Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Landscape Maintenance Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

A landscape maintenance contractor trims a hedge.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a landscape maintenance company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified landscape maintenance company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated landscaping maintenance contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Stephen Wood is Responsible Managing Officer of EW Landscape, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (650) 720-5995 or by email.

Stephen Wood

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Stephen Wood: Open Range

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

MENLO PARK — Following college graduation, Stephen Wood had found himself in an occupational cul de sac, working as the assistant manager of a coffee shop. Thanks to a long-time acquaintance, however, he was given an opportunity that opened the door to a lifelong career. “In high school, I dated a young lady and got to be pretty good friends with her father, who was one of the first commercial landscape contractors in the Bay Area,” he recalls. “He and I had stayed in touch over the years, and one day he made me an offer to come work for him, which was by far a better opportunity than anything else I had going.”

Stephen spent the next twelve years gaining experience as a landscaping professional, before striking out on his own in 1989. Today, as owner of EW Landscape, he says his favorite part of his job is devising ways to make his customers’ landscapes more water-wise. “From the mechanics of moving water to modern innovations in devices and techniques, I find irrigation fascinating. Plus, as we head into the fourth year of the current drought in California, it’s become a major environmental concern, so I get a lot of satisfaction from improving irrigation efficiency on my customers’ properties.”

A resident of Menlo Park (where he lives with his wife, Lois), Stephen considers the Bay Area an ideal place to be in the landscaping business. “In the Bay Area, you might say landscaping is a ‘24/7’ job, because you can plant nearly any time of the year,” he says. “For us, business is ongoing, whereas, in other parts of the country, landscapers are out of work three or four months out of the year due to winter conditions.”

Outside of work, Steve likes to spend the bulk of his time outdoors, exploring the natural beauty of Northern California. “I really enjoy the outdoors, and California is one of those places where you can access a lot of amazing areas within a relatively short distance,” he says. “I’m into hiking and camping, as well as water rafting and ocean kayaking. One thing that’s still on my bucket list is to go rafting through the Grand Canyon.” Stephen also likes to spend time with his grown son, Tyler, who works in the tech industry.

In regard to his professional career, Stephen believes it’s important to go above and beyond to ensure accuracy. “When it comes to estimates, I’ve seen what a lot of my competitors do, which consists largely of guesswork. In contrast, my estimates are usually six to seven pages long, detailing each and every line item for each category of work we’re doing. In addition to ensuring accurate pricing, I think this adds to our customers’ confidence in us.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Stephen says he’d migrate to a new setting. “There are places outside of California where it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg just to make the bills, which would be nice for a change. I’d love to live somewhere like New Mexico or Montana, and do what I’ve dreamed about since I was five years old: be a cowboy.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person?
A: Dog person.

Q: What is your favorite season of the year and why?
A: Fall, for the colors.

Q: If you could travel to any country in the world, where would you go and why?
A: I’d like to go back to England. My family lived in London for about a year when I was young, and the English struck me as a people with a very rich, detailed history.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: A rope.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Thanksgiving—none of the gift giving, but all of the family.

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Repurposing Wine Bottles for Landscape Irrigation


MENLO PARK — After enjoying a bottle of wine, you probably discard the empty bottle into the recycling bin. However, did you know that empty bottle can be used to irrigate a plant on your landscape? Here’s how it works: Fill the… Read more

How to Raise a Water-Wise Lawn


MENLO PARK  — As California heads into its fourth year of drought, many residents are employing alternative landscaping methods in an effort to minimize water usage. While most would assume this includes giving up one’s front or backyard lawn, this isn’t… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Repurposing Wine Bottles for Landscape Irrigation

Complete Video Transcription:

MENLO PARK — Host, Saran Rutan: If you’re a gardening enthusiast who also enjoys wine, you’ll be interested to learn about an innovative, water-saving use for your old… Read more




  • Pacific Nurseries of California

  • Weathermatic

Kichler Landscape Lighting
Intermatic Landscape Lighting
Hampton Bay Landscape Lighting
Hadco Lighting
McNear Brick & Block
Baselite Outdoor Lighting
Calstone Landscape Paving
FX Luminaire Lighting
Rain Bird Irrigation
Unique Outdoor Lighting
Hunter Irrigation
Toro Lawnmowers
Monrovia Plants
Irritrol Irrigation Systems
Kim Lighting
Dixon Landscape Materials
Keystone Retaining Walls
Jain Irrigation Systems
Orbit Irrigation Systems
Netafim Drip Irrigation
John Deere Lawn Mowers

landscape maintenance & clean up
plant pruning & trimming
landscape lighting repair & maintenance
landscape management
backyard landscaping maintenance
front yard landscaping maintenance
garden landscape upkeep
garden winterizing services
mulching & fertilizing
pool area landscape maintenance
commercial landscape maintenance services
residential landscaping maintenance
patio landscaping care
hillside landscaping maintenance
lawn & garden maintenance
lawn mowing & aerating
xeriscape maintenance
water-efficient landscaping maintenance
hardscape maintenance
flower garden maintenance
plant maintenance

Blossom Valley
East Palo Alto
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara


ANLA American Nursery & Landscape Association (http://www.anla.org/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
California Native Plant Society (www.ebcnps.org)
CLCA California Landscape Contractors Association (www.clca.org)
CLCASFBA CLCA Bay Area Chapter (www.clcasfba.org)DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
ELA Ecological Landscaping Association (http://www.ecolandscping.org)
IA Irrigation Association (www.irrigation.org)
IALE International Association of Landscape Ecology (http://www.landscape-ecology.org/)
Integrated Pest Management (www.ipm.ucdavis.edu)
NLAE Nursery & Landscape Association Executives of North America (http://www.nlae.org/)
PLANET The Professional Landcare Network (www.landcarenetwork.org)
UC County Cooperative (http://www.ucanr.org/ce.cfm)
WNLA Western Nursery and Landscape Association (www.wnla.org)

Know What You Want
Questions To Ponder Before Starting Your Search For A Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Professional

There are a lot of things to consider before beginning your search for a trustworthy landscape maintenance company in Santa Clara County. First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out exactly what level of landscaping maintenance is necessary for your outdoor space. You’ll need to take considerable time in your yard to establish what exactly needs to be accomplished on a weekly, monthly and seasonal basis.

It is important to be honest with yourself about your specific needs at this point. You will want to send your landscaping maintenance proposal to at least three companies for a bid prior to deciding on a professional to go with, and you’ll want to be sure that they are bidding on the same job or the cost estimates will not be accurately comparable.

Use the subsequent questions as a guide as you consider taking the very important first step toward hiring a Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professional. You won’t be sorry that you took the time to evaluate your needs before attempting to hire help in the area of landscaping maintenance.

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified landscaping maintenance company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. How long do I want to employ someone to maintain my landscape?
  3. What will my contract time frame be?
  4. What exactly do I want to be done on a seasonal basis (i.e. spring clean-up and fall leaf removal)?
  5. Do I have areas that need to be re-mulched on a regular basis?
  6. Are their trees and shrubs that need trimming and/or pruning? How often would this need to be done?
  7. How often do I want my lawn to be mowed? How often should it be mowed?
  8. How concerned am I that my lawn look manicured? Is it important to me that a landscaping maintenance company creates a design for my clipped lawn?
  9. Am I interested in a fertilization plan for my lawn and/or gardens?
  10. Are there any areas of my outdoor space I am particularly concerned about?
  11. Should I make a plan for seasonal color in my flower beds?
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What To Ask In Person
What to ask Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Companies In Person

After interviewing several Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professionals over the phone, it is up to you to narrow your choices to a select few in your surrounding area. You’ll want to visit these companies in person to get a feel for their operation and ask them further follow-up questions to make your final decision about which landscape maintenance company will fit with your needs and schedule.

Carefully craft a plan for the in-person interview so that you know exactly what you want to ask and be ready to compare and evaluate your final companies so that you can be confident when  you hire your Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professional.

  1. What is included in your typical landscaping maintenance plan?
  2. Do you collect clipped grass every time you mow?
  3. Will you service my property every week?
  4. What is your usual plan for service schedule?
  5. When will I be billed?
  6. Will I be assigned a representative at the your company to whom I can address any concerns or questions? Will this be the same person whether the concerns are of a financial or technical nature?
  7. Who is in charge when a crew is sent to my home? Will it always be the same crew and manager?
  8. When do you usually plant seasonal color?
  9. What are your pruning practices?
  10. What are your fertilization practices?
  11. Are you willing to work with me if I want to develop a specific fertilization plan that will not interfere with my enjoyment of my landscape (i.e. special needs for children and/or pets)?
  12. What are your irrigation practices? Will you educate me on how to keep my outdoor space watered in between your service visits?
  13. What happens if it rains on a day you are scheduled to work on my yard?
  14. May I review your portfolio?
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  • What To Ask References
    What to ask References of Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Companies

    It is difficult to have complete sureness in your choice of a Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance company without checking the references of past clients. But do you have time to do all that research? Can you rely on the references you’ve been given? In both cases, probably not.

    Which is why it’s best to choose a Diamond Certified landscaping maintenance company—because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a landscape maintenance company in Santa Clara County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is done through live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified landscaping maintenance company in your area (most likely if you are in the smaller towns of Blossom Valley, Los Altos, Mt. Hamilton, New Almaden and Saratoga), you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your landscaper. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the landscaping maintenance company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Is your outdoor space currently being maintained by this company? If no, why not?
    2. Did this company provide open and timely communication throughout your maintenance plan?
    3. Did this company make sure to leave your outdoor space safe for your family and pets during and after landscaping service?
    4. Were grass clippings, leaves and other debris collected as scheduled?
    5. Have you received any specialized services from this company? If yes, what were they and were you okay with the outcome?
    6. Were there any charges added that surprised you? Were you happy with the estimate to actual cost difference?
    7. Did this company keep current with all local water ordinances?
    8. Does this company know irrigation systems (if you have one) and were they willing to educate you on how to keep your yard properly watered between their service calls?
    9. Are you happy with response time to calls about specific and timely landscaping maintenance issues and requests?
    10. Are you satisfied with their service? Would you/have you recommended this contractor?
    11. Would you hire this landscaping maintenance company again?
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  • Review Your Options
    Final Questions Before Finding And Hiring A Good Landscaping Maintenance Company In Santa Clara County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of a landscape maintenance professional is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your landscape and home. You want to be completely ready to make a commitment with a company and feel confident that it has the potential to be a solid professional relationship with trust and longevity. So before deciding on the best landscape maintenance company in Santa Clara County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    1. Was I able to talk effectively with the representative during my person-to-person visit?
    2. Did I believe my thoughts and concerns were being heard and validated?
    3. Is this a company I can see myself working with on a weekly basis for the duration of my landscaping maintenance needs?
    4. Am I certain that the company I’m thinking of hiring has the expertise and experience to effectively landscape my yard to my satisfaction?
    5. Can I trust the fate of my lawn and landscape in this company’s hands?
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  • How To Work With
    The Bidding Procedure: An Important Step in Hiring Your Santa Clara County Landscaping Maintenance Company

    You may think that you’ve narrowed your selections down enough during the previous interviewing process, but the truth is, you can’t completely narrow your decision to one landscaping maintenance company until you’ve had a least three bid on your landscaping maintenance specifications. Think of the interview process as round one and the bidding method as the final round in hiring a responsible and effective Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professional.

    Once you’ve come up with a specific landscaping maintenance plan, it is time to begin the bidding process. Utilizing the answers to the questions above from each company, determine at least three that you would like to work with further. Remember, professionals recommend that you have your bids for the following year of service to landscaping maintenance companies no later than October 31 of the previous year. Landscaping maintenance business picks up in early spring, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured a good landscaping maintenance professional well in advance. Once you have decided on three to five companies to send your bids to, send them identical specifications and an expected date of return for their bids.

    Parts of the Landscape Maintenance Bid and Estimate

    Truth be told, the initial bid you receive from a landscape maintenance company, whether you live in the larger cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Cupertino and Campbell or the smaller towns of Alviso, Holy City, Monte Vista, Redwood Estates and Stanford, should look quite similar to the final estimate you get from the company you decide to hire. Unless you’ve overlooked a large section of landscaping maintenance in your outdoor space, the bidding process should lead smoothly to an estimate you can trust and a contract you feel comfortable signing.

    Your bid and estimate should include:

    • The charges for a monthly plan that includes repairs, maintenance, fertilization, replacement of organic materials, etc.
    • The amount of days per  month that your landscape will be serviced
    • A detailed schedule of when service calls will be made and what exactly will be included during each service session

    The bid and estimate should be as detailed as possible. If you are uncomfortable or unclear with anything outlined in the bid and/or estimate, you should certainly speak at length with your representative from the landscaping maintenance company about your concerns and get them resolved before making your final hiring decision or signing a contract with your chosen company.


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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Desired Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Customer?

    It’s the landscaping professional’s responsibility to maintain your lawn and yard using the best possible landscaping and gardening techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your landscape maintenance crew, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Santa Clara County landscape maintenance company.

    • Be clear and upfront with the landscape maintenance company. Let them know what you expect from your landscape maintenance, the long-term outcome you’re hoping for and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a landscaping maintenance professional in Santa Clara County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the landscaping representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local landscape maintenance companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your landscape maintenance professional if you should call to check on the development of your plan or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re maintaining your yard. The work will move along more smoothly if your landscaper can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your landscaping maintenance professional contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the maintenance on schedule.
    • Pay for the landscaping maintenance promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Landscape maintenance companies in Santa Clara County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Working with Your Santa Clara County Landscaping Maintenance Company: What is Included

Now that you’ve gone through the bidding process and made your final selection of the best Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professional for you, it is time to take a sigh of relief. The hard part is over. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your laborious search.

You may want to gain a basic understanding of what landscaping maintenance plans include, however, to make sure that your maintenance plan is going to cover all your areas of need as well as to ensure that the company is doing all they promised in their bid and estimate. Most landscape maintenance companies think of actual landscaping as a different service than dealing with your irrigation system, if you have one. The basic elements of each service are detailed below.

Typical landscaping plans should include:

  • Appropriate pruning and trimming
  • Proper maintenance of organic materials including fertilization and winterization
  • Aerating, fertilization and proper mowing of grassy areas
  • Mulch renewal
  • Proper use of disease and pest control
  • Installation of seasonal color in flower beds

Typical irrigation plans should include:

  • Setting the system to meet specific plant needs
  • Frequent checks for improperly working sprinklers, bubblers, emitters
  • Adjustment of the system after evaluating runoff
  • Maintaining all components of the system including filter flushes
  • Development of a watering schedule that fits your landscapes needs and complies with local water ordinances
  • Setting the system to the developed schedule and checking its proper functioning at least once per season
  • Educating you on ways to be aware that your system is functioning properly

Your landscaping and/or irrigation maintenance program could include any or all of these elements. Remember to discuss any questions, concerns or specific projects with your landscaping maintenance representative before signing a contract.

Working with a Trusted Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Company: The Benefits
Just to reassure you that you’ve made the correct decision in hiring a professional for landscaping maintenance including if you live in the cities of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Gilroy and Morgan Hill, you should be aware of the benefits you’ll experience from a good working relationship with a Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance professional.

First, there are monetary profits. Landscaping adds value to your property, not only to your outdoor space, but also to the worth of your house. If you are ever concerned about reselling your property, the benefits of having a well-maintained landscape far outweigh the costs. Improper care of a beautifully installed landscape can lead quickly to complete ruin of your investment in your outdoor space. The smartest thing you can do for your yard is to make sure it is maintained professionally.

Second, landscaping maintenance adds an incalculable aesthetic charm to your home. The proper maintenance of a professional landscape can add untold beauty to an outdoor space as well as the added benefit of blocking unwanted views and cutting down on noise. The reduction of stress and increase of enjoyment in your well-maintained outdoor space cannot be quantified.

During the bidding process, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Did one company provide recommendations based on your specifications that you could not have known about when you put your plan together? Did they include these in your bid?
  • Did any of the companies make suggestions on how to tailor your landscape to decrease the amount of maintenance you need?
  • Did any of the companies offer to present their bid to you at the property to be maintained so that they could see the outdoor space and answer any specific follow-up questions at the time of the presentation?

The landscaping maintenance plan you present to the different companies is a guide they should use to develop a more comprehensive plan and bid. The landscaping maintenance company you should ultimately decide to hire should take your specifications and then use their knowledge and expertise to craft a more streamlined and detailed plan for your landscape maintenance needs. It will be clear which company you should hire because they will be the ones offering you suggestions on how to create a landscaping maintenance plan that more fully fits your needs and enhances their ability to serve you.

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Written Warranties
Working with Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Companies: Asking for a Warranty

You can do everything in your power to be a well-educated and straightforward client in your relationship with a Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance company. However, you’ll also want to be aware of the ways in which you can protect yourself should the company not respond with professional courtesy.

Always ask for a warranty on service provided. Some Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance companies may try to say that they cannot provide a warranty because the products and spaces they work with are ever-changing and subject to outside interference. However, a good landscape maintenance professional will stand behind their work, whether it be the machines they use, the fertilizers they spread or the plants they provide. Requesting a warranty before beginning service with a Santa Clara County landscaping maintenance company is not only a good idea, it is absolutely essential.

Another way to protect yourself is to check and double check that the company you hire has up-to-date insurance. This includes seeing all insurance paperwork and/or certificates associated with each employee who will be attending to your landscape maintenance program. While this may seem time consuming, it will save you a world of time and money later on, should one of these employees have an accident while maintaining your landscape.

Remember, no matter where you live in Santa Clara County, whether in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Gilroy and Morgan Hill or Blossom Valley, Los Altos, Mt. Hamilton, New Almaden and Saratoga, you have the right to protect yourself in the process of keeping your landscape fresh and new. If you don’t take the time to secure a warranty or find out about a company’s insurance, you’ll only have yourself to blame when something goes wrong.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Services for Santa Clara County Landscape Maintenance Companies

Landscape maintenance is a varied enterprise with many benefits to offer home and business owners who need care for their outdoor spaces. The services they provide keep your landscape in tip top shape for maximum aesthetic appeal and enjoyment. The top ten service requests for landscape maintenance companies in Santa Clara County are as follows:

Lawn maintenance
Includes mowing, edging, trimming, blowing, bagging and removing all clippings.

Hedge trimming
Includes privet trimming, shrub and bush shaping and all kinds of topiary pruning.

Includes installation of annual plants, perennials, arrangement of hanging baskets and planters, planting of groundcover, shrubs, bushes and even trees.

Includes the sharpening of all edges to your yard including around driveways, planters, beds, trees, islands, sidewalks, etc.

Spring clean-up
Includes shaping all bushes after winter and removal of any cold-weather related debris.

Fall clean-up
Includes leaf raking and removal as well as preparing any areas for colder weather.

Fertilization management
Includes educating the property owners about what fertilization is necessary for their lawn and beds as well as developing a personalized plan for spraying and spreading of fertilizer.

Irrigation maintenance
Includes all aspects of dealing with a property’s irrigation system from setting timers to checking the proper functioning of all components.

Mulch upkeep
Includes the removal of old and spreading of new mulch.

Stone upkeep
Includes the maintenance of any stone areas of your landscape, including landscape stone in garden beds, stone walkways and patios.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Landscape Maintenance Terms

The many services that landscape maintenance professionals provide can lead to misunderstandings of terms and definitions. The following glossary should help you to communicate more effectively with your landscaping maintenance representative.

A method of increasing water and oxygen into compact soil by creating tiny slices or holes throughout the area.

allowable depletion
The decrease in soil reservoir capacity allowable before adding irrigation water. A medium value turf is typically managed at 50% AD, whereas a low value turf may be managed at a 75% AD.

A plant which grows to maturity and dies within one season; most are frost-sensitive.

balled and burlappedA way of packaging plants in which the roots are contained in a ball of soil held together in burlap.

Also known as: B&B

An underground storage component of the plant, containing the stem covered by scales; bulbs are planted similarly to seeds.

The diameter of a tree trunk measured 6,Ae>= (15 cm) above ground level for trees up to 4,Ae>= (100 mm) caliper and 12,Ae>= (30 cm) above the ground for larger sizes.

A soil particle which is plate-like, extremely small and may retain nutrients well.

A soil product created from decomposed garden material, used in flower beds to add nutrients and encourage good growth.

container stock
Trees or shrubs packaged with their roots and growing medium in a plastic or peat-fiber container.

dead head
The process of pinching off used or spent blooms to keep the plants well groomed and to prevent them from setting seed. This will promote continued bloom.

deciduous plants
A plant that loses its leaves in the winter.

The process when a plant loses all its leaves.

Removing thatches in grass; removal of the dead grass, commonly with a dethatching machine, or a large rake.

The rate that water will pass through soil.

drought tolerance
The ability of a plant to thrive without much water.

The combination of evaporation (water loss from land and water surfaces) and transpiration (water loss from plants).

Also known as: ET

A plantwhose leaves or needles are green year-round.

A material added to feed plants rich in nutrients, usually nitrogen (often lost with frequent mowing),
phosphates and potash.

A luxury turf composed of soft compact fine-leafed grasses.

The chemical used to control a fungus-related disease.

The sprouting of a seed, spore or pollen grain.

The process of changing the slope level of an area of soil.

ground cover
Plants that are low-growing and create a blanket appearance over an area.

A rope or wire used as a tree support.

A variety of shrubs that when planted close together will give a wall-like appearance; often used to separate areas.

Dying down at the end of the growing season.

A chemical used to control weeds.

inorganic fertilizer
Manufactured fertilizer from raw materials such as natural gas and phosphate rock, which is much more concentrated than organic fertilizers.

A mineral used in keeping grass green.

The process of watering a landscape. Often refers to an automatic system.

Calcium material used to raise the pH in soil.

A soil type composed of clay, silt and sand particles in relatively equal amounts. Loam is considered ideal for plants because it drains well but does not dry out quickly.

Essential elements needed in large amounts for healthy plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

Essential elements needed in very small amounts for healthy plant growth: iron, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, and cobalt.

A material used to cover soil for moisture conservation and weed suppression.

organic fertilizer
Compounds derived from decomposition of plant and animal products and include blood meal, bone meal, manure, and sewage sludge.

A plant living for a number of years.

A chemical used to control an organism.

The acidity and alkalinity of soil.

The defined area, commonly raised and composed of wood or concrete, used to grow plants.

pore space
Spaces within soil that contain air and water.

A method of cutting parts of a plant off to control size, health and appearance.

Term used for when a plant grows new leaves after a leafless period, usually in the spring.

Describes the wilting and sometimes loss of leaves after a plant is transplanted to a new area.

Small areas of turf ready for transplant to new locations. Often used to start a new lawn.

A growth originating from the rootstock of a grafted plant, rather than the desired part of the plant. Sucker growth should be removed, so it doesn’t draw energy from the plant.

A chemical which is absorbed directly into a plants system to either kill feeding insects on the plant, or to kill the plant itself.

temperature tolerance
Cold or heat, the degree at which a plant can handle temperatures and survive.

The live or dead layer of roots and stems between the turf of a lawn and the soil. 1/2 inch is helpful, over 1 inch is harmful by keeping out water.

A decorative style of plant growth controlled by shaping with pruning or shearing.

Moving a plant from one location to another.

A ground cover of grass which can withstand reasonable traffic.

A pattern of leaves that contains either white or yellow markings.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Local Landscape Maintenance Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified landscape maintenance company?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a landscaper with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only landscape maintenance companies rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award.

Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified landscape maintenance company.

Q: What exactly are landscape maintenance services?
A: Landscape maintenance is whatever measures are taken to keep an outdoor space clean, neat, enjoyable and attractive. A landscaping maintenance professional can perform a variety of tasks to accomplish this including mowing, edging, removing organic debris (i.e. grass clippings, weeds, leaves, etc.), pruning, trimming, seasonal planting, fertilization, pest control, management of irrigation systems, etc.

Q: Do I need a professional landscaping maintenance plan?
A: Simply put, yes. Many people are too busy to give their yards and properties the care and attention necessary to maintain curb appeal and complete enjoyment of their outdoor space. A good landscaping maintenance program can reduce your stress, add to the value of your property and increase your satisfaction with your outdoor space.

Q: What does a good landscape maintenance program usually cost?
A: This is a tricky question to give a broad answer to. Most companies determine the cost of each landscaping maintenance session by measuring your property including grass to be mowed, beds to be planted, pruning/trimming to be done and then factor in all the other services you request. The best way to know you are getting what you want for your money is to develop a detailed plan before approaching three to five landscaping maintenance companies for a bid and deciding from there.

Q: Should I sign a contract with my landscaping maintenance company?
A: Of course. Your professional relationship with a landscaping maintenance company should be one of trust and longevity. By signing a contract, you will have complete understanding of what maintenance will be performed on your property and when it will be performed. If you like how a company handles your landscaping maintenance plan and want to continue using their services, you should look to renew your contract at least once a year.

Q: How often should I have my lawn mowed?
A: The frequency of grass clipping and lawn height are both determined by what kind of grass you have and the amount the grass grows in the climate you are in. A good estimate is every four to seven days, depending on growth rate.

Q: Do I need to have mulch spread on my flower beds?
A: It is up to you, but most landscaping maintenance professional agree that the benefits of mulch far outweigh the cost of upkeep. Mulch brings a uniform beauty to your property while reducing weeds and retaining moisture. It provides natural insulation against extreme temperatures and enriches your soil, further cutting down on your need for fertilization.

Q: What if it is raining on the day my landscape maintenance crew is supposed to service my property?
A: Most landscaping maintenance companies have a plan for weather contingencies. You should find out what that plan is before selecting one. Most often companies try to determine if they can still work through the weather without causing more harm than good. If not, they’ll reschedule for the following day.

Q: What is aeration and should I consider it for my lawn?
A: Aeration is a process that creates holes through your grass, turf and soil and deposits the plugs on top of your lawn for eventual decomposition. While not every lawn needs aeration, it is a good issue to discuss with your landscaping maintenance professional because over time, the process of aeration decompacts soil and allows for better growing conditions and irrigation.

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