I can buy it in the bag at a gas station 4 for $10 they say 5 cu. ft. each I THINK. This would come out to about 20 cu. ft. (one yard is 27 cu. ft.) so the bags are cheaper if they really are 5 cu. ft. each. Whats up with that? The gas stations stock way up on that stuff too. Is it just junk or is it a good way to cut costs? Oh yeah, this is on a small residential so you'd have to shovel the rest out into a wheelbarrow anyway. The bags might be just as quick and maybe less messy, but cheaper, any ideas? And price or time on the weeding too.
    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  2. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 706

    Mulch tends to be a very regional item simply because of it's relatively inexpensive to produce at the source -- but expensive to ship. It sounds like your cost for mulch is about equal to mine here in Kansas City -- maybe a little lower. I don't know what kind of mulch you are saying for $18/yd. I can get a recycled "trash" mulch for for around $18/yd -- but I would never put this in front of someone's house -- mostly just for back property weed control or such.

    Just add your cost and figure 1 man hour for each yard of mulch as long as you do not have to wheel it very far (less than 150 feet). In my business that works out to $60 a yard for most situations.


    Weeding has to be a judgment call on your part on the amount of time it will take. There a re a lot of variable -- density of weeds -- what kind of plants is it mixed in with -- etc. I usually give an estimate of my time on weeding -- but then charge an hourly rate.


    Oh yeah -- on the bags of mulch -- are you sure they are 5 cu foot bags. That's pretty big!!! The only bags I have ever seen is 2 and 3 cubic yards.

    Bags can sometimes be a good choice -- if the terrain is difficult and you are going to struggle with a wheelbarrow -- but around here they are never cheaper. I just mulched a job that required trekking 3 yards of mulch up a 7 foot retaining wall. Bags were the only way i could do it since there was no access around the retaining wall and I had to hoist whatever mulch I had to the top of the wall. I charged $100/yd for that job and no one complained. I fashioned a bait and tackle set-up that allowed me to pull 10bags at a time up a 15 foot ramp and got the job done in just barely over 3.5 hours BY MYSELF.
     
  3. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    FSM- I would try to estimate the job based on time to complete it, say $30-$35 per man hour. I don't estimate bed maintenance by square footage, I can't help you there. Yes, you can put the preen down and then mulch right away.

    As far as bagged mulch, we use it occasionally for small jobs or where access is difficult with wheel barrows. I have a feeling that those bags you are seeing at the gas station are 2 cubic feet, in which case you are paying about $33-$34 per yard. (2.50 per bag, 13.5 bags per yard) A gas station isn't the place to buy mulch!

    Go with the bulk mulch. Good luck, Mike
     
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Thanks guys, I figured I was off about those bags, no way they would have been cheaper right LOL. About the bulk mulch, it's not recycled trash mix, it's the good stuff. I was thinking $50 a yard installed. My older brother probably will be working with me so double productivity equals double price but half the time so same price per yard correct? So we could do about 2 yards an hour at $30/hr each right?

    I have no clue on the weeding time, so I guess I'll just tell him he can have both of us for $20/hr.? For basic manual labor like that i can't see charging $30/man hour, not that I wouldn't want to but it would be outrageous to them probably.

    Thanks again,
    Eric
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Also, let your customer know that the Preen should be put on AFTER the mulch is spread.
     
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Thanks for the tip Runner, i'll tell him. :)
     
  7. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    also try to sell them on some Snapshot instead of Preen.
     
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    LS I don't do chemicals, the customer is doing the Preen. I know nothing of this stuff..
     
  9. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 198

    why would the preen go on after? I always use it before
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    some on the soil, some over the mulch. the weeds will grow right in the mulch.
     

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