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Old 01-02-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Bellevue Washington
6 posts, read 17,682 times
Reputation: 10

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That is what I do up here in the North Wet. With your weather down there it looks like you must never stop mowing, is that true? With your labor pool of people who come from the south you must pay at least half of what it costs up here, is that true? Would I be crazy to think that I could make a living down there? I don't speak Spanish.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,173 posts, read 18,621,374 times
Reputation: 2947
In SD and it's burbs lots are not large, and with the conditions everything loves to grow if you water it.

I have a 2 year old sod lawn about 75 x 25 with in-ground irrigation as well as a grass front yard.

April to about September:
-water every 3 days for about 30 minutes per zone
-mow the lawn once a week

Sept-Feb
- water every 4 days for 20 minutes per zone
- mow every 2x

Water bills are in the 80-120 range for a 2/1 with 1 bathroom and no dishwasher. Our water bills are high here, there are lots of fees.

I fertilize maybe 3 or 4x a year, you can do more if you want. I apply herbicide to control bermudagrass maybe 6x a year, mostly during summer when it grows.

The weed situation after a rain is intense, I have fields of stinging weeds right now. The lawn looks great but there are problems with dry spots, especially where there is no shade. You have to stay on top of it. The bermuda is a problem too.

I couldn't pay anyone to take care of it the way I do, so I do it myself. However many of my friends pay. Going rate for a mow and edge is about 35/hr. It's usually 3 dudes. You definitely want to speak spanish in that business or hire someone who does. Most guys chop n' blow and love to mess with sprinklers and your pressure regulator. If you want to make money doing that type of work in San Diego you'd be better off doing landscape design.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:21 PM
 
11,726 posts, read 24,828,716 times
Reputation: 7136
I mow my own lawn. Its a mix of a hundred different kinds of grasses buy I've been told the dominant one is St. Augustine which goes dormant in the fall. It grows pretty fast from around April through October. After that it slows down and doesn't need much work.

If you were to run a landscaping business and do the work yourself, you'll be competing directly with illegals who don't mind living 15 people to a house. You might be able to charge a small premium based on your ability to communicate with the homeowner but probably not much. The alternative is to run hire illegals to do the actual work and make your money by having a fleet of trucks. But then you're just like everyone else in the market.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,173 posts, read 18,621,374 times
Reputation: 2947
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
If you were to run a landscaping business and do the work yourself, you'll be competing directly with illegals who don't mind living 15 people to a house.
A person "running a landscaping business" and mowing lawns also known as a "high school student saving money for his first car".

You are also competing with large companies with large crews that hire legal residents who will work for 6.25/hr. Run the numbers, it can be very profitable. People who hire illegals are probably paying the same rate or slightly below, they just can't find anyone to do the work for so little money. You are also have guys crossing the border legally every day to work on yard crews.

As EscapeCalifornia so eloquently and pleasantly stated, some hire illegal residents on purpose, sometimes by accident, but most reputable companies do not. Still, your entire crew will speak Spanish.

Last edited by Sassberto; 01-02-2008 at 08:31 PM..
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