Hiring a landscape professional

professionals_cropped.jpg

Consult the questions below when hiring a landscape professional in order to choose someone who is experienced with creating and maintaining water efficient landscapes. These are suggestions to help you with your selection process.

Landscape Contractor

Practices

  1. What practices do you use in your work to encourage healthy, successful gardens?  Do you have a specialty? (Qualified contractors will include use of compost, mulch, low-water use plants and plants native to Mediterranean climate zones, organic fertilizers, minimal use of pesticides with low toxicity, organic and recycled materials.)
  2. What water-saving irrigation methods do you use?  (Qualified contractors will include the use of hydrozoning, drip irrigation in conjunction with flush valves, pressure release valves, and eco-indicators, low flow sprinkler heads, weather responsive irrigation controllers, and dry season dormancy.)
  3. Do you have examples of landscapes you have designed, installed, maintained that demonstrate water efficiency and appropriate plant selections for our California Mediterranean region that I can visit?
  4. Why do you expect this new landscape to save water over time?

Education and Training

  1. What formal training have you completed? How long have you been practicing? What do you do for Continuing Education?
  2. Are you a member of any professional landscape organizations?
  3. Are you a licensed landscape contractor? Please provide state license #, bond # and workman’s comp and liability insurance if you have staff. 
  4. Do you have any references I can contact or review on-line?

Maintenance Gardeners

Practices

  1. What practices do you use in your maintenance work to encourage healthy, successful gardens?  Do you have a specialty? (Qualified gardener will mention the use of mulch, low water-use plants, minimal use of low toxicity fertilizers and pesticides, organic and recycled materials.)
  2. What water-saving irrigation methods do you use?  How do you maintain a drip irrigation system? (Qualified gardeners will mention the use of flush valves, pressure regulator and eco-indicators--pop-up risers indicating the system is on.)
  3. Do you have examples of gardens that you maintain that are water-efficient and appropriate for our California Mediterranean climate?  Are there any gardens you maintain that I can visit?
  4. Do you provide aesthetic pruning and do you work on trees above 12’?
  5. What is the frequency and type of services offered for lawns, pruning, weeding, irrigation management etc.?  Describe your seasonal maintenance activities.
  6. Are you familiar with operating and repairing the existing irrigation equipment?

Education and Training

  1. How long have you been practicing? What do you do for continuing education?
  2. Are you a member of any professional landscape organizations?
  3. Do you have any references I can contact or review on-line?

Directories of certified professionals

Rescape Qualified Professionals have completed a comprehensive training program and use a sustainable approach to landscape design and management. 

Irrigation Association Certified Professionals share a commitment to sound water management and sustainable solutions.

WaterSense Certified Professionals have been educated through programs assessing competency in irrigation system design, installation and maintenance, and auditing. 

Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers have passed an EPA WaterSense labeled certification program in irrigation system audits.