Price for a bag of grass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AlleganyLawnCare, May 2, 2007.

  1. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    I never have had to bag grass before, so I am not sure what price to give. I was asked by one of my clients to bag her fathers' property, due to amount of growth there is every week. She knows there is a bagging charge (just not what). I cut it weekly. I also cut her property as well, weekly. My question is, do you favor a "per bag price" (i.e., $3 a bag), which would include disposal, or an overall price? When I went to cut her fathers' property today, it took 15 bags to get the job done. I don't want to overcharge her (in fear of not only losing one large account, but two), but I do need to make money for the time and money spent paying employees to do this.
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    First of all, sound a little more confident and you'll have fewer cancellations. Dont' be afraid to charge a premium price for a premium service.

    Second, figure out how much TIME it takes to mow when you stop, empty the bag, then reattach things and start mowing again. Then add in how much time it takes to dispose of them. Then factor in the high per-unit cost of specialized bagging equipment. Then add that to your quote and that's what to charge. I would NOT get into the variable rate pricing thing of 4 bags this week, 22 the next, 8 the next. Never turns out good. If it takes 30 bags one week, how's she gonna react?

    Third, if you're mowing weekly and still can't get a nice look on bluegrass (I assume) , you may have an overfertilized lawn. Ask them to tone it down on the nitrogen and you'll both save time and money. You can make grass green w/o making it grow fast with iron and other things. Also make sure they're not overwatering.

    Fourth. Past a point, it is more cost effective to mow a lawn twice a week (edging and trimming only once a week) than to charge what it really costs you in time to bag heavy grass. Really thick turf is amazingly slow to bag.

    Fifth. Another strategy is to price in double cutting but discharging each visit, with the second pass made at high speed 1/4" above the first cut height to disperse the clippings and remove any clumps. I haven't bagged a lawn due to high growth in nearly a decade w/ no complaints, but that's on Tall Fescue.

    You also might want to ask around about superior mowers that chop up and disperse clippings better.
  3. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    If the price is established already with no catcher, and it's a typically small to medium sized residential, I charge 25% more to bag the lawn, and another 25% to haul the grass away. This enables them to save money if they want to start a compost pile.
  4. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I'll double cut before I bag.Bahia,St.Augastine,Bermuda,winter leaf drop.I mulch it all.Some times the leaves can be to much but you still greatly reduce whats there and your client gets free fert in the long run.Try some high lift mulch blad and mulch kit for your mower.
  5. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    i just go over the lawn with my blower and clippings/clumps disappear.

    i just "1 time mowed" a 6" lawn today and didnt bag, just blew over it and it all magically disappeared.

    forget the time it takes to dispose.

    of all the times i have had "one time mows" with super tall grass i have never not been able to make it look great by blowing over it.

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