Choosing a landscape maintenance contractor can often be a windy road. Who to trust? All things being equal, it's important to choose a landscaper that has good horticultural knowledge. The benefits of this become obvious over time. Have you experienced any of the following?
- Poorly pruned plants, cut at the wrong time of year, which result in poor appearance, plant growth/loss of flowers
- Lack of knowledge about plant diseases and remediation resulting in unsightly plants, or plant death
- Lawns cut too short during mowing causing drought stress, brown lawns and an abundance of weeds
Whether you've invested in your landscape, or inherited a beautiful garden which you wish to maintain, the landscaper you choose plays a key role in the garden's health.
As it turns out, affordability is the easiest thing to identify when screening a landscape contractor but if it's your primary factor you, and your garden, may live to regret it. As any good gardener knows, perennials and shrubs are costly and trees take years to grow to their full splendor. Replacement can be costly and time consuming.
All landscapers are not equal. References, education and conversations with potential candidates about your garden goals are the best ways to ensure your landscape success.
MANAGING YOUR LANDSCAPE
Many clients we speak with, have one company for landscaping, another for fertilization and yet another for sprinkler maintenance. This too, can be problematic in the long term. Because a garden is a system and it's success is dependent on all these factors. When you hire multiple landscape contractors, each responsible for a set piece, mistakes can and often do occur.
- The fertilizer company comes out and does their application prior to the landscaper performing aeration/dethatching. Wrong. The fertilizer application should be done with OR after the lawn has been aerated and dethatched for best results.
- The landscaper is unaware of the timing, or products used by the fertilizer company vice versa. The landscaper does seeding and then the fertilizing company comes out and does their application, using the wrong fertilizer which kills off the seedlings.
- New plantings are installed and no informs the sprinkler guy, or he lacks plant knowledge, so the system is not recalibrated for the needs of the new plants resulting in loss of plantings.
In any of these cases, a specific company is hard to blame because they only have control over specific parts of your landscape. It's up to the homeowner to coordinate and oversee the logistics to ensure that things work in concert. Do you have time for that?
To avoid these types of errors, we recommend that clients engage a full service landscape contractor who provides all maintenance services. Not only will it be easier to manage, it ensures good results and reduces headaches by giving you have a single point of contact. Also? Savvy homeowners know that their landscape dollars go a longer way when negotiating agreements as one landscape professional responsible for maintenance will be more inclined to negotiate.
Which is why we do it all because the success of our client's landscapes is truly the key measure of our success. :)