Garden Maintenance Services

($55 pr. man hr. plus material costs)

Plants are living things, subject to the same environmental stresses as we are. Thus, the health and maintenance requirements of your garden will be no more predictable than your own health and maintenance requirements for the coming year.  Maintenance requirements vary with precipitation, wind, temperature, and drainage conditions; and with the presence of insects, disease, and debris in above surface and subsurface areas. Additionally, all clients vary in the level of manicuring they demand, and even these needs may vary from week to week or month to month.

Spring Cleanup

Spring cleanup of garden beds includes pruning and shaping perennials that were not cut back in the fall ( we intentionally leave select plant stalks through the winter to allow beneficial insects to overwinter) removing last year’s annuals (we also leave select annuals through the winter to add organic matter and beneficial microbes to the soil); weeding where necessary property wide; raking beds free of leaf; needle, cone, branch, mulch, and garbage debris; edging; and composting the debris on site or removing it from the property.

Fertilizing and Soil Amendment

Subject to conditions, we apply, when and where applicable, any one or more of the following: Plant Tone, Rose Tone, Bulb Tone, Bone Meal, Lime, Mineral Dust, Compost, Liquid Compost, Fish Emulsion, Biolink, Mycorhizzal Fungi, Miracle Gro (in containers only), Blossom Booster, Osmocote, Electra.

Compost Application

Disturbed soils (soils that have been compacted by construction traffic, soils that have been scraped or disturbed in any way) are depleted of the microorganisms that sustain plant life.  Compost is the natural way to restore the biological balance necessary for plant health.  We deliver, cart, and apply the compost, and clean up after all surface compost applications.

Deer Deterring Spray Applicaton

We spray to keep the deer away every two weeks using alternately Liquid Fence and Deer Out .

Mulching

We use only the finest triple shredded mulch.  We deliver mulch by the yard, cart by wheelbarrel to the desired beds, apply, level out, and clean up. (This is a very labor intensive process.)

Monitoring

We provide a weekly examination of all plant material for the presence of disease, insect, drought, predator, environmental and/or other damage.

Watering (Subject to conditions)

Many disease conditions can be avoided by using proper watering techniques and timing.  In fact, more plants are killed by over watering than under watering.

a) Pots

Outdoor potted plants vary greatly in their water requirements depending on plant type, culture, humidity, temperature, wind and sun exposures, and many other factors. We can water one, two, or three times per week, as needed or requested. We are also available to train you, a house sitter, or a family member in proper watering methods specific to your garden.

b) Garden Beds

Irrigation is an inexact science. In fact, a world renowned arborist who is also a friend of mine likes to say “Irrigation has killed more plants than landscapers.”      Therefore, we check and regulate for over watering and under watering throughout the growing season – manually watering beds during drought, and alerting irrigation caretakers of any problems that arise within the system.  Daily

monitoring and attention is given to the water requirements of new plantings.

Weeding (Subject to conditions)

Weeding in flower gardens, in vegetable and herb beds, in tree and shrub borders, and in pots is a very delicate and selective process whereby desirable, seed-germinated plants are allowed to proliferate, while undesirable plants are eradicated manually. (Some weed seeds can survive in the soil ungerminated for up to fifty years!)  Driveways and walkways are usually weeded indiscriminately, unless otherwise specified or unless there is ornamental value to the “weed” such as creeping thyme or moss in a walkway.  (We love moss.)

Deadheading and cleaning (Subject to conditions)

We selectively remove finished and almost finished plant parts, — i.e. seed heads, dead leaves, diseased branches, – to increase air circulation; promote bloom; and maintain health, vigor, and shape on annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables.    Please note – this does not have to be done in the fall if you wish to feed the birds all winter (before the advent of commercial bird seed, birds ate seeds that formed on plants naturally). In fact, many bird species eat the very seeds that we take away! Therefore, we encourage you to leave seeds whenever possible at the end of the season. Please let us know how you feel about this idea.

Tree and shrub pruning (Subject to conditions)

We surgically remove disease-infested branches, stems, and twigs; to promote bloom or berry; to provide architectural interest to your landscape; to prevent injury from potentially falling branches; to increase air circulation; or to create a tree or shrub that is better able to withstand damaging winds.  We also provide ornamental pruning and shaping of small shrubs and trees. Pruning can be done any time of year, when necessary, but it is best done in winter for most species.

Composting or debris removal

An on-site compost pile is a great idea for so many reasons.  The specific constituents of your compost pile will create the custom made fertilizer your plants require.  If space is not available for a compost pile, we cart all debris to the local composting facility.

Garbage removal

We remove all garbage from garden beds when present.  (We are always amazed at what other tradesmen leave behind, and what blows in from other construction sites, and these little pieces of garbage of course diminish the overall beauty and feel of your garden.)  We also fully remove all garbage generated by our work including plastic bags from manure, fertilizer, peat moss, and potting soil; all plant containers, fabrics, string, tags, and any other garbage we generate.

Driveway and walkway weeding and raking

We improve the grade and appearance of these two major components of your landscape, by first weeding and then raking stones free of debris and raking smooth.

Hose Mending

We repair hoses as needed due to kinking and splitting. Hoses that have become unserviceable will be replaced.

Staking

When requested, or as needed, we mechanically support flower heads, vegetables, trees, or vines.

Labeling

We can place identifying labels on any plant, by their Latin name, common name, or both.  (Upon request.)

Shopping & Delivering

We conduct business with a long list of nurseries and outlets to provide you with the gardening details (plants, pottery, statuary, furniture, water features) that make the garden a spiritually renewing experience.Shopping for spring plants that are included in your estimate is not charged to you.  Shopping for extra plants that you request throughout the season, however, is billed to you.

Storm Monitoring

Prior to all impending major storms, we visit your property to secure lawn furniture, plant material, and other objects.   After all episodes of high rain and wind, we monitor all pots and gardens for damage; and we make repairs where necessary.

Consulting

This includes all conversations by phone or in person with you or other tradesman regarding your property.

Photo Library

Gardens are documented all season long to aid in the review and design process which is done every year over the winter months.  Photos are also available to clients upon request. We are always working to improve the aesthetic appeal and the health of all of our gardens. Many garden aspects are re-worked to some extent year after year, especially the annual components.

Research, Diagnosis, Treatment

Different pest pathogens and disease processes become visible in many different ways.  If we can’t diagnose the problem with a stressed plant on site, we take specimens to our office where we have a vast library of horticultural resources from which to obtain the information important to diagnosis and treatment. When we are unable to diagnose a disease or insect infestation, we submit specimens for diagnoses and/or recommendations to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Research Laboratory.

“Emergency” Gardening

When extra cleanup or planting is desired for a special situation (i.e. a party or similar event), please inform us several weeks in advance so that we have time to allot the extra labor and resources necessary to meet your needs.

Fall Clean Up

This includes cutting back perennials, removing annuals, weeding, edging, leaf removal, emptying and storing pots.  Please note, again, that both leaf raking and deadheading perennials will remove a valuable winter food source for birds and other wildlife.   Please let us know how you feel about these issues. Fall clean up is also the time to bring your tropical or sentimental plants into our heated greenhouse.

Fall planting

Spring-flowering bulbs including Crocus, Daffodils, Scilla, Hyacinths, Alliums, etc., and even Garlic are planted in the fall using Bulb Tone and Bone meal.

Subcontracting

We have a vast network of tradesmen to call upon to build and maintain ponds;  install and maintain lawns;  spray trees; build rock walls; install large tree plantings;  and construct garden projects i.e. gazebos, arbors.

Bird feeding and watering

Many of our clients enjoy the sounds and sights of songbirds.  We shop for and deliver a variety of bird features including houses, feeders, birdbaths, seeds and feed, and we will visit your property on a daily or weekly basis to keep the bird feeders stocked, the bird baths full of water,  and the songbirds coming.

  • BILLS ARE DUE UPON RECEIPT.  UNPAID BALANCE IS BASED UPON 30 DAY NET.
  • ALL PAST DUE ACCOUNTS ARE SUBJECT TO A 9% PER MONTH INTEREST CHARGE.  COLLECTIONS ACCOUNTS WILL BE SUBJECT TO ATTORNEY’S FEES.
The Barefoot Gardener