Should you blow grass clippings into the street?

You can spend a lot of time mowing a lawn and then miss getting that final perfect look all because you were in a race to get to the next property. One of those small steps you can do when you finish mowing is clear the grass clippings that might have been flung off the lawn. How you do this can make a big difference. That is the topic which was brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Should you blow grass clippings out into the street or do something else with them?

One lawn care business owner asked “I’ve always wondered what would be the best thing to do with the grass when it’s time for the clean up. If the customer’s grass is long I usually broom it into a big pile and then put it into a trash bag. Whatever is left over I try to blow back into the yard. I try to keep it out of the street as it looks very tacky to me to see yards with all the grass just blown out into the road. Is there a proper way to go about this? Or am I on the right track with what I do?”

A second business owner said “you always try do discharge the clippings back into the turf. So the chute should not be pointed at the road. Nor pointed at the beds. So take a swipe starting at the house blowing into the lawn. Go to the property line and mow down the line to the road. All blown into the lawn. I would rather mow the lawn twice to mulch the clippings than pick them up. This is not always possible though. Sometimes you just have to blow it in the street.”

A third added “NEVER, NEVER leave clippings in the street. I’ve fired guys on the spot for that. I make two rounds around the edges of the property and the house and blow into the center (away from the house and street). Then I do my normal mowing. In some cases, in order to get your stripes right, you may have to blow some into the street, however I either use my mower to blow them back into the lawn from the street or I use my blower.

Another thing that will get a worker fired is discharging grass against the house. However, I’ll make em’ clean it off with a broom, or if it’s wet grass I’ll make em’ wash it off before I chew their butt and fire them. I’m a VERY particular person and when I pay someone $10 an hour, they’re gonna do it my way and they’re gonna work for it. My way is what makes me money and what keeps my customer retention at 100% every year.

I have had so many people thank me for not blowing the clippings from my customer’s lawns into theirs. That is so disrespectful and it’s quite simply not good business. You’re chances of getting business next door will go down the crap shoot doing that. Too many lawn care companies focus on the ‘Rush Rush, let’s get it done so we can get paid’ attitude instead of focusing on why they’re there in the first place…to make the lawn look nice!!

The customer didn’t hire you to see how fast you can get it done! Too many operators think that since the commercial zero turns are fast, that they have to be operated fast. Take your time people and do quality work…after all, THAT is why you were hired! When I first started my business, I was taking notes from the other lawn care services I observed working. I was kind of amused at how fast they could go, until I got up close to their work. They left ruts and scars all over the turf from turning too fast and mowing in the same direction all year long. Now, I actually love it when I see people doing that because I know someday I’m gonna get that account from them when the customer realizes they want it done right!

I guess my point is this guys: In order to survive in this field, you have to do something that separates you from the sea of other lawn care services..and that’s quality work!”

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