To bag or not to bag?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by SummerLover, May 20, 2011.

  1. SummerLover

    SummerLover LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 8

    I have seen bagging mentioned several times on this site. I am planning my business as we speak (to start operating next year) so I am trying to gather all the info I can.

    I am in North Carolina and I have never noticed anyone bagging the grass clippings. I always assumed everyone just mulched it. Am I missing something?

    Same question goes for leaf clean-up...

  2. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,203

    You will learn by experience, no one on here can tell when to bag and when not to bag.
  3. Ducke

    Ducke LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I like to mulch myself but this year I have not been able to yet as the rain is keeping off lawns for way to long and when I do get a sunny day to mow I tend to bag as the grass is soooooooo long.
    but once this rain stops I am right back to mulching.

  4. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    Bagging the grass no doubt leaves a nicer, cleaner turf on most jobsites..and is somewhat better for certain turf grasses..however....bagging usually costs more to do...more time, landfill fees, ect...if you want to be competitive and still stay in business you really have to track your the MINUTE !!! there may be some accts that bagging is faster than mulching..and maybe thing ive seen a lot of in 25yrs is no 2 companies are ever the same...what costs me 50.00 to do may only cost you 35.00 and vise versa...only you can asses your operating costs and try to make a decent net profit...everyone expenses will be very different as such so is the pricing...anyway...whether or not to bag will depend on the price you can get for bagging....track your times for everything you do...evaluate it every month and make changes as needed to keep a profit...even the weather will change times for you and you need to compensate for it....the only thing you really have to sell is your time......
  5. Roachy

    Roachy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 125

    I tend to bag a lot of my lawns, even though it is much easier to just let it fly. You have to take into consideration whether your account has a lot of mulch beds. If so, you probably dont want to shoot grass all over their mulch. Also, in the spring when the grass is growing rapidly I find it almost necessary to bag. A lot of times if I can dump on a customers property, I will almost always bag. Just figure out what to do with the clippings and charge extra for the time. Also, larger accounts, over 1/2 acre, become very time consuming if you are bagging.
  6. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    I only have a few accounts that I bag.Even then it just around the in ground pool or a front that needs to look really nice.Disposal becomes a big issue if you have to do whole yard and can't dump on site.
  7. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Bagging is an extra service and you can charge accordingly for it. Some of my clients want it, most don't.
  8. Betterlawncarellc

    Betterlawncarellc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I know that we try to mulch at each account....I have found that the turf actually gets healthier as the summer goes on......I have to charge more and so should you for the extra time, and trouble of disposal of the clippings....I do know that you can compost the clippings and use it for a "natural" fert treatment, but this requires the space to store the clippings until they are usable, and the time to mix/agitate the clippings to make them compost properly......All in all, you really do need to keep a record of times spent at each place, all the hourly costs of your equipment, as well as your labor.....The best investment our company ever made was the program from Wayne Volz out of Louisville, Ky....His materials are AWESOME and you will learn from knowing why you charge what you charge, to knowing how to write a survey....Really recomend his stuff.....Good luck!

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i try to bag as little as possible i usually just discharge all the clippings back into the lawn
  10. thelawnman

    thelawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I bag every house. I feel it looks better.

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