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The Cost of Lawn Mowing Services
Contrary to popular thought, the costs associated with mowing the lawn are based on factors that aren't so self-evident. To really afford your grass the care that it deserves, there are decisions that will affect total price.
Here are charges that apply throughout year 2023 as per the following.
Styles/Methods of Grass CuttingBased on desired results, along with the condition of the existing grass and ground, there are several ways of performing the mowing:
- Rotary Blade Mowing - The most common way of clipping and the most economical
for small to mid-sized residential applications, most yards are cut with rotary
mowers whether by rider, by walk-behind mower or a stand on unit. Prices for
small rectangular areas of lawn start at near $35 for cutting only. Moving
more toward a single family suburban lot size of say around 12,000 to
15,000 sq ft in many areas, you'll likely pay $45 to $50.
- Reel Type Mowing - The type of mowing found on golf course greens, this usually
caters to upscale customers who have a well manicured and relatively flat lawn.
Grass is normally trimmed shorter with the reels and a large roller on the device creates
the striping effect. Figure at least a 20% premium for cutting this way.
Very few services cut with push style reels, favoring the motorized versions to make better
time and utilizing gang reels on expansive spreads.
There is more to maintenance with the reels in terms of blade sharpening which
is part of the expense.
- Bush hog Cutting - Clacked onto a tractor PTO - bush hogging mows down ungainly grasses, or, grass on rough ground possibly more infrequently than other ways of cutting. Popular among rural areas, an hourly rate for owner operators of $50 to $90 is based on capabilities although a per cut charge could apply as well. Note also that the larger rotary PTO finish mowers can handle broader open areas too but these require shallow tread 'lawn tires' as opposed to the deeper treads.
Layout/Mowing Around ObstaclesRocks, trees and shrubs, outdoor furniture, planting beds and other obstacles will usually affect the quote as will the layout. One very practical advantage is the Zero Turn Radius mower that represents more of an upfront investment for the lawn service but which can effectively reduce time spent mowing. As prices have continued to drop for many ZT models, more lawn companies have adopted their use.
Patterns & SlopesIf you desire finished patterns, such as the striping mentioned or the effect of alternating directions - expect to pay slightly more but this shouldn't amount to much. Anything beyond a 20 to 30 degree slope, such as for culverts, and especially larger areas might affect the bill since this could call for special equipment designed to handle inclines, such as those equipped with 2 cycle motors that in effect lubricates the engine at various angles (unlike 4 cycle engines). Businesses that provide mowing on slopes will get a premium, and few in reality can mow on steeper pitches.
Mulching vs Collecting the GrassTypically it is only practical to collect the grass for disposal on smaller lots, especially if the clippings are to remain onsite (since many trash haulers now place bag limits on natural refuse). Given the interruptions & added efforts for starts and stops, and the emptying out, expect to pay at the bottom end, an additional $10 to $15 to bag the grass, that is, if you can find an outfit that still does this.
Types of Clipping ArrangementsMany customers hope to keep the mowing outfit 'on call' and do so only when they believe the grass gets high enough, at their behest, while being done at the same per-cut cost. This can sometimes lead to compromised quality and adjusted rates.
Paying on an annual basis might give the best total amount - getting billed by way of an annual setup, specifying a minimum number of cuts and a satisfaction guarantee throughout, along with cancellation terms.