Help with Raking & Seeding Time

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Darryl G, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I've been doing some work for a new customer. It started out that she just wanted a mow, but I have since trimmed all the hedges, installed 9 arborvitae, spread 6 tons of driveway stone and spread a bunch of compost/top soil that she had delivered.

    Originally, she just wanted the piles spread out, which I did with my tractor/loader/landscape rake. She was going to do the final raking (there's lot of "junk" in the compost) and seeding, but now wants a price for me to do it.

    I don't normally rake/seed large areas, just bare spots or small reclaimed areas, so I don't have a good idea of how long this would take and how much to charge.

    There are three areas totally about 5,575 square feet or about 1/8 acre. She says she already has the seed.

    I plan to call the rental yard and see if they have a Harley rake that will run on my tractor (only 19.5 HP at the PTO) or maybe I'll rent the tractor and rake...but, I may just end of raking it out by hand.

    How long would this take to rake out and how much would you charge?

    This is area 1, about 4,000 square feet.

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  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Area 2, about 1,100 square feet

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  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Area 3, about 675 square feet.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

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  4. plowboy81

    plowboy81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Here is my opinion. On an area that small and that well graded, I would just take a 4-wheeler or small tractor and hook a peice of chain link fence behind it and go over it a few times. Works really great. Of course the more weight(blocks, logs, or something esle) you put on it will make it faster and better. As far as the pricing, here is what to figure not counting the seed she has. I would make sure she has at least 50lbs and I'd also use some lime because of the compost to help neutralize any acid in the soil:

    1 bag fert=$6-10 depending on what kind
    1 bag lime=$4
    8 bails straw=($3.50x8)=$28
    total materials=$45 tops

    Then just figure your time, fuel, and labor for putting out the other stuff and your good. Good luck.
  5. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    We just did a back yard about the size of area 1 an 2. took 2 of us 45 mins to rake by hand. We rolled it first, then raked it.

    Area 3 would take 10 -15 mins....Rolled first...

    I would say 2 hours to rake out everything with time to spare..maybe $150

    Seeding $50

    Seed cost/tackifier, or straw $100.00

    Starter fert..$40 plus app cost..$25

    Would do it for $350.00
  6. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    Plowboy, what kind of straw are you getting for $3.50 per bale? Up here it's like $8? or $12 for shredded straw, and $15 for a bale of salt hay.
  7. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Originally posted by fblandscape Plowboy, what kind of straw are you getting for $3.50 per bale? Up here it's like $8? or $12 for shredded straw, and $15 for a bale of salt hay.

    We get it for $3.50 a bale here in Ct..
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I don't even use straw. Within the last year I planted about 2000 sq ft of my own lawn without straw and it comes in real nice.

    What kind of seed did she buy? You have to watch the frugal homeowner or else you may be spreading annual rye. It will look nice for a couple months.

    Get a large landscape rake and rake it yourself to save on costs. Get a yard of topsoil. Spread the seed, dress it with topsoil. Lightly roll it to get seed to soil contact. Tell her to keep it moist watering it once a day for 10 to 15 minutes.

    You have to figure the costs for yourself. Mostly labor. 2-3 hours max but its some shoulder work especially if its warm. Good Luck. Oh ya, you have to increase your mowing price after it starts to grow. Thats built in job security.:D
  9. plowboy81

    plowboy81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I live in NC. We use wheat straw here. I can really get it for $3.00 per bale till the guy runs out, then its 3.50. Down here you can get straw from Home Depot for $3.47+tax. Pine needles the same price at depot as the straw. I pay $3.40 per bale for my needles. They are much better than depot's. I would probably do it for around $250.00 if it were down here. Good luck.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Thanks for the replies guys. Boy, I was going to budget a whole day for this...guess I'll drop it to 1/2 day.

    I was planning on raking it out, seeding with a drop seeder (1/2 in each direction), then dragging a steel tine rake backwards & upside down, then lightly rolling and adding straw. That's the way I do it for small areas and have had good luck, except I lightly tamp it with a 10 x10 tamper instead of rolling.

    As far as the seed, I don't know what she bought, but she did mention something about planting bentgrass is one area for a putting green.

    I was going to use bagged shredded straw from the local ag. supply store...not sure what they charge for it.

    I don't think $ is much of a concern in this case...the lady paid $60/yd for the driveway stone I spread for her. I billed about $1,000 for the other work I've done for her and she didn't even blink. The house is going on the market for 1.5 million.

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