Courtesy blow in landscape maintenance refers to final clean up with a backpack blower. It’s assumed that this will take place because, after all, your clients deserve it. It gives their place a nice finished look.
As landscape supervisor and trainer, I train all workers on the importance of a proper clean up blow. But as I found out this past weekend, not all landscapers understand this basic lesson. So please look at the pictures below from Pennsylvania, USA and identify some of the common deficiencies. What bothers you about these picture?
Lawn care basics
Well, what’s on your list? Incredibly, this is the finished product. I believe the elderly home owner was charged $75US for the job when the going rates are something like 50% of that amount.
One obvious defect is the mess of clippings left on the sidewalk. Again, courtesy clean-up blow is a rule in landscape maintenance. The site must be cleaned up and left as if you were never there. This is hardly the case.
Another defect is the shaggy lawn around the power pole. Perhaps line trimming wasn’t part of the deal but for $75US it should have been. By next week it will be even more obvious. And remember another landscape maintenance rule: the line trimming should match the height of your mower setting. Any decent lawn care professional should be able to match his trimming height to his mower.
Blade edging rules!
Lastly, the whole street hasn’t been blade edged in a long time. This is a mistake. Once the lawn starts creeping over into the sidewalk it makes edge re-establishment time consuming.
Take a minute to examine my work pictured below from a city park in Coquitlam, British Columbia. I blade edged the city side; the shaggy edge in front is on a private site. The landscapers there don’t use blade edgers. They vertical their edges with string trimmers.
The aesthetic difference is huge. I love sharp edges. The Pennsylvania street pictured above deserves a nice sharp blade edge. And yes, a final courtesy clean-up is mandatory. Follow the edge with your blower to make sure it’s nice and sharp.
Never leave your lawn care site without performing a courtesy clean-up blow. Line trim all edges at the same height as your mower. And periodically check your hard edges and re-establish them when necessary for a sharp, clean look.
Finally, consider getting Landscape Industry Certified so you can separate yourself from people who perform shoddy work.