Do you have your clippings bagged when your lawn is cut each week?
It's true, a bagged lawn always looks better.
Yet the question remains, who should have to deal with the clippings?
Should your lawn care company be removing the lawn clippings when they cut?
More importantly, should he provide this service for free?
Let’s take a look!
Do lawn care companies haul off lawn clippings?
In my experience, when I operated my landscaping business for 15 years. We would always haul off the clippings as part of the service.
However, many friends of mine in the landscaping business would just dump them on the street curb for the municipality to come and collect them.
The problem with the latter is that you may have to look at an unsightly pile of grass clippings for days.
When I asked other lawn care contractors how the heck they thought it was OK to leave clippings on the street they would say that they only charged for the lawn mowing and not the disposal of the lawn clippings.
In brief, the answer is that no two lawn care companies are the same.
Some charge for haul off.
Others don't bag at all.
And some already include it in their pricing.
...it is generally reasonable for a lawn care service provider to charge 10%-20% extra to haul off the clippings...
Why don’t all lawn care companies haul off clippings?
Here’s the deal, when we would quote new yards, we would automatically figure in $5-$10 extra per service for lawn clipping disposal.
However, not all homeowners want to pay extra to have the clippings hauled away.
It’s true, it really does take more time for the lawn care professional to deal with the clippings.
Think about how much is involved with hauling off the clippings:
First, the lawn care company has to load the clippings on their truck,
Then they have to ride around with the clippings accumulating all day.
Then the company has to dispose of them in some fashion at the end of the day.
This also means that you have to have the extra space to handle the clippings too!
When I was in the lawn care business. We had some crews followed by an empty tuck, just to deal with all the clippings we created.
This was a very costly process, but we factored it into the pricing.
Are there alternatives to hauling off lawn care clippings?
Yes, of course!
Here are two....
Alternative One: Leave the Clippings
One of the most common alternatives is to simply leave the clippings. This works great when your lawn care company has mulching kits on their mowers.
In fact, a good mower with a mulching kit can often look just as good as a lawn that has the clippings bagged.
However, using a side-discharge mower should be avoided as they tend to leave piles of clipped grass in the lawn.
Alternative Two: Compost the Clippings
If you bag your clippings, you could start a compost pile.
Maybe in the back corner of your yard. Then you will not have to pay the extra charge to have the clippings hauled away.
Best of all, you can spread the compost back over your lawn, as a top-dressing once or twice a year. This helps you add nutrients back into the lawn that would have been otherwise removed.
This can even mean that you will have to apply less fertilizer to the lawn!
Obviously this is also better for the environment as well.
Should I leave or remove the grass clippings?
Leave Clippings in Lawn
Enriches the soil.
May not look as clean.
Can leave clumps of grass.
Remove Clippings From Lawn
Clippings can be composted.
Removes free minerals from lawn.
What’s the bottom line?
Here’s the deal, after speaking with several landscapers and customers here is what I discovered.
I have come to the conclusion that it is generally reasonable for a lawn care service provider to charge 10%-20% extra to haul off the clippings, when they are done with the service.
If you want free lawn care bids for hauling off your grass clippings. Sign up for GreenPal and get lawn care bids from companies near you!
And of course, if you want more information on lawn care, keep reading our blog.
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