Aeration Questions

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by pmsmith2032, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. pmsmith2032

    pmsmith2032 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    This fall I am planning on offering aeration to local homeowners. I've done this in past years but just done it for one weekend and just for neighbors (I advertised by sending out emails and door flyers). This fall I'd like to expand to a couple weekends and offer it to more people (maybe a 5 mile radius from my house). However, I want to be the most efficient/profitable I can be. So I have a couple of questions:

    1. What is the first weekend I should offer aeration. I live in the suburbs of Chicago. And how late into the season should I offer it?

    2. I will be renting the aerator. In the past I've rented a 19" core aerator and just threw it in the back of our SUV. This year I'm debating between the following:

    - Using the 19" again - $95 a day
    - Upgrading to the 27" - $120 a day
    - Upgrading to the 30" stand on - $210 a day

    If I upgrade to the 27" or 30" I'd imagine I'd have to rent a trailer as they are heavier and taller (might not fit in the SUV). The trailer would be around $38 a day. I'm not sure how much more efficient the 27" and 30" are, how much more difficult they are to use/maneuver, and if they are worth the extra cost. Thoughts?

    3. What other services should I offer with the aeration? Overseeding?

    4. Pricing - In the past I've charged $40 for lawns that averaged between 1/4 to 1/3 acre. I'd like to raise my price to at least $50 but if I remember correctly, I've seen a lot of advertisement for around $40 in past years. Thoughts/opinions?

    5. Any suggestions on advertising? Right now I'm thinking emails, flyers and Craigslist.

    6. Any other thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

    Thanks and have a great Friday/weekend!
  2. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    Id offer a fall fertilizer, its the most important fertilizer treatment of the year with the most benefits for the lawn
  3. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,054

    Is this a joke? Trolling? Or is this some ad that a hack posted that is being posted again to get laughs?
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Sorry OP but I don't think I am the only one thinking what I just posted.

    If you have no idea what to charge or even what other products that you need to be applying, then you definitely don't need to be to doing this. You need to educate yourself on your own. Books, talk to an extension agent, classes, working for a landscape company, researching online etc.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  4. pmsmith2032

    pmsmith2032 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks Ditta&Sons. If I were to offer a fertilizer, how should I price this? Just buy granular fertilizer at the local hardware store (Menards or Home Depot)?

    Ron mexico75 - Why do you think this is a joke?
  5. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,054

    Because if you don't know what to apply or what to charge why even do it? you need to research on your own rather than ask questions of business owners, mainly what this site is made up of.

    Someone says yeah put the grass seed down at 1 pound per thousand square feet and add some dimension at the heavy rate, you might take that advice and run with it because you obviously have no idea what you're doing.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. pmsmith2032

    pmsmith2032 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I must say I'm a bit surprised. I'm trying to get advice so I can make some extra money and do a professional job. I thought the whole idea of this forum was to ask for advice but I guess I was mistaken. My bad.
  7. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,054

    Maybe it's just me but I'm pretty sure you will see that if you come on the site totally clueless like you did you aren't going to get any help. If you know what you're doing and you have questions with the finer details then some people will probably post. but no one is giving away answers for free around here at least that's what I've seen over the years.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. pmsmith2032

    pmsmith2032 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Understandable. I have done the aeration for local neighbors in the past and am just trying to increase my number of clients. By no means was I looking for any industry secrets....just looking for advice on how to "grow my business". I figured that people would respond if they wanted to, and ignore my post if they didn't.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I agree with the OP in that the forum is for the purpose of getting the 'right' answers from those who have experienced things in the past...
    The idea of reading books and getting opinions from college educated county agents, incapable of getting a real job is NOT the best way to learn about anything,,, IMHO...

    Suburbs of Chicago means cool season grasses that may have thatch build up the prevents the percolation of water and fert into the root zone... Note that brown grass clippings or other natural debris do NOT comprise thatch that prevent percolation...

    I like the small aerator because it is more versatile and easier to navigate...
    Always find the sprinkler heads and any thing else that may be damaged, personally,, and charge accordingly...
  10. Altair

    Altair LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Just my 2 cents judging from the post above, you are not licensed for fertilizer. I am not familiar with Illinois, but I do know other states do require licensing for commercial fertilizer applicators. I would recommend looking into that. If the state does require licensing, chances are good one of the state colleges offers some type of course to assist with obtaining that license. That course should cover at least the basics of what you have been asking.

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