A look back: TLC’s most popular stories from May 2018

As part of Total Landscape Care’s look back on 2018, here are the top 10 stories during the month of May.

10. How to keep your company website from increasing your insurance costs

Shutterstock 100695247 1Did you know that your landscaping website could be costing you in your insurance premiums?

According to Shay Leon, area vice president and key accounts manager specializing in landscape contractor insurance programs for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, insurance company underwriters are examining landscapers’ websites before even looking at their application, loss runs and loss history.

“That’s how they’re going to determine the first line of whether this insured is acceptable or not acceptable to move forward to actually then look at the applications and loss history and all those sorts of things,” Leon says.

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9. Historic Hillenmeyer company invests in complete rebrand

Photo: HillenmeyerPhoto: Hillenmeyer

A 177-year-old landscaping company is bound to go through some rebranding from time to time, and Stephen Hillenmeyer Landscape Services has done just that.

This Lexington, Kentucky-based family business, which now has six generations of Hillenmeyers working within it, has changed its name to simply: Hillenmeyer.

It may seem as simple as dropping the “the” in “TheFacebook” back in the early days of the social media site, but Stephen Hillenmeyer says this rebranding is a sign of the company moving forward to be less about him.

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8. Turfgrass tips to prep customers’ lawns for the summer

Photo: Grass Seed USAPhoto: Grass Seed USA

While the approaching summer time will coax more homeowners outdoors with warmer temperatures and longer days, it is important to take advantage of the remaining springtime to prep your clients’ yard for summer stressors.

Turfgrass is resilient and can take a beating but increased temperatures and high foot traffic can make even the hardiest lawn deteriorate if the proper care and precautions are not applied.

While these steps may sound like a broken record to you, you cannot assume your client knows better unless you educate them. This is especially important if you don’t handle their lawn care maintenance. 

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7. Landscape company prefers Vectorworks for its efficiency

Photo: Backyard BountyPhoto: Backyard Bounty

Not everyone finds landscaping as their first career, but when Edamarie Mattei discovered her deep love for horticulture, she soon traded in her teaching job to become a garden designer.

She started her company, Backyard Bounty, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, back in 2009 and has been working in the DC metro area ever since.

Mattei’s favorite thing about being in the landscaping industry is designing and building gardens that are specifically suited for her clients.

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6. The dos and don’ts of holes: Can you dig it?

Shutterstock 278025011Digging a hole for your customer’s plants may seem pretty cut and dry, but did you know there is a right and wrong way to do it?

Many landscaping companies come to a project site and find that some customers might have attempted a DIY project and have, in actuality, made their garden or landscape unfit for growing. Or another landscaping company could even be the culprit of such a faux pas.

Regardless of who made the mistake, it’s now up to you to do everything you can to right this wrong. To protect your customer’s landscaping investments and give your crew a clean slate to work with going forward, take a look at what you need to consider before starting to dig.

Click here to read the full story. 

5. Landscape design features: Reminding clients of the possibilities

Photo: BelgardPhoto: Belgard

Last month the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) released its annual trends survey, which polled landscape architects on the expected popularity of various outdoor design elements.

The report was similar to 2017 with fire pits and fireplaces, lighting, and seating and dining areas all ranking fairly high. But what is the takeaway landscapers should be gaining from these stats?

Joe Raboine, national design and training specialist with the Belgard Design Studio team, says these predictions are showing up in the design studio around the same percentage and that landscapers should make a point to suggest these features to their clients.

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4. The ins and outs of smart irrigation systems

Shutterstock 416300116While smart irrigation systems may not necessarily be something new in the green industry, it’s certain that these types of technological tools are becoming more prevalent when it comes to landscaping.

According to online survey research collected from Orbit, almost 70 percent of Americans claim they know how long they should water their lawn, but the report also shows that Americans drastically underestimate how much water they use when irrigating. Seventy-seven percent believe they use anywhere between 1 to 250 gallons of water per quarter acre.

When talking to customers about installing smart irrigation systems, take a look at what the experts have to say about these tools and the environmental, sustainable and water-saving benefits that accompany them.

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3. Why fall is the best time for seeding cool-season grasses 

Grass Growth Plant Lawn Meadow Green 957484 Pxhere comEvery landscaper has the same ultimate goal. To provide their clients with a lush, thick and healthy lawn. This requires labor, money and time. As a landscaper, you are responsible for seeding new lawns, renewing existing turf and repairing rough and bald spots. This means new seeds must be planted. If your client has cool-season grasses, the best time to achieve the most effective results is in the fall. 

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2. Finding your Goldilocks: Is a mini skid steer or a compact utility loader the right size for you?

Photo: ToroPhoto: Toro

Call them what you want – mini skid steers, mini track loaders, compact tool carriers – compact utility loaders (CULs) have lots of names, but the benefits are all the same.

CULs are popular for being able to get into tight spaces that even a skid steer might not be small enough for, hence the name mini skid steers, but some manufacturers are starting to come out with models that aren’t so ‘mini’ anymore.

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1. How to: The art of propagating succulents

Shutterstock 579146950Succulents offer a plethora of attributes to admire, such as their various shapes, variety of colors and their easygoing nature. And when it comes to having these little beauties in pots, it can become addictive to collect them.

If your customers are looking to expand their succulent collection or swap around their existing plants, be sure to let them know that propagating succulents is extremely easy and even budget-friendly.

Check out a few handy tips to pass along when talking to clients about their succulent options.

Click here to read the full story.

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