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Explaining mulching

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by grassrootsinab, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. grassrootsinab

    grassrootsinab LawnSite Member
    from up here
    Messages: 215

    Started regular cuts last night (thank goodness clean-ups are finished!!). Stopped at my first client (elderly woman), I've had her yard for about 6 years. Trimmed it nice, got out my 38" Deere WB and cut the grass. The first pass next to the house was REALLY long. I raised the deck and cut it down, lowered and proceeded to go over it 3 times to mulch it up. Then blew the excess with my leaf blower and made it look really good.

    I go in to collect the cheque and she says "That mower leaves all the clippings on the lawn" I say "Yes, but it's better for the turf" and proceed to explain how it helps reduce water needs, maintains fertilizer content etc. She doesn't believe me. Maybe I should get some brochures made up of the benefits of mulching. None of my other customers question the practice but this one lady has the same discussion every spring. Any one else use brochures etc.?

  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    See if your cooperative extension has them. People will listen to others before they listen to the "lawn guy". Had this problem with the school system. Stopped telling them things and just brought in the material fo rhtem to read. got tired of wasting my breath. Need the oxyegen for myself. :p
  3. aclassic

    aclassic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    if you dont do her fert too, just tell her that by removing the clippings the lawn has nothing to replenish its nutrients w/. and if she wants you to haul the clippings off, tell her how much a fert program would cost.

    and i agree, dont waste too much time w/ her, just give her something someone else wrote about how beneficial it is.
  4. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Waste of money to print them up for her. Educate her (sounds like she does not want to listen), give her a price to haul clipping away (tell her landfills charge a lot for this). It suck in the early spring, but part of it when you dont collect. Worst case for me is to discharge to one row, then collect with a 21". I use gator blades over normal high lifts and it does chop it up good. Only problems are in the tall wet stuff.
  5. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    I have found two things to be true most of the time with older people.

    1. They want their clippings bagged.

    2. They want their lawn cut very very short.

    Dunno why. It must be a generational thing. Maybe when we hit that age everyone will be bagging and cutting it short again and we will be the pains saying...no leave the clippings and cut it long. LOL

    If you come up with a successful way to make them understand and agree with the proper way of mowing then please share with us all. I need a good approach.
  6. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    I'd get her a simple hand-out explaining the benifits, and a written quote on the added cost doin it her way, and to call after she makes her decision?....Dont think your phone will be ringing anytime soon.......Somebody mentioned wet tall grass & the gator blades?....My buddy has 2-blades welded together, this seems to take care of the problem :)
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Just sazy. "It's like this...they don't pick up the clippings on Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium, and they SURE don't pick up the clippings at Warwick Hills, home of the Buick Open."
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,938

    Somebody mention a "generational thing." I have found that older folks want clippings bagged because their experiences many years ago included mowers that left rows of clippings. Some of us are older than most who frequent this place. I certainly recall mowers in the 50s, 60s that did a horrible job. Therefore, the mindset still has these images, and hence "bag it." And, trying to explain the commercial mowers we use are "different" is usually talking to the wind because they are savy enough to know we have a vested interest in NOT bagging.

    Another part of the mindset is "leaving the grass will mean thatch, and I don't want all that thatch." I think we agree this is a falsehood, but it remains part of the thinking by many, mostly the older folks who did all their own maintenance at one point in the past.

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