January 2017

Big Picture: Making a point

February 9, 2017By
Photo: Troy Thies Photography

Location: Prior Lake, Minn. Company: Southview Design Photo credit: Troy Thies Photography This peninsula residential landscaping project was three years in planning and two years to complete. The first meeting took place on the property with Southview Designs Landscape Designer Matt Burton, the real estate agent and the homeowner. The existing 1950s home was still there, with several steps leading... read more

New products from the Irrigation Show

February 7, 2017By
photo: Kelly Limpert

Irrigation Show sees attendance bump with trip to Las Vegas. Last month, more than 3,100 irrigation professionals attended the 2016 Irrigation Show in Las Vegas—a 14 percent increase over 2015. And those numbers don’t include registrants from the National Groundwater Association, which was co-located with the Irrigation Show, nearly doubling the size of the show floor. The general session on... read more

Efficiency Tip: Separate for success

February 6, 2017By
PHOTO: ©istock.com/mucella

For more than a decade, Mazelis Landscape Contracting has operated with the mindset that it’s more efficient and profitable to leave landscape bed maintenance to a dedicated crew. “Mowing crews mow only; bed maintenance crews tend to beds either monthly or bimonthly,” says Stephen Mazelis, owner of the Nesconset, N.Y.-based company. “We’ve done it both ways and find this way... read more

Step by Step: How to turn landscape waste into compost

February 3, 2017By
illustration: David Preiss

Many landscape jobs produce green waste contractors must dispose. Compost is one way to manage those grass clippings, tree trimmings, leaves and other debris. Compost needs a combination of “green” material—grass clippings, green leaves and vegetable scraps—to produce nitrogen and “brown” material—dead leaves, branches and wood chips—to produce carbon. Compost also needs water. Microorganisms, which break down waste, prefer moisture... read more

Using co-ops to find potential future hires

February 1, 2017By

Participating in co-op programs helps one company get ahead of the workforce. Cooperative education programs—also known as co-ops—can be a great way for students to gain real-life working experience while also receiving their education. And for landscape business owners, who often cite “finding employees” as one of their biggest challenges, a co-op can be a great way to boost your... read more

Process for productivity

January 30, 2017By
Along with consistency, checklists drive productivity and profitability.

Weekly landscape maintenance checklists help crews do their jobs consistently and efficiently. While all clients’ properties are different, the way they’re serviced should be the same every time. At least that’s the mantra at U.S. Lawns. The $170-million commercial grounds care franchise business headquartered in Orlando, Fla., stresses the importance of its weekly “job sequencing” process, which is a checklist... read more