Repairing Bad Pruning: How To Correct Pruning Mistakes

Repairing Bad Pruning: How To Correct Pruning Mistakes

When you prune a plant you cut foliage, branches, or trunksto make the plant more attractive and structurally stronger. Good pruningminimizes damage to growing plant tissue. Bad pruning creates problems for theplant. If you’ve pruned your plants inappropriately, you may be wondering howto correct pruning mistakes. Read on for information on common pruning mistakesand tips on repairing bad pruning.

Botched Pruning in the Garden

Gardeners prune for a variety of reasons. Pruning can traina plant, keep it healthy, help it to flower or fruit, and keep the foliage orstems strong and attractive. In order to help the pruning cuts heal overquickly, you have to prune at the right time and in the right way.

Common pruning mistakes include inappropriate pruning, pruningtoo much, and pruning at the wrong time. Can you fix a pruning boo boo?Sometimes, there is little you can do to repair the damage other than waitingfor the bad “haircut” to grow out. However, in some cases, repairing badpruning simply requires additional tree care.

How to Correct Pruning Mistakes

Non-pruning – Failure to prune tops the list ofcommon pruning mistakes. This can be due to laziness or fear of ending up withbotched pruning. It can lead to overgrown shrubs or trees that are too tall.

The solution to this issue is to prune. Removing old, dead,and damaged branches will stimulate the plant to produce new wood. Never takeout more than one-third of the canopyof a tree in a season. If an overgrown bush or tree requires more, pruneanother third the following year.

Pruning at the wrong time – The best time to prune atree varies, but it is usually in winter or early spring. That’s because manytrees go dormant or stop growing in winter. If you make serious seasonalpruning mistakes and prune a tree in summer or fall, you may have removed buds,flowers, or fruit.

The solution is to wait until winter and prune again using thinningcuts or reduction cuts. The former takes out an entire branch at its pointof origin on the trunk, while the latter cuts a branch back to a lateralbranch.

Making the wrong cuts – The ultimate in bad pruningmoves is to topa tree. Reducing the size of a tree by cutting the top of its primaryleader creates far more problems for the tree than it solves. If you top atree, you’ll find that it creates a variety of waterspouts or new verticalbranches to replace the one removed. These compete for dominance and, as theydo, compromise the structural integrity of the tree.

The solution is to choose a new leader yourself and offer itsupport. For conifers,tape a branch from just below the pruning wound so that it stands vertically.In time the branch will grow straight up naturally and serve as the leader. In deciduoustrees, select one of the new leaders and cut back any competition.

ABC Local

According to Jerry Coleby-Williams, the gardening year starts in March, so it's time to get cracking! Here he provides a month-by-month guide to what should be planted and maintained throughout the year to get the most out of your subtropical garden. Hopefully his advice will help you 'grow your own'.

March is when the new gardening year starts

* Complete controlling summer weeds, then mulch before winter weeds germinate
* pH test vegetable and flower beds, using results to guide soil conditioning
* Sow or plant sweet peas, garden and snow peas in prepared ground or containers
* Plant subtropical bulbs like blood lily, eucomis, alstroemeria and hippeastrum
* Take tip cuttings of grey-leaved plants, like lavender, after pruning bushes to shape
* Plant winter tomatoes where they receive six hours sunshine each day
* Swap from nitrogen rich fertilisers to flower and fruit fertilisers to reduce the risk of foliar fungal diseases
* Complete mail ordering new season stock. New, unusual or rare varieties can quickly run out.

* Lift, divide and replant perennials like ornamental and culinary gingers, mondo and day-lilies
* Aerate lawns, then feed with one handful of poultry manure per square metre to stimulate strong root growth
* Take cuttings of succulents, dip pruning cuts in sulphur powder, then wait one day before inserting them into fresh propagating mix
* Generally reduce the frequency of feeding, which greatly helps reduce the risk of aphid attack
* Give citrus trees their last feed before spring, then spray with white oil to control leafminer
* Turn compost heaps then sprinkle them with poultry manure to accelerate even composting
* Keep cold-loving tulip, hyacinth and narcissus bulbs in the fridge for winter planting.

* Finish planting container grown tropical fruit trees early this month
* Propagate evergreen trees and shrubs, like rosemary, camellia and gardenia, by semi-hardwood cuttings
* Remove spoiled and fallen fruit to reduce the risk or re-infection next season. Bury fruit half a metre down, or bag and dispose in the garbage
* Remove fallen leaves from ponds and water features to keep water clean and healthy for fish
* Plant canna lily, alstroemeria, ranunculus, jonquil for spring displays in the last week of May
* Feed lawns with chicken manure and mow as high as possible from early May. Action now will naturally control winter-grass and bindii
* Plant strawberries and alpine strawberries in prepared ground or containers. Pine or sheoak needles make an ideal mulch
* Propagate frangipani. Use firm cuttings up to 2 metres long. Dip pruning wounds in sulphur powder, then wait a week before inserting cuttings in fresh propagating mix. Frangipani is a semi-succulent, so keep mix slightly dry as cuttings root.

* Complete pruning deciduous trees and shrubs. Remove dead, sick, crossing and borer-affected branches
* Winter wash deciduous fruit trees and shrubs with products containing organic-approved cupric hydroxide, Bordeaux, or lime sulphur to control over-wintering pests and diseases. Caution: Bordeaux and lime sulphur spray drift will burn plant leaves
* Regularly removing spent flowers from annuals directs energy into producing more flowers
* Propagate native plants using semi-hardwood cuttings. For best results, use fresh propagating mix made to Australian standards
* Feed camellias with blood and bone, watering it in
* Plant bare-rooted deciduous trees, shrubs and vines. Soak roots in seaweed solution for half and hour before planting, then water well after planting
* Control algae on paths and fences by spraying with one part white vinegar to five parts water
* Sprinkle broad-leaved lawn weeds, like plantain, with a mix using equal parts of iron sulphate, powdered sulphate of ammonia, and sand.

* Protect frost-sensitive winter vegetables, like tomatoes, and flowers. Drape shadecloth or old net curtains over plants for overnight protection
* Prune roses mid-month. Prune vigorous plants lightly and weakly growing plants hard. Water bushes if wounds bleed
* After pruning roses, spray with either a cupric hydroxide-based spray or lime sulphur. This will control over-wintering diseases
* Treat camellias with iron chelates to prevent leaf-yellowing iron deficiency
* Transplant cycads. Water well before transplanting. Wait one week after transplanting before watering again
* Protect seedlings from slugs and snails using organic-certified baits. These baits will not poison children, pets or wildlife
* Complete planting spring flowering bulbs, planting bulbs no less than three times as deep as the bulb is wide (excepting tulips)
* Plant tulips 15cm deep in late July, ideally where they receive just four hours of morning sunshine. These conditions help produce the best, longest lasting flower colours, on the strongest plants.

* Clear gutters and downpipes of leaves and clear firebreaks. Check hoses and sprinklers are in working order - bushfire season has arrived
* Regularly check flowers and winter vegetables for watering, and complete mulching early this month as the chance of gales increases
* Feed flowers and winter vegetables fortnightly using either liquid seaweed or a liquid flower and fruit fertiliser
* Control leafminer and over-wintering bronze-orange (stink) bug on citrus by spraying with white oil
* Assiduously remove fallen leaves from frangipani and dispose of in the garbage to control frangipani rust disease
* Prune hibiscus in the first week of August. Feed with poultry manure, mulch, then water well. Early pruning allows new growth to harden before harmful erinose mite eggs hatch and start feeding
* Prune, feed, mulch and then water camellias once flowering finishes
* Complete planting bare-rooted deciduous trees, shrubs and vines before mid-month.

* Feed hibiscus with a complete organic fertiliser and spray with white oil to control young harlequin bugs
* Encourage fruit set on citrus. Do not feed them until after flowering is complete
* Start fortnightly foliar feeding roses using liquid seaweed. Apply half a handful of poultry manure around established plants once every six weeks until autumn
* Check tomatoes daily for watering, but never wet their foliage. Keep the soil evenly moist, not too dry or too wet, prevents split fruit and root rotting fungi
* Remove spent flowers from annual displays. By preventing seed seed you stimulate continued flowering
* Service irrigation systems and repair or replace leaky hosepipes. In fire-prone districts, ensure hoses remain connected to the mains and sprinklers are always ready for use
* Re-pot containerised plants. Cut off spiralling roots, and use fresh organic-certified potting mix
* Feed stonefruit trees with a complete organic fertiliser.

* Control emerging caterpillars, spraying with horticultural soap, or home made soapy water
* Feed native plants. Use a native plant fertiliser rich in iron. If Banksia or Grevillea leaves look yellow, apply iron chelates one week after feeding
* Treat fruit trees with mineral rock dust or apply trace elements. These help prevent nutrient deficiencies caused by rain leaching minerals into the subsoil
* Treat roses, mangoes, perennials, palms, grasses and bamboo with liquid potash. This helps strengthen tissue against fungal attack, whilst boosting flowering and improving fruit quality
* Start edging lawns regularly to prevent them from invading adjacent borders
* Use an old knife or boiling water to control path weeds
* Prune Acalyphas and azaleas to shape. Feed with blood and bone, mulch and then water well
* Clear and compost spent flowering annuals. Dig soil, adding plenty of compost or manure before replanting or sowing.

* Keep mulches from touching the bases of trees and shrubs. This helps prevent attack by root-rotting diseases in wet weather
* Plant palms, gingers, Costus, bamboos and frangipani in well-dug, compost-rich soil now for rapid establishment
* Dig plenty of compost into soil before planting natives grown in tubestock or cells. Mulch and water well after planting. Planting now gives them all the summer wet season to establish and grow
* Use fruit fly baits regularly or erect fly-proof netting around fruit trees and shrubs
* Regularly remove suckers from grafted roses, citrus, passionfruit and other fruit trees. Rubbing off very young suckers by finger and thumb helps reduce further sucker production
* Feed citrus and pawpaw using poultry manure or a complete organic fertiliser
* Sow heat-loving summer crops, like okra, snake beans and rosella, and edible ornamental summer annuals, like Amaranthus 'Joseph's Coat', in well dug, compost-rich soil
* Start propagating bromeliads. Remove established new suckers from older plants using a sharp knife, growing them in organic-certified potting mix.

* Water in the cool of the morning. This reduces the risk of foliar fungi, particularly on roses, pumpkin, zucchini, melon and cucumber
* Spray shrubs, vines, containerised plants, succulents and cycads with horticultural oil now. Apply three times, leaving three weeks between applications, controls scale and mealybug
* Treat ornamental and productive borders with organic-certified soil wetting agents. These natural products use organic surfactants and humectants, which unlike their chemical alternatives, harmlessly biodegrade and do not affect soil health
* Treat camellias, gardenias, roses and orchids against magnesium deficiency. Dissolve one dessertspoonful Epsom salts in 10l water. Spray foliage
* Fill saucers under containerised plants with sand. This conserves moisture, boosting humidity around plants, but prevents mosquitoes from breeding
* Mulch established sweetcorn, taro, cocoyam, gingers, galangal, arrowroot and banana with hay, straw or sugarcane. You can use lawn clippings, but only apply in a 3cm deep layer
* Propagate palms from freshly collected, ripe seed, which is normally orange or reddish in colour. Sow in organic-certified potting mix, and keep evenly moist
* Feed lawns with organic-certified blood and bone. Applied now, this helps digest accumulating debris (thatch) which otherwise can encourage foliar fungi on fine-leaved turf.

* If trees are growing close to powerline, engage a professional arborist to prune them. Most are happy to shred and return your prunings for reuse
* Remove items from gardens that could become dangerous flying objects during the summer storm season
* Stake and tie tall flowers and crops before storms hit. Staking after a storm won't help them recover their former shape
* Summer prune roses mid-month, cutting back to a strong growing point. Cut back floribundas by one third. Feed, renew mulches, then water
* Check containerised plants, annuals and vegetables for watering daily. Water in the morning to discourage foliar fungi
* Mowing lawns as high as possible reduces the risk of weed invasion, conserves moisture whilst improving wear
* Control fruit fly and diseases by regularly removing fallen fruit. Bury half a metre deep, or bag and dispose of in the garbage
* Prune wayward wisteria and Petraea. Cut whippy shoots back by 90%. This leaves some new season buds to produce next season's flowers.

* Spray crops in the cucumber family fortnightly using one part milk in five parts water to control mildew. This formula works best as a preventative measure
* Plant tropical fruit trees, citrus and banana in well-dug, compost rich soil. Water, feed and mulch well. Caution: it is mandatory for Queensland gardeners to first acquire a (free) permit from the Department of Primary Industries before planting or transplanting bananas
* Apply iron chelates to banksia, grevillea, gardenia, rhododendron and citrus. Deficiency symptoms include leaf yellowing between the veins. Symptoms first appear on older leaves and spread to new growth
* Propagate soft-leaved perennials by tip cuttings, like impatiens, saintpaulia and begonia. Use a hormone rooting preparation
* Order new season catalogues for autumn mail order. Order certified disease-free stock of potatoes, fruit trees, new, rare or old-fashioned varieties early to avoid disappointment
* Use thin layers of lawn clippings, no more than 6cm deep, to accelerate the composting process in heaps
* Very acidic compost discourages earthworms and is less healthy. Sprinkling lime over compost heaps prevents them becoming too acidic
* Keep gutters clean to maximise the harvest for rainwater tanks. February marks the end of the wet season, but often the heaviest falls may occur in autumn

Related Photos

The Taroona Community Garden has over 40 plots of delicious vegetables. ( Jayne Landsbegr - ABC Local )

Seasonal Pruning Mistakes – What To Do About Botched Pruning Jobs - garden

Updated April 29, 2020

As an essential business, we continue to operate under our normal business hours.

Our crews are working every day to remove and prune trees, perform safety inspections, spray for ticks and mosquitoes, apply lawn and tree treatments, and address any other aspects of tree, shrub, or lawn care.

We're available 24/7 for emergency tree work, and we're always available by phone or email to answer your questions or discuss any issues with your trees or lawn.

As a reminder, our arborists and crew members won't ring your doorbell (we'll text you when we arrive on your property). Anyone you interact with will be wearing a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from you. You can see more details below in our earlier update.

Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times. And, if you can, we encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy the spring flowers and new green leaves - we all need a little beauty in our lives these days.

Updated March 23, 2020

Under the Governor's "stay-at-home" order on 03/22/20, tree care and tree work can continue as long as tree care businesses follow social distancing recommendations. As an "essential service", we are working hard to make sure our customers' trees are safe and well-maintained.

We take the health and safety of our customers and employees very seriously, and have consulted with the NJ Board of Tree Experts, International Society for Arboriculture, and the Tree Care Industry Association to make sure that we are following best practices. As a result, we've enacted the following additional precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our local communities.

On Your Property

When one of our arborists arrives to inspect your tree(s) and provide an estimate, they will call or text to let you know they've arrived (rather than ringing the doorbell). You can stay indoors and communicate by phone while our arborist is on site. If you'd prefer to come outside, we will ensure that the recommended 6-foot distance is maintained.

As always, proposals and work orders will be sent to you by email we don't provide hand-written estimates.

You can accept a proposal directly through the link in the email, through the Customer Portal on our website, or by calling the office.

When our crews are on your property, they work independently. You do not need to be home or have any direct contact with them.

Our Crews

We are closely monitoring all employees for any signs of illness. Each team member knows that they should go home immediately if they feel unwell, or stay home if they're at all concerned. If anyone becomes ill, we will all follow the CDC's recommendations.

We've provided an abundance of alcohol wipes and latex gloves for each employee, are ensuring that they follow the recommended handwashing and disinfecting protocols, and have reinforced that they should maintain as much distance from each other as is practical while at work.

In the Office

Corey and Joy are working tirelessly to keep up with the spring demand and are continuing to schedule appointments for estimates. We're experiencing a high volume of phone calls so ask for your patience as we try to get to everyone.

Scheduling and ongoing work have so far not been affected. If it becomes necessary to reschedule, we will let you know.

Landscape Business Mistakes

The best mistakes are the ones made by others. Learn from the business mistakes that have been made by other landscapers including management errors like improper hiring practices or calculation of labor needs, technical errors like poor planning and design, and entrepreneurial errors like chasing bad contracts. Learning from others who have gone before you in the landscaping businesses can protect your investment in your business.

Analyzing mistakes gives you a unique opportunity to fix and prevent errors in your business. Reflect on previous misfortunes and discover creative solutions, innovative transitions, competitive advantages and profitable returns.

Here are five costly mistakes that landscape business owners have experienced.

Mistake #1: Not Understanding Project Needs and Requirements

Probably the biggest and most costly mistake that landscape business owners make is failing to fully understand the project scope – or all the needs and requirements of the project. Unfortunately, this happens all too often with landscape businesses of all sizes and experience levels.

Routine projects may feel fail-safe, as they’re familiar and involve relatively few variables. It would be a mistake to assume that every project that seems familiar will really have the same requirements and scope in terms of an investment of time, talent and costs.

Even so it’s the big jobs that get landscapers into serious trouble. Failing to understand and plan for project scope at this level can be disastrous. Poorly managed expenses can cut into project profitability. Unanticipated labor hour requirements and creeping deadlines can lead to shoddy work and even the loss of a large contract. These situations could have been avoided if project needs and requirements were fully understood before they got locked into the contract.

Types of Landscaping Contracts

All landscape contracts are built with four components: materials, labor, overhead and a contingency for unexpected costs. Contracts also have different provisions for risk and protection of both the business and the client. Some landscape contracts are fixed, guaranteed amounts or “lump-sum” for specific works. These are proposed to the customer as bids.

Another contract type is the fixed/variable format. This is where certain parts cover fixed costs and other parts — where conditions are unknown or subject to change — are open to increase or decrease depending on the line item.

The third common contract is called “cost-plus,” where the customer pays for exactly what materials are used in the job and how many labor hours are consumed, plus the landscape contractor’s overhead and profit margin.

Each type of contract has its pros and cons. Many customers who request bids want the reassurance of a known price cap that puts the risk of underpricing on the contractor. Variable contracts have a risk-sharing approach, where cost-plus contracts put most of the risk on the client while protecting the landscaper. This contractor protection works well where the customer is willing to accept risk. The client can also be rewarded with lower costs by eliminating the contractor’s budgeted amount for contingency.

Most landscape contracts, whether for maintenance or new installations, are fixed lump-sum agreements. Fixed lump sum agreements represent the greatest potential for contractor loss, because there is no contingency funding built in for unexpected costs. When a company fails to understand the entire scope of the project, they don’t allow proper planning for the needs and requirements that may not be apparent initially.

Understand the Task at Hand and the Resources Needed

Most costly mistakes occur from underestimating labor and materials, especially when taking into account any specialized equipment needed. Forgetting to allow for material and equipment delivery costs can weigh down the expense sheet significantly. But not allowing for large machines, like mini-excavators, skid steers, trenchers, compactors or paver saws, will be heavy costs to absorb, and threaten the profitability of the project.

Poor estimation usually occurs from a lack of knowledge or a lack of estimation tools. Knowledge of what to look for in a job and anticipating the project’s needs and requirements can take years to develop. Applying the right project cost estimating system is especially valuable for a newer landscape contractor.

Estimating a large and complex landscape project requires a methodical approach. Each phase of the job needs to be itemized with a set allotment for time and materials. Experience is the most valuable asset available to any business process, and it’s not something that can be easily purchased. It can, however, be found in second or third opinions.

A simple safeguard in estimating project needs and requirements is to involve other people. This could be someone else on the company’s team, a supplier or a registered professional, like a forester, horticulturalist or geotechnical engineer. Their opinion of red flags and hidden snags provides insurance against overlooking a vital project component and putting forth a seriously underestimated bid.

Equipment suppliers are a great resource for landscape businesses. Involving a landscape equipment rental company and their knowledgeable staff in the estimation process can help improve your strategy. Their years of experience in knowing what equipment will be needed for a job, the time required and any incidental costs associated with rental fees and operating expenses can be priceless protection against forgetting to include certain time- and material-saving tools.

Taking a team approach to understanding project needs and requirements is a solid business practice that minimizes costly mistakes and lets your landscaping business succeed.

Mistake #2: Buying vs. Renting Landscape Equipment

As a landscape business owner, one of the toughest decisions is whether to buy or rent a piece of equipment. The right approach to this dilemma is to look at what the equipment is needed for, how often it’s going to be used and what to expect for an operating and maintenance burden.

Smaller hand tools, like shovels, rakes, shears and handsaws, are usually bought, as they’re mainstays in the landscape business and typically used daily. The use of power tools such as blowers, chain saws and power washers may depend on the job, and the use of heavy equipment, such as skid steers or backhoes, will vary even more.

The level and frequency of usage of larger, more expensive equipment like tractors, tillers, movers and excavators need to be assessed when making the buy versus rent decision.

A major mistake many new landscaping businesses make is tying up available cash or lines of credit in large purchases like new trucks, trailers and labor-saving machinery. Becoming cash strapped early on in the life of a business can be a fatal mistake. While it might look professional and impressive to roll out shiny new equipment, those items will cost a business tens of thousands of dollars in cash outlay, even if they are heavily financed.

Having cash or credit free to cover emergencies or interruptions in business gives you considerable security. Cash tied up in purchased equipment is difficult to liquidate quickly, and doing so may cause you to suffer considerable loss.

A primary question to ask yourself when deciding whether to buy or rent equipment is, “What’s the best value for my needs and available resources?” The answer should drive your decision.

Buying Equipment

Buying used equipment that has not been properly maintained can be a poor investment and a costly mistake for landscape companies, even if the initial cost is low. The amount of maintenance and potential downtime that often results can actually make it a more expensive option. When buying used equipment, make sure it is from a reputable equipment dealer and that the equipment has been properly serviced and maintained throughout its useful life.

Buying new or slightly used equipment can be a poor investment and a costly mistake for landscaping companies if all financial aspects of the decision are not taken into consideration. Depreciation costs on new equipment will cut part of its value in the first year and can eat the entire amount you’ve put down to meet financing requirements. Depreciation also has tax limitations to be aware of, and should be discussed with an accountant.

On the other hand, buying equipment ensures that you have it all the time and that it is ready when needed. This is a major convenience and can save you from costly downtime. You will, however, need to budget time and money for regular maintenance and any necessary repairs. Servicing costs must be considered when buying landscape equipment, as do security and storage needs.

Renting Equipment

Renting landscape equipment is often the best business value, particularly for machines that only see intermittent use – whether for more seasonal projects or unique jobs. Renting is most likely a good choice for new landscaping businesses that are still working to find their niche in the local market, and are trying to avoid becoming cash strapped. Trucks and trailers are used daily, and may be more suitable to purchasing. But most landscape contractors will agree that it’s a costly mistake not to rent partial-use equipment like aerators, chippers, stump grinders, augers and mortar-mixers, or one-offs like hydroseeders, edgers and sod cutters.

Many landscape businesses own or lease their skid steers. However, attractive rental options are available as there is a tremendous range of these versatile machines and their available attachments. What can be a costly mistake is to purchase specialty attachments, rather than renting them. Attachments are labor-saving devices for specific jobs and can be identified for occasional use during the planning phase of a project.

Popular rental attachments include landscape forks and rakes, grapple buckets, pulverizers, rock hounds, over seeders, and bush hogs.

Consider Service, Maintenance and Storage Costs in Addition to Acquisition

Often, landscape businesses make costly mistakes by attempting their own equipment maintenance and repairs. Rental equipment is repaired and maintained in tip-top shape by the supplier. They employ professionals who know this machinery intimately. Servicing expenses are built into the rental price and eliminate any costly surprises that can pop-up in the middle of a job.

Rental equipment agreements have no hidden secrets or surprises. All details are available upfront when you rent a machine or attachments. The equipment can be delivered right to your jobsite when you’re ready and picked up when you’re done. Purchased equipment has to be transported and stored until it is needed again. It also has to be paid for while it sits idle and isn’t generating income.

The decision to rent or buy equipment might be tough, but weighing the pros and the cons comes down to dollars and cents. Buying, maintaining, storing and financing landscape equipment may be a very costly mistake.

Mistake #3: Improper Timing of Rental and Equipment Needs

Deciding to rent landscape equipment may be the right thing to do, but another costly mistake that landscape contractors make is associated with that decision. That’s the improper timing of rental equipment and needs. Knowing how to time landscape rentals is a valuable business skill.

Plan for Competition

Landscaping is a competitive business. Even if you’ve won a particular job and you thoroughly understood its needs and requirements, budgeted for every detailed contingency and allowed for renting specialized equipment, you have to know that your competitors are out there working on their own projects.

Your landscaping competitors also need rental equipment, and they may need it at exactly the same time you do. With only so much equipment available in a particular area, and so much of the demand being seasonal, it there will be shortages of certain pieces.

Not properly timing when you need equipment is a costly mistake that’s easily avoided by carefully planning and scheduling your work. This helps you know exactly when that equipment is needed, and for how long. It can also be a costly mistake not to partner with a rental equipment supplier who can ensure prompt delivery and uninterrupted use of the equipment until you’re finished.

Consider Seasonal Needs and Availability

Lack of needed rental equipment supply can cost significant downtime in jobs, resulting in completion delays and cost overruns. Seasonal windows are particularly sensitive to rental equipment supply, and certain items are going to be in high demand in peak season. Spring is project start-up time in most regions, and often has the highest volume of rental sales. Inventory gaps occur in seasonal peaks and service is usually provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Equipment rental suppliers value their core, steady group of landscape contractors and appreciate their ability to plan their equipment needs for their upcoming jobs. This makes for a mutually beneficial relationship. Just as you’d want your rental equipment supplier to be organized and to properly time availability and deliveries, they value your reciprocal attention to proper planning. That includes being finished with the equipment on time so they can service other valued customers.

Business owners who plan ahead and time their landscape equipment rentals according to when they’re needed are going to be well ahead in their projects and profits. This is compared to those who leave things to the last minute, or who suddenly realize they need a high-demand piece of equipment in the middle of a job.

Mistake #4: Not Partnering With the Right Rental Company

A truth in all types of business is that no one operates alone. This is especially true in the landscape business, where your network of material and equipment suppliers is nearly as valuable as your own labor force. Without this core support, it would be impossible to serve your customers and remain profitable.

Equipment rentals are a vital part of the landscape business. Even the best-financed and capitalized landscape contractors rely on equipment rentals to fill the gaps in their own fleet. In fact, many landscapers consider their equipment rental supplier to be a key team member. These experienced business owners know the benefits of collaborating with the right rental company.

Rental Partners Provide In-Depth Industry and Equipment Knowledge

Rental equipment suppliers know their industry, and they know the right machines to fit your landscape job needs and requirements. They should be considered a vital resource for advising on what equipment will deliver the best value and how best to operate it for peak performance and return on investment.

By partnering with the right rental company, you incorporate their technical knowledge and ongoing service, as well as top-notch equipment right when you need it, with no delays and no costly downtime. The right rental equipment company goes beyond the standard vendor relationship and creates a true partnership with their customers that consistently provides best-value solutions for the project at hand.

The right rental equipment company also delivers something that’s impossible to set a price on: Safety. Professional equipment suppliers take safety very seriously. They ensure their equipment is kept in safe condition, users are instructed in safe operation and their products conform to all government regulations, including environment responsibilities and worker compensation rules.

Which brings us to mistake #5.

Mistake #5: Not Taking Safety Seriously

Without a doubt, ignoring safety on your landscape jobs can be a very costly mistake. One serious accident causing disability or death can put a landscape company out of business permanently.

Professional landscaping companies ensure that safety is a core principle that forms their company culture. Whether you are the manager, technician entrepreneur, or all of them at once, attention to a serious, organized and committed safety program isn’t just expected in today’s workplace — it’s mandatory.

Make Safety a Team Effort

A thorough and effective safety program takes a big-picture approach. It’s more than just compliance with government rules and regulations. Companies that have a true safety culture don’t simply pay lip-service to posters and slogans. They know total buy-in from management, employees and all business partners is vital to preventing and reducing workplace accidents and dangerous incidents. To them, safety is simply the way they do business.

Safety is just as important as understanding the project needs, deciding whether to buy or rent equipment, timing rental equipment and partnering with the right supplier.

The right rental equipment supplier will be a partner in your safety program, and is part of your insurance against making costly mistakes. Professional equipment suppliers ensure that every piece is safely maintained and all specialty operation instructions and precautions are provided with the equipment.

Your rental supplier is also an excellent source of knowledge on personal protection equipment (PPE). Safety items like hi-vis clothing, boots, gloves, eye and ear protection, fall-arrest kits and breathing apparatus should be part of your safety plan for your business.

Rent from MacAllister Rentals

MacAllister Rentals is committed to being a preferred landscape equipment rental supplier with a dedication to safety. We strive to help you avoid costly mistakes and operate a safe and profitable business.

At MacAllister Rentals, we can assist with all of your landscape needs, no matter how big or small the job might be. Learn more about our available landscape equipment rentals before you start your next landscaping project.

But remember, you can use those green tomatoes too. In this article you’ll find some tips on what to do to make the most of them, and to avoid any of them going to waste.

And throughout the whole of the harvesting season, one common mistake I see is gardeners letting their tomatoes go to waste.

When you have a glut of a particular fruit or vegetable, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, and wonder what to do with them all. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use up your tomatoes – no matter how many you have.

And you can preserve your tomatoes with canning methods, by drying them, or by turning them into interesting preserves to last you through the rest of the year.

Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change.

In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton.

She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site.

When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations.

In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies.

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