Focus on Value
If you buy cheap, you get cheap. If you always buy cheap, you will always have cheap! Many times a homeowner hires the "cheaper" landscape service, only to find they are getting services that they don't need. In the case of insect and disease control, the program they offer you is the same as everyone and many times, causes your landscape to become "addicted" to pest control. That is because multiple applications kill the good insects, as well as the bad. So the next time the bad insects show up, there are no good guys to prevent them from becoming a problem. There is rarely a reason to spray to control aphids on a bush, if there are lady bugs present to clean them up. It is better for your landscape (and the environment) to apply pesticides only as needed. In the cases where you must use a preventative to avoid the problem (such as apple scab on your crabapple), it isn't necessary to make an application on all of your plants. The fact is, most landscapes don't need the 4-5 insect and disease control applications that is included in many companies' standard tree and shrub care progams.
In some cases, the service doesn't provide what your landscape needs. The fertilization programs often only includes the macronutrients of nitrogen, phosphous and potassium. Whereas these nutrients are the ones that plants use in the highest quantity, it misses the boat when it comes to providing a quality, fertile soil in which your landscape will grow. Adding micronutrients can be just as important for healthy plants, even if they are used in much smaller amounts. Many soils lack the microbial activity that is necessary to break down organic material in the soil and benefit from the addition of microbial innoculants. With the drought during the summer of 2012 and the rugged winter of 2013-2014 many plants would benefit from the addition of biostimulants to prevent and recover from the stress that put on your plants. Adding these to a fertilization program will increase the cost of an application, but the benefits are well worth the price.
Finally, who is it that is coming to your yard? Do they have a background that will enable them to recognize an issue before it becomes a problem? Will they advise you on plant care, so that an application will not be needed?
If you want a service that will work with you to find the best value for the better trees, shrubs and gardens in your landscape, then call HORTICULTURAL CONSULTANTS TODAY!
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