Fuel, fertilizer and wages driving up lawn care and landscaping costs

If you’re looking to get some professional work done on your property this summer, such as having a new garden bed put in or even simple grass cutting, expect to pay more for it.

Fuel prices, a big cost for lawn care and landscaping companies, have almost doubled. Nathan MacDonald of Twins Landscaping in Charlottetown said it doesn’t stop there.

“Wages have gone up an average of 20 per cent,” said MacDonald.

“Our repair and maintenance costs have gone up closer to 20 to 25 per cent, and all of our materials — from brick, aggregates such as gravel and river stone, mulch, topsoil, trucking and freight costs, and also fertilizer — all of these costs have gone up 25 to 50 per cent.”

The cost of putting in a garden bed can go up significantly from the time an estimate is provided to the time the work is done. (CBC)

In order to stay in business MacDonald said he is having to pass those costs along to customers.

During the previous 17 years he has been in business, MacDonald said his prices have gone up no more than four per cent. This year he’s charging 25 to 40 per cent more.

‘Either that or not carry on’

Mark Tremere, owner-operator of Lawns and Beyond Landscape Solutions, said he has also put unprecedented price increases in place.

“We did, straight across the board, 10 per cent at least, on all lawn clients,” said Tremere.

“We’ve never done that before. Either that or not carry on.”

Shawn MacFadyen of Bob’s Lawn Care said inflation is so high it can be difficult to keep up with the price increases.

The cost for materials such as brick and river stone is up more than 25%. (The Classic Landscape Company)

“You price a bed that could cost you $1,000 a month ago, at this point now you’re up to 1,200 bucks,” said MacFadyen.

“Everyone’s hurting from it.”

‘We honor the prices that we gave our customers’

Not everyone’s prices have gone up.

David Thompson, owner of Weed Man Maritimes, said their prices were set in the fall.

“We had a lot of customers already on the books before we even got hit with some of those cost increases, or we knew about the full extent of them,” said Thompson.

“We honor the prices that we gave our customers last fall.”

The company is just trying to weather the storm, he said. What that will mean for next season is too early to say.

The lawn care companies said customers have been understanding about how inflation is affecting them.

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