We’ve used many different landscaping contractors in our yard over the years (some better than others). Their services ranged from lawn care and tree work to mowing and gardening, (plus a lot else in between). So what are the main types of services provided by landscapers?
Contractors providing landscaping services can help with both landscape installation and landscape maintenance tasks. These include landscape design, hardscape installation, mowing, and gardening, plus irrigation installation, pest control, car-washing, and snow clearance – to just name a few.
Let’s have a detailed look at the sort of services offered under the umbrella of ‘landscaping’, so you can make an informed decision about what you need when hiring your next contractor…
What is Included in Residential Landscaping Services?
Sometimes even dedicated gardeners need some assistance in maintaining their yards, and there’s plenty of help on offer from professional landscaping services.
Different firms offer slightly different services, and some have specific specialties like irrigation; however, in general, these are the services that are on offer…
Lawn care includes mowing, edging, protection (against grubs, for example), and feeding. You may also be able to find a lawn renovation expert if your grass is in need of some extra care. It’s a real bonus not having to care for a mower or manage all the cuttings.
Bed maintenance involves weeding, tidying, dead-heading, and removing dead plants. A great way to ensure your property always looks tidy.
Pruning is another good way to keep your yard looking neat. This can include plants, trees, and hedging.
Seasonal work can be a springtime and fall clear up, winterizing your garden, or even helping with the decoration. If you live in a colder zone, your garden team should also help with snow clearance.
Irrigation services can range from designing and installing a system to maintaining and inspecting it. This can also include rainwater harvesting.
Landscape design can be anything from choosing the right plants for your yard to planning a major hardscaping project. Specialist garden designers can figure out issues such as drainage, or even help design outdoor structures such as pergolas. They shou;d know your local climate like the back of their hands, and be able to devise the perfect planting scheme.
Let’s take a closer look at residential garden services…
Some people simply need an expert team to help care for their garden, while others are looking for someone to help create that garden with them. Landscape installation services is the yard equivalent of architect, engineer, and construction workers.
This team will design and build your garden. Here’s what a landscape installation service can offer.
This could be setting up a new flower bed and choosing the right plants for your hardiness zone. Or, maybe you need something more structural like a new path or a patio. Professional landscapers can help you get the garden you’ve been dreaming of, and should be able to help with any paperwork.
Everything can be done remotely these days, and the chances are your designer is using a CAD package anyway. You can also use a garden design package yourself if you’re confident that you have both the tech and yard skills yourself, and then share your design with the landscapers. Top tip: your kids could probably design one in Minecraft, but it’s probably not the safest route…
There’s a lot more to your yard than lawns and beds, and hardscape installation is about the paths, patios, driveway, steps, and so on that add both practical function and aesthetic variation to your garden. From the front steps to a private basketball court (large yards only), there’s a huge range of hardscaping opportunities.
Setting up a complete irrigation system for your garden or greenhouse isn’t easy, and it’s good to get some expert help. Landscapers can design, procure, install, commission, and maintain your new system, and can even work out a rainwater harvesting system for a more eco approach to watering.
Let’s be honest: putting up a shed is always harder than it looks. Your landscape team will arrive like something out of Witness, raise your shed or outbuilding, then go again, job done. Depending on their skill set, landscaping teams can also be involved in larger yard construction projects.
Once your garden has been designed and created, it needs looking after. Even those of us who love spending time working in our yards need a little backup with some jobs.
It could be that you love tending veg but don’t have much time for regular tasks like mowing. Or maybe you keep on top of your yard beautifully, but need assistance for that twice-yearly clean-up. Here are a few ways that a landscape maintenance service can help you.
Lawn Mowing & Trimming
Regular mowing keeps your lawn looking great. A landscaper will do a beautiful job of those edges and awkward corners, while also clearing up after the job.
If you have a regular contract, you may not even need to own a mower! Your maintenance team may even offer a lawn care service, too, involving feeding or refurbishment.
Professional-level lawn mowing is no quick task. Here’s a look at what’s involved in looking after your lawn to a super-high standard.
Tree & Shrub Planting
Planting larger items like trees and shrubs can be daunting, but a professional arborist can help you choose the right size plants for your plot, and give them the best start in life. The landscapers can also keep trees and shrubs tidy (not always an easy job to do without pro-level loppers and ladders).
Gardening & Weed Control
This is another regular task that’s good to delegate. General gardening duties can involve weeding, raking, hoeing, deadheading, pulling up dead plants, watering, feeding, composting, keeping the pavers free from weeds…
Having a landscaper do this for you frees you up for other gardening jobs such as planting (and grilling…)
This is generally done twice a year. If you have a large garden, mulching all the beds, trees, and shrubs can be quite a big project. Your landscape contract may actually include a twice-yearly mulch as part of the general maintenance.
Outdoor Pest Control
This is a task you really want to hand over to the experts! This isn’t just because it’s unpleasant, but because the professionals will have the right kit for the job. They’ll know the safest ways to rid your yards of pests of all varieties. There may be “pest prevention” in your contract, which will include managing things like aphids.
From aphids to lawn shrimp, professional gardeners know the safest and most effective way to apply pesticides. There are two approaches: prevention and cure. You’ll need to speak with your chosen contractor about how they can mitigate against pest invasions, and how they can help if your yard gets a sudden infestation.
Yard Cleaning & Waste Disposal
Most of us generally have two big annual yard cleans: when we winterize our gardens, followed a few months later by the spring clean. As well as this, landscape services may offer regular outdoor cleaning alongside their mowing and weeding duties.
As for disposal, well, getting rid of gardening debris for you is a big advantage of professional garden services.
Some do, some don’t. It’s a bit of a step away from tending to plants, but it may come under “general outdoor cleaning”. If you’re willing to pay for extra services, it may be worth asking about this. If you have a more general “handyman” service to tidy up your yard, this could very well be a service they’ll offer.
Snow & Ice Clearance
If you have a regular gardening service, their winter tasks will involve clearing snow from driveways and paths, making sure that everyone can get out of the yard safely. They could also help you to keep on top of the snow to prevent it from weighing down gutters, garden buildings, trees and so on.
Getting a team in to help winterize the garden could also be a real benefit: you can relax, knowing the plants will be safe over the winter and that nothing is likely to get blown away…
Holiday Yard Decoration
Yes, some companies are happy to help with your holiday decorations. Landscapers that specialize in lighting may even be able to rig up something truly unique for your yard. At least, you can make the most of having an extra pair of hands and a ladder in your garden.
Do landscapers water the garden? They can do it if you’re away on vacation, but otherwise, unless they’re there every day, there’s not really any point in getting them to water your plants. However, if plants need weekly feeding, this could form part of a regular gardening contract.
If you’re going away, you could ask them to visit more regularly to keep on top of the watering. You could also ask for advice about irrigation systems, and some landscapers specialize in this service.
I hope this article gives you a good overview of the types of services available under the umbrella of ‘landscaping’, it certainly helps to know what each contractor can do and what the job involves.
As mentioned, we’ve worked with quite a few yard services contractors over the years – and most did a great job – but it certainly pays if you have some knowledge of their work before taking them on, as then you’ll ask the right questions to ensure they provide a high quality of service. 🙂