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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

07 Mar 2017

Jamison Landscaper Supports Youth Baseball

03/07/2017

Jamison Lawn Care Supports Warwick Youth Baseball

Image result for warwick pa baseball

America’s favorite past-time: hot dogs, cold drinks, warm weather, and cheering from the crowds.

 

It brings back great memories for me! The bonding with family, wearing your favorite team’s cap, and wearing your baseball glove all game just in case there is a foul ball hit towards you. I’m a little too old to play now, but I am happy to announce we donated to support Warwick baseball. Am I living vicariously by doing this? Probably! You’ll see me on the diamond supporting the team that happens to receive our donation.

 

I played baseball all throughout my youth, but unfortunately stopped too early! It was also through baseball that I realized that my vision was going and I needed glasses haha! Standing in the outfield, readying myself to perform the perfect catch when the ball was hit to me. That was hard, when home plate looked like I was looking through one of those privacy glass blocks. But boy, oh boy, when I got those fancy new spectacles, I could see blades of grass! I could see home plate! I could actually the little white ball flying towards me!

 

Some of most fond memories come from playing this awesome sport. It is an honor that I can give back to the community so that the youth of today can create those same fond stories that I hold dearly today.

 

So what about you? What great memories do you have from baseball or softball! Let us know so we can live a little vicariously through your stories too!

 

Tom, Owner

 

Images For > Baseball Field Backgrounds

 

28 Jan 2017

What is the biggest mistake we have made?

Mistakes are a part of life. How you fix those mistakes is what makes the difference.

Well, to start, uh, we have many plenty of mistakes. Ok, ok we admit it. But the biggest mistake?

 

Customer wise, we had two ( not-so-big) whammies.

 

First, we suggested to a customer that we install one yard of mulch in their yard. We had just weeded their biggest garden bed, and to prevent further weeds from growing, mulching was necessary. However, we didn’t think about how the customer would interpret “one yard of mulch”. After this job, the customer turned hostile towards us and would avoid all communication. What did we learn? Well, one to communicate much more effiently. We should’ve said one CUBIC yard of mulch. We figured that the customer thought they were having every single garden bed on their property mulched, hence a “Yard”. So we learned to speak effectively and precisely about the work that will be completed. We changed policies and now every customer gets a “scope of work” worksheet that points out everything to be done. 

Image result for one yard of mulch

 

Lesson two! We hit a yard flag post. It broke. The person using our mower did not tell us this had happened. Our customer then emailed us, understandably upset, and informed us about what had happened. Within a couple of hours, Melanie and I had showed up with a brand new yard flag and installed it. Our policies have since changed, and training took place to make sure customers are notified as soon as possible about any damage.

Image result for yard flag

 

Things happen. Stuff breaks and grass gets rutted or ripped up. Unfortunately, that is a part of our business. We take every single effort to prevent these from happening. But the most important thing is that we stand by our work when it does happen and it gets fixed. No matter what, any damage that we do gets fixed. I stand by it. Melanie stands by it. Our whole company stands by it.

 

Thanks for reading

16 Jan 2017

January 2017 Update for Jamison Lawn Care

click-the-images-below-to-open-the-monthly-calendars-O5jNQZ-clipart.jpg (1269×758)

January 2017 Update for Jamison Lawn Care

Hi there! It’s been a busy couple months for us.

 

We celebrated an awesome Thanksgiving and Christmas, filled with lots of joy and happiness. There is nothing better than being with your loved ones!

 

Now we are in the month of January, and things are heating up real quick (besides the temperature hehe).

-Tom has been working furiously to increase the reliability of our new truck.

-Melanie has been spending hours upon hours completing the book-keeping for the year.

-Our marketing campaign is being worked on. Melanie and I have narrowed our service areas and really plan on marketing to select areas in Warminster, Jamison, and Warrington. We feel this is the best way to keep costs low, which in turn keeps prices lower.

– Both of us have been typing away trying to better our customer service and business operations.

-As always, our minds have been at work creating new ideas!

 

Educate, Educate, Educate!

Each day, Melanie and I grow both as individuals and business-people. Every morning is an opportunity to invest in learning and we fully take advantage of that. This has certainly been a wonderful journey for us that I cannot wait to keep trekking on for many years to come. Who would’ve knew that jumping in head first would bring us so far! (Scariest thing in our lives, by the way). What things have you done that seemed scary at first, but turned out to be a great experience??

 

3dde7cf.jpg (346×220)