How to Choose a Landscape Contractor and Work Together

Adding value to your landscape through hardscaping, drainage work or adding plant material is usually a significant addition that you will live with for years. So it’s imperative to get the right design as well as choose the right contractor for the job. What do you look for in a contractor and how do you know you get what you’re paying for? We want to offer some suggestions on finding the right contractor for your work and how to work with the contractor once you’ve signed the contract.

Research and Reviews:

Looking for a contractor that specializes in the particular job that’s being requested by the homeowner has gotten easier with Angie’s List reviews, Google+ reviews and a plethora of other online resources to check the landscape contractor’s references. Local agencies are beneficial to homeowners such as your local Better Business Bureau.

Pick a landscape contractorResearching the number of years experience and qualifications. Your contractor should hold a landscape contractor’s license in the state of North Carolina. This license takes years of experience documented; recommendations from homeowners combined with hours of study and days of classroom time to complete, test on and submit for review.  Therefore, you are guaranteed that the contractor has been through the rigorous testing by professionals in the field of work you are employing them to do.

When interviewing the landscape contractor, get to know them by asking questions during the interview process. Ask for pictures, references and the quality of materials that will be used for the project. After you have reviewed the estimate and discussed details with the contractor there should be confidence established on the landscape contractor’s knowledge and skill level.

Day of Service:

Once the contract is signed, and the foreman and crew arrive on the day of the job, let them get organized. The foreman’s first priority will be to brief his crew on the scope of the job and assign the crew to different tasks to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Some homeowners try to take over and manage the crew or proceed to go over all the details of the project once again with the foreman. Micromanaging the job, by a homeowner only causes havoc for the foreman. If you are confident in the reputation of the contractor then allowing them to do the job will permit the landscape project to go smoother and be more efficient. Extra costs may be entailed if a homeowner does not let the landscape contractor proceed with the job as detailed in the estimate.

In building construction there may arise variables that are found underneath the surface that are not anticipated prior for lack of the obvious (they can’t be seen on the surface). At this point, it is the contractor’s job to inform the homeowner of substantial changes in the bid cost that may not have been anticipated. Work with your landscape contractor on these unforeseen circumstances. They can guide you in the best direction to eliminate the issues in the most effective manner. You can stand behind the reputation of a good landscape contractor, which is why you would hire them during the bidding process. Trust your contractor to give you the best advice for the job at hand. No one likes surprises, not even the contractor. Extra jobs unanticipated can be fixed but it takes the cooperation of both parties to fix the problem and remedy the situation.

How to Make Life Easier

Got grass but no time to cut it? We can make life easier! We’ve have a dedicated crew for lawn care and are taking new clients. Whether you need a simple cut, trim and blow or something more substantial, we’re here to meet your needs.

lawn-grass-maintenance-yardTo ensure you have a green lawn with no hassles this summer, follow some helpful tips from Ryan:

1. Sharpen your blades on the lawn mower to guarantee and clean, sharp cut. Doing this will prevent diseases to your grass.

2. Wash the belly of your mower after use to prevent the spread of weed seeds throughout the yard.

3.  Practice safe cutting  by only removing 1/3rd of the height of the grass. If more is removed, brown patch and other funguses can proliferate.
If you need lawn care maintenance, sign up for one of our annual contracts! See our packages and choose the one that suits your needs.

Keep Your Lawn Off the Neighborhood Watch List

 

lawn care-maintenance-yard-Weaverville-Asheville

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping is expanding and has added another dedicated crew specializing in lawn care and maintenance. Ken Bagwell leads this crew and is here for all your lawn care needs. If you want to be on a regular schedule, please send us an email on our contact form and we will meet and give you an estimate for an annual contract. Annual contracts cover a variety of tasks including: fertilization, overseeding and renovations, soil tests, thatching, aeration, cut, trim, edging, weeding, leaf removal, mulching beds, pruning shrubbery and deadheading perennials, fertilizing shrubs and trees, garden bed cleanup seasonally, and monitoring pests with IPM standards.

Packages

All Points Bulletin (a.k.a. Deluxe Package)

Weekly cut, trim, edge
Early Spring Fertilize and Crabgrass control
Late Spring Broadleaf weed control and fertilizepruning-trees-shrubs
Seasonal lawn fertilization
Seeding/Over-seeding
Thatching-1x
Soil testing 1x
Leaf removal
Pruning shrubbery
Fertilizing beds
Mulching beds
Garden bed cleanup
Weeding/Herbicide Apps
Lawn Insect Control Apps
Pest and Fungus monitoring and control

Safe House Package (a.k.a. Middle package)

Weekly cut, trim, edge
Seasonal fertilization of lawn in Spring and Fall
Seeding/Over-seeding
Thatching-1x
Soil testing 1x
Leaf removal

Undercover Operation (a.k.a. Basic)

Weekly cut, trim, edge

At Large Package (aka Custom)

Custom order from our vast variety of services.

We have deluxe, middle and basic packages or can customize a package for your individual needs. Contact us today to get on our weekly schedule and get your lawn ready for spring and summer activities with the family!

Edible Gardening for the Faint at Heart

edible gardening-vegetables

Now is the time everyone is thinking about their edible gardens and what they want to plant. If you’ve been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it, you know there’s some work involved to say the least! But there are more ways to skin a cat and you can still have your cake or in this reference, “tomato” and eat it too! You may not have the time or energy to do a full-fledged garden but have you considered incorporating edibles into your ornamental landscape? Many edibles have beautiful foliage, flowers and of course fruit. No one would blame you for enjoying the luxury of popping a few fresh cherry tomatoes in your mouth as you’re outside on the back porch taking in the sunset!

green bean trellis-vegetable gardens

This beautiful potager garden at Chanticleer is surrounded by a picket fence to keep critters out. A trellis is used here to help the green beans climb up nicely for an easy pick.

Here are a few ideas. Consider placing some basil, oregano and thyme around the back steps and call it your “Potager garden.” Growing green beans couldn’t be easier by training them on a trellis. Tomatoes need a full 8 hours of blasting sun so pick a spot that obliges. Give them a sturdier start by planting their stems deep into the ground so roots can establish and stabilize the heavy carried fruit that eventually produces. Pinch off the lower leaves and stake with a cage. When plants are young and freshly planted, water often but don’t let the soil get soggy. Fertilize with organics like Espoma Garden Tone to give your babies a productive start.

If you’re the type that likes a challenge and donning a farmer’s hat isn’t an intimidation, then we can till your garden and get it ready for your spring and summer plantings. Eating out of your own yard will be a pleasure but watch for neighbors who may get the same idea. You might start a revolution in the neighborhood! We hear it’s catching on! Call us today if you’re ‘chomping at the bit’ to get started on your own edible garden planting!

Spring Cleanup Chores to Do

forsythia-forced branches-landscape designer-After the deluge of cold weather, I’m sure some of you are itching to get out and look to see if your trees and shrubs sustained the frigid wind and cold. Observations through walking around in the yard will give you a clear understanding of what choresneedto be attended to first. Make note of spring cleanup chores thatneedto be done in the next 2-3 months to keep your garden growing and healthy.

  1. Observe winter-killed branches and prune away dead, damaged and diseased limbs after last winter storm unless there is a pending hazard.
  2. Pull up old annuals and spent perennials to tidy up.
  3. Cut back ornamental grasses to 2-3 inches for new growth to emerge.
  4. Cut back rose canes below the blackened area (winter damage) by 1 inch.
  5. Divide select perennials and transplant after the soil thaws.
  6. Rake leaves and dead foliage that could foster diseases, mold and smother grass seeds.
  7. After threat of frost, fertilizing and mulching can resume.
  8. Collect soil samples to test the soil’s pH.
  9. Begin seeding when forsythia starts to bloom.
  10. Spread pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds at forsythia bloom time.
If you need Spring CleanUp Chores performed, contact us!

Six Ways to Expand Your Outdoor Living Area

outdoor-landscape-Asheville

Square footage is at a premium thus expanding on what you have available makes sense (cents)! Take a walk around the exterior of your home and envision these five ways to enlarge your space. Make every square foot count by creating a more usable and enjoyable environment.

  1. Connect your outdoor living space with formal or informal walkways. Adding a brick walkway flanked by a stonewall or flowering shrubs, perennials and dwarf trees can give a sense of enclosure as well as make easier access to all the outdoor spaces. Pathways to these spots in the landscape will make them seam together for an overall cohesion.
  2. Add an outdoor fireplace or firepit to the patio area for enjoyment on a cool autumn’s night. Adding adequate space for eating around the cooking area or roasting marshmallows should be considered as well as lighting for night-time entertaining.
  3. Build a custom water feature to appreciate as a focal point including serene background sound. Water brings in wildlife to your outdoor space, making your land a nice backyard habitat for beneficials too!
  4. Build a secluded seating spot in your outdoor living area surrounded by your favorite blooming plants for all season. Using an underutilized area of the space for intimate gatherings or just a place to get some sunshine can draw people outdoors for healthier living.
  5. Add a living green screen of dwarf trees and shrubs to shield for privacy in the yard. A green screen can drown out noise and make a nice backdrop while inviting wildlife into the space. It also gives a clear boundary without being obtrusive to neighbors. From all sides a green screen is easily enjoyed.
  6. Add a cutting garden of perennials and annuals to a sunny spot in the landscape. This garden will give the homeowner hours of enjoyment closeup or from a view inside. Perennials can be divided and multiplied for years of lasting enjoyment with an abundance of bouquets.

These are services we provide and more. Take a look at our website and decide what you want to add to your home garden today!

The Truth about Weed Barrier Mats

weeds-crabgrassWeed barrier mats are made of porous, plastic, woven sheeting to allow penetration of water to plant roots and prevent weeds from germinating. The idea behind weed matting is to suffocate the weeds and keep them from coming up through the mulch by applying this woven fabric on your garden beds. The fallacy is weeds still grow on top of the surface over time. The roots of the weeds extend down through the woven fabric and make them even more difficult to eradicate. When a weed is pulled in conjunction with this matting, the roots are locked into this blanket. Roots break off and the same problem exists.

Our solution is to eliminate weeds by carefully applying herbicide in accordance with the directions at the recommended rates. This will get to the roots, killing the plant and preventing propagation. If you prefer more organic methods, then pull the weeds (refer to Farmer’s Almanac for best days), after which apply a 3-4” base of mulch in landscape beds to hold in moisture and prevent weed seeds from seeing light and germinating. If you see patches of dirt in your beds, then weeds have a safe haven to grow. Applying fertilizer and organic matter will also present an unfavorable haven for weeds (as they prefer more compact, unhealthy soils).

If you need garden maintenance, please contact us and we’ll take care of the dirty work!