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Cool season turf and the customer that MUST have their lawn power raked...?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    Our spring cleanup consists of 1 pass with the power rake (tine Rake) on healthy/ thick parts of the lawn, blowing all leaves that fell down or blew in after our final cleanup, and bag everything.

    We get many customers who only want to do a power rake.

    Personally I feel like most of the time tine raking may not be needed but the customers LOVE it. 100% of them are fert customers so Pre-E doesnt get laid till after these are done.

    I should also say we mow the lowest all season during spring cleanups.

    While if you are too aggressive with the tines (having them set to deep or going over weak spots) it can definately harm the lawn.

    Now when it comes to mulching leaves, Tine raking definately helps with those customers who insist on mulching EVERYTHING from last fall. As we all know mulching is fantastic, but mulching a heavily oak treed area every week in the fall or once or twice will suffocate the lawn. Tine raking helps get some of this stuff up and out while still leaving some.

    Don't get me wrong, I think aerating is better overall for the lawn, but customers absolutly LOVE tine raking (Yes we call it dethatching, easiest way to explain to the customer). In the end, if the customer is happy, their lawn looks good and your carefull not to over do it, and you get paid, It all works out.

    In the future, I may start to take out dethatching for our spring cleanups, have it be an add on. Instead adding in aerating. hmmmmmm
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Frankly the sparse low density patterns of the rolling time aerators doesn't do much to combat a thatch layer. A thick thatch layer in the soil types in my area really need the rapid up and down action of the reciprocating units like the Ryan 28's and Plugr type units. As you can see from my YouTube video the difference is night and day. All those extra plugs on top of the grass create a trully revolting amount grit and dirt. A common complaint with my aerations is the plugs take a L O N G time to go away.
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  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Just a slight VENT here:

    Just remembered this event and it happened 3 years ago. What has happened to me in the past is I have given an estimate for $120-140 whatever....then done the tine racking...then the client complains that her past power raking job only cost $60 and "little johnny's" service [off to college this year] got out more STUFF 17 plastic bags worth of haul off...and how she was not exactly happy with low count of only 8-9 burlap squares of haul off. Mind you the squares are 6' x 6' and much bigger than 33 gallon plastic bags.

    My area is loaded with $50 for a low impact power rake providers for lawn areas 1/3 to 1/4 acre.

    What I'm getting at is there is a mentality with the clients here that those who want this service done ...there has to be some sort of massive haul off for the service to worth while. :hammerhead:

    There are some contractors that push this service annually as being vital and urgent for lawn health or else...and they don't offer aerations. I see it every Spring....they even do this for their commercial lawns. :dizzy:

    These are the same lawns where the mowing height get dropped noticeably once Labor Day hits [still much hot and dry weather pending] and the lawns go into decline for the rest of the season. :confused:

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