Cemetery advise please

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by FERT-TEK, Nov 16, 2019.


    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    Good morning gentlemen, it’s been a while since I’ve been here.
    I have a business opportunity that I wanted to get advice on. I recently retired from the fire service and had a friend of ours asked if I would consider maintaining a cemetery. I’ve always enjoyed lawn care and grounds maintenance and this sounds like a good retirement job. FYI, the property owners are providing the insurance, all equipment is owned by them and will be kept on site, they are covering fuel and related maintenance costs. It is approximately a 25 acre property with a 1/3 of it being open field and there is a mixture of above ground grave stones and ground level markers. Some questions to start this conversation....

    1) typically how many days between cuts and trimmings do you do.
    2) what size mowers and trimmers do you use
    3) have you ever used plant growth regulators around the obstacles that would need to
    be trimmed.
    4) fertilization?
    5) leaf collection?
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,487

    You will need a license to use plant growth regulators
    So I’d skip that for the time being

    if they are providing the equipment , then you don’t need to worry about what type or kind.

    as for frequency
    At a cemetery I would go with 4-5 days on the frequency for cutting
    That should keep you pretty busy solo on that property.
    Section it out into quarters
    Do one quarter every day, then start over

    you get a leeway of a day for other things or weather delay
    Mark Stark likes this.
  3. OP

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    Forgot tomention they offered to pay for any necessary cemetary and applicators certifications related to the job.
  4. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,469

    Man you are braver than I. I would be spooked out mowing a cemetery, grass is literally growing over dead bodies, some which are decomposing into the dirt you’re walking on. Creepy.

    I would probably have a larger mower for the open area (72”) then like a 36 or 52 depending how far apart the graves are. I imagine round-up would go a long way in decreasing trimming time. For leaves probably blow them all out to the open area then mulch em up and rake onto a tarp. It would be difficult to try and bag em up if they were where all the graves/ obstacles are.
  5. Caledwen

    Caledwen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    I think they would be hard to maneuver around. I wouldn't want to run directly (with tires) over in ground markers, if the rows are to narrow, may make it difficult to complete and stay respectful to those who passed.
    rclawn likes this.
  6. zlandman

    zlandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,077

    I would think a walker would be nice for this application because discharge onto graves is an issue and the Walker can trim both sides. 48" but I've never mowed a cemetery. Was going to bid one once, glad I didn't would have lost my ars.
  7. Sod Squad

    Sod Squad LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 28

    I agree with TP on a cemetery that size and mowing a section every 4 or 5 days. See if they'll let you get by with string trimming every other mow. I never fertilize as I haven't found it necessary, plus most of the ones I mow don't have the budget for it. I maybe can get them to let me spray for broadleaf weeds every couple years. Sounds like your situation is different, however. As far as mowers, a Walker is a wonderful machine for maneuvering around the stones. I can't see how anyone does it with a mid mount, other than maybe the open areas. Good luck if you decide to take the job. It's pretty low stress other than if the weather makes it difficult to get it looking nice for Memorial day.
  8. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,140

    Mow in 3 days, one day for trimming, last day as a makeup or day off. Whatever you end up doing, there probably won’t be many people complaining...
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,487

    For the cemetery I’d get a grasshopper
    You can change deck sizes
    You can vac as needed
    You can do liquid fert and/or applications with an attachment as well

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    Sounds like they fired their previous lawn company and trying to cut the price in half by hiring an “employee” .
    And just FYI it’s a miserable job. Trimming around thousands of grave stones is monotonous to say the least. One graveyard we used to mow had 4 hours of trimming for every 8 hours of mowing. I used to have issues w my arms / hands / elbows after trimming that long...hernia type bubbles under the skin on my forearm plus hands always getting cramped and stuck in a fist. Gonna be a tough job on your own so make sure you make decent $

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