Hiring a Yard Service in Bergen County, NJ: 2015 Guide

yard serviceThe best and easiest way to ensure that your Northern NJ lawn stays green and healthy year-round is with professional yard service and maintenance. A qualified landscaping company can provide lawn care services that are difficult to manage with DIY care and commitment.

Since there are numerous landscape companies in Bergen County, how do you choose the right one to service your home? How do you find the company that fits your needs and budget? How do you know they will provide reputable and quality lawn care and maintenance? Here’s a helpful guide with important tips and questions that will help you choose the best professional yard service for your home.

How To Begin Your Search

Before you hire someone to handle your landscape needs, it’s important to make sure they’re qualified to provide the services you need for your home. It’s essential to find a landscaping company with the professional knowledge, experience, skill and crew that can handle all of your yard service needs. Before you make a decision, investigate several landscaping companies in your area.

Do Some Research

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  • Do a website search – Today, most reputable, established companies have a website as a marketing tool and a reference site for new business. Take a look at the company’s website to gather helpful company information, review services, see photos of their work and read client testimonials and referrals.
  • Get Referrals – A company’s name and reputation usually gets around quickly, especially in the service areas where they do business. Gather referrals from friends, relatives or neighbors in your area who use professional landscaping services. You can also ask companies you talk to for direct referrals.
  • Visit the premises – Some landscape companies have a retail showroom or nursery that’s open to the public. If there’s one available, stop by for a visit to get an idea of the work and lawn services they provide. It’s also a good opportunity to meet some of the crew and staff that may be helping with your lawn care and maintenance.

Ask About the Company’s History

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To find the best landscaping company that fits your long-term yard service needs, you should ask important questions that will give you better insight into the company’s professional knowledge, experience and skill levels within the landscape industry.

How long have you been in business?

The length of time a company has been in business is a good indicator of successful experience. A company that’s been in business more that ten years is established and a company that’s been around over 20 years is clearly providing skilled, quality services with satisfied clients.

How large is your company?

A larger company usually has bigger crews and staff employees to handle work loads and service issues. Make sure that the landscaping company you hire is capable of handling all of your yard service needs with adequate staff.

What are Your Professional Qualifications?

You should qualify the company’s (owner and team) professional background. Often, professional landscaping companies are owned and operated by someone with a background in landscape architecture or an extensive knowledge of horticulture and the staff is often made up of a team of people with similar backgrounds.

Are You Licensed and Insured?

Qualified landscaping companies should be professionally licensed and insured to provide professional services. They should have a current business license and liability insurance that covers any unexpected damages to your property, as well as workman’s compensation insurance that protects their workers in case of injury on your property.

What Areas Do You Service?

Find out what areas the company services. If you’re dealing with a local Bergen County landscaping company, they probably have an established reputation in the area. If they have been providing yard service in your area for a while, it should be easy to get credible feedback or referrals from neighbors and homeowners in the area.

Do You Belong To Any Professional Affiliations?

Professional affiliations are an important part of a company’s credibility. Check to see if they are affiliated with some of the better national or Northern NJ organizations. All of the following organizations 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

Ask About Available Services

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In addition to basic yard service and maintenance, many professional landscaping companies offer additional services that could be valuable for your home.

What Lawn Care Services Do You Provide?

Professional lawn care typically includes basic services and and maintenance for your property. These basic services typically include:

  • Weekly lawn mowing
  • Regular weed prevention
  • Regular border edging for sidewalks, walkways and driveways
  • Regular cleaning of hard surfaces like sidewalks, walkways and driveways
  • Spring yard cleanup of debris and dead winter growth
  • Fall yard cleanup of debris and preparation for winter

Additional lawn services can include:

  • New planting and foliage
  • Mulching
  • Fertilizing
  • Lawn renovations
  • Tree and shrub pruning
  • Irrigation repairs
  • Garden design
  • Organic lawn care

Do You Offer Organic Lawn Care?

Organic lawn care is a great way to provide a safe, healthy, chemical-free environment for your family and pets. It promotes a green lifestyle that protects the environment from toxic fumes and harmful chemicals that get spilled into the earth’s atmosphere from traditional, over-the-counter fertilizers and pesticides used for yard service by many lawn care companies.

Organic lawn care promotes strong root growth for your trees, grass and plants. It helps to naturally control thatch growth by improving soil conditions. Custom mixtures of organic nutrients promote healthy plants and add resistance to most problems caused by insects and diseases that can create an unhealthy and unsightly lawn.

Do You Offer A Pest Maintenance Program?

All lawns are subject to disease, especially when they are malnourished and ill-maintained. Most lawn diseases are caused by some type of fungi that invades grass blades and topsoil layers. Fungal spores can be spread by wind, rain, insects, contaminated soil and people walking around on the grass when it’s wet.

In addition to fungal and bacterial diseases, your lawn can also suffer damage from a variety of insects like grubs, snails, chinch bugs and beetles who love to feed on plants and trees. If you live in a more rural area or have a wooded property, you may find various kinds of wildlife like skunks, racoons, rabbits, gophers, moles and voles, and different birds that can cause extensive damage to your lawn, shrubs and trees, especially fruit trees that provide tasty treats for wildlife and insects.

What Other Services Do You Offer?

In addition to professional lawn care, a licensed landscape contractor often provides many other valuable services for your home. They are qualified to help you with these additional services:

  • Landscape Design – Creating a landscape design that may include new trees and plants, garden design, outdoor walkways or pathways and special outdoor features.
  • New Landscaping – Creating a feasible budget and developing a new landscape design for your property.
  • Landscape Grading and Resloping – Providing grading or resloping for pools, spas, outdoor patios and terraces and new planting and garden areas.
  • Land Clearing and Cleanup – Providing land clearing, hauling and cleanup of seasonal debris such as fallen limbs, dead shrubs and excess leaves.
  • Landscape Lighting – Installing landscape lighting that includes a variety of outdoor spots, accents lights, pathway lights and motion detection lighting for added security.
  • Design/Build Services – Designing, building and installing a variety of specialty outdoor features for your home that add beauty and increase property value. Special outdoor features include:
    • Swimming pools
    • Spas and hot tubs
    • Patios and terraces
    • Outdoor fountains and waterfalls
    • In-ground ponds
    • Pathways, walkways and driveways
    • Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits
    • Fully-equipped outdoor kitchens

How Much Does Professional Lawn Service Cost?

yard service

Professional landscaping services can vary based on your location, property size and terrain and the services you choose for your home. It’s important to discuss your long-term needs and wants for your lawn care with a qualified professional, so they can give you an accurate assessment of costs. If you get prices from several landscaping companies, make sure you discuss the same information with each company for accurate price comparisons.

The Benefits of Professional Lawn Care and Maintenance

  • Time – Keeping your lawn green, healthy and well-manicured is a time consuming task. If you spend a lot of time at work, you may prefer to spend your free time with family and friends, rather than doing yard work.
  • Money – Professional lawn service will cost more than DIY efforts, but it might be well-worth it. If you’re doing more than just mowing the lawn, you need knowledge about plant care, nutrients, fertilizers and pesticides. Are you willing to devote time to horticulture education?
  • Commitment – To keep your landscape lush and green year-round, you need to commit to a regular schedule for lawn care. Most lawns require weekly lawn care and maintenance, so unless you’re willing to commit to that schedule, think about hiring a professional landscaping company.
  • Quality – Even basic lawn care is time consuming and labor intensive, but quality lawn care requires a different level of commitment. Fertilizing, mulching, tree pruning, pest control and special lawn services should be handled by a landscape expert for best results.

Consider your long-term wants and needs for your home. If adding a pool or spa and a new patio with an outdoor kitchen is on your to-do list for the future, look for a qualified, landscaping company that offers these additional services. It will be easier and more cost effective if the same company is already handling your yard service and maintenance. It will also be an added benefit if they are familiar with your property’s existing landscape and irrigation system.