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The Ins and Outs of Landscape Maintenance: An Interiew with Jennifer Tucker of Team Turf Landscapes

By Jennifer Tucker

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Jonathan Tucker established Team Turf Landscapes, LLC in January of 1996 to provide a complete range of exterior landscaper services to owner of commercial and residential real estate. The company is located in Marietta, Georgia, and our service area includes Marietta, Roswell, and some parts of Cherokee and North Fulton Counties.

Team Turf is a family-owned business with long-term family values, and the entire organization works hard to produce outstanding landscapes and to display excellence in all customer interactions.

We specialize in complete outdoor renovations ? retaining walls, paver patios, dry creek beds, natural stone walls and steps, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, decks and pergolas. Along with hardscape design and construction, Team Turf also focuses on plant & sod installation, drainage solutions and grading, irrigation installation and repair, and outdoor lighting installation.

Our basic services include landscape maintenance, and seasonal services such as flower installation, leaf removal, and cleanups, etc.

Can you briefly describe what you would recommend as a basic property or landscape maintenance program for a healthy yard?

A basic landscape plan includes weekly maintenance coupled with basic chemicals and proper irrigation throughout all seasons. This allows for all your bases to be covered- proper turf height, proper shrub care (deadheading and trimming), fertilization and weed control, as well as appropriate feeding and watering. The basic plan should also include pine straw or mulch applications throughout the year, as well as aeration or aeration and overseeding depending on turf type.

What are some of the most common areas (or outdoor tasks) that homeowners neglect?

Some of the most common areas of landscape neglect tend to be drainage problems that may pop up in somewhat hidden areas of the yard, keeping bed areas free of weeds, and staying on top of routine plant and shrub care. It's so common to see overgrown landscapes because folks just don't take the time to cut back, deadhead, thin out, etc.

Do you have any tips for keeping lawns green and gorgeous?

Sadly, a green and gorgeous lawn just isn't going to happen without a consistent water, chemical, and mowing program. Many homeowners don't want to incur the expense of a chemical program or a proper irrigation schedule, but especially in our area where the heat and wetness of a typically southern summer can wreak havoc on a landscape, you simply cannot forego it.

Is there a common misconception that people have about proper yard maintenance?

A common misconception that people have about yard maintenance is that it's a simple, once a week occurrence. It's not. Everything in a true landscape is a living, breathing specimen, which means that weeds do pop up overnight, or pests will take down one shrub but leave its neighbor. So many times we field phone calls from customers saying that their yard just doesn't look as nice as the one across the street. Well, the guy across the street may have full sun, or a northern exposure, or his camellia bush may be sheltered from wind and colder temperatures by the side of his garage. There are so many factors that play a part in the success or failure of plants and turf, that there is simply not just one solution that fits every property. And you have to be willing to walk your property, pull a weed here and there, and have an ongoing conversation with your landscape management company to ensure a beautiful outdoor setting.

What are some of the most important steps that a homeowner can take to help keep their yard looking great?

Steps a homeowner can take: arrange for regular landscape care that covers weekly maintenance, seasonal color, pine straw and mulching of beds when necessary, aeration or aeration/overseeding, weed treatment and lawn fertilization; install an irrigation system or make certain that your current system is working correctly and scheduled appropriately (every once in a while you should test all of the zones to be sure all heads are working and each zone is getting hit); add hardscape features to your landscape to create outdoor living spaces- there is nothing more beautiful than a landscape that has become an extension of the home.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

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