Aug 30, 2022
Set it, forget it. Give plants the nutrients without all the hassle.
We’re all familiar with irrigation. It’s been a means of maintaining landscapes and growing crops for thousands of years. Applying controlled amounts of water helps supplement natural rainfall and contribute to soil moisture from groundwater.
Fertigation combines fertilization and irrigation, serving as a nutrient delivery system for landscapes. It can be used via drip irrigation, spray nozzles, and heads.
Madrone Operations Manager Erik Gorham has provided fertigation services for almost a decade. He uses the EZ-FLO products to treat a wide variety of landscape issues. To start the process, our trained Madrone team first installs a dispensing system in the valve box connected to the main line of a pre-existing sprinkler system. The unit then feeds both drip and sprinkler zones by micro-dosing the landscape with every irrigation. “You really can forget about it, because part of our landscape maintenance program includes filling the unit with fertilizer every four to six weeks,” Erik shares.
We use Red Frog Compost Teas as part of our organic fertilizer program. The compost tea improves soil and plant health by improving nutrient availability and retention in the soil. “Biology feeds the plant,” explains Erik. “Typically, what plants need is in the soil. But if your soil is depleted, the worm castings offer an excellent soil amendment that is safe around children and pets.”
Savings on labor and energy costs can quickly offset the initial investment in a fertigation system. A homeowner who lives in an area affected by drought or water restrictions may prefer fertigation because they can better manage the nutrients and water supply going to multiple parts of the growing area as well as increase water efficiency. It also gives them the ability to add nutrients directly into the root zone that may be otherwise difficult to access.
Erik sees it as an affordable investment to every landscape. “You chose your plants carefully. Help them mature more quickly and stay healthy by using this easy fertilizer system all year round.”
Learn more about our maintenance services. For more details, contact us at [email protected] or (805) 466-6263.
Jun 1, 2022
Top tips for selecting a landscape maintenance team
From weekly or seasonal maintenance to event preparation or landscape enhancements, here are the top questions to ask to ensure you hire a licensed landscape maintenance team who will meet your needs.
1. How long have you been in business? What kind of insurance and licensing do you have?
A company that has been in business ten years or more is likely a reliable, trustworthy contractor. Whether you are a homeowner who needs weekly maintenance or a commercial property owner who needs pest control, check the company’s portfolio to see whether they have expertise on projects like yours.
Madrone Landscapes has been in business for over 40 years. We offer weekly gardening services for residential clients in North San Luis Obispo County and estate maintenance for the broader San Luis Obispo County, Northern Santa Barbara County, and Southern Monterey County. We also offer high quality commercial, municipal, and HOA maintenance services for all of San Luis Obispo County.
For additional consideration, ensure that your landscaping company has workers compensation insurance, general liability insurance, bonded workers, and appropriate state licensing. For weed, pest, and disease control, your maintenance contractor will need to be spray certified.
Madrone Landscapes has workers compensation insurance and general liability insurance. Our landscape maintenance crews are bonded, and we maintain a California state landscape contractor license.
2. Do you have specialists on staff? What services do you offer?
Professional landscaping firms will employ experts with degrees in landscape architecture and horticulture. They should have expertise in landscape irrigation, as well as a thorough knowledge of the type of plants you have growing in your landscape design.
At Madrone Landscapes, our degreed and trained landscape designers and horticulturists establish and maintain our clients’ landscapes in superior condition. Our landscape maintenance teams are led by Taryn Via, Maintenance Manager. With a background in property management, Taryn has over 13 years of experience working directly with homeowners, HOAs, and commercial property owners.
Homeowners, commercial property owners, and HOAs all require different services for different properties. Ensure the company you hire provides the services you require. Traditionally, maintenance projects may include mowing and editing, irrigation repair, fertilizing, dead-heading, and mulching. Larger projects may need specialized maintenance at different intervals throughout the year. Consider whether you need seasonal maintenance, event preparation, and/or regular landscape enhancement.
3. How do your maintenance crews practice sustainability? Do you offer alternatives to chemicals?
If sustainability is important to you, be sure to ask about alternatives to fertilizer and chemicals. Companies at the forefront of landscaping will employ methods such as compost tea fertilizer, integrated pest management, and organic fertilizers, ensuring your yard is a safe and healthy place for your family.
At Madrone Landscapes, we are known for sustainable practices. We focus on plant health and the effective use of water. Our Healthy Gardens program introduces organic methods to fertilizer and weed, pest, and disease control.
4. Can you provide us with an estimate? How do you communicate with clients?
A professional landscape contractor will provide you an estimate tailored to your individual needs. After visiting your project and listening to your wants and requirements, they will ask you questions to determine your exact needs.
Once you’ve accepted your estimate, your contract ensures you know what to expect on each visit, from weekly maintenance to seasonal maintenance, plant replacement, and irrigation repairs.
At Madrone Landscapes, each contract is different—just like each project. Madrone Landscapes provides a customized written estimate for each project. Once we’ve discussed your estimate, we put together a landscape maintenance contract specifically for you. Our Maintenance Manager, Coner Boaen, is the one point of contact for our maintenance clients.
Check with your landscape maintenance contractor to see whether they will have an account manager assigned to you. Will they call you to schedule appointments, or simply send notices in your invoice?
5. Will you provide references?
In addition to checking Yelp to see how the company ranks, ask for references, including addresses. Check the properties to see if they are maintained at the level you expect for your own property, whether residential or commercial. Madrone Landscapes recently was awarded “Top-rated Local” for ranking in the top-five landscape companies in the state for customer satisfaction.
We are happy to provide a list of references for you to call and testimonials for your review!
Do you have additional questions? Call us at the office and ask for Coner Boaen, Maintenance Manager at (805) 466-6263.
Nov 7, 2021
Redefining the Standard of Landscape Care on California’s Central Coast
With fall comes cooler temperatures. While some of us may not see frost until later in the year, getting your gardens to bed and landscape in shape for the winter can make all the difference the following spring.
As part of our landscape maintenance services, Madrone Landscapes offers a fertilizer and soil-building program called Healthy Gardens to keep your landscape thriving. Members of our maintenance team visit your property in the spring and fall. They will apply organic fertilizer and compost tea and use other methods to restore the nutrients and minerals plants require for lush, uninhibited growth.
The soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. This complex living system interacts with the environment, plants, and animals. It consists in part of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and insects. Our goal is to restore the natural processes required to make the organisms available for the plant life they support through organic soil building.
Daniel Mazawa, Madrone’s General Manager, is a champion of organic soil building and changing our relationship with vegetation, soil, and water. He sees three objectives to the Healthy Gardens program: lessen the excess use of chemicals, build the soil, and redefine the standard of care. “By replacing chemical fertilizers and herbicides with organic fertilizer and compost tea, we begin the process of bringing the soils back to life,” explains Daniel.
Using our exclusive compost tea, specially formulated by Red Frog Compost Teas, we reinvigorate the soil with living organisms that nature has set into place to manage healthy soils. The micro-organisms leach toxins from the soil, break down soil compaction, and process organic matter. This method creates more porous soil, which is optimal for root growth and water storage. It also frees up bound minerals and nutrients that are otherwise unavailable for root uptake and helps prevent the invasion of pests and disease.
Actively aerating the soil or turf area of your property improves the texture of the soil and its ability to breathe. Core aeration is a mechanical process that removes plugs or cores of soil and grass to increase deep water penetration and open root zones to oxygen.
The application of organic fertilizer is another key service of our Healthy Gardens program. While compost tea is a brew of microbiology that increases the decomposers in the soil, this granular fertilizer introduces nitrogen and other nutrients to rebuild soil nutrition and the microbial community. The nutrients applied are more readily available to the plants without leaching harmful synthetic chemicals into our watersheds.
Madrone’s combination of organic soil building methods ensures the establishment of a thriving soil food web and, in turn, a healthy garden. Reach out and learn more about how Healthy Gardens can be added to Weekly or Garden Detail maintenance programs. Contact us at [email protected] or (805) 466-6263.