For some time now I’ve admired the properties that a particular landscape maintenance contractor was caring for. It was evident that this company knew what they were doing. No matter what time of the season it was, the appropriate task was being done the correct way.
Yesterday I had the good fortune of meeting the company owner. He happened to be working next door to my project. After a howdy and handshake we ended up talking for a half hour.
It turns out he’s been in the landscape maintenance business for over 30 years. He works with his son and and just two other employees.
I told him how his properties stood out and mentioned a few of them specifically. He tells me he’s been taking care of these landscape’s for years; hardly ever getting a cancellation. I asked if I could recommend him to some of my clients and he said his schedule was pretty full. Imagine that…in this economy.
This landscape contractor practiced the formula for success:
- Know what you’re doing (and if you don’t, learn it).
- Do it well and consistently.
- Be fair and dependable.
We had no problem keeping the conversation going; sharing stories of some of the nutty things we see day to day. This one “scene” he spoke of struck me as valuable information for homeowners and maybe helpful advice for other maintenance contractors.
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
He tells me there was another landscape maintenance company in the neighborhood that installed new mulch on a property sometime in September. He says he drove by the other day and watched as the same company was blowing the leaves and the mulch out of the beds.
I had to laugh because the picture to the left is one I shot over 2 years ago while witnessing a similar debacle. And coincidentally enough, my mother’s landscape maintenance contractor recently did the same thing on her property. Mulch was put down sometime in June and totally blown out of the beds in November. Her $700 mulch job lasted 5-6 months.
Maintenance companies would argue they have to blow hard to move quickly and keep the costs down. I would say this: Just before the leaf blowing season send a note with your monthly bill that states: “Fall leaf clean-ups can remove a good portion of the mulch. If you wish we can operate our equipment at slower speeds to preserve the mulch, but this will add some time and cost to the work. Please let us know if you’d like us to take the extra time.”
Homeowners would really appreciate this. It shows concern and conscientiousness. It makes them aware of the results of what you intend to do, and allows them to make a choice.
My Homeowners Association prior applications of MULCH to our CITRUS watering basins have BLOWN AWAY in 80 MPH Periodic DESERT WINDS. The present regulations from our Water Company say CUT WATER USE BY 25 PERCENT. We either CUT-DOWN our 15 Citrus Trees or Let them DIE for lack of water or find a lower water use irrigation system. It seems every publication says you’l save save save water water water with MULCH.
HOW KEEP MULCH IN PLACE???
Robert Heyer 760-945-5404 Borrego Springs, CA 92004 n
Mulch is a broad term. Really anything that insulates the top of the soil, protects it from direct sun and ideally controls weed growth is a mulch.
Therefore, what if you used something inert and heavier such as a decorative gravel. You would first lay down a geo-textile soil fabric that’s designed for an application like this. Then, the decorative gravel would go on top (approx. 3″).
In terms of irrigation: a drip system would be ideal. We sometimes use watering devices like Tree Gators to water individual trees in a concentrated, controlled manner.