Green Industry’s Best 2020 Management Practices

Florida ranks 4th among the U.S. states with the highest number of landscaping companies. No surprise here, considering our mild climate, rainfall amounts, and an ever-growing population. It is more important than ever that landscaping companies, like us, educate ourselves about fertilization practices in South Florida in order to conserve and protect our vital ground and surface water resources for future generations.

In 2018 the University of Florida IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology hired a professional survey company to talk with Floridians who hire professionals like Jenkins Landscape Co. and others in order to determine “best practices” for fertilization.

Over 3,500 homeowners and HOAs were randomly surveyed about their a) neighborhood characteristics, b) what processes and products were used to fertilize their lawns and/or common areas, and c) how they were currently being informed about the issues of fertilizer use and best practices. The results of that survey formed a 2020 report entitled Floridians’ Engagement in Landscape Best Practices to Protect Water Resources.

We believe that our customers, suppliers, designers and employees will benefit from the survey results, so here’s a brief summation. We’ve rounded the percentages to make is easier to read and understand.

HOA Characteristics

Almost half of Floridians live in an HOA-controlled community, and 75% of HOAs have policies related to landscaping. About 64% of HOAs have landscape-related penalties, but only 20% of HOAs reward or recognize landscapers or homeowners who use best practices in the look of their landscape. 

Common Features in Florida Yards

The majority of Floridians (52%) have lawns, 40% of which have shade trees, and 36% have palm trees. About one-third (33%) have mulched beds, 24% use drought-tolerant plants, 28% have vegetable gardens, 17% use pollinator plants, and 17% have fruit trees.

Hiring Professionals

When it comes to hiring landscape professionals, Florida landscape companies employ people for Lawn Maintenance 34%, Pest maintenance 25%, Fertilizer application 24%, Tree pruning 23%, Weed management 20%, Irrigation services 14%, and Landscape design/installation 11%.

Water Conservation

Floridians appear to be conscientious about water conservation. Over 65% use low-water plants, seasonally adjust irrigation times (50%), use high efficiency sprinklers (45%), and have replaced high water plants with drought tolerant plants (44%). About 30% say they calibrate sprinklers or use rain sensors. Fewer people convert lawns to landscaped beds (32%), install low-volume irrigation (27%), and turn off irrigation for established plants  or use recycled water (25%). Fewer than 25% use a rain gauge (23%) or leave portions of a landscape not irrigated (20%). The least used methods of water conservation are smart irrigation (18%), use rain barrels (17%), or drip irrigation (15%). 

Fertilizer Best Practices

When asked whether they use specific fertilizer best practices, Floridians are least likely to hire a GI-BMP certified professional (27.7% ) or inquire about a professional’s training in the application of fertilizer (28%). Only 28% test their soil to see whether fertilizer is needed! 

Jenkins’ certified professionals are Florida Water Star Accredited in landscape and irrigation. See FNGLA Florida Water Star.

The above statistics represent a 2018 statewide survey of Florida citizen’s landscapes and landscape management practices. They are not meant to represent practices of the Jenkins Landscape Co. or our associates or customers. Our focus is, and always has been, on Florida-friendly landscape practices, association with vendors who reflect our values, and exceptional professional development within the ranks of our family of employees.

Working with Landscape Architects: the Difference

As homeowners become more discerning about their outdoor living preferences in south Florida, they expect authentic custom design, exceptional beauty and value, and the promise that the job will be done right. 

However, the biggest reason that we lose jobs is price. Since we are known for pricing jobs fairly and accurately, are FNGLA- and ISA-certified, and have over 65 years of knowledge and experience, why is this?  

You know the drill. Landscape architects compete for jobs with a flat-fee design proposal they hope will meet and exceed client expectations. Their bid has an acceptable profit margin that includes the cost of landscape contractors to execute the plan.

Contractors never intend to underdeliver, but to keep profit margins acceptable, low-bidding contractors are forced to cut corners, failing to match what they specified. For example, a landscape design calling for 30-foot trees can now afford only 16-foot trees — or trees of the right size but of lower quality. Plants delivered to the site are smaller in size or dull instead of colorful.

In all cases, underbidding means under-delivering. While the Landscape Architect remains focused on exceeding client expectations, a low-bidding Landscape Contractor must focus on cutting costs to meet your expectations.

 Jupiter Island Club, Photo credit Loulie Walker Events, NY (Pinterest)

From our earliest years, Jenkins adopted the design philosophy of renown New York landscape architects and designers of the Jupiter Island Club, Innocenti & Webel. We committed to “quality design rooted in a clear understanding the constraints and opportunities of an existing site. Existing vegetation, soils, hydrology, habitat, heritage, and regulations must all be taken into account. Further, these must all be integrated with the client’s design preferences, sensibilities, and budget.” 

If we are wrong in our choices, we don’t blame our poor decision on the architect, but instead work to fix design errors at our expense. Because we maintain what you design, we offer design suggestions in advance to “create thoughtful landscapes of lasting beauty while enjoying the process and the people with whom we work.”

Learn more about us, our history, and work at jenkinslandscape.com

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!