Consider hiring a landscaper to help achieve spring landscape goals
(Photo courtesy of Susan Olsen)
As spring begins to make its arrival, is your landscape getting out of control already? Are those fix-up projects disappearing in the weeds?
Maybe it’s time to call in a good landscape service company to get that yard back in shape and keep it that way.
Even in a tough economy, hiring a little high quality advice and assistance can go a long way.
For Vivian Green, owner of highly rated Soil & Green in El Cerrito, Calif., a good landscape maintenance company can even help you reduce work and water use by suggesting landscape improvements and irrigation upgrades.
“You want someone who will consult with you and help make decisions,” she says. Her company specializes in organic design and maintenance.
For Micah Dennis, president of highly rated Paradise Restored Landscaping in Happy Valley, Ore., knowing what you expect from a landscape maintenance company and good communication are the keys to forming a good relationship with a provider.
“Companies out there have an endless list of services to offer, so take the time to define what you want and then find someone who can provide it,” he says.
Green agrees. “It’s all about expectations,” she says. “The representative should listen closely to your needs and requests.”
Even after you hire a company, don’t overlook the importance of continued communication. Homeowners need to speak up with any requests or concerns. Dennis uses technology to communicate with clients in real time.
“We use GPS to track where our crews are and we can communicate customer requests or let the customer know how long a crew was on-site,” he says. His company also uses Facebook and e-mail to up
Training and skill sets are important, too. Ask how much training and continuing education a company’s personnel have. Both Green and Dennis say a working knowledge of plants and irrigation systems are a must.
“Being able to identify a weed from a perennial is as critical as being able to identify shrubs and trees so they are pruned correctly,” Dennis says.
Make sure the company you hire has the proper licensing, insurance and provides safety training and equipment to their workers. Without insurance, a homeowner can end up footing the bill for an injury or property damage.
Both Green and Dennis say that Angie’s List is a great place to start your search for a reliable company and advise not to take the lowest bidder; be willing to spend a little more. The extra $50 or so could be the difference between average work and a high quality job.
So if you’re thinking about using a landscape maintenance company, now’s the best time to get on the schedule before the spring rush starts.
Editor’s note: Learn more about maintaining and caring for your lawn with Angie’s List Guide to Lawn Care.
About the author: Pat Munts grew up in western Washington but has spent the last 30 years gardening on the dry east side of the state near Spokane. She freelances for the Spokesman-Review and has served as eastern Washington editor for Master Gardener Magazine. She’s the small farms coordinator for both WSU Spokane County Extension and the Spokane County Conservation District.