If you are looking to bring on a professional landscaper to help maintain your landscapes and gardens, you’re probably wondering… “What does landscape maintenance include?”
If you are going to hire a professional landscaper to help with your garden/landscape maintenance needs, it’s important you understand the different types of services. Some of the most common services are explained here:
General Bed Maintenance/Detailing
This service includes weeding, debris removal, removal of dead plants, ground-cover trimming/spraying, monitoring, and the removal of browning leaves and branches. This is a must-have service as it ensures your property maintains its curb appeal year-round.
This is a more in-depth cleaning which includes bed maintenance, edging, mulching and raking. This type of service is similar to a deep-clean of your house and only needs to be done one to three times per year.
Making sure you conduct pruning and hedging at the correct time of the year is vital to maintain the best possible plant health. By hiring an expert landscaping professional they will make sure your plants are pruned at the optimum time for their species. Pruning can also be done to remove dead blooms, maintain the shape and size of the plant and promote growth. Hedging is more shaping plants into geometric forms. Both are important to maintaining your landscape.
Landscape Feeding and Protection
Plants depend on nutrients to maintain their look year-round. Some plants require a large amount of nutrients to survive. Boxwood are a good example of this type of plant. By proactively adding a plant feed/protect program to your landscaping plan, you’ll get specific feeding for your pants and soil. Services like this also typically have a disease and pest prevention service that deal with common issues such as black-spot and other forms of mildew, bag-worms, aphids, etc.
Lawn Protection and Feeding
To have a pristine lawn, you might have to consider giving them a bit more love and attention. Lawn chemical programs feed the turf and protect it against a number of pests and diseases such as brown-patch, grubs, and several fungal issues. Most turfing program are a 5-7 step process that is applied at the ideal time of year to your turf. Unfortunately weather patterns can affect this plan so things may need to be adjusted to make sure your lawn stays on track. During super wet years additional applications are sometimes needed during the super-wet years to control moisture related issues.
Irrigation System Management
Most maintenance contracts will include this service. Modern sprinkler systems are mostly automated, however during winter the water in the sprinkler systems can freeze and expand due to the cold temperatures which causes damage to their system. The damage to repair is often much more expense than maintaining the system and having all of the lines blown out by a professional landscaper. Some contracts also include a monthly check in for optimum usage/water efficiency.
Most maintenance plans typically schedule mulching work to be completed once or twice a year depending on the contract. Mulch is visually pleasing and also has a number of lesser known horticultural benefits: root insulation, weed minimization, and water retention.
Leaf removal is almost always customised to match the clients expectations, and the property. Sometimes once or twice a year is enough for leaf removal, however during autumn sometimes times up to seven removals can be completed so that a property stays clean all the time.
Lawn mowing is one of the most common landscape maintenance tasks and will almost always be included. Double check with the landscaper you work with as mowing prices often included edging and blowing hard surfaces.
Not all landscaping companies will provide all of these extra services, it is therefore important to find a company that provides all of the services that you require. This will ensure you achieve the desired results for your landscape.
Make sure you have the basics covered
Typically a landscape maintenance contract will cover all of the basics to make sure your landscape is healthy and looking at its best. These include: mowing, lawn fertilization, pest control, garden cleanup, mulching, leaf removal, edging and trimming.
Know when you will receive different services
Another critical component of a landscaping maintenance plan is to know how often you will receive various services. Make sure your contract includes a calendar or list of what services will be completed and when. It might not have definite dates, but should at lead have the approximate times of the year when you will receive certain services.
Ask what isn’t included in your maintenance contract
It’s important to know what services your landscape maintenance plan will include, but its equally important to ask what isn’t covered. Most maintenance contracts won’t cover: plant replacement, new plants, special projects and repairs. If these are services that are important to you, talk with your service provider about adding these as additional add-ons.
Budget your landscaping maintenance
Before engaging a landscaper make sure you have a breakdown on the costs involved in each of their services or hourly rates so you can put together an annual or quarterly budget that works for you. Ask your landscaper if they can provide a line-by-line cost breakdown for all of their services. That way you can stay on top of your budget throughout the year and if there are extra costs you will be ready.
Build a relationship with your Landscaping provider
Ultimately to get the best value out of your landscaping provider you will want to have a long-term work relationship with them. That way over time they will know exactly what to do to keep on top of your garden and landscapes year-round and you won’t have to stress about onboarding another provider.
Here are some quick tips that will help you build a long-term relationship with your landscaper:
- Organise a meeting with your landscaper and ask who will be managing your account and who you need to contact if you have any questions
- Get a calendar or schedule (a maintenance plan) so you aware of all of the work that will take place over the year.
- Don’t treat your landscaper as just a ‘service-provider’ allow them to be your trusted partner, let them know what parts of your gardens a priority and the business/personal reasons why. That way your landscaper will be able to tailor the plan to get the most bang for your buck and look after the parts of your garden that are the most important to you.
Still looking for the perfect landscaping expert to help you with your maintenance? Garden Life Landscapes offers numerous landscape maintenance services that can help you maintain a pristine garden year-round. If you are interested, we offer a completely free garden landscape consultation where we will run through all of the options with you and develop the ultimate maintenance plan that is custom-tailored for your landscape.