March 9, 2022 at 7:14 am #44896Stephanie FlemingKeymaster
We have written many articles about what do to before you hire a landscaper but I thought maybe it would be a good idea as we head into the Spring to hear from you. What tips or advice can you share with our readers when hiring a landscaper. Not really who, but things you wish you had known ahead of time. What questions one should ask?March 10, 2022 at 2:13 pm #44901playsinthedirtParticipant
A landscaper is not a crew of gardeners, but an outdoor janitorial service. In summer they keep your green carpet flat and clean, in winter they keep your hard black floor clear of snow. If pesticide applications are included, make sure to get the name of the applicator service and find out what chemicals they use and get advance notice of when they will be applied. If they supply mulch, find out what it’s made of and where it comes from BEFORE they shovel it into your azalea border.
Make sure your contract specifies what you WANT and what you DO NOT WANT the crew to do. Make sure that you speak the same language as the crew that comes to work on your property, or that you and at least one of the crew members speaks the same language. If their contract uses “according to industry standards” wording, get a copy of the document(s) that describes these standards and how the crew is trained BEFORE one of them shears your slow growing daphnes into cubes.
Voice of experience: specify a minimum height of four inches AFTER MOWING for your grass. Buy your own mulch and have the crew install it. Specify what you want done (if anything) AND WHEN for shrubs and trees, and be present when the work is done.March 10, 2022 at 2:42 pm #44902Stephanie FlemingKeymaster
What great advice!! So many of these things are a surprise to homeowners!April 5, 2022 at 5:41 pm #44954PansyViburnumParticipant
Hi! We have a very small business doing our residential landscaping these days. This young man is a very hard worker and worked for a larger landscaping firm for years before striking out on his own so we had confidence that he knows what he is doing.
I think the earlier advice, to be clear and specific (in a contract) about what you want and what you don’t want, and specific sizes, types of mulch, etc., is excellent. Whenever possible, too, touch base throughout the growing season, to learn what your landscaper sees (that sometimes you may not – downed limbs off of trees, or how a neighbor may be landscaping along your property line, and so on) and to let him or her know you are happy with their efforts.
Very good point that landscapers are not (at least, not always) GARDENERS. I will *ask* about plants I want to add to our gardens but don’t always expect our landscaper to either know those plants or to know where to source them from. It’s a partnership, and he can advise on what areas are sunny or wet, etc., but it’s my role to decide what garden type and plants to put in most of the time. That suits both of us well.
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