Carlsbad Home Owners - Choosing a Landscaping Service

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE License #01490977

Bird of Paradise flowersThe Carlsbad area, and the rest of San Diego, is known for terrific weather year-round, which is great for people as well as the tropical vegetation. If you are a gardener, or just enjoy year-round greenery, then Carlsbad is a great area to be.

But what to do about all those flowers, palm trees, and grass that grow most of the year?

As a Carlsbad homeowner the choice is to maintain it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you, or to at least help with regular maintenance and projects you don’t, perhaps, want to contend with.

Keep in mind that removal of brush from around your home is a smart fire-retardation method, and in some areas is required by local regulations.

Landscaping and grounds keeping is a huge industry in our area, for obvious reasons, and finding the right people to help with your yard is important. Just because someone can push a lawnmower or handle a pair of shears to clip plants does not necessarily qualify them to do the right job.

There are many folks out there willing to work in your yard for a fee – I probably get 2 dozen business cards dropped off at my home each summer. Prices vary, as do the services offered, and the skills of the service provider. So how do you decide? And what issues are important to consider?

  • References and referrals – first and foremost I would try to solicit referrals from people you trust. And a reputable firm will be able to provide references. I would not just hire anyone who walks up to your door and solicits your business…and that is not uncommon.
  • Understand the services that will be provided and at what cost. Some folks charge by the hour, others by the job, some will simply do general yard maintenance (e.g., weekly) for a fixed rate, and so on. Understand whether you will need to pay by cash, check or credit card, and how and when you will be billed (at the completion of the work, monthly, etc.). Do you want someone who will just come in and take care of what needs to be done, from their perspective, or do you want more control over what gets done?
  • Whoever is providing the services should know about the grass, trees, shrubs and plants they are caring for. Inappropriate trimming, the wrong fertilizer and other careless actions can ruin your plants. Tools that are not cleaned can carry molds, fungus, and other diseases from one yard to another. If you just have basic grass that needs care that is one thing, but fine specimen plantings require a knowledgeable person. And if you want a major landscaping project done, you will surely want to get estimates and designs from several reputable companies before proceeding.
  • Communication – how will you communicate your needs to the folks working on your yard? In person? By a note? Do you just let them decide what they think needs to be cared for and how? The industry here in Southern California employs a large number of workers who speak Spanish so you will want to make sure you and those working on your property can understand each other well enough to share information, questions and so on
  • Special Projects – taking care of trees, such as tall palms (which are common in our area), or removing them, requires more than person who cuts your lawn. You need someone who knows about the different types of trees, how to trim them, how to deal with roots, diseases, unnecessary branches, and so one, and especially someone who knows how to deal with tall trees and has the right equipment (and who has the necessary insurance and workman’s compensation coverage).

Don’t take the care and maintenance of your yard for granted. It can be a costly part of home maintenance, and added value for your home. If I can help in terms of finding local services to assist you, please feel free to ask.


If you need additional information or have questions about the housing market in general, please contact me by phone or text message at (760) 840-1360 or email me at

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Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate
Jeff, excellent tips for the homeowners.  You are on top of this, as always!
Mar 02, 2008 05:10 PM #1
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


Just like as said in my post about our landscaping....I usually say to get 2 or 3 different estimates and see their work from prior jobs.

Mar 02, 2008 10:06 PM #2
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
This is one of my favorite subjects as I love gardens and gardening.  Great guidance for your relocating clients!  I'll bet you don't have a John Deere tractor mower...the first thing we bought when moving to NC from Southern California.  But, you are truly in one of the country's best areas for gardens!
Mar 03, 2008 01:11 AM #3
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Jeff the way a house looks on the exterior is very important, and has a major affect on the value of the house.  But I had not thought of the safety value that you mentioned in regards to the brush.
Mar 03, 2008 08:53 AM #4
Linda Scanlan
A Fan of AR - Burleson, TX
Jeff - what a gorgeous plant in that photo! Is that in your yard, and if it is, what is it? This post has some excellent advice for hiring landscapers.
Mar 03, 2008 10:50 AM #5
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Thanks, Irina - it's a subject near and dear to me.

Neal - yep, it makes the most sense. But even if you are hiring some folks to trim the grass and want to m=be sure it will be done well and the cost is fair.

Nope, Diane - I do not do grass. been there, done that. I pay to have someone do it for me. :) Surprisingly, despite the weather, gardening can be a challenge withe the coastal climate and crummy soil.

George - clearing the area around houses is actually mandated in some areas prone to fires, and it is one of the things that actually helped many homes in the recent fires not get damaged.

Linda - yep, it's our yard. We have 3 of these beauties - Bird of Paradise flower. The hummingbirds love them and they bloom twice a year for months at a time. Thanks for the compliment.


Mar 08, 2008 02:43 PM #6
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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