Western PA Landscapers!

Discussion in 'Network: North' started by 93Chevy, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    Nah, still much mowing to do.

    I think the rains of the past few weeks have helped extend the season. Usually, by this time, I've started to expand schedules. Only this past week did I expand one. I expect to mow a full schedule this week yet, except one. However, some scrappy yards mowed the past couple of days will be 2-3 weeks out, for last cut. But, the well maintained ones continue to do well. On a couple of them, I am having a hard time setting down mowing heights because of heavy clippings.

    However, the leaf season is strong. On most years, the workload balances out -- slowing the mowing work, adding the leaf work. This year, mowing remains, and leaf work just gets added. I've had some very long work days to keep mowing schedule, AND do leaf work. While many are down, there are lots of leaves yet to drop -- most oak, silver maple, catalpa, sycamore. Walnut, large-leaf yellow maple, ornamental, elm, ... done.
  2. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,592

    Roger that Roger, sure hope to be all done by Thanksgiving even if it is early this year.
  3. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,738

    people are saying their yard doesnt need cut anymore. sorry but its going to grow for a few more weeks so i will still be coming.

    also i think its ironic were going to be in the 70s all week then they are calling for rain/snow mix on monday and tuesday. only in pittsburgh
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    Yeah, it's over for the cheap bastard$.
    As soon as they see a leaf drop - "Oh, the grass doesn't need cut any more".
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I presume many of you have residential customers that have perennials in their beds. The most common for my customers is hosta, and some peonies.

    Some homeowners are very good about getting these plants cut down before the leaf season begins. Others, ... well, not so much.

    The leaves are filling in the beds, and the perennials are still on stalk. I've asked a few of my customers who have many plants to please attend to this matter, or give me permission to do the task. Getting leaves out of these beds is more difficult, and the results are poor. One of them said "go ahead." The others, "... I'll take care of it." In other years, they have "taken care of it," but after the leaf season is over, and I've battled for several visits.

    What do others do? Just cut them down, without any interaction with the customer? Or, just do battle, and live with the outcome?

    I'm sure they have no idea of the hassle, but know the task has to be done sometime.

    Whew! Two 11 hour days, finishing in the dark both days. Keeping mowing schedule, but spending nearly as much time with leaves on most properties is making for some long work days. Does anybody think the very warm days is accelerating the leaf drop, or hindering? Yes, breeze accelerates, but I thought hard freezes accelerated leaf drop. The Silver Maples are now really beginning to drop in earnest. Also, catalpa and sycamores are also dropping big time.
  6. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 40,790

    I've never asked homeowners to take care of perennial beds and I only take care of them if they ask me to or if I know they aren't going to do it themselves.

    I believe since we've had a hard freeze that there's no stopping the leaves no matter what the weather is. Keep working while you can!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    One nice thing about commercial contracts is that it's up to us to take care of all bed maintenance unless the homeowners at an HOA ask us to leave it alone.

    We've been plugging away at cutting down black eyed susans, daylillies, hostas, astilbe, etc, over the last month. We'll be working on cutting down ornamental grass next week and should be done by Thanksgiving.

    We just kinda do a little every week as we have time.

    Maybe not the best, but it kinda depends on the customer and budget constraints.
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I should have mentioned, ... I do no bed maintenance as a rule. This means that cutting this stuff down is not in my domain. But, it is surely in my interest to get the job done!
  9. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    Since you mentioned it, what's the best method for cutting down ornamental/zebra grass?

    I've not needed to cut any before other than the ONE I have at home and I did that by hand with pruning shears, but I have a client with about ten clusters I need to cut down...

  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    Hedge clipper. I use my Stihl HS80, 24" bar. I use a rope (or two) around the clump of grasses before starting, cinch up the rope tight. Make the cut where you want the final height to be -- clean cut across the entire clump. The clump should remain in tact enough to get two arms around it to carry it away. If the clump is just cut down, blades of grass are all over, very quickly! And, getting them all corralled up again takes time, and is hard to leave the area clean.

    Depending on where the debris has to go, I may lay out a tarp before cutting, then lay the clump on the tarp before carrying away.

    The last thing I want to do is the messy cleanup when the debris is scattered.

    After the clump is gone, the final stump may require a bit of touch up with the hedge clipper. How well the initial pass makes the final pass depends upon how big the clump. I have cut some as large as 24" across, but the procedure still works well.

    I have heard of homeowners who don't have a gas-powered hedge clipper, using a chain saw. I suspect that will leave a mess. But, it is probably better than hand shears.

Share This Page