Wow! OK, just a short update on what is going on this busy first half of the season and Wow is how I’m describing it! I break our season into thirds, first half is our out the door phase were all you know what hits the fan. Second half is mid-summer where we are on schedule and hopefully running a smooth machine. Last half is the fall push, it can be anything from really busy to steady. The break out has been a blur for me personally and our company pace has been blistering. I have actually been talking to our people about slowing down in our production meetings. By this I mean we need to do a better job of working on our details so that we don’t skip over processes and procedures that our clients are paying for. With maintenance it’s the little things that we do week in and week out that make the difference. With installation it’s the unseen stuff we do underground that is so important to our warranty and to our reputation because at the end of the day it’s our character that matters when no one else is looking or can see what is going on underground.
Me personally, I am looking forward to some consistent scheduling and solid growth as we move forward into our mid-summer phase. Landscape Shoppe is keeping both Kelly and I busy and yes Landscape Shoppe has played a significant role in keeping me up to midnight on more than a few occasions wondering what the …. Is going on at times and is this really worth all the effort? Yes over the long run I believe it will be!
Sprinkler system repairs- I cannot remember a season like this one to where the backlog of sprinkler repairs has completely overwhelmed us. We have had to add another truck just in the last couple of weeks as the backlog continues to pile up. We are charging $65 per hour with a minimum charge of $120 plus parts for a 2 man crew that is set up and capable of repairing just about any problem associated with your sprinkler system repair. One of the major problems we run into is that we didn’t do the installation. On all of our new sprinkler system installations we include a 10 year warranty on anything that we install and maintain. Unfortunately most systems that we work on are not properly installed and in fact many systems are complete nightmares that either an un- licensed contractor installed or the homeowner attempted to install. However with all of that said most repairs are fairly simple and I would say that the majority of systems are repaired for under $150.00
Bark dust installation- Now that we are using the Landscape Shoppe as our supplier we are installing bark mulch, compost, topsoil and other items at very competitive rates. We are charging $55 per yard on unit pricing to install the fine Dark Hemlock mulch and $45 per yard for the Red Fir installed
Plant Materials- We are also installing plant materials, for example if a client buys a larger tree or a few arborvitae it can be difficult to handle the plants. There is a lot of labor involved in properly installing plants and trees. For example a larger tree should have an excavated hole of 3x as wide and 2x as deep as the root ball. It must be properly fertilized and the onsite soil should be amended, but the most important step is to properly stake and tie the tree so that the root ball and crown of the tree will not move as the wind blows. I regularly consult on dead or dying plant materials and with trees almost every time the problem leads back to the initial installation. So by all means give us a shout and I can get you a quote to properly install your plant materials.
Lawn challenges- I continue to see problems associated with winter damage on just about every lawn that I look at. This past winter was one of the worst that I can recall. Not only did we lose many plants in the border zones but lawns were decimated when a certain type of bent grass was froze out. When a new lawn is planted it is predominantly 1 type of grass. Over time it is infiltrated with foreign grasses Bent Grass, Velvet Grass, Poa Annua. It was a certain strain of Bent grass most likely Astoria Bent that froze out. When this happened it left large voids were the grass had taken over the original Rye. The repair of this is to overseed and the problem with that is that matching the previous grass is next to impossible as well as a host of other problems. The best and most expensive remedy is to completely renovate and install new lawn. Next best remedy is to overseed the entire lawn heavily so that it somewhat masks the other grasses however this may or may not completely satisfy most folks as the other grasses are still there and are not going away.