Every job you perform as a landscaper helps you improve your knowledge base and skill set that you can apply to future jobs. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one member talks about his latest mulch job. As we will see, smaller areas can be misleading when it comes to estimating mulch bed installs, especially when there are a lot of obstacles in your way. Compare the amount of time it took him to perform the job to what it takes you on current or upcoming jobs.
One lawn care business owner wrote “here is a picture of a mulch job I did today. The picture is a little blurry but good enough to get the point. Also I took them before I blew off the rocks. It was really an amazing backyard. I installed 5 yards of mulch that took about 7 hours by myself. I did the front yard in about 2 hours but mulching around the the flowers in the back took forever.
If there was a lesson to be learned from this job, it’s that, I need to keep in mind how much longer it takes to mulch in beds where there are already a lot of flowers and plants in them. The bigger beds with a tree and a couple of bushes were much easier than the beds where I would have to take a fork full of mulch and carefully walk to the back of a flower bed. I gave myself the day to do it since it was just myself and I’m glad I allotted myself the extra time. What I didn’t account for was the extra mulch clean up time. The customer wanted the extra mulch put in contractor bags which i ended up with 4.5 contractors bags of extra mulch (3 of which I took). I also cleaned up the street real nice with the blowers, then broom where the mulch was dumped. The nicest part was there was no prep work.
Actually getting paid was the nicest part but the customer edged out the beds very nicely and they were all weeded! Laid the mulch about 3-4 inches in most areas with a few exceptions.
It was about 3 yards of mulch in the front..more than half the pile. I think speed will just come with time the more I do it, the more efficient I will become. I hope to pick up on the small lessons that help cut down the time.
When I installed the mulch, I just laid it on top over the old mulch 3-4 inches deep. You want to make sure the beds are prepped though which means removing the weeds edging up the beds so they look nice, I only put the landscape fabric down if the customer asks me to. As far as laying the fabric over the old mulch I think that would be the best solution instead of taking the time and effort to remove the old much and then dispose of it.”
A second lawn care business owner shared “nice work. Here is a suggestion. I always throw in a free mow when I do a mulch job. It gets the grass off the bed edges and makes my yard sign look a hell of a lot better when the job is complete.”
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