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Jones brothers of Marion grow mowing business

Began with a couple of neighborhood yards

Staff writer

About six years ago, brothers Keith, Ryan, Scott, and James Jones of Marion started mowing a few yards in their neighborhood. When they began, they worked with a couple of push mowers, a trimmer, and a broom.

But they expanded their business over time to the point that they invested in a pair of large, zero-turn-radius riding mowers. This year, they expect to have about 25 regular clients, 18-year-old Ryan said.

Whoever is available cuts lawns as needed, using equipment appropriate to the task, but they try to give everybody a chance to use the riding mowers.

“We try to switch it up and be fair about it,” Ryan said.

He said he didn’t expect the business to grow as large as it has. Mowing hasn’t begun for the year yet. That usually starts in April, he said.

But the brothers are preparing. They have pulled their equipment out and are making sure it runs properly. They are changing air filters and oil as needed. They are also making certain the mower blades are sharp enough. Business is busiest during June and July, Ryan said.

An average lawn takes about 45 minutes to mow, edge, and clean the sidewalks, but that can vary if there are obstacles to mow around, he said. The riding mowers are helpful, he said.

With most clients, they leave clippings on the lawn. But they will bag the clippings at a client’s request.

“It takes a little extra work to bag it and carry it off,” Ryan said. “But it’s not too bad with a zero-turn-radius.”

Even cleaning off sidewalks became quicker with an investment in a leaf blower. Sweeping sidewalks with a broom was tedius, but the leaf blower speeds the process significantly, Ryan said.

As they get older, there may come a time when Ryan, 20-year-old Keith, 16-year-old Scott, and 14-year-old James cannot continue the business, Ryan said. If that happens, they would try to find other lawn services to take on their clients.

Mark and Pam Jones of Marion are their parents.

Last modified March 17, 2010

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