What do you charge to put out pine straw?

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
I like it other than the fact that it doesn't last too long. In the summer it seems to bake in the sun and turn grey fast. Leaves blow out of it easy as long as it hasn't been freshly put down. If so you can fluff it up and turn some of the leaves under. And you can cover the mulch I guess with the straw, if the mulch is thin. It's way easier to straw over mulch than mulch over straw. I don't even like edging around mine. Just fluff it under real nice and neat with a blower. Then when you mow take the string trimmer and angle it into the edge under the straw and run it from left to right and it will fluff up nice if that makes sense, and give it a nice edge.
I'm not sure if I can even get it around my area besides Lowes.
 
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landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
My experience is 3-4 bales is equivalent to one yard of bulk mulch in coverage.

The 1/3 less comment was regarding the second year of pine straw and going forward after covering bulk mulch. The first year takes more to get a decent base.

Agreed, summer pine straw is full of junk.

Good comment about putting out fresh straw over fallen leaves. Blowing leaves out of straw usually ends up with most of the straw going away. Better to do minimal blowing and cover the rest with fresh straw.

At least here it is....................
Yes absolutely. I usually wait for the leaves to fall, blow them out of the beds only if there are a ton of leaves and then cover the rest with straw. Also, it's not a bad idea to do one last drastic shrub trimming at that time and cover the clippings with straw. Sure is better not to have to clean up shrub clippings. I have found that really we need to straw 2 times per year here to look good.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
My experience is 3-4 bales is equivalent to one yard of bulk mulch in coverage.

The 1/3 less comment was regarding the second year of pine straw and going forward after covering bulk mulch. The first year takes more to get a decent base.

Agreed, summer pine straw is full of junk.

Good comment about putting out fresh straw over fallen leaves. Blowing leaves out of straw usually ends up with most of the straw going away. Better to do minimal blowing and cover the rest with fresh straw.

At least here it is....................
This property has small shrubs, and no trees in the front. I like doing mulch after trimming them, so I would do it the same way if I switched to straw.
 

sjessen

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Knoxville, Tn
Yes absolutely. I usually wait for the leaves to fall, blow them out of the beds only if there are a ton of leaves and then cover the rest with straw. Also, it's not a bad idea to do one last drastic shrub trimming at that time and cover the clippings with straw. Sure is better not to have to clean up shrub clippings. I have found that really we need to straw 2 times per year here to look good.
Agreed. Most folks here don't want to spend the 4 for twice yearly service.

Big oaks cause leaf problems in straw here.
 

sjessen

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Knoxville, Tn
This property has small shrubs, and no trees in the front. I like doing mulch after trimming them, so I would do it the same way if I switched to straw.
Agreed. Prune after the first flush of growth and then cover the debris with straw.

I also do the same with subsequent pruning but only cover the clippings which ends up being more cost effective than blowing them out and cleaning up.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
Again best time to put pinestraw is right after leaf cleanup up....approx mid December here. Best looking pinestraw available, all the landscape is bland, trees are bare, grass is dormant. Makes the biggest impact. Commercial accounts do this....most homeowners want pinestraw now, when we can trim shrubs before put straw down, but will have to trim again in about a month or so and mess up the fresh look.
Yes 4 bales can cover the same as a yard of mulch.....so here $24 for straw vs $110 for yard of mulch.

Pay our sub 4 a bale. Used to be in South Georgia whomever owns the land pays 80 cents for per bale to be raked up and baled....then sell to the sub for a dollar extra. Right now I would think our guy pays $2 maybe 2.25 per bale cost. Charges us 4 spread.
 

Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
Again best time to put pinestraw is right after leaf cleanup up....approx mid December here. Best looking pinestraw available, all the landscape is bland, trees are bare, grass is dormant. Makes the biggest impact. Commercial accounts do this....most homeowners want pinestraw now, when we can trim shrubs before put straw down, but will have to trim again in about a month or so and mess up the fresh look.
Yes 4 bales can cover the same as a yard of mulch.....so here $24 for straw vs $110 for yard of mulch.

Pay our sub 4 a bale. Used to be in South Georgia whomever owns the land pays 80 cents for per bale to be raked up and baled....then sell to the sub for a dollar extra. Right now I would think our guy pays $2 maybe 2.25 per bale cost. Charges us 4 spread.
Seems like my wallet would prefer doing mulch. I'd agree with subbing it out and not fooling with it. It would seem like you could charge more per bale to install it. If I charge 110/yard of mulch installed, couldn't you go as high as $20/bale? The equivalent of $80/yard of mulch.
 

knox gsl

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
knoxville, tn
Knoxville, TN

I'm using the rolls here my cost is $12/ roll and I spread it for $33. It's higher than most people charge but I'm booked solid and I ain't doing this for my health.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
Seems like my wallet would prefer doing mulch. I'd agree with subbing it out and not fooling with it. It would seem like you could charge more per bale to install it. If I charge 110/yard of mulch installed, couldn't you go as high as $20/bale? The equivalent of $80/yard of mulch.

$20 a bale? We sell over 100k bales a year. Would be nice, but far from realistic. The 11k bale job coming up is fine at our price. Yes, less than. 50 bale jobs we should go up to 8 a bale....I usually just pass that small of a job info direct to our sub. Not worth the time to deal with it for me
 
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landscaper22

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
South Carolina
Seems like my wallet would prefer doing mulch. I'd agree with subbing it out and not fooling with it. It would seem like you could charge more per bale to install it. If I charge 110/yard of mulch installed, couldn't you go as high as $20/bale? The equivalent of $80/yard of mulch.
That's not happening. Straw is a little easier to deal with than mulch and moves faster when spreading, but I can make more for doing mulch for sure. I do way more straw though. I guess they come out cheaper but of course it doesn't last as long or look good near as long as mulch.
$20 a bale? We sell over 100k bales a year. Would be nice, but far from realistic. The 11k bale job coming up is fine at our price. Yes, less than. 50 bale jobs we should go up to 8 a bale....I usually just pass that small of a job info direct to our sub. Not worth the time to deal with it for me
I hate the customers that don't think this through. I have had people get sort of mad that I refused small straw jobs. Had one lady not long ago who wasn't a customer of mine, (is my wife's boss) that said she needed between 20-25 bales and she lives about 20 mins away. SO I have to travel in a different direction to get straw, help get straw on my trailer, drive the 20-25 mins from there to her house, carry 25 bales around the property, put it out, and clean up just to make about $35-40 profit. If they are already a customer I don't mind picking up the bales and doing the small job if I am already there servicing, but they have to be a regular customer for me to do it.
 

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