10 Things to Look for in a Landscape Design Firm

When you hire a landscape design firm to take care of your Bergen County home, you want to find a company that can handle the work and do a good job within your budget.

It’s important to look for a company that exhibits professional qualities you can count on year-round.

When choosing a landscape design firm, look for 10 important factors that will impact the beauty and health of your landscape.

landscape design firm1. Landscape Knowledge

Your lawn and landscape requires regular care to stay well-maintained, but it requires a lot more than that to stay green and healthy year-round.

Keeping your lawn, plants, shrubs and trees healthy requires a knowledgeable landscape professional who can detect potential problems before they get out of control.

A knowledgeable landscape professional understands proper mowing techniques, soil types, plant growth patterns, climate and light conditions, feeding and pruning schedules and selecting the right products for your existing lawn and landscape.

The best landscape professionals have extensive knowledge in landscape care and maintenance. Many landscape professionals have educational backgrounds in landscape architecture and horticulture, so they can provide valuable plant care knowledge.

They’re knowledgeable about different varieties of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, as well as seasonal growth patterns and care requirements. They’re also knowledgeable about different types of pesticides and herbicides; fertilizers and fertilization schedules; proper pruning techniques; lawn and plant diseases; outdoor pest control and proper irrigation and drainage.

To ensure a lush, green, healthy landscape year-round, look for a landscape design firm with extensive landscape knowledge.

2. Landscape Experience

There are numerous landscaping companies in Bergen County, but their landscape experience, available services and costs may vary greatly. Before you hire someone, do some research to find out about their landscape experience.

The length of time a company has been in business is a good indicator of their professional experience within the landscape industry. A landscape design firm that has been in business for 20 or 30 years is obviously experienced and providing quality landscape services.

To find out about a company’s experience and the services they provide, do some research:

  • Research the Website – Most established landscape professionals have a professional website to gain business and promote services. The company’s website will give you valuable information about their landscape experience, as well as available services, project photos and client testimonials.
  • Check Professional Affiliations – Professional affiliations are a good indicator of a landscape professional’s experience, qualifications and credibility. Check to see if they are affiliated with national or Northern NJ landscape organizations that promote horticulture education and safe, ethical business practices:
    • Professional Landscape Network (PLANET)
    • New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association
    • Builders & Remodelers Association of NJ
    • American Society of Landscape Architects
    • Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program

landscape design firm3. Dependable Services

When you hire a landscape design firm for your home’s landscape needs, it’s important to hire a professional who provides dependable services year-round. Whether you need weekly lawn maintenance, seasonal planting, tree and shrub pruning or specialized landscape services, you want a company that shows up on time and efficiently completes each assigned task.

You don’t want a company that’s always late, unresponsive to your calls or completes a task half-way. Typically, a larger company will have more employees to handle larger landscape projects and service issues that may arise. Make sure that the landscape firm you hire is large enough to handle your property needs with efficiency and dependable service.

To find a landscape professional with dependable services:

  • Get referralsA company’s name and reputation usually gets around quickly. Referrals from neighbors, friends and family will help you find a dependable company.
  • Visit the companySome landscape companies have a showroom or nursery that’s open to the public. A visit to their premises will give you a good indication of their work ethic. It’s also a good opportunity to meet some of the staff you may be dealing with if you hire them.

4. Regular Landscape Care and Maintenance

Regular landscape care and maintenance is essential to keep your landscape green, healthy and well-maintained throughout the year. When you hire a qualified, experienced landscape design firm, they will make sure that all of your basic landscape needs are taken care of on a regular, weekly basis.

A skilled landscape crew will be assigned to your home to provide the following services:

  • Weekly lawn mowing
  • Weeding
  • Border edging
  • Cleaning of hardscaped surfaces
  • Spring yard cleanup to remove debris and dead growth
  • Fall yard cleanup to remove debris, dead growth and prep for winter

landscape design firm5. Skilled Enhancement Crews

In addition to regular landscape care and maintenance services, a good landscape design firm will have skilled enhancement crews that can provide other important landscape services for your home. Crews are well-trained and skilled in a variety of horticulture services to enhance the beauty of your landscape.

Enhancements crews can provide:

  • Lawn Renovations
  • Landscape Design
  • Garden Design
  • Seasonal Planting of Small Plants and Flowers
  • Seasonal Pruning of Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
  • Fertilization
  • Mulching
  • Lawn Aeration
  • Irrigation and Drainage Repairs
  • Organic Lawn Care
  • Outdoor Pest Control

6. Garden Design Services

If you love blooms in your landscape, look for a landscape design firm that provides garden design services. By hiring a garden designer with special knowledge and experience with annuals, perennials and blooming plants, you can create a landscape with lush, green foliage and brilliant blooms all year.

The garden designers at Borst can help you with a variety of garden design services:

  • Annual and Perennial Garden Design
  • Garden Renovations
  • Bulb Plantings
  • Potted Arrangements
  • Container and Window-Box Planting
  • Outdoor Fall Plantings and Displays
  • Holiday Decorating and Lighting

Garden Maintenance Services

  • Spring Garden Cleanup
  • Fall Garden Cleanup and Cut-back
  • Prune and Deadhead Annuals and Perennials
  • Weed and Cultivate Beds
  • Fertilize Annuals and Perennials
  • Custom Pruning
  • Disease and Insect Control

7. Organic Lawn Care

Organic lawn care is a great way to provide a safe, chemical-free environment for your family and pets. It promotes green living principles that protect the environment from toxic fumes and harmful chemicals that can get into the soil and water.

Organic lawn care uses natural, organic solutions that promote natural soil aeration, plant root growth and weed control. Organic solutions will help to create a natural balance between plants and insects in your landscape.

Instead of attracting harmful insects that cause plant damage, it builds rich, fertile soil without chemicals to attract beneficial insects.

Your plants, shrubs and trees will also benefit from organic lawn care services. Organic fertilization will add nutrients to your soil that promotes strong, healthy grass and plants.

Plants, shrubs and trees will grow faster and be less susceptible to fungal diseases, insects and outdoor pests that can cause significant damages to your landscape. With stronger roots, your plants, shrubs and trees will tolerate environmental stress from extreme weather conditions like sun, heat and drought in the spring and summer, and snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the winter.

Look for a landscape design firm that provides organic lawn care. Borst Landscape & Design specializes in organic lawn care in Bergen County, with spring, summer and fall applications for year-round care.

landscape design firm8. Insect and Pest Control

Plant Diseases

All lawns and landscapes are vulnerable to plant diseases, especially when they are malnourished and ill-maintained. Most plant diseases are caused by some type of fungi that invades topsoil, grass blades and foliage.

Fungal spores can be spread throughout your landscape by wind, rain, insects, contaminated soil and people walking around on wet grass. Your lawn and landscape can suffer damage from a variety of insects like wire worms, chinch bugs, grubs, snails and beetles who love to feed on grass, plants and trees.

Outdoor Pests

In some rural or heavily wooded areas of Bergen County, you may find various kinds of wildlife in your landscape like rabbits, skunks, racoons, gophers, moles and voles, deer and snakes that can cause extensive damage to your lawn, shrubs and trees, especially fruit trees that provide tasty treats.

If your lawn and landscape is overgrown or ill-maintained, outdoor pests can invade quickly, especially during winter months when they’re looking for a warm habitat.

By hiring a landscape design firm that provides insect and pest control services, you can ensure that your landscape remains insect and pest-free all year.

9. An Integrated Pest Management Program

Since Spring is a major growth season, you should talk to a Bergen County landscape professional about an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) that focuses on organic insect and pest control for your landscape.

An Integrated Pest Management Program focuses on natural, organic solutions to prevent unwanted insects and pests in your landscape year-round.

An Integrated Pest Management Program can help to change the balance of pests in your landscape by eliminating plants, weeds and debris that attract them. It can also provide proper irrigation to prevent standing water that attracts many biting insects like gnats, flies and mosquitoes.

An IPM will create a natural, healthy balance between plants and outdoor insects and pests. IPM services include:

  • Regular site visits by an IPM specialists throughout the year
  • Regular property inspections to check for diseases, insects and outdoor pests
  • Regular reports that show inspection results
  • Recommendations for pest control treatments to eliminate problems

Many over-the-counter pesticides contain strong chemicals that can be harmful, especially to children and pets, but an IPM offers pest control solutions with treatments that are completely natural and organic.

When dealing with pest control products, it’s best to leave the choice to a landscape design firm with product knowledge and landscape experience.

10. Design and Build Services

A qualified landscape design firm, like Borst, can provide great Design and Build Services for your Bergen County home. We can build and install a variety of wonderful outdoor features that will enhance the beauty of your home and landscape, provide outdoor activities and increase your home’s property value.

Take a look at outdoor features we can help you with:

  • Swimming pools and spas
  • Outdoor waterfalls and fountains
  • Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits
  • Backyard ponds
  • Patios and terraces
  • Outdoor walkways and driveways
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Retaining walls
  • French drains
  • Landscape lighting