Need to learn mulching/pine straw, leaf removal, hedge trimming, etc.

Marshall Reid

LawnSite Member
Location
Birmingham, AL
As we grow this very small part time business, I am wanting to get better educated about services other than just mowing a lawn. The problem is I have no idea where to begin. I know nothing about what all is involved in putting out mulch or pine straw (pine straw is really big around here), weeding flower beds, installing flowers or bushes, etc. I mean, I could do it myself at my own house, but trying to do it for someone else would be very inefficient because of the lack of knowledge, tools, and methods.

If a customer asked me to do any of these, I would be totally lost. I don't even know what tools I would need. I've read several posts on here about pricing mulching, and most of it was going over my head to begin with though I was finally able to figure some of it out.

Once the mowing season is over, I'd like to be able to continue to bring in some income through these other services. So how can I get the education I need on not just the how to do these extra services but also on how to price them? Anybody have any resources/websites they'd recommend?

Thanks in advance.
 

Mownmachine144

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Memphis TN
As we grow this very small part time business, I am wanting to get better educated about services other than just mowing a lawn. The problem is I have no idea where to begin. I know nothing about what all is involved in putting out mulch or pine straw (pine straw is really big around here), weeding flower beds, installing flowers or bushes, etc. I mean, I could do it myself at my own house, but trying to do it for someone else would be very inefficient because of the lack of knowledge, tools, and methods.

If a customer asked me to do any of these, I would be totally lost. I don't even know what tools I would need. I've read several posts on here about pricing mulching, and most of it was going over my head to begin with though I was finally able to figure some of it out.

Once the mowing season is over, I'd like to be able to continue to bring in some income through these other services. So how can I get the education I need on not just the how to do these extra services but also on how to price them? Anybody have any resources/websites they'd recommend?

Thanks in advance.
Well.... it really depends on your area. I know you'll probably hate that answer but it really depends.

Now mulching..
There's two ways to do this depending on the customers desires.
1. The Cheap Way
Weed wack the bed, blow the weed clippings out and spread the mulch in there.

2. The Better/More Profitable Way
Dig up the old mulch and spread the mulch.
And keep in mind you'll have to most likely haul the old stuff away.

Leaf Removal...
There is many different ways of doing this but I'll share the two ways I offer for doing leaf clean ups.
1. Blow out the stuff I can't get to with the mower w/bagger like under bushes etc. Once that's done then I get the mower w/bagger and collect the leaves then through em in a trash can with a 50gal. bag in it. Thats for the clients that want it to look like its been vacuumed.
been working pretty well for me.
2. And for those cheapo's I just slap my mulch plate and gators on the mower and chop em up and mulch them in the ground.
You will have to make probably atleast 3 passes on one row to make it look good depending on how well your mowers mulching capabilities are.
 

landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
Not much to pinestraw. You just needs your hands and maybe some gloves. There is a little trick to blowing the straw under when you are done to fluff it and make it look nice. Just watch what you are doing and get nice coverage. It is big here too. I pay roughly $4.20-4.25 per bale here for long leaf, and add in tax, and I try to make about 2.50 per bale for labor.

Leaf cleanups can be tricky to price. I always blow out all the beds around shrubs, etc and blow everything out into the yard. I then use my zero turn and keep mulching the leaves until there isn't much left, then put my bagger on and suck up what is left.

Nothing to mulch. I never remove the old mulch. Just trim any weeds down with the weed eater and maybe spray the beds in advance. Then spread new mulch. As far as price, I am at $80-90 per yard. that includes materials and labor. I can get mulch for just under $35/yard here.

There is nothing to many of the extra services. Just try to work smart and not hard where possible. If customers have woods, utilize that for leaves. Some don't like it, but if you push them towards the woods with the mower and mulch as you go, there isn't much left and you can take a blower and spread them into the woods so that you can't even tell you did it.
 

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