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    | 4 min read

    Why does my landscape look worse after the pros leave?

    Spring pruning training with Jen Kettell of Radiant Leaf Consulting.

    Your landscape is an extension of your home, and just like any other part of your property, it needs regular maintenance and care to stay looking its best. The right landscape professional for the right jobs can save you time and keep you on track but finding the right fit can be challenging. And if you make the wrong decision, your landscape may suffer the consequences. 

    Don't Rush: Why Taking Your Time When Hiring a Landscape Professional is Important for Your Garden's Success

    We often hear working with certified landscape professionals should give you some assurance that your service contractors know what they are doing. But if the owner is the only one in the company with certifications and training, are you really getting the benefit? Probably not, unless they are actively training their staff in best practices.

    When training is absent, the crew leader assigned to your property may not have the experience or know how to handle your landscape properly.  As a result, they may use the wrong tools and techniques which could cause damage to your plants and trees. 

    Researching and finding out how dedicated the company is to internal education and training its employees is a great place to start. It takes time and money to train people and that can be hard for a small company. Your support of companies that are committed to training their people is essential to both their success and your satisfaction with their work. 


    Learning about behavioral and cognitive development with ClearRock - soft skills matter too!

    The three biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner when it comes to hiring a landscape company are:

    • Shopping for lowest price
    • Shopping for first available
    • Shopping for fastest turnaround time

    Jumping on the lowest bid is almost never the right choice. Why? For starters, it most often means the company isn’t paying employees a living wage. And, in addition, it probably means the company is skimping on benefits, offering no training and making no safety investments. 

    In today’s market, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to get service inside 30 days. For many companies it's more like a 3 to 6 months wait time. And, for larger projects, we’ve seen wait times of up to two years! Rushing is always a recipe for disaster. No one does their best work while in a state of stress and anxiety.  

    Low bidding companies are often in a rushed state. They need to crank out as much work as they possibly can in a day to meet their bottom line. Here are some things to watch out for with a company you suspect is rushing through the day’s work:

    • Dull or poorly maintained tools and equipment. This can cause damage through poor cuts and spread pathogens.
    • Working at a fast and furious pace. This can result in sloppy care like mulch being piled high against plant bases, missed weeds and invasive plants and glossed over pest and disease damage.
    • Complacency of care. This can show up as repeated work patterns - like mowing in the same direction time and time again so the lawn gets rutted, pitted and damaged in turn spots. Or poor pruning practices that hack down plants into confined shapes rather than allowing them to develop a more natural character through skilled cuts.  


    First Aid & CPR trainings (by Certified Rescue Course) are a must for serious landscape companies.

    Customized Care: The Importance of Personalized Service When Choosing a Landscape Professional

    Another thing to consider is whether you feel like a customer or a client. There’s a big difference. A customer is a number or a transaction. I am a customer of Starbucks and CVS. I don’t expect special care or attention at either place. I expect that I get what I order and that they have what I need. A client, on the other hand, is an individual - a relationship. I am a client of my builder and of my pet sitter. They know me and care for my needs. They consider what I want and what my property and pets need when they deliver care. They remember my home and my preferences. If I ask, they answer. If I have a complaint, they address it and work to ensure that the issue never comes up again.  

    The Key to Success: Keeping the Lines of Communication Open with Your Landscape Service Pros

    As human beings, we are all fallible and there are times when we misstep. When a service provider gets it wrong, it doesn’t make them bad. It simply means there is a misunderstanding about what is expected of them. The critical element is in the conversation and the correction. If you feel seen and heard, and an attempt to correct the issue is made, then you are probably working with a bona fide professional. If you don’t or there is a fundamental misalignment of goals, you may want to start shopping for someone new. In any case, it’s important to communicate with your landscape service pro and let them know about the damage you’ve observed. They may be able to offer a solution or compensation for the damage caused. 

    Your land is an extremely important part of your home or business. It deserves to be treated well and with respect. Go slow, be patient and willing to support companies that support their employees and the environment. The triple bottom line mission of Planet, People, Profits is important because it de-emphasizes financial gain as the central reason for the existence of the business. Companies with this focus prioritize environmental sustainability and social consciousness before driving for profit. This doesn’t make a profit unimportant. On the contrary, being profitable is a strong measure of also being environmentally and socially responsible. 

    To find out more about sustainable and regenerative gardening, download our free ebook.  It’s geared towards homeowners who want to make a difference in their backyard and beyond.

    How Regenerative Gardening Will Help Fight Climate Change Now

    And, if you want to learn more about TGC and how we prioritize education, visit our About Us page. Who knows, you might even decide to apply!

    If you are interested in learning about our approach to landscape services, please download our eBook: The Garden Continuum's 10 Essential Elements of a Spectacular Landscape.

    10 Essential Elements of A Spectacular Landscape