Fall clean-ups?? what do they include.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DillonsLawnCare, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    what all do you guys do in fall clean-ups. like rake leaves , cut grass low for winter?????? need some help. Thankss
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    I'm in va so I assume our weather is similar, I'll tell you what I know...

    Most all non-treated / non-irrigated lawns stop growing sometime between October-November. You WILL get some calls from a few customers this month (september) talk about their grass stopped growing and thanks a lot for the help and all that... With the years pre-screening at the beginning of the season stops this, but in the early stages just be glad you have 1 less to deal with.

    The treated irrigated lawns here grow well into November and a few right up to Xmas but it does slow way down, I might cut lawns like these once or twice in November and maybe one last time in December, nothing to get excited about but be aware of it. That's how it works, we get a spurt right now but then it slows down until it doesn't grow anymore, they all do it but different lawns act different too, I'm sure you've seen this by now.

    Right now is high time, if you're running summer heights (my mowers are all running Jul-Aug blade height settings of 3.5 - 4.5") to start lowering your blades because you want the grass to be at 3" before end of september, usually this takes 2-3 somewhat closely spaced cuts (8-10 days, no more). If you're not running summer height settings then you still need to increase your cut frequency, if we have rain fall is almost like spring, but not quite as busy, still keep up on your lawns or they'll get away from you... I'd say if you're already at 3" you're looking at 8-12 day frequencies, this lasts 3-4 weeks.

    Because late september-early october tends to be core aeration / seeding time, so you want 3" by then, no later.
    Also if you run crabgrass treatments get hot on this asap, this stuff needs to go down now so there's time for the chemical to react long before the seed goes down or it will interfere with the germination.

    Either way, 3" for large decks, you don't want to go lower, just keep up with that. Then as the leaves start to fall you want your backpack handy, I just loaded mine in the truck so I'm ready, they won't come down heavy until end of October but the handhelds are generally a time-consuming affair with the light fluff that comes down from now until then...

    With most light stuff if it only takes a few minutes I include it in the grass cut service, otherwise charge a bit extra, whatever.
    If it's not bad I run it over with the mower, chop it up, but if it's more than a light thing it makes a mess so I use the backpack, we use our own judgement there.

    That will get you through towards end of October, once the leaves start to fall heavy you'll need some kind of a system, I'll let someone else explain that part lol, good luck.
  3. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,338

    I blow out all the street gutters, landscaping, away from fences, etc. Then come in with the mower and suck them up. Sometimes I will even blow off roofs and clean out house gutters for the right $$$. This year I am planning to add a BP blower to use on leafs, it SUCKED using my BG85 last year. Be really neat to have a 1 ton dump with a leaf box and a truck loader...better yet, an isuzu with a 14' dump bed.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Oh I forgot, you can use the side discharge to herd leaves as well, as so:
    Yes, that IS a light cover, I think I might've charged 5-10 extra for that, don't recall but the whole lawn got cleared with the mower, run around in one direction then run back over the cut part turn around and come back over the uncut part all in one direction, takes longer but it keeps pushing the leaves all one way, you can kinda see the technique sorry the pics are crap.

    I know this sounds cheap but I usually put them wherever, tree islands and stuff, careful with mulched areas thou, and you want to think a little because eventually you have to clean it all up so it is best to get them where you want them in the end, still I've been known to push the stuff under bushes and just hide them for now, until I get the BIG blower out later.

    Here's a drawing of the technique, hope it makes sense:

    Just to set the record straight, THIS is heavy leaves... No mowers here :laugh:
    That was an early november cleanup thou, couple of months yet.
  5. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    Hey topsites, Art was not your subject was it?

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