5 Kinds of Plants for Your Landscape Business. If you have a passion for lawn care and landscaping, you’re probably in the business already or are about to go into business. You’ll need a beginner guide (linked below) and you’ll need some ideas for what types of plants you will want to provide and install on a regular basis.
First of all, don’t go over your own head. If the plant sounds too difficult to care for, then you might want to avoid it altogether. However, there are five surefire plants which always get the job done and are super easy to take care of.
Evergreens are great for year-round curb appeal. However, you will have to pick the exact perfect kind for your soil needs and for the climate you are currently in. An evergreen out of place is worse than no evergreen at all because it easily becomes dead, rotten, or infested.
You must choose your evergreens carefully.
Why? Because areas which have a lot of dry, arid seasons will need heavily drought-tolerant evergreens. These plants must be hardy and require good drainage (sandy soil) to go with their high drought tolerance.
Areas which have a lot of clay soil (which expands and contracts more than any other soil type, leading to both drought and flooding), require evergreens which can tolerate clay soil. That should be specifically IN THE DESCRIPTION of the plants you order: Clay soil tolerance.
You will also need to keep in mind what type of evergreen you will get and what its precise use will be. For example, a client who wants a privacy screen will love a row of bushy, conical shaped evergreen trees with branches close to the ground. However, a client who wants a property boundary and full sun on their garden will want a row of low-cut boxwoods.
Drought Tolerant Plants
Even the most ill-fated rookie who is just starting a lawn care business can take good care of drought-tolerant plants. Even the most desert-like environments can be rich and full and green all year round with well-placed and well-tended drought-tolerant plants.
Drought-tolerant plants come three main varieties: Cacti, flowering shrubs, and drought-tolerant trees. Make sure that, even though it says drought-tolerant on the package, you also pick plants which grow well in the type of soil your client has.
Drought-tolerant trees like black walnut and honey locust trees require multiple executive decisions by your client. Trees are a long-term investment and therefore should be treated with a lot of consideration first.
Flowering shrubs which are drought-tolerant come in many shapes, colors, and designs. Make sure that both your client and the curb appeal of the plant are satisfied. First, determine which plants would complement or match the coloring of your client’s property. Cool shades of color require cool-toned flowers. Warm shades of color are emphasized by warm shades of flowers. When you have the choices narrowed down, present them to your client for final choice and approval.
Flowering plants make great accent pieces for your lawn care business. Do not overdo the effect and make sure that all of the flowers are pictured and well-documented in your notes so that you know what will go where and what it will look like when it blossoms.
Many people think that they can effectively mix warm and cool colored flowers, but this almost always proves to be a disaster. A lovely disaster, yes, but a busy, mismatched conglomeration, nonetheless.
Instead, check your client’s Homeowners Association guidelines to make sure that you are following the rules and then determine the color palette for your client’s home. Warm colored homes and gardens need warm-toned flowers. Cool-toned homes and gardens need cool-toned flowers.
If you work well with plants but don’t have a strong feel for color, follow these guidelines:
- Tomato red
- Golden, butter yellow
- Bright, grass green
- Burnt umber
- Warm browns
- Pure white
- Cool, dark green
Flowering plants also require a lot more sun than non-flowering plants. This means that you need to place them on the side of the house or fence which will have the greatest arc of the sun for the specific season in which they will bloom.
Clients love seeing a huge splash of color when they get home from work every day, so make sure that, wherever they park and however they enter the house, you have that part of their world covered, as well. This is in addition to the curb appeal of the home.
Groundcover can either make your job as a landscape designer very easy or very hard. Learning everything you can about groundcover can make or break your career. You should learn about the different types of soil that different ground covers require, the different types of pests a few of them may attract, how to easily (and quickly) maintain them, and whether or not they are right for your client.
Groundcover is a great way to prevent soil erosion without using up the insane amount of water necessary to take care of grass. Groundcover is also your friend because it does not have to be mowed three times a week. However, some clients like to see you and your employees hard at work around their property at all times, so these clients may be better as grass clients.
Groundcover is another category in which you must consult your client’s Homeowners Association manual. Some associations require not only grass, but a specific type of grass, and there even may be extensive requirements regarding grass length and the time of day when it is permitted to water the grass. If you still want to use groundcover with these clients, suggest it for parts of their backyard or a side garden. That will at least reduce the square footage required to mow the lawn.
How to Use Vines and Ferns (and Where to Place Them)
Vines and ferns are tricky creatures. They each have their own peculiar sets of behavior and must be watched with a stealthy landscape gardener’s eye.
Vines are very beautiful, but also very dangerous, just like the evil heroines in movies. They can utterly demolish a rock wall or the stone facade on a house. As elegant and classy as they look, the amount of remodeling required is expensive and time-consuming. Something that would naturally reduce the lawn care budget in your client’s expenses, thus eliminating your job.
We don’t want that, of course. Instead, use a non-invasive, fast-growing, flowering species of vine, such as Moonflower, Mandarin Honeysuckle, and Chinese Wisteria. Trail these vines around an arbor, a pagoda, or even a solid wood back porch. The effect, the blossoms, and the scent will all be stunning.
Ferns are, by their very nature, tropical and moisture-loving. However, many varieties have been cultivated for use in a large number of areas. In order to get a fern to grow, you need to create a nice, safe, peat-moss-enriched place for it to grow. However, after that, there is not a lot of need for care.
Place your ferns in areas where a dark corner or an unsightly piece of in-ground equipment can be easily hidden. Ferns are great for hiding things effectively and looking full and lush in even the most sparse of gardens. Just pay attention to their planting and soil care and you will only need to occasionally water them after that. Well-planned foundation equals easy later care.
Your landscape business is a wonderful thing and perfecting your skills will make it even better. Happy Gardening and Good Sunshine!
This article written by the folks over at Yourgreenpal.com
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com