What to do about mulch when doing leaves

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by OKSooner, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    Hey you guys,

    I'm working to get set up for a really kick-butt leaf season. I've tried doing leaves the last few years with mixed results, but this year we're going to be blessed with more business than ever before. :)

    New trailer, 6' 11" x 14', with a Little Wonder leaf vac mounted on the extended trailer tongue in front. Leaf bin will (probably) measure 6.5' x 12' x 6.5' - (what's that, about 507 cubic feet of shredded leaves?)

    Pulling it with an F250 with the old 4.9l six. Not a hot-rod by any means, but it'll get there and back.

    Good help lined up that I can get on a day's notice.

    A new advertising campaign in the local "urban" newspaper that I think will generate lots of business in my part of town.

    I'll be charging by the hour for my 3 or 4-man crew, plus a standard dump fee to cover the trips to the dump.

    Here's the one thing I don't really have figured into my plan that you guys might be able to help me with -

    When you clean the leaves and stuff out beds, you're going to take some mulch with it, right? I mean you can get some of the leaves with rakes but you know there are going to be situations where you've got to use blowers.

    So the mulch comes out either into the yard or onto the tarps you're using to move the leaves. Do you just offer to come back later with mulch and charge 'em again for putting down new mulch? Or carry mulch with you to replace the lost mulch with, which doesn't seem really practical to me because the bed of my truck is going to be full of barrels, tarps, push mowers, rakes, etc.

    So how do you guys handle this?

    And while I'm thinking of it, I've seen some of my competitors following with a mower and finishing a yard with a mower after they've gotten all the leaves. I could do this but I'd have to use my push mowers, carrying them in the bed of the truck. Only one truck and one trailer for now.
  2. stan the man

    stan the man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 702

    we do the fall clean up get all the leaves out of the beds.we will not mulch the beds until next spring may or June unless can do in April not likely in april . some mulch will come out of the beds.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i dont re mulch till the spring
  4. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    If you are taking out enough mulch for it to be noticeable, you might want to reconsider how you are removing the leaves from the beds.
  5. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    i haven't tried this yet, as i'm just starting, but will a 48 exmark suck the loose mulch into the bagger? i'm not talking a whole pile of it, but the little bit left over after doing the beds.? i'll be doing it next week.
  6. EverestLandscape

    EverestLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    We use blowers for everything. The only time we use rakes is to load the truck loader and around and through gates sometimes. If we take some mulch out of beds (and you will, its inevitable) we don"t point the blowers at the ground where the leaves are to keep blowing the mulch. We point the blowers more parallel to the ground to send the leaves forward but leave the heavy stuff behind. Then we just blow the mulch back into the beds, do a light blow over the top to take out any thatch or leaf pieces and thats it. What also really help is to have somebody in the beds with you. So if your the front man concentrating on getting the leaves out of the bushes, window wells etc., the guy behind you can point his tube wherever yours is to send the leaves forward and away from where you are working...also preventing the leaves from going backward onto an area you already cleaned. If you have ever done beds by yourself you know what I mean :laugh: If you have any other questions I'll try to help
  7. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Losing some mulch at the end of the season is a casualty of war. A little is going to blow out and thats the way it goes. Now I will say that as above stated iof you are stripping mulch beds you are doing something wrong. If the customer wants it remulched then we charge by the yard in the spring. Its going to decompose a bit over the winter anyway, at least it does up here in Wisconsin.
    Your options are limited if you don't want to lose mulch and none of those options are quick.
  8. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Everlest, hit the nail on the head. Also cuting the grass after makes it look very clean.
  9. Columbia Care

    Columbia Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    I blow the leaves out of the shrub beds. Mulching will not begin until next spring. I only mulch newly planted beds in the fall.

Share This Page