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Old 10-14-2015, 02:32 PM
 
70 posts, read 44,866 times
Reputation: 37

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As always, your replies & help are appreciated.

We received a recommendation for a landscaping company from one of the realtors in our home purchase transaction, and we have received a proposal from that landscaping company. It seems a little high (but new to area & hard to gauge) –any feedback is appreciated. We won’t name the company here, but will gladly reply to private messages.

Below is what is included for their price of about $3600.00 per year (billed quarterly).

The property is in Osprey and the lot is about 1/4 acre in size.

If anyone can recommend other companies that cover similar services more reasonably, your insight is appreciated.

Included in Proposal:



TURF MANAGEMENT

Mowing:
During the active growing season all turf will be mowed and trimmed weekly, dependent upon inclement weather conditions. The active growing season is approximately March through mid November of any calendar year. During the dormant period, approximately mid November through the end of February, (company) assumes a bi-monthly posture for mowing. In a typical year, and depending upon turf species, we provide a minimum of 38 and a maximum of 44 cuts. (company) reserves the right to make cut/no cut decisions based upon the general condition and or height of the turf, soil saturation during the rainy season, inclement weather and overall appearance during dormant season.

The following is a general guideline to appropriate turf heights as put forth by the University of Florida and Sarasota County for Best Management Practices:


Argentine Bahia ”- 4”


St. Augustine (Florotam & Bitterblue cultivars) .5
” – 4”



St. Augustine Saphire 2
” – 2.5”

Zoysia ”- 2.5”




Edging:

All hard surfaces such as walkways and drives will be edged as needed to maintain a sharp crisp appearance. Bed edges will be done at a minimum of every other visit. All edging work to be performed with a motorized stick edger.



Debris:
All cuttings, debris and spoils generated by (company) equipment and personnel during the mowing, trimming and edging process will be removed from all bed areas, sidewalks, walkways and driveways by means of motorized blow packs. Best efforts will be utilized to not blow mulch from planting beds.



Fertilization and Pest Control:
Turf areas will be inspected monthly, and evaluated for nutritional needs and or pest outbreaks that need to be arrested. (company) or our authorized agents will apply a minimum of 6 fertilization applications per year. Combinations of soluble and granular fertilizers are utilized, dependent upon seasonal requirements and restrictions. Soluble mixtures of minor and micro nutrients are applied during the summer ban on Nitrogen and Phosphates.

Preventative treatments for Chinch bugs are applied to St. Augustine turf areas twice during summer months. Due to the morphological nature of insects, and the diverse spectrum of conditions that promote Chinch bug infestation, neither (company) nor their agents guarantee against an outbreak, nor damage to turf due to an outbreak. Additional spot treatments will be applied as needed during monthly inspections, or an additional service call can be requested by the customer, for an extra fee.




Weed Control:

Weed control in Florida turf is an ongoing and year round endeavor. Spot treatments occur as needed during monthly inspections, with overall treatments scheduled for cooler months.



Fungus Treatment and Control:
The outbreak of fungus in turf areas usually occurs when there is a combination of the following events: excessive moisture and cool evening temperatures. As these outbreaks are typically localized, they are spot treated, rather than broad application of entire properties. (company) will regulate the irrigation accordingly during treatment.



LANDSCAPE MATERIAL MANAGEMENT:

Overall aesthetic appearance:


(company) will remove all broken and/or dead foliage from materials under 12’ in overall height during each weekly visit, excluding Sabal Palms.

Excessive amount of dead foliage and debris will be removed from bed areas by means of mechanized equipment.




Weed Control:

(company) will keep landscape bed areas, sidewalks and driveways relatively weed free utilizing both manual labor and chemical treatments.


Pruning of shrubs:

Selective pruning techniques are employed by (company) on a weekly basis for all plant materials, in which individual limbs are to be clipped as needed to maintain a kempt and orderly appearance.

All hedging and shaping of large shrubs is done with motorized trimmers and performed on a scheduled basis, typically within a six to eight week rotation.


Pruning of Trees:

Broken limbs no higher than 12’ above finish grade and no greater than 2” in caliper will be removed as needed. Limbs greater than 2” in caliper will be removed at owners’ request, and may incur addition fees.

Low hanging branches no higher than 12’ above finish grade and no greater than 2” in caliper will be removed at owners’ request.

Pruning of limbs above 12’ from finish grade, thinning of interior limbs, dead wood clearing, airifying of canopies or de-mossing will be done as an additional charge item and priced per event.


Pruning of Palms:

Excluding Sabals, all palms under 12’ c.t. will be pruned as needed.

Sabal Palms under 12’ c.t. will have seed pods removed as needed.

Pruning of Sabal Palms is an additional charge and performed on a scheduled basis. The property will be inspected by (company) and a written estimate forwarded to the owner for authorization to proceed.



Fertilization:
Correct fertilization is essential to proper growth as well as pest and disease resistance. Applied fertilizer formulation depends upon season as well as plant type, ie. Woody ornamental, tropical, palm, etc.. and size. All fertilizers for landscape materials are applied on a scheduled basis and charged “ala carte” based upon amounts and analysis. (company) will provide a written estimate for owners’ authorization to proceed.



Storm Cleanup:
Additional services and or labors that are required after a heavy rain event or storm, either named or unnamed, including but not limited to replacement of mulch in bed areas, clearing of debris from drive or walks, standing and or staking of leaning or downed trees and/or palms, cutting and removal of downed palms or trees etc.. will be performed on a time and materials basis.

Labor charges will be billed at $45 per man hour.

Additional charges may apply for the following:

Skid loader or heavy equipment

platform lift

boom lift

hauling

dump fees



Irrigation Maintenance


Inspectionsare done monthly

The property is broken onto three quadrants, with one quadrant being inspected each monthly so that the entire irrigation system has been inspected, each quarter

Irrigation controller, rain sensors, valves, and distribution heads and nozzles are checked to ensure proper operation and coverage

Adjustments to system run time and frequency are done as needed

Adjustments to arc and spray patterns is done as needed

Removal or edging of heads as needed during growing season

Location and edging of valve boxes

Reports to owners of any additional repairs needed to system

Repairs

Labor rate for repairs are $65 per hour

Labor rate for weekends or emergency calls is $75 per hour

Materials will be billed at the manufactures suggested retail price
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:34 AM
 
33,211 posts, read 52,521,913 times
Reputation: 19418
While that info sheet sounds like the company really knows their business
it is all about how they practice what they preach

if they break sprinkler heads every time w/riding machinery then that is bad practice
if they mow to low and expose roots to only return weekly when grass is growing hard, that is bad practice
if they don't notice start of chinch bug damage, that is bad practice

ask for list of their current clients and drive past the yards--
ask the homeowners

also ask yourself if you are seasonal, will they be overcharging if you are not there to assess the work done at a visit--
I know that sounds paranoid maybe but the first guy we used (just guy w/2 helpers) was fine intially for first 12 mo or so---then he started spacing out his visits and delayed trimming our bushes when they needed it...he was also using a mower in small back yard that forced him to drive same pattern--heavy mower caused some ruts in grass...

we finally let him go and are using another 1 man operation. He cuts back yard with a string edger and uses rider mower on front...
trims bushes as needed and had to remind him a couple of weeks ago--so will watch how well he follows up next time they need it...
He doesn't damage our sprinkler heads--and when you are seasonal that is an important factor to me...
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