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Using Pine Straw in Southern US Landscaping

By Johny Crooks from Blades of Grass Lawn Care

Hey, guys. I'm Johny, owner of Blades of Grass Lawn Care here in Savannah, Georgia. Today, we're going to talk about pine straw, something we use a lot of down here in the south instead of mulch. Pine straw is great because it’s like, abundant, compresses well, and decomposes well. Best of all – you can harvest it yourself and store away till you need it!

I'm also going to show you how a customer, in the middle of the job, decided to change it all up. We're going to talk about what to do if that happens and how to protect yourself in the pricing strategy.

All right, guys. Enjoy.

Video Transcription

All right, guys. Today, we're going to do a small little cleanup. What we did is we already trimmed the palm tree and we put all the debris right here. And, basically, we put the debris right here because the customer opted not to pay for hauling off the debris, and the city will come by and pick it up, which is free to them. What we're going to do is trim the shrubs, clean out the plant beds, and mulch these leaves right here and make it look nice and pretty for the rest of the season. All right. Now a property like this, we will come by once a month and just keep it clean and this is what I'm talking about. This is what we do during the wintertime on, I will say, 40% of our properties. Okay? All right, let's get hot.

All right, guys. This is the end result, the pine straw. We even placed a couple of cats for the curb appeal. Nah, let me stop. We put the pine straw in, trimmed the shrubs and cleaned it all up. It looks real good.

One last look. All right, time to go.

We're here for another pine straw job. This one is a bigger job. It's going to require probably 65 bales to 70 bales of pine straw, but I'm going to show you guys real quick what we got to work with.

This is what the beds look like after a year of straw. Again, pine straw decomposes and this is what it look like. We're going to show you what this beautiful home is going to look like once we finish putting down our pine straw. And let me show you, this is where we have the bales. All we do is take the mowers out, leave them at the storage and pack it with straw. All right. This is how we put in the straw. And we'll make little clips here and there of how we install this beautiful pine straw. And now we try to put it down at least five to six inches and, with time, it'll settle. It'll settle down and make that tight, compact bond. All right, guys, enough talking. Let me get to work.

All right, guys, this is the final look at the mulch. Long needle pine straw all the way around. You probably can't see it that we did that bed and all the way around the property. Good job, my man. All over here, all over here and all the way around.

OH, you're the Blades of Grass gnome? Let me walk in the front. I hope you can see, this is the Blades of Grass Lawn Care gnome. All right. Real nice all the way around. And we also did this bed right there. Beautiful, beautiful work. Oops, dropped my gloves. So you guys can see and we went all the way around.

And, yes, that's 64 bales of long needle pine straw installed by the one and only Blades of Grass Lawn Care gnome behind me. See that? Perfectly still.

I'm inside a trailer, so I do apologize. Our next task is to trim some shrubs and put down some pine straw. This is what we got to trim. Trim this down, make it look real nice and put down some pine straw. We're not going to film us actually trimming the shrubs, but we're going to show you the final result. All right. Stay tuned.

This is the final result now. There was one change in the plan, which was the Loropetalums, we took a whole lot of it off from the top to do a severe pruning this time of the year. And, believe it or not, guys, for you southern guys, you know these will grow right back and they're going to look real, real nice, I will say around May, when you can trim the top. Now the job did change and with changes come changes in prices. Remember you have to discuss with the customer any change in the plans will incur an additional fee.

Now, also, we left this pile here. And here, the city will come and pick this up or we can actually dispose it for them. But most of our customers just want to leave it there and have the city pick it up. Now, guys, I know a lot of you guys don't like pine straw, but, again, it's about what the customer like, not what you like. And how do you come up with your disposal fee? Well, the way we do it is, we will take the man-hours plus the disposal fee plus the gas that it takes to get there. Some of you guys will just do 30 bucks or 50 bucks, we don't. We add everything up because your time to get there, your gas to drive there, should be incur in your price to dispose of any vegetation debris that you have. All right.

It wasn't as pretty as we wanted, oh, excuse me, as we wanted the job to look, but, again, plans were changed. We were just supposed to come and trim it up, make it look nice and pretty, but the customer decided to go ahead and just cut half of it off, incurring more time and an additional fee on the job, which was fine with the customer. Yeah. All right. If you have any questions, leave it in the comment below. Let's keep moving to the next.

Thanks for taking the time to watch the video and hope you guys enjoyed the vlog and you learned something from it. And, again, stay motivated, guys. I know it's wintertime and a lot of you guys aren't doing too much, but, again, spring will come pretty fast, guys. All right? Stay motivated, pop smoke.

Johny Crooks, Blades of Grass Lawn Care
UAG Member 2017