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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

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Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:42 PM
AAA PM AAA PM is offline
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Default Grass?

I'm a new lawn care company. Just got my first customer the other day!

My question, what do I do with the grass I cut? What is standard? Should I mulch, haul away, use the customers dumpster??? I want to know the traditional method with both residential customers and residential. Or is this subjective? Also, do I place this info in my contract? Help!

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Old 03-26-2009, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AAA PM View Post
I'm a new lawn care company. Just got my first customer the other day!

My question, what do I do with the grass I cut? What is standard? Should I mulch, haul away, use the customers dumpster??? I want to know the traditional method with both residential customers and residential. Or is this subjective? Also, do I place this info in my contract? Help!

Thanks,
I recommend finding a dump for the grass, but you know what? You could offer to slash off a few dollars of your service if your customer would rather you bag & leave the grass with him/her. I don't know how well it'll turn out in the long run. I think it will only be alright if your still able to afford a dumping fee which you could encounter because of your other customers. Meaning it'd be pointless to give the customer a deduction which you actually need, & why not it's extra bucks!

You could break down your service like this;

Mowing 60%
Whipper-snipping 10%
Blowing debris 10%
Hauling Grass 10%
etc 10%

If you don't take the grass, they don't pay for it!

****

Mulching sounds so neat when you go into detail, when your explaining the benefits of it to your customers. Well, honestly they could care less (in my city), they'd rather have that extra specialty service that takes the mess along with them.

Some compost sites wont charge you for dumping, but expect to pay $300 a month & over for some.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 03-26-2009 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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Hi AAA:

What type of grass are you cutting?

The best method is to schedule your cutting appropriately so you do not have any grass to rake, bag, or haul off. If there is excess grass, you are either cutting it too short, not cutting it often enough, or cutting it wet. Proper cutting disperses fine grass clippings into the lawn. Grass clippings have lots of nutrients which feed the lawn.

Bagging the grass generates a tremendous amount of excess work for you. It also generates waste. Improperly disposed of grass may leach fertilizers or other chemicals into your local water supply.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:07 PM
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Amen to that Keith! We invested in mulching blades so that we don't have to be wasteful and dump unnecessarily. If you explain the benefits of the grass clipping going back into the soil...I don't see why they would say no to that. I just use the "Green" approach when explaining to customers that we don't want to be wasteful, and that it's better for the environment. I've only had one customer complain about not bagging and dumping clippings...and once I explained to her the benefits she was fine with it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:37 PM
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Any clippings and debris that I cannot leave on site I bring to a composting site. Most towns have them and most of the time it is free to dump. Check to see if you have one...if not perhaps someone you know with land would be willing to start one.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:42 PM
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Everyone in our town/area has green waste cans. Large cans like the garbage ones. You can put anything organic in them and gets picked up weekly by the waste management company. Makes things so much easier.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:58 AM
AAA PM AAA PM is offline
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Default Great feedback

Thanks for all the feed back guys. First, I meant to say "both commercial and residential" (accidentally wrote residential 2x). Now, let me organize my questions a little better…

COMMERCIAL: What do most commercial properties want to see done with the clippings? Or what are they expecting to be done with the clippings?

RESIDENTIAL: In my neighborhood (for example) NOBODY mulch's. Everybody does their own lawn and everybody disposes of their grass in the garbage can. This leads me to believe that all residential customers are going to want their clippings hauled away. Am I wrong for assuming the assume this?

Bottom line:
The contract I prepared (which I use for both commercial and residential) states I dispose of the grass on the "clients premises" using their can. What do you guys state in your contract? Do you think it's smart to start off by offering to dispose of the clippings? Or should I state in my contract that I always mulch "unless instructed otherwise". From all your posts it sounds like, for the benefit of my labor and my customers lawn, that I should have my contracts default protocol for clippings is to mulch. Then if the customer has a problem with that I’ll change the contract and the bid accordingly. What do you think?

Thanks for all the help.
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