You have a plan and the next step is to find a qualified Design/Build or landscape contacting company that can bring you value for your dollars. When developing landscapes it is important to try and do it right the first time. Much of our work involves renovating existing landscapes when we see the problems associated with poor design, plant choices and installation methods. To the untrained eye, and even sometimes to a landscape professional an improperly installed landscape can look just like a properly installed landscaped. So you have to be educated about the installation phase to assure your investment grows or maintains itself into the landscape you envision. If you aren’t careful about what you put in the pot, that soup may not taste right. We would like to educate you on the landscape process, so that you know exactly what you’re getting, or not getting for your dollars.
Questions to ask your contractor before you sign a contract:
Quality of the plant material You have to have a little trust in your contractor at this point, but containerized plants are always better than B&B dug plants because they have 100% of their root system.
Proper Soil and Planting Techniques. Plants need oxygen, water and nutrients in just the right amounts. Too many contractors plant directly in our poorly drained clay sub soils. The plants may look fine after planting but because of eventual oxygen and drainage problems, plants may suffer long term. We install most of our plant material in soil composed of 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 compost, 1/3 pine fines. This satisfies the plants requirements for oxygen, drainage and nutrients. When planting individual plants we will either auger or hand dig the holes using the dug soil to either mix with our soil mix or form saucers around the plant. This gets the root system off to a good start before it encounters surrounding clay. Tilling can takes time, but is great way to plant spreading groundcovers and lawns.
Scarifying and loosing roots on a pot bound plant will allow a plant’s roots to quickly and properly extend into the existing soil. Roots growing around and around the plant can girdle the plant resulting in its death.
Qualifications of the field Supervisor: A lot can get lost during the translation if too many people are involved in the design to installation phases. We are a small company and the owner will always be your partner and trusted resource during the design and creation of your landscape. P65 Curt Renz (the owner and designer) is always directly involved in the field, maintaining the integrity or changes affecting the design and supervising proper workmanship. You may want this concept of “one person continuity “when comparing companies
Strength of the Landscape Company, References, photos of completed projects, experience, and schooling, knowledge about the company, and a comfort level with owner, designer and field supervisor certainly contribute to finding the right company for you.