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

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

 

 

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

01 Jun 2017

What Should I Look For In a Landscaper?

Choosing The Best Landscaper

 

Picking a landscape contractor is no easy feat

 

You search endless pages of Google and Yelp to find the perfect fit. How do you narrow that down?

 

Choosing a landscape contractor is like choosing a realtor. There are so many to choose from, but you want to be certain that person will be the right fit. Here are some things to consider:

 

  1. Professionalism
    1. Does the contractor represent themselves in a professional manner? That includes their website, logo, equipment, and uniforms.
    2. I see so many landscape companies that don’t wear uniforms. Any other business will provide uniforms! This shows their pride in representing their brand.
    3. Do they contact you back in a timely manner and answer all your questions and concerns?
  2. Business Systems
    1. Creating systems is the hardest part of running a business.
    2. Does your prospect company have these systems in place? Such as scheduling, communications, and billing?
    3. How easy is it to pay for services? Do they only take cash? Or do they take credit card, check, or cash? What would be best for your situation? Do they bill by service, monthly, or weekly?
  3. Reviews
    1. Check all the review sites about your prospective contractor. Check the good and bad reviews. Most bad reviews are complaints that were not timely and accurately fixed. This gives you a good idea how the contractor will treat you!
  4. Completed Project Photos
    1. Does the contractor have photos of their completed work? Pay attention to small details, such as mulch overflowing onto sidewalks and missed cutting spots.

 

Those are just some of the things to consider when hiring your next landscape contractor. Are there other things that we missed? Comment below to help others out!

 

Tom Eckhardt

Owner

 

Jamison Lawn Care is located in Bucks County, PA. We serve Jamison, Warrington, Warminster, Ivyland, Southampton, and Furlong, Pa. These blogs are provided to better educate ourselves on landscape business.

 

 

 

27 May 2017

Should I Use Landscape Fabric?

Common Landscape Misconception

Landscape fabric has its place and time on your property.

One place it doesn’t belong is in your mulch beds!

 

Why do I say this!?

 

Let’s get into the theory of mulch first!

 

Mulch is made up of natural resources. Some mulches are shredded bark, pine tree needles, straw, and many other “wood” types. Note, there is rubber mulch available now, but do not give the same benefits as natural.

As this wood decomposes in your garden beds, it turns into beautiful, rich, dark black soil. This decomposed soil then amends your top soil and provides nutrients. Before it breaks down, it also retains moisture for plants, and prevents weeds.

 

So now that we now that natural mulch breaks down into soil, we can start talking about landscape fabric.

 

The main objective of landscape fabric is to prevent weeds. Which, quite frankly, does nothing if you properly mulch to a depth of 2″-3″. Proper mulch depth prevents the weed seeds from getting sunlight and germinating.

 

As we go back into the natural mulch, remember that it leaves a nice rich soil after it decomposes. This soil is now on top of the landscape fabric, with the natural mulch now decomposed. This provides an environment of sunlight and dampness necessary for weed seeds and turf to grow. Where does it grow? Right on top of that expensive landscape fabric that you so painstakingly put down. That renders the landscape fabric completely useless, after a few years.

 

Not only does the landscape fabric become useless, it also prevents proper moisture from entering your soil. Take this picture for example. This was on one of our client’s properties. Notice how dry and compacted the soil is.

 

 

 

There is a place and time for landscape fabric. For example, if you are using rock as “mulch”. When in natural mulched garden beds- the fabric must go!

 

 

 

Jamison Lawn Care is a proud provider of landscape and lawn care services in Jamison, PA, Warrington, PA, Warminster, PA, Furlong, PA, Hatboro, PA, and Southampton, PA. We provide these landscape educational blogs at no cost to better educate homeowners in Bucks County and Montgomery County, PA.

 

 

 

Tom Eckhardt

Owner, Jamison Lawn Care

16 Mar 2017

Why Doesn’t My Landscaper Show Up?

You’re not the only one. We hear this all the time in Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania

 

You hired a landscaper and you can’t wait to see the results! You went through the whole process of researching, evaluating, meeting, and finally picking a company to work on your precious property.

Then, they don’t show up!

Landscaping Is a Very Competitive Industry

We admit it, landscaping is a lucrative business that requires little capital. (or so we thought)

Anyone with a small push mower can enter this business and start advertising to the masses. They may do a great job, and they may not. Typically, these start up “companies” also charge so much less than reputable ones.

Reason number one why they don’t show up: they went out of business!

Landscaping is not cheap to run and operate. Yes, a couple hundred dollars of equipment will get you started. However, these beginners do not account for insurance, taxes, personnel cost, equipment cost and repair, accountant fees, postage cost, paper cost, gas cost, state registration fees, advertising, website cost and maintenance, printer ink cost, and the list goes on and on. The owners of Jamison Lawn Care learned this lesson when they invested over $40,000 in their first year. The reasons behind this will be a little later in this blog.

Back to reason one, the beginners simply do not charge enough. All their savings soon diminish  and they have to close up shop. Most likely, you’ll never hear from them again and you’re left wondering where they went!

Reason number two: they have problems within their company

It takes a lot to run a successful company. That also means there is a lot of room for errors. It may be under pricing, low efficiency, bad debt, employee issues, or any other of the million possibilities. A single issue within a company can take an tremendous toll on itself and it’s customers.  That also means that you, as a customer, come after fixing the company issues.

What Do You Do When They Don’t Show Up?

 

Image result for you're fired

A reputable company would have already contacted you about their absence and you wouldn’t be reading this. Simply put, fire your current company and hire a landscaper that will not put you through the stress that you have been through already. YOU, THE CUSTOMER, SHOULD ALWAYS COME FIRST! Learn from your mistakes, and apply that to hiring a new company.

The Jamison Promise:

  1. We will always be there when we say
    1. If there is an issue, you will get a call or email as soon as possible.
  2. We will show professionalism
    1. Custom uniforms, well trained employees, and well maintained equipment will be on your property.
  3. You are our number one priority!

 

 

Written by Tom, Owner