Lawn Care and Landscaping in Bucks County, PA
PO Box 32, Jamison, PA 18929
Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
17 Jul 2018

The Inside Scoop on Mowing

Tom Eckhardt

Tom Eckhardt

CEO, Jamison Lawn Care

Lawn mowing is many landscape company’s main service. There is a healthy demand for this service and we have to provide it to compete. 

However, there is a dark side to mowing. From tax evasion to scams, let’s break down each section of the lawn mowing industry.

Let me start off by saying that companies are here to make a profit. Meaning, after all expenses and salaries, there is some money left over to either reinvest or pay the business owners. There is also two types of companies, legal and illegal. (Illegal meaning taking cash payments to avoid taxes). There are also companies that don’t even have insurance. 

These illegal companies have WAY less expenses than legitimate companies. For example, for our small company of 5, we pay roughly $1,000-$2,000 a week just in payroll taxes. Add that on top of worker’s compensation and liability insurance, we are on the hook for $5,000-$10,000 a month. Those expenses have to be figured into our pricing. So we take all of our expenses, add them to labor cost, and add our profit margins into the price. Our average price is around $35 for an average sized lot. At a 10%-20% profit margin (standard for this industry), we make $3-$6 per lawn with roughly $60,000 worth of equipment on site. 

Since these illegal companies don’t have to pay $5,000-$10,000 a month, plus evading taxes, they make out richly. Their expenses are way low, so they can undercut other company’s pricing. They get these jobs and take cash. So at this point, they are committing tax fraud for Federal, State, and Local taxes. On top of that, they are not charging sales tax (which should be charged), so they can charge another 6% less on that as well. 

Not only are they committing fraud, these illegal operations are conditioning customers to expect prices that are 50% less. Legitimate companies cannot compete with their pricing.

This is one of the most frustrating things for me. From day one, our company was legitimate. We wanted to be ethical and fair. But the success of these illegal operations make legitimate business owners second guess their decision to be ethical and fair. 

The only thing that we can do is separate ourselves from those illegal operations by providing a better service and experience for our customers. I think that my company very well does that, and I will continue to educate others about what is going on in our industry. 

 

Tom

17 Jul 2018

Why is My Grass Brown?

Tom Eckhardt

Tom Eckhardt

CEO, Jamison Lawn Care

You’re wondering why your grass went from a dark, beautiful green to a dead looking yellow brown?

Don’t worry! In our area, this is commonplace for this time of year. I’ll explain below. 

In our zone (7A), the most common turf type is a mix of Rye, Fescue, and Bluegrass. These are referred to as “Cool Season Grasses”, meaning they survive best in temperatures from 60 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a contrast from warm season grasses, such as St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda. Warm season grasses perform best in temperatures ranging from 80 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

Temperature is very important in cool season grasses. Once the temperature reaches out of the optimum range, the grass will go into dormancy. Dormancy is when the grass’ growing, development, and physical activities stop to preserve energy. Essentially, the grass goes into hibernation to get it through the heat. 

Irrigation is also a consideration in dormancy. If you have a irrigation system, the grass still has the possibility of going into dormancy. Your irrigation system cannot put out enough water to keep the grass totally green. The only thing that can shorten dormancy is good, consistent rainfall.

Dormancy is totally normal and should not be worried about. In fact, you should be happy that the grass is protecting itself through the heat so it can once again be beautiful once the temperatures drop. Usually dormancy happens in July and August. Once the temperatures start to drop in September, and rainfall starts to pick up, your grass will return to its original green. 

In regards to fertilizing, usually it is not recommended when the grass is in dormancy. You can get away with still building your soil with nutrients, but be wary of using high nitrogen fertilizers, which will push top growth in the heat, which will damage the turf and possibly introduce fungi.

If your lawn is a mixture of brown and green, you probably have a mixture of cool season and warm season grasses. This is normal as well, as it is common to sew both types to maintain green year round.   

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. If I do not have the answer, I will consult with the Penn state extension and get the answer on your behalf. 

 

Tom

16 Jul 2018

Your Lawn is Like Your Car

Your Lawn is Like Your Car

Tom Eckhardt

Tom Eckhardt

Owner, Jamison Lawn Care

Cars are one of the biggest investments that we make in our lifetimes. Usually the only bigger investment…is our homes. We maintain our cars by investing in maintenance, repair, and cleaning. We also maintain our homes by doing the same thing. In this article, you’ll find that these two investments are much more alike than you have ever thought!

In my previous career, I was a highly talented vehicle mechanic. I started at the local oil change place, and worked my way up to working on armored tractor trailers that transported the nation’s most expensive resources. It is easy for me to compare your home and vehicles – but have you ever thought about it this way? Let’s dive into it. 

 
We all know by know that homes are expensive! We save our hard earned wages furiously in efforts to purchase our homes – and then we spend even more to maintain and upgrade our dream home. In comparison, we also save our money and invest more to maintain our vehicles. 

 

By now, you know why we need to perform ongoing maintenance to our vehicles.  It keeps your car going strong, prevents breakdowns, and even more expensive repairs. You willingly invest your money into maintenance to prevent future loss of money. Maintenance is investing – not spending – and it has a great return on investment. 

Lawns also need sustenance and maintenance to survive. Just like maintenance on your car, lawns require ongoing work to survive. Proper mowing height, blade sharpness, irrigation, fertilizing, and weed control is your work schedule to keep your lawn healthy and prevent more costly repairs in the future.

Your lawn is not frivolously spending money – it is also an investment. Whether it be with time or money, it requires an investment. Repairs can cost thousands of dollars, whereas ongoing maintenance is less. Even after you repair a damaged lawn, you still need to keep up with it to prevent more repairs in the future. 

Can you see why it is so important to invest your time and money in your lawn? It is not only an attractive landscape to look at, it is an investment in your home. When you bought your house, did you look inside or outside first? You probably saw the outside first. The outside is what made your first impression. 

Just like you spending money to keep your car healthy and reliable, lawns also require the same attention. 

Invest in your lawn and you invest in your future well being. It is not easy, but it is worth it. 

 

 

Tom

 

 

 

13 Feb 2018

Why Mulch Is Important to Your Landscape

Spring is coming, and your mulch needs a touch up!

Who loves the smell of mulch?

If you love the smell of mulch you must be a spring person! The fresh aroma of mulch can be disgusting but quite nice at the same time. The smell of mulch is the symbol that spring is finally here after a long winter hibernation. Landscape companies and your neighbors are going to start buzzing around Home Depot, Lowe’s or a local garden center to spruce up landscape mulch. Mulch is not just used for a aesthetic look, although a new dark mulch blanket looks stunning against vibrant plant colors. Mulch has plenty of benefit to your landscape.

A long time favorite that mulch has to your landscape is that it keeps those pesky weeds out of the garden bed.  The mulch chokes them out with a thick layer and also kills the weeds because there is no light source for the weeds to keep surviving. Another great benefit of mulch is that it retains the moisture to your landscape bed. That means you don’t have to add as much water to your plants in comparison to only having plain dirt or a rock/gravel bed. Less work – score! Curious for more reasons why mulch is a great addition to your property? The soil temperature!

Mulch controls your soils temperature by acting as a insulator. Not only does it work great in the winter, it also works great in the hot summer heat. Mulch does a great job of keeping the soil temperatures lower for a long period of time in the summer months. In the winter it controls the temperate in the cold by retaining the heat. Mulch is also excellent at preventing soil erosion.

When the rain starts to pour, if it hits the soil directly it may wash away a significant amount. That is no good. Soil is heavy and expensive to add more. Mulch will prevent any soil from washing away by acting as a barrier from the rain water. Although mulch has incredible benefits to your landscape, there are different types of material to use as a mulch. What is your favorite type of mulch? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Garden Mulch

 

 

14 Dec 2017

Honest Home Depot Product Reviews

We got a rake (26 in. Dual Tine Poly Leaf Rake Combo) at the Bucks County, Warrington, PA Home Depot. The rake is amazing light and durable. The rake is great at getting grass clippings into piles, leaves into piles, and making the mulch nice an smooth and even for when you are finishing up putting down a new coat of mulch. Lastly, it comes with a small rake which makes it easy to get the leaves that are under bushes or in tight areas. 

Ames 26 in. Dual Tine Poly Leaf Rake Combo

We have a 6 cubic foot bright yellow true temper wheelbarrow. In all honestly it’s no good. The bolts always come loose and we have to re tighten them. The heaviest thing we use it for is mulch and the stands for it are bent. Also the littlest thorn popped the tire. The whole wheel barrow thing is a hoax. The wheelbarrow costed $70 and the tire to replace it costed 30. That’s just outrageous.

True Temper 6 cu. ft. Poly Wheelbarrow with Total Control Handles

First of all, don’t waste your time on these hand pruners. They stick together and don’t easily reopen. You have to put some force into these hand pruners. and while I love the idea of a soft grip, they are actually quite painful to use after a long period of time. They are more flimsy than my other pruners and I will be honest, I have gotten small blisters from using them excessively. And who wants that after paying $25, not me! Also beware that they may pinch you when you’re near the middle pivot area.The mechanism just doesn’t make sense!

 

Fiskars PowerGear2 Softgrip Bypass Pruner

On to the next…We purchased a 54 in fiberglass handle forged garden hoe this year. We surely have put this hoe to the test. If this lovely hoe is breaking on you, maybe you should reconsider what you are using it for. Are you only using it for weeds? Or are you trying to dig a hole? Because it isn’t made for hole digging! It is made for scraping those pesky weeds that you just can’t pull up with your hands. The hoe is pretty lightweight while makes it easier to carry around a large yard. Also the tool has a nice grip on the end for easy handling. Overall, I would say this hoe has great value for the price. Pick one up from your home depot in Bucks County, PA!

 

Ames 54 in. Fiberglass Handle Forged Garden Hoe

14 Dec 2017

The John Deere Z920M is a must have for any landscaper

The John Deere Z-920M commercial mower is a must have for any landscaper. We are running the 48” deck with the MOD (mulch on demand option). I was not a big fan of the MOD early in the season because the dew would still be on the grass which means a clumpy mess and a clogged mower deck. However, later in the season it came a very useful tool because you can shut the shute gunning around garden beds or driveways or anywhere else you don’t want to blow grass. That comes in handy because you spend less times having to blow out garden beds and pools. You can use it to also cut time down on blowing off driveways, sidewalks, cars, pool decks and whatever else you can think of. Not only does it come in handy for aiming the discharging grasses and objects, but it has come in handy for mulching up the leaves when we do leave clean ups. We did find that removing the baffles helps in the wet season and switching the blades over to finishing blades instead of the mulching blades. The reason we did that was to allow for more airflow under the deck, so it doesn’t clump up as easy because clients don’t like having clumps in their yard and that’s very understandable considering that we do not like leaving clumps in their yards. I think the only negative review is the clumping but it’s an easy fix and it all depends on where you operate. Now to talk about some more positives like the comfort and the line making. I can sit on the seat for 6 hours a day 3-4 days a week and not ache with pain. I find the ride very smooth and there is enough cushion for my toushion. Lastly the lines; The lines show up really well and they come out straight. I have experienced no matter the color of the yards the lines will still show up pretty well, obviously the greener the yard the better the lines look but lines still had a nice detail to your yard.

 

By: Josh

02 Oct 2017

Plant of the Day! Care Tips About This Fall Favorite

Have you been strolling through your local Bucks County, PA garden center this fall? If so, you probably spotted garden mums. Specifically, the plant, chrysanthemum!

Mums are a wonderful plant of the day selection because they are perfect for fall. The plant has bold autumn colors including red, yellow, orange, pink and more.

Read more below for care information!

Sun: For the most beautiful blooms the plant needs direct sunlight. If that is not possible, the National Chrysanthemum Society states that three hours of full sunlight daily will be sufficient enough. Be careful not to give them too much shade. This will cause less blooms and limping stems.

Soil: Make sure the soil does not become too dry. Mums cannot handle extreme drought conditions. The best way to see if your mums need water, is to reach and feel the dampness of the soil. If it feels dry, it needs water. If it feels damp, you can probably skip. Be sure to water the roots directly and not on the blooms. The soil should be well drained and not too clay-like. If your soil has too much clay you may have to amend the soil.

Watering: Generally one inch of water per week should do the trick. Depending on the weather. With more hot weather, water more. WIth more rain, water less. Once the ground becomes cool, you can stop watering.

Mulch: 2-3 inches of mulch should be added around the plant. The mulch will act as a insulator and retain moisture.

Overwintering: The mums need to be established to overwinter properly. If you install the plant in the spring, by the time to cold weather hits, the roots should be hardy enough to survive harsh weather. You will need to cut back the plant so that it is slightly off the ground.This will make sure that your plant grows healthy next year.

 

Got a favorite colored mum? Let us know in the comments below! 

Image result for mums free photos
Fall Garden Mums

 

Written by: Melanie

09 Sep 2017

The Facts, Pro’s and Con’s of Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass can make your lawn look full and beautiful. But if not properly maintained along with cool weather conditions problems can arise.  

Zoysia grass is a thicker grass that thrives in hotter temperatures but is commonly seen in lawns all across America. One of the benefits to having Zoysia on your lawn is the strong and thick root system that gives your lawn a fuller appearance. The unique green color it can reflect if properly maintained is also another benefit. Some problems that you can run into is thatch. Thatch build up with these types of thick grasses can be annoying but with the right equipment an experienced lawn care service can keep it green. The thatch (dead grass, roots and leaves) on

Zoysia builds up between the blades and makes the grass look tan. The biggest problem with this is the methods to remove the thatch build up. The easiest way is the most dangerous and illegal in some states and townships. Homeowners will burn the grass. It sounds crazy but it’s very common in places where it is allowed. The thatch is burned away and the ash goes into the soil and promotes new growth. The roots are resilient enough to come back and give life to new beautiful looking grass. The best time to burn the grass is in early spring before the grass leaves dormancy.

Zoysia grass doesn’t require as much water as other grass types which is good if you live in a dryer area where rainfall is a hot commodity. Zoysia is commonly seen down south where the grass goes dormant rather than dying when harsh weather conditions occur. When this dormancy happens it will turn Brown or tan until it leaves dormancy. There are many different species of Zoysia and it can be found mainly across Asia as it is native to Asia and also Australia. I hope this brief article expanded your knowledge about Zoysia grass.

Written by:

Joe Wackes

Team Leader

 

 

 

02 Sep 2017

Is It Risky to Choose a Small Company?

Is It Risky to Choose a Small Company?

  • You will not be risking more by going with us than a bigger company instead

    • We are fully insured like all the big companies
    • If you are not pleased you just give us a call and we will come back and fix it. We offer a 100% guarantee
    • We also value our clients opinions.
    • We may be small but we are mighty
    • Not only are our employees fully trained
      • Since we are a smaller company our employees get more hand on experience this way since they have more opportunities
    • You do not have to worry about us not being able to make the date we agreed on
      • Our equipment is maintained weekly and if for some reason something breaks down we’ll find away to finish the project.

Our promise is to make time for every client’s need and treat all of our clients equal

  • We do not pick favorites!!
    • Our clients are more to us than just a paycheck.
    • We all share the same goal and that’s to make your dream landscape come true
    • We like to get to know our customers and what they would like us to change for next time.
    • If you ever have a problem with a job that we did then just give us a call or shot us an email and we’ll answer the same day.
    • A lot of big companies don’t really care about their clients unless they are a big paycheck for them
    • We treat our clients yards just like their our own.
      • By that I mean we make sure we clean up our trash and leave your property cleaner than how we found it.
    • We also write blogs to help our customers understand why we do some things the way we do them.
      • Not only that but to help them understand what’s best for their landscape and the best way to take care of it.

Josh Denner

Team Leader