Avoid Landscaping Rip Offs And Save On DIY Projects

(Lakeland) Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, people spend a pretty penny to keep their yards looking good this time of year.

We talked to an expert to get some tips on ways to avoid wasting time and money.

Jason Brooks is passionate about horticulture. He doesn’t have a degree, but got more training than most.

Brooks started tending to yards at the age of 9 while working for his father’s landscaping company.

“Just doing minor stuff, picking up sticks, pulling weeds,” Brooks said.

The 27-year-old runs his own business now, Picture Perfect Landscapes.

We caught up with Brooks at a house in Lakeland, Tenn., that he says has been sort of a rehab job.

“The property had kind of gotten out of shape,” Brooks said.

Paying for landscaping services can be pricey, but hiring the wrong person for the job is costlier.

Brooks says homeowners should, “Ask them questions, find out what they know, what they don’t know. If you don’t have time to do a little research, it still pays off to do something, know a little bit about what you want to do and what you already have.”

According to Brooks, the same is true if you plan to do the work yourself. Brooks says there are three common mistakes people make. One of them, he says, is not preparing the soil for planting.

“Is your soil prepared right for the plants you’re putting in the ground? Many people want to take the easy way out and plant, and then they wonder why their plants die and they’re planting primarily in a bowl of clay,” Brooks explains.

Another mistake people make is over-watering: “When you over-water a plant, being able to bring it back from being over-watered is very difficult. Sometimes you’re going to lose the plant, under-watering is a little bit safer. The plants tend to show you signs that they’re not being watered enough.”

Speaking of, Brooks also says you shouldn’t water the grass every day.

“When you run your sprinkler system day after day for hours on end, you end up having a lot of run off, waste water, you’re encouraging shallow rooting.”

Brooks says his biggest peeve is the incorrect pruning of crepe myrtles.

Avoid scams for tree removal:

  • Get several bids
  • Check the company’s insurance
  • Take caution of prices that are too high or too low
  • Don’t pay up front
  • Avoid door to door sales
  • Be wary after a disaster

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