Danger! Hiring Unlicensed Landscapers in Florida

Did you know that in Florida, hiring an unlicensed landscape contractor can be illegal? According to State law, if an unlicensed landscape contractor uses pesticides on your property or has been hired to do hardscape or softscape work, the state may issue a cease and desist notice to stop. Worse yet, you may find yourself 100% responsible for any damages or worker injuries since uninsured contractors rarely, if ever, carry their own insurance.

If you have a dispute about the quality of the work, the methods and materials used, the plants, mulch, rock and other material used for your garden and lawn, you have no recourse except to hire a lawyer. 

What kind of landscape work requires a Florida license?

  • General garden and yard maintenance does not require a license—unless you want to use pesticides. A commercial applicator license is required to apply pesticides as a business service to residential and other properties.
  • Landscape Designers who mow, trim, plant and maintain yards require only a business license from the State of Florida, but they can’t use pesticides without at least a certification from FDACS.
  • Landscape Architects who actually contour the land for proper drainage, build or install walls and fences, install and maintain irrigation systems, or build structures require a license. 

What many homeowners don’t know is that, according to Florida Statute 455.228, if you knowingly hire an unlicensed contractor to perform any landscape job that requires a license you become the general contractor! Unlicensed contractors tend to operate without general liability and/or workers’ compensation insurance. This could mean that if they, or their employees, are injured while doing work on your property, you are responsible and could even be sued by the unlicensed contractor — or by anyone working for him. It’s worthwhile to note that contractor unwilling or unable to pay for licensing fees tend to use below-par equipment and deliver shoddy service.

You received this newsletter because you value the Jenkins commitment to education and proper licensing procedures. If you know someone who may benefit from this information, please feel free to share.

Why We Have the Best Landscape Employees

When a Jenkins vehicle pulls up to a work site, it’s not the Jenkins truck with the familiar green and black logo that we want our customers to remember — it’s the Jenkins worker!  Whether holding a clipboard or a rake, we want them to remember a worker that was courteous and that actively listened to any special instructions; that was respectful of a homeowner’s privacy; was professional, experienced and knowledgeable, and that clearly had pride in his or her work.

To be all these things and to perform our jobs consistently takes commitment. It means having leadership and organizational skills at supervisory levels, and active listening skills, honesty, ambition, and a strong work ethic at every level.

We take great pride in being a Treasure Coast family-owned, advancement-oriented employer that puts the personal and professional growth of our workforce as Job #1. It’s our most important investment and it’s offered to all Jenkins employees. In fact, as a member organization of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), our employees hold over fifty combined certifications and licenses.

Jenkins people

At the end of the day, it isn’t our trucks, website, or Facebook posts, or our magazine articles, or even our Martin County community volunteerism to which we attribute our steady growth and outstanding customer retention. It’s our employees who show up to work early, actually like and support one another, participate in company events, keep their trucks and tools clean, and smile a lot. 

We believe that we have the best landscape employees because we understand that they spend more time with us than with their families, so we strive to make make work pleasant. And because we want them to stay with us, we pay for their education in the landscape industry. It’s a formula that’s worked well here in South Florida for many decades, and one that is likely to go unchanged for the future.

Landscape Contractor That Flies Trees

What do the most successful Florida Landscape Architects and Luxury Home Builders have in common? Eventually, they need a good Landscape Contractor.

We know that as good architects and builders you live and breath design functionality and sustainability. You place great value on aesthetics, but not at the expense of the environment. The innovation and beauty you design on paper deserves to be fully realized. And when seeking a landscape contractor to bring your design to fruition, you prefer one that is licensed…and then you deserve more.

Jenkins Landscape is a licensed contractor in Florida with over 60 years of continuous service, guided by three generations of the Jenkins family, two of whom continue to be fully engaged in all aspects of the business.

We contract with Landscape Architects and Luxury Home Builders looking for a reputable and reliable contractor with the experience, manpower, and equipment to do the job. We grade and prepare soil, relocate mature trees and plant new ones, install lawns and shrubs, and construct the winding paths, stone walls, and gurgling brooks that transform a piece of ground into an aesthetically pleasing green space.

Jenkins employees combined hold more than 50 certifications and licenses from FNGLA, ISA, and GI-BMP. We are landscape designers, installers, pest and irrigation experts, tree planters and mature tree movers. We hold our employees to high standards of safety in all areas of garden management services.

As employers, we value a good work ethic, and we have a culture of safety and education. 

Because so much work goes into creating the vision, at the very minimum, the landscape contractor that you choose to build that vision should be licensed…that they are one of the best-equipped mature tree movers and re-planters is a bonus! To see us in action, click the link and scroll down to watch a tree fly!

Summer Weeds Gone Wild

After weeks of early rain, the summer of 2019 turned south Florida as green as it gets. For those with newly planted lawns, seedlings took off like a NASCAR at Daytona. Flowers bloomed and made new seeds, as did every other living plant…especially weeds. And because of the Roundup Debate worldwide, those aggressive weeds are winning the day.

The debate began in 1974 when Monsanto packaged the molecule “glyphosate” as the active ingredient in a new product called Roundup. It quickly became an overnight sensation in the herbicide world because it attacks and kills a weed’s roots. Twenty years later, Farm Chemicals Magazine said that it “helped change the face of agriculture.” And why not? No product other than glyphosate kills the root; alternatives only kill the leaves and flowers, but not the root. No root, no weed. 

When Monsanto’s patent expired in 2000, other companies throughout the world began to produce their own version of Roundup. Because chemicals must be safe, glyphosate was routinely tested and evaluated. Some studies said glyphosate presented a “low risk” to human health, and others said it’s cariogenic. Whether glyphosate causes cancer is still being disputed — in the labs and in the courts.

So how do we fight weeds without using glyphosate? Here are few tricks any homeowner can use: 

  • block light with deeper mulch around landscape plants.
  • prevent weed seed production and spread by keeping landscape beds clean. 
  • weed early and often, before weeds grow strong root systems and before they go to seed.
  • use herbicide alternatives to wilt the leaves of weeds and slow seed production.
  • manually remove the weeds before they go to seed.
  • use post-emergence herbicides to kill to the top of weed on contact.
  • let Jenkins Landscape’s crews do it for you.

Jenkins Landscape is doing everything in our power to reduce our use of Glyphosate to zero and are actively testing alternative products. We will stay on top of the Roundup health issues and share significant updates with our readers as they are published. In the meantime, for all our valued customers, weed control will be top-of-mind this summer as we continue to design, plant and maintain beautiful landscapes.

The Power of Plants

— Good reasons why any time is the right time to green up your South Florida yard —

Here’s a challenge! Step outside, take a deep breath, then thank the millions of plants that filter out dust and pollutants from the air you breathe.

Shade trees and windbreaks reduce energy consumption, helping you pay less for electricity and reducing your carbon footprint. Landscaping adds 7 to 15% value to real estate and speeds property sales. Plants provide habitat for wildlife that support our ecosystem, including songbirds, butterflies and bees.

Green lawns are up to 30 degrees cooler than pavement and produce a moderating effect for our environment. Roots and tree canopies stabilize soil and control erosion. Strategically placed trees and shrubs add privacy and reduce traffic noise.

Purple Orchid in Bloom

The filtering effect of vegetation also helps produce cleaner water in rivers and streams, reduces runoff and the need for water retention areas.

On the human side, gardening as a hobby produces health-related benefits through exercise. Beautiful landscapes encourage feeling of calm, relaxation, and well-being. Studies how that plants stimulate healing as well as intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. Step outside again, take a look around. What can you do to encourage more green in your environment?