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OMG 14 ACRES...what to do?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by talie28, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. talie28

    talie28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello All-

    I am about to purchase a home that sits on 14acres of land. Its located in Manteca CA. I am from NY and have no clue as to how to take care of or that much land or know the up keep that is involved.

    So my question to you all is this, how much would it cost to have a company come out to mow that much grass? And I was also thinking of maybe just putting some of that fake grass down so that I would not have to deal with this issue, what do you think?

    Of course other ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

    Thanks and looking forward to your help.

  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I'm not sure how much it'd go for in Cali, but here you'd be looking anywhere from 750 to 1000 a week. Of course that'd depend on the difficulty.
  3. talie28

    talie28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey Thanks-

    Thats actually not bad. I was afraid I was going to hear this large number. I was thinking that it should get mowed like twice a month if not monthly.
  4. capelawncare.com

    capelawncare.com LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,136


    depending on what your wants are for the property, will greatly determine how much it will cost you.

    14 acres of synthectic turf, could get very expensive. As would manicuring 14 acres.

    You could manicure only the area, you want around your home, and let the rest go to pasture, having someone come bush hog it a few times per year to keep it neat.

    good luck.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    And if it happens to produce enough for straw/hay he may even do it for nothing.
  6. SwihartServices

    SwihartServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Or even pay you for it.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Look, a naturally irrigated turf in some kind of shape needs cutting anywhere from 10-16 or 17-18 times a year in cool season zones such as Virginia (zone 7), but more in warmer season zones such as Florida. That's assuming a regular rainfall, your grass will need it most frequently in spring, about every 10 or 12 days then... Once it gets towards May-June it starts to slow down and you'll be going to 12-14 day schedules.

    Come July-August, if it's 90-100 degrees out there I would be surprised if it needs cutting more than 3 times the entire two months. Now september it picks back up and goes back to 10-12 days for 3-4 weeks, then October it starts to slow down again, might need a cut or two in November (or not) and might need one final one in December but who knows.

    So there you have it:
    April - May: 4- 6 cuts, June 2-3, July-August: 3, September 3, October ~2, November 1-2, December 1 = 17... hmmm, well, close enough.... I haven't a clue as to what the weather is like where you're moving, but 15 x 30 = 450 dollars for an 'as needed' per cut type of deal, now you want to get into contracts then you'll have to decide, 450 x 15 = ~7000 a year.

    There will be other problems... More than a few companies are not equipped for this, they'll need at least a 72" commercial rider but really what is normally used in this case is called a 'Wide Area mower', so you'll want to ask around who handles BIG lots (and tell them FOURTEEN ACRES). Because with my biggest 60" Warrior at 12mph it would still take a solid 7 hours wide open, it's not feasible to push machines that are designed for 1-8 acres so slow it to 8mph and then it takes 10-12 hours...
    Yeah, once you get past 10 acres you really should have a WAM.

    A crew of 2 or more could handle it with smaller decks, say in the 48 - 60" range, 2-3 mowers like that, yes.
    But otherwise, beware of the guy who thinks it's doable with just one such machine, it might be, but it's asking a LOT.
    In addition, the 48-60" machines can't tackle GRASS the way wam's can.

    Then comes price, if they're inexperienced they'll quote you 60 / acre x 14...
    Or they'll underbid it... A good price for lots past 10 acres is 20 - 30 maybe 35 (per acre), 20 is on the low side, I'd say figure 30 / acre. So probably accept bids between 300- 500 / cut, anything a ways out of that range should raise a flag, cheaper isn't necessarily better if the man can't earn his keep he might not come back, and too much is just that...

    Then it depends on the quality of the turf itself.
    If it is all that, then I am wrong, but most folks with these size lots can't afford to keep it up, it would cost a good additional 7 thousand / year to keep it looking like ahhhh wow. Thus you'll likely be looking into a company that doesn't cater exclusively to dang showroom award-winning hyper turf, but someone who hasn't too much an issue cutting GRASS (hint: when reading the ad, some companies put 'lawn mowing' whereas others put 'grass cutting')...

    Hope that helps.

    p.s.: You're in business when they be showing up with some thing like this: :laugh:



  8. PEVO

    PEVO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    This Sounds like a homeowners job to me,...with 72 in Commercial ZTR.(one that will haul a**) That could still equal to a whole days work... or you could spread in out to two days. That way you could cut some areas more times than others( more hidden areas at the back of the properity line) I don't know about your area, but locally here (central tx.) you can sometimes find used good condition ZTRs like a Hustler for anywhere from $2700-3500. Think about it, you would only be putting maybe 20ish hours a month on a large commercial mower. In a years time that could total to 220-260 hours a year. You coulds still gets years of mowing out of one of these.
  9. hsvhobbit

    hsvhobbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Is the land 14 acres of lawn or field??? For a lawn, one of the huge lawn mowers is approperiate. If it's a field then someone with a tractor and bushhog is a better choice. If it's all nice grass/turf that's one thing, brush/small trees and such call for the bushhog.

    As someone mentioned, one approach might be to section out a couple of acres to manicure and let the rest go to hay. You may well find a farmer that will pay you for the right to cut/bale the hay several times a year, this money might pay enough to hire someone to maintain the 2 acres of nice grass.

    Really depends on your expectations for what you want the 14 acres to be.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Hey, Natalie. How 'high profile' is all of this property? Couldn't you put a piece of it, an acre, or maybe two of the most 'high profile' highly visable area into nicely maintained turf? And maybe you could put the rest into some sort of west-coast native type of wildflower / native grass meadow-type of setting. Wildflowers only should to be mowed down ONCE a year, and this could be done by a bushhog at the end of the growing season. If you're interested in this idea, go to ernstseed.com for something specific to your region. (Wildflowers usually need to be planted with something else that will act as a 'nurse' to it as it becomes established- here in Ohio, I usually use a mixture of annual and perennial ryegrass at 20 lb /acre to do this, along with a rate of (usually) 7-9 lb / acre Midwestern wildflower mix. Hope this helps, and I hope you're far away from the flames! :waving:

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