Mulching tips and mulch suppliers

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by SchnabelLawnCare, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    I am adding mulching to my business in 2010. I am assuming that the cheapest way to do it is a wheelbarrow and shovels/rakes etc.

    If you have any tips for a beginner and don't mind helping, let me know!

    Also, any Indianapolis wholesale mulch suppliers that you Hoosiers use? Thanks!
  2. CHRIS92789

    CHRIS92789 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    Buy a pitch fork. I found that the best way to pick up the mulch. i have a couple single wheel wheel barrows but i also have a 2 wheel one, if i was you i would invest in a 2 wheel they are much easier to use and saves a little bit of time. IMO
  3. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    How many tines?
  4. CHRIS92789

    CHRIS92789 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    I used a 5 time pitch fork, but im sure a 4 would work fine as well.
  5. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Before you mulch: get a contract signed, trim all plants, edge all beds, take pictures.

    1. get a large 10 plus tine fork to keep at the truck or trailer. Use this to load mulch into barrows. It should only take 6-8 scoops. Buy these at a tractor/farm supply store.

    2. Run an efficient crew. I find 3 guys to be perfect. 1 on the truck unloading, one guy running mulch and dumping, and i guy spreading with a 4 or 5 tine fork. Switch it up often so no one gets beat.

    3. Dump the mulch in large piles. Then using the fork in the tines down position pull the mulch to the correct areas spreading evenly. Ensure only a 2-3 thickness no more, otherwise you will get mold. Every ten feet get out walk back 15 paces and look at it. Does it look even and level on the house? Nothing on the siding right? Nothing on the plant collars right? Then using the fork low to the ground with the tines up move the tines over the mulch in a smoothing motion to give the mulch that manicured look. The motion is similar to the way you brush off a table of breadcrumbs with your hand.

    4. Be wary of dyed mulches, they stain yards, driveways, and houses easily. Warn your customers that dyed mulch should only be applied on clear days, as the color will wash out of the top layer making it look faded almost instantly. NO CALLBACKS!

    5. Use a large leaf rake and pull all mulch back into bed if you spill some. Use smaller leaf rake to bevel mulch edge back into bed from your cut edge. It looks much cleaner.

    6. Always sweep down street, and driveways. It should look as though no one was ever there.
  6. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    Thanks a lot!

    I am only a one man operation however. How much are 10 tine forks?
  7. ACMiller

    ACMiller LawnSite Member
    from MN.
    Messages: 15

    Ditto, Steiner great tips, I use what we call a silage fork it has 11 tines for loading and moving mulch. I found also a mulch rake for moving the mulch around. My crew likes it, I'm still partial to the 5 tine manure fork. They do work well in the lawn for cleaning any spilt mulch, they don't pull as much grass. Pricing varies on these forks, I pay $35.00 for a good one at the farm supply. I also always keep a #14 grain or snow shovel around for clean up.
  8. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I personally like those 'duraforks'... I would use a silage fork as suggestted earlier, for the heavy loads into the wheel barrow... the durafrk works most efficiently with the lightweight debris that gets spread around by unloading.

    It picks up clean mulch and leaves behind, only the dust that can be swept. The stuff that you pick up with a shovel doesn't look good in the mulch bed. :)

    Pretty hefty price for that durafork though... especially w/out a handle. If you do buy a different handle for the durafork, buy a hoe handle and whittle down the end , if necessary, to make it fit. I hate the cheap flimsy handles that they sell on those forks.
    JMO. :)
  10. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

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