Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter Time income opportunities

It's winter, for most of us in the landscape business it's off season. Unless of course you live down south where you might get a year round growing season, there isn't much work for us until the first thaw.

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There are some money making opportunities but a windy day can really mess up your employee overhead costs if you take a crew out and it's too windy to get any thing done. In the Mid Atlantic region we have clay, acidic clay for soil. Clay based soil means lime and here in Maryland you almost cant put down too much lime.

Lime alters the PH of the soil, clay tends to be acidic and lime lowers the ph. What that means to the lawn is this: the grass plant cant absorb all the nutrients you feed it if the ph factor is off. In other words you can put down all the fertilizer in the world and if the PH is off you are wasting your time and money.

Lime is inexpensive, so most of what you'll charge is labor (always a bonus).

When the ground freezes that's the best time to put down grass seed! Why?
Because if you distribute grass seed at any other time of the year most of the seed will get washed away or eaten by birds. If you seed on frozen ground the freezing and thawing of the earth will allow the seed to get worked into the soil without you doing anything labor intensive!

My best set up was to charge a flat fee for the year:
Two gutter cleanings, Two leaf removals (one early and one final) 22 to 26 mowings, Spring clean up (pull weeds and prune shrubs) lawn feeding, weed control and overseeding.

Any thing that let me kill two birds with one stone was good for my wallet.

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