WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE HIRING A LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR IN GREATER ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

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 Is the landscape company a licensed?
Ask to see the landscape companies federal identification number that designates it as a real business, whether they have completed any landscaping certification program offered in your state, and if they are insured. Their qualification statement should list references, licensing information and association membership.  Ask to see there license.

 Does the landscaping contractor appear professional?
The professional landscape contractor arrives on time, takes pictures or draws sketches of your property while there, and uses uniformed workers and clean equipment.

What kind of landscaping services do they offer?
Professional landscape contractors usually offer a variety of services, from  landscape design and installation to maintenance programs that include color rotations, insect/disease control and irrigation. A landscaping contractor who does it all could save you time and money in the long run.

How are their communication skills?
It is important that you establish a good working relationship at the outset of the project. A positive approach to customer communications begins with a written estimate which explains what services and materials and plant sizes are provided, for what price, and includes the necessary details of weed control, edging, mulching and cleanup.

Do they give you a contract?
A reputable landscaping firm provides you with a contract specifying start and completion dates. If a deposit is required, the contract could show that the money is held in escrow at a specific bank.

Can they provide customer references and referrals?
Referrals can provide an independent source for the answers to such questions as, the number of years the landscaping company has been in business, whether they use trained landscaping installers and the competence of the on-site supervisor. It is best that you visit a few sites they've worked on before committing to any landscape contractor.

ANLA recommends that you definitely consider a landscape professional if your project involves major construction. Landscapers can also provide invaluable help in plant selection for your soil type or to help lower your utility bills, advice on how to maintain your landscaping, or ideas to help get you started on your project. A good landscaper can help you turn your yard or garden into a more useful, integrated part of your home, while avoiding the nightmares caused by unprofessional services.
 
 
When deciding how to choose a landscape service, research the landscaping service background carefully, noting how long it has been in business, affiliations, and contact information.
 
Visit with a few landscapers to see which one can meet your needs. Get everything in writing, including costs, services and expected timeline of projects. Work out a schedule in advance if the landscaper will be mowing the lawn every two weeks, for example. Check out the landscape company location if possible. Is it neat and well maintained? 
 
When finding a landscape designer for your needs, speak with several professionals to get a feel for the  landscape company. Are customer service members courteous, reflecting a positive business attitude? Make sure the landscaper offers the services you need, such as backyard garden plants and vegetable gardens, garden design and architecture, maintenance, lawn care, mowing, edging, seeding, lighting, sprinkler installation or removal, organic gardens, herb and roses gardens, flowers and bushes.  
 
You want to hire a landscaper that can supply fresh ideas and good maintenance tips, as well as install the proper gardens and accessories for your home or business. Narrow down your search to landscape designers or companies that offer exactly what you want. For example, if you need paths and a terrace added to your backyard, incorporating a garden with plants and flowers, target landscapers skilled in landscape design and architecture, for large residential projects. Inquire as to the professional's availability. Ask the contractor if he or she is experienced in garden design and architecture, as well as professional lawn care and maintenance. Make a detailed list of the services each landscape contractor offers, and take note of the company's availability, hours, and quality of service before choosing a landscape service.
 
Tips for  Healthy Lawns and Gardens
 

When soils and plants are healthy, plants naturally resist disease and pests -- allowing gardeners and lawnowners to reduce (or avoid) the use of pesticides and quick-release fertilizers. Healthy lawn and garden practices often save homeowners time and effort in the long-run and promote a beautiful landscape.

Healthy lawn and garden principles were developed by professionals familiar with excellent horticulture practices. . . and with knowledge of Southeast Michigan soils and growing conditions. The principles apply to all types of plants. More specific practices have been identified for lawns, gardens, trees, and other landscape areas. Lawn care tips and gardening tips are presented in this section.

Healthy Lawn and Garden Tips:

  Build fertile soils with organic matter.

  Select plants suited for the site and climate conditions -- expand your understanding of "Right Plant in the Right Place.

  Provide nutrients and water to sustain healthy plants.

  Recycle yard clippings on site.
 
  Minimize the use of insecticides, herbicides, and other pesticides. Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Healthy Lawn Tips--Feed your lawn . . . with grass clippings! Plants need certain nutrients to grow and many times we think fertilizer is the only solution. Think again. Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients and can decompose quickly into the soil. With grass recycling, artificial fertilizers can be significantly reduced -- by 30% to 40% or more. Mix extra grass clippings with leaves and soil to make a backyard compost pile (see section on composting) or use the clippings as a garden mulch.

Tips for grass recycling

Set mower blade at the highest setting, leaving grass blades 3 inches tall if possible. Tall grass encourages deep roots and also shades out crabgrass and low-growing weeds.

Cut no more than the top 1/3 of the grass blade.

Let the short grass blades fall back onto the lawn.

Sharpen mower blades several times during the growing season. A dull mower blade will tear grass and provide entry port for diseases.

Only mow when the grass is dry.

Lawn Fertilization Tips

Our lawns can pollute the Rouge. Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides may be the solutions for a beautiful lawn and garden, but they can cause environmental problems to the river. Fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, two elements which increase plant growth in water as well as on land. When fertilizer gets into the river, it can cause excess plant and algae growth which robs the oxygen from the water, causing fish and other aquatic life to suffocate and die!

Lawn Watering

All lawns in Michigan require 0.5 to 1.5 inches of water per week. That means only a 10-15 minute watering during dry weather for many home sprinkling systems.

Watering Tips

Water lightly and frequently. Grass roots are short (often less than 4" long) and can't absorb the excess water. Light, frequent watering also reduces the stress to the grass plant, which reduces the potential for disease and insect damage.

Water sparingly after any fertilizer application to avoid causing contaminated runoff.

Fertilize in September or October to promote root growth rather than top growth. Deep roots withstand drought and resist disease. Strong roots store food produced in the grass blades for use in early spring. Use fertilizers sparingly. Over fertilizing actually encourages certain insects and diseases and increases maintenance needs.

Separate fertilizers from pesticides. "Weed and feed" combined products often add unnecessary herbicides to the landscape.

Use compost as an alternative to fertilizer. Compost contributes organic matter and gradually releases nutrients to the soil.

Do not apply fertilizer within 50 feet of a water body, including streams, ponds and impoundments.

Avoid applying fertilizer to paved surfaces. If any fertilizer is spread on sidewalks or driveways, sweep it off before watering

Tips for choosing  lawn care companies

Ask neighbors and friends who have dealt with the company if they were satisfied with the service they received. Call the Michigan Department of Agriculture at (517) 373-1087 to see if the company has a history of violations.

Make sure the company is affiliated with a professional lawn care association. This helps members stay informed of new developments in the lawn care field.

Find out if the landscaping company uses integrated pest management, or "IPM", an approach that reduces pesticide use by combining it with other, non-chemical methods of pest control. The company should readily supply you with information on the types of pesticides it applies to your lawn, and what health and environmental risks may be presented by their use.

 
 

 

 

 

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Artistic Development landscaping contractors provides landscaping services in the following areas.    Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 48104, 48105,48108 48109 Dexter 48130,MI,  Plymouth,MI, 48170, Canton, Michgan,48184,48187,48188, Northville, MI. 48167, 48168  Brighton, Michigan,48114, 48116 Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103, 48109
  Please call for any area in  Washtenaw, Oakland,  Livingston and Wayne Counties.
   
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