Why all of the bagging on large lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Just finished the weekfromhell. Had to cut about 20 residential properties for a friend of mine who is out of town this week. He does strictly residential and all of them were large properties in high-end neighborhoods. Many of these homes were in the $800,000 range with 3/4 acre or more turf areas. Most are Trugreen lawns so you know how much N is in these lawns and they were long and thick ....many had to be triple cut....yuck. After these 20 I said to my employee "this is why we do very few residential"....he said thank goodness. THere were a number of companies in there cutting when we were there and nearly every on eof them was BAGGING these big lawns. Many had dump trucks full of grass and it was only late morning. Leaves were not yet an issue.
    I was just amazed that these companies would agree to bag these big properties.....Is this common in your area?? What am I missing here? :dizzy:
     
  2. T Edwards

    T Edwards LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    We bag the front and side yards of all our accounts. They pay for the manicured look of Augusta National and we deliver. We're all in business to give the customer what they want, right?........right?
     
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Yes indeed ...and as long as they are paying for loading and disposing of truckloads of N. Personally I'd walk away from this type of account but the lawns did look very nice when they were done.
     
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    the question is can you actually get a reasonable price to do the extra work. Adding an extra 30-45 minutes per cut plus the expense of a dump vehicle, plus the expense of a dump run. I mean that must add 30-50% to the cost of mowing.

    discharge discharge discharge oh alright mulch if I have to But bagging I think I would rather cut it with scissors.
     
  5. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    If they're wanting it done and willing to pay a little extra for the time involved then give the customer what they want.
     
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I'm with you Gary. I started out bagging all of my customers with a lawn tractor. Then I bought a Walker and still bagged. Now I have a Walker with a 52" side discharge deck and during the growing season I bag ZERO lawns. The only reason I have the bagger is for spring dethatch cleanup and very minimal fall leaf clean after I mulch the snot out of the leaves.

    I enjoying mowing a heck of alot more now.
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Bagging grass? Gave that up eons ago. Was wondering where you were Gary???
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    These guys may have just thrown in the towel if their lawns grow how the ones you did grow. They figure they will just cut to the chase and scoop it up rather than go over it two more times. Personally, I'd rather triple cut before I bag because there is still less work involved. Another thing to consider in this area, is that may be the "standard" around there. In other words, you have a whole bunch of ignorant people who don't know any better, except for the fact that they have more dollars than sense, and because Mr. Jones gets his lawn bagged, then by golly, I want my lawn bagged too! I always turn people away from this by educating them a little on the amounts of actual N that is stripped from a lawn by bagging (although with tru-brown, it wouldn't really matter - ANOTHER reason why I don't touch scam-lawn lawns). I also put it to them like this....They don't bag wrigley field, do they? They don't bag Warwick Hills or Pebble Beach golf courses, do they? People usually get the idea.
     
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Runner...good points you make...especially about "keeping up with my neighbor" mentality. I need to have a blunt conversation with the guy I covered for this week. He needs to get CONTROL of the fert programs on these Tru Burn properties. I;ve told him b4 that if he does not want to do the fert work, at least sub it out with a good local company. THats what we do for the few residential we have and we never see this kind of top growth. SOme of these lawns this week look like they were not mowerd in 2 weeks...but it was just 6 days ago....totally ridiculous. Yeah I'm still p'd off about how much time it took us and how much fuel we burned.
    Fert it mow it fert it mow it .....when will humans ever learn the downside of overfertilzation....most likley never no matter how we try to educate them.
     

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