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Selecting a Landscape Manager

Selecting a Landscape Manager or management company should not be confused with selecting a lawn care service or fertilization program. Those are topics we will discuss in other articles. Some of us just don’t want to get involved in the planning or the day to day management of our landscape. We want it to look great and are willing to pay for the service.

Perhaps you have a new lawn or just want to add something creative to the one you have and want someone to do all the planning and work. You need a landscaper. You should try to select one with good credentials, one who is proud of what his/her finished products reflect. There are a lot of people who claim the title but are just getting started; about all they know how to do is mow, use clippers and a string trimmer. Here are a few suggestions to help you make the right choices.

Educational Considerations
Does your prospective landscaper know what they are talking about? How can you be sure? If you are looking online, reviewing the information on the website is a good place to start. Formal education or experience should be listed. I am one of those people who believes that experience and prior results are almost as good as formal education. If you are looking only at education, education that would qualify a professional landscaper would be certifications in areas such as: horticulture, microbiology, arboriculture, and soil. If they are really talented and passionate, they would extend their education into drafting, engineering, and design. If he/she has all these put together you have a professional on your hands that will be dedicated to not only you as the client, but to his own work. This type of landscaping education shows someone who lives, eats, and breathes landscaping.

The work proposal
One good way to judge the business savvy and detail orientation of the prospective landscaper is what type of work proposal you receive. Young landscapers without business backgrounds are likely to give you a verbal proposal. They will give you a flat rate and basic care discussion, but even that may fall through. If a solid proposal is not handed to you on paper, chances are you will not be very pleased. A solid proposal should layout things such as the following:
-Brief recap of initial visit: describing what was discussed including suggestions ideals or comments made by either party or problems that observed.
- Maintenance Plan: a weekly or monthly plan to maintain the lawn growth and problem areas should be listed.
- Proposed improvements: a general outline of any proposed changes to the landscape plan with cost estimates and timetables included.
-Insecticide/Pesticide: this is one aspect of keeping a green and healthy lawn. Controlling unwanted pests and insects should be part of any lawn maintenance plan. The frequency of and the type of treatments should be detailed.
-Irrigation Control: If a sprinkler or irrigation service is utilized on the property, the plan should include the maintenance of that system. Clients should never be left to care for or fix their own leaky water systems. A professional landscaper should have a plan in place or set rate for visits on broken or leaky irrigation systems.

Looking for a landscaper should be just as detailed oriented as other business or important personal pursuit you undertake. Your lawn is your investment in your home or mortgage and losing it because of a poor landscaper is no excuse. Do your homework and dig deep for a professional landscaper with a dedication to his own company.

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