DIY lawn care?
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DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Mar 21, 2023 10:14 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Ken [NY]) Mar 21, 2023 10:39 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Jim in O C [CA]) Mar 21, 2023 10:56 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by S i d [MO]) Mar 21, 2023 11:00 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Barb [MO]) Mar 21, 2023 11:37 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Hoosier [IN]) Mar 21, 2023 12:17 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by Hoosier [IN]) Mar 21, 2023 12:19 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 21, 2023 12:42 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by Vee [OH]) Mar 21, 2023 7:22 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by DJ [VA]) Mar 21, 2023 8:06 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 21, 2023 8:22 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by 6x6 [TN]) Mar 21, 2023 8:27 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by Robert J [CA]) Mar 22, 2023 3:55 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 22, 2023 9:10 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Robin [WI]) Mar 22, 2023 10:18 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Mar 22, 2023 11:03 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 22, 2023 11:23 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by zero [IN]) Mar 22, 2023 6:03 PM
       DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Mar 23, 2023 8:51 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 23, 2023 10:08 AM
       DIY lawn care? (by zero [IN]) Mar 23, 2023 10:14 AM

DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 10:14 AM

I got rid of Tru Green lawn care for my 4 student rentals, as they kept charging me for these expensive lawn treatments without first asking, and they could never consolidate my 4 rentals into a single account.

Iíd like to keep the small front lawns at my rentals looking nice, and Iím wondering if I should add lawn care to my maintenance schedule and have my lawn cutting guy, spread fertilizer, weed killer, etc., or if I should find another lawn care service. What do you think?

If you think It best that me and my lawn guy do it ourselves, can you tell me what are the basics for keeping a lawn looking nice, as far as fertilizer, weed and pest control, and anything else?

Or should I eliminate the small lawns and do something else in the front of the house, like some ivy, stones and shrubs?

You can see the properties at brunswick student housing website.

Thanks. -Bill

DIY lawn care? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 10:39 AM

I sub out any lawns concerning rentals or flips,i have better things to do.I have never fertilized or sprayed any lawn including my personal lawn or my parents lawn which i do mow those 2 neighbor goes nuts with his lawn,mulching,spraying etc and it looks no better than mine does so i consider it unnecessary. --74.77.xx.xx

DIY lawn care? (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 10:56 AM

I hired a gardener 20 years ago. He maintains the lawns including quarterly fertilizing plus keeps me informed of any negative activity. Tenants say they would enjoy taking care of the lawns but this lasts only 30 days if that long.

DIY lawn care? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 11:00 AM

I couldn't find the units online with the info provided. Unless you're renting top-tier Class A units, I wouldn't do anything more than mow and edging.

DIY lawncare is a low-value added task for an investor to perform, so my advice is continue to sub it out. There's some guy out there with a side hustle who'll do it far cheaper. Avoid the full-timers who need to upcharge you for everything because it's their bread and butter. I've got a guy who retired from his Govt job and has a pension. He mows and trims on the side for $30/lawn at the residential units. $70-$80 for the larger commercial properties. It works out to maybe $25/hour for the labor plus he provides the equipment and maintenance. I get my Saturdays and Sundays off!

DIY lawn care? (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 11:37 AM

I found a fellow a couple of years ago who does my lawns and does a great job. Smaller places are about $30, larger places a bit more. He does all my rentals and then my own home. Havenít been fertilizingÖ. Although we do occasionally need to seed. Particularly the new construction needs seed more than once. In winter, he handles snow removal and pretreats for ice as well.

DIY lawn care? (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 12:17 PM

Definitely sub it out. But...given that you have four properties, I'd negotiate with them. At first don't tell them you have four...just get a price for one. Let's say it's $40/treatment. Then tell them you have four and ask for a quantity discount...ask for $35/property.

Our tenants take care of the lawns, but they just do the basics. About once every two years (or at a tenant turnover) we would go and do things we don't want them doing such as tree trimming, edging, maybe some bush trimming, replace a dead bush, fixing edging that's come loose, and other similar tasks. We usually spend about 3-4 hours/property doing this.

DIY lawn care? (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 12:19 PM

I should clarify that when I say "we" do things...we actually do most of it but we HIRE the tree limb cutting for anything that requires a ladder or large branches that may fall and injure/damage something.

Another tip: If you have any large trees with branches leaning towards or over the house, have them cut NOW before the wind/storms blow them on your house and you have a major insurance claim and tenant issue. Don't wait for the problem, prevent it.

DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 12:42 PM

Milorganite, at about half rate recommended, according to their schedule for your area. Milorganite can go on everything, so no worries about damaging other plants. Set the lawn mower to one of the higher settings on your mower. I use an Ego mower ( not self-propelled) to do my four properties, two one day, two the next. The Ego lifts in and out of the landlordmobile easily.

Watch youtube videos from Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia for trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs that will help you reduce mowing, provide habitat for native insects ( ummm...we SERIOUSLY need those,) and provide interesting low maintenance spaces for people too.

For my single family home rentals, I will always maintain a section of lawn grass for kids, dogs, family get-togethers. But, it doesn't need to be the whole yard, just an adequate space.

DIY lawn care? (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 7:22 PM

Here I do it, with 2 units closeby I can get those 2 in 1 day, and I can see smoking and/or animal exhaust myself to bill tenants in next rent cycle.

DIY lawn care? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 8:06 PM

Did you say you have been hiring TWO "lawn guys", one to mow and the other to fertilize & kill weeds?!

Surely the mower could spread fertilizer if you want him to.

At my own house, it's overseeding as needed with fertilizer in the fall, crabgrass pre-emergent prevention with fertilizer in the early spring, and broad-leaf weed killer in later spring.

For my rentals, Single family houses, the resident takes care of the lawn. They can do it themselves or hire it out. I tell them you may fertilize, water, kill weeds if you want, but the only requirement is to mow what grows (& trim/edge it). They normally just do what is required.

DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 8:22 PM

Oh, good way to decide what should be kept grass, what should be changed to shrubs, plants, mulch, pavers is to mow and to observe.

Observe how the tenants use the spaces. Do they walk on the sidewalks, or do they cut across lawn? ( Are paved surfaces where they make sense?) Do tenants have easy access to get in and out of their cars, are garbage and recycling cans easily accessible? Are there ugly views that could be blocked with some nice shrubs ? I am putting one more variety of lilac in my allee of lilacs between my last house and the neighboring house. Seems that house next door gets rather rowdy in the evenings, with lots of coming and going. So, extending the lilac bushes will provide some nice screening in a few short years.

Then, observe how the pattern for lawn mowing flows. My smallest lawn takes almost as much time to mow as my two medium sized lawns. Why? Because there are some awkward turns. Scratch that, there WERE some awkward turns, now only one left. Installed a rain garden in the front late last fall. Only did two mows after the rain garden went in, but, boy! Cutting those awkward spaces out of the lawn mowing pattern really sped things up. Now that yard just has the one spot that needs to have a small, oddly shaped section of grass taken out to complete the mowing simplification. But, I need to study, observe, plan, so what I put in that spot instead of grass doesn't create more work. Just mulch is NOT the answer for that space. So, I'll take my time.

DIY lawn care? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2023 8:27 PM

Do you have time to DIY?

Do you want to DIY?

I have had the habit of spending months just trying to DIY clean up the property that I bought. I am slowly coming to the realization that this isn't such a good idea.

DIY lawn care? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 3:55 AM

Between my 18th and my 21st birthdays, I managed to buy 6 (six) single family homes. I did not have the time to cut the lawns or service my two pools every week. I was too busy getting a college education, working full time and paying my bills.

A weekly gardening service ran me $35 a month and a pool service with chemicals ran me $40 per month. So that came to around $300 per month in those costs. That averages around $50 per month per home. Rents at the time were around $695 a month. Meaning the pool/yard ran 7% of the monthly rental.

I had discussions with other landlords at the time. They had their family, kids and others do the work to save on expenses.

Jerry had 16 homes. Morrie had 9 homes. Randy had 4 homes. Joyce had 2 homes. And I had 6. I explained that when a garbage disposal went out, I had one I picked up on sale for $39 and installed it myself. A plumber would have charged me $295 for his work on replacing a disposal. So that 1 disposal repair that I was able to do myself saved me enough money that month to pay for my 6 homes yard and pool services combined. And the disposal replacement took me less than 1 hour. Doing the 6 homes yard work every week plus the two pool would have taken me around 30 hours. Now who's the smart one here? Me or the other investors?

DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 9:10 AM

I would agree with ' Don't do lawn care if you don't enjoy it.' For sure. A paid mow'n blow local will do as adequate a job as any landlord who doesn't enjoy yardwork. For me, its my favorite hobby, so, if I can spend time planning, designing, planting, caring for plants, and seeing the abundance of insects, and then birds which follow the installation of native plants, then , yippee! That's for me. My tenants do enjoy seeing the beautiful yard, and spend time out there, though, I'm sure they'd like me to be on the property a little less sometimes. I schedule a regular day at the beginning of the season, so I don't have to text them each week. Then I text again when I get there, and a short text when I'm done. Yep, some tenants seem to be annoyed by how often I am dinking around outside, but, as I get the properties sorted out, the time it takes is going down, AND a couple of tenants have mentioned how much their families and friends compliment them on the pretty spaces.

There are multiple side benefits of having a beautiful yard, though an abundance of increased monetary earnings isn't one of them. If getting that beautiful, peaceful yard stresses the landlord, then just hire the blow n mow guy.

DIY lawn care? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 10:18 AM

Lawncare is unskilled work. Definitely hire it out! But look for a local owner/operator who cares about it, not a nationwide chain. They'll be a lot more expensive.

DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 11:03 AM

Sorry, I shouldnít have used the word DIY. What I meant, was to figure out what was needed and hand off the fertilizing and weed killing to my lawn cutting guy.

I agree Busy, if you like to do it, then yippee! And Iíll bet your tenants donít mind having you around. Iíll bet they appreciate how nice you keep everything :-) And great tips on designing and watching how people use the space. And cool on the Milorganite. ďproduced by treating sewage sludge by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage DistrictĒ. Thank you for all the information! Much appreciated!

And Robert J, that makes sense, to do the high value work, if you have the skills and leave the lawn care to someone else. I think SID said something along those lines, saying that lawncare is a low-value added task.

Ken, that is funny how that works. I will bear in mind.

Vee, always good to get a chance to keep an eye on things :-)

DJ, I have a guy doing the lawn, but I used to have one of those big companies with the big trucks that come and dump stuff on your lawn. Now I got rid of the big company and thinking Iím gona have my lawn guy do that too.

Thanks, Barb, for the input on not fertilizing. Iíve heard that a green lawn makes a green lake so it would be good if we can all tone that fertilizing down and just seed where necessary. I hope you are doing well.

Hoosier, I wish my tenants would take care of the lawn, but theyíre students and many of them are waiting for their mom to come and wash their dishes :-) And awesome tip on the branch reminder. Thank you for that!! Iím going to be looking this weekend for them.

DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 11:23 AM

So, even with the lawn care guy doing the work, some of the observations still apply. I was watching a lawn care company do a neighboring property. There was a women my age supervising, and a young fella ( maybe 19 years) mowing. I noticed has was having to duck awkwardly around a couple of trees and bishes, so, I chatted with the supervisor. She hires kids who 'aren't on a good path' gives them mentoring, and teaches them how to mow. Great! Fabulous! I offered to trim the branches the tall young fella was having to duck under. A few snips from my trusty loppers, and it was easier to manipulate, and less likely to hit an eye! And I made a new friend.

There were also several holes in the neighbor's lawn, some from old tree stumps that rotted out. When I have extra soil, say from edging a walkway, I fill in those holes. Less likely for the hired guy to twist an ankle.

So, even if the diy is a hired guy, look out for trips and falls, pokey tree branches, and German wasp nests. Your lawn care guy might not say thanks, but there will be smoother mowing days.

DIY lawn care? (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Mar 22, 2023 6:03 PM


Will you make a trip to Indiana for me?

I would gladly pay you to look at my lawn and help me get on the right path. You do so much more for your rentals than I seem to do for my residence.

If you go to the convention you will drive right by me... kind of.

DIY lawn care? (by BillW [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2023 8:51 AM

Those are great tips Busy. I hadn't thought about trips and falls and branches, but you remind me of a time when my daughter was cutting the lawn and stepped on some nest and got stung more than once. I don't think she'll ever forget that. Thanks!!

DIY lawn care? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2023 10:08 AM

Thanks for the complement Zero. Probably not going to convention, as am not expanding my little empire.

DIY lawn care? (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2023 10:14 AM


I'll buy you lunch. That should make it worth your while.

That or you can stop mid way to the convention and start designing my new lawn. I won't be there tho, so maybe that won't work out either.

Not expanding? Come on. After a short time you will have no more lawn work, or sealing in the attic work, or any of the other fun stuff you do.

Start looking for the next dream home. Get it and then start working on it, in between going to the convention and my place of course.

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