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Seasonal Color

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jondcoleman, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. jondcoleman

    jondcoleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 181

    I am pretty new to the industry and have just done mowing and a little bit of other services. I am interested in getting started installing seasonal color for my maintenance accounts. I really don't have any experience in purchasing, planting, or maintaining flowers. Any ideas or suggestions as to how I would get started would be much appreciated.

    Jon Coleman
    CLIP Lawn Care
    Maryland, USA
  2. New Image Lawn and Scapes

    New Image Lawn and Scapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    Talk your clients into it. Tell them how it will enhance property appearance. Then go to your local wholesale nursery and purchase. I am in VA. so i'm not to far from you, we pay about$1.75 per 6in pot and we install for $4.25 each pot. hope this helps.
  3. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138


    Spend some time with a local grower and ask his advice as to what does well "where--sun, partial sun, shade" in your area.

    Also, check with your State Ag. commision to make sure you aren't required to be licensed to do installations.

    This requirement varies widely from place to place, however here you would have to be a licensed landscape contractor to plant anything.

    La. Landscape Contractor #2576
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Jon, what are you calling seasonal color? Typically seasonal color is annuals and bulbs. It is an excellent add-on to your existing business if done correctly and an eyesore if not.

    Purchasing flowers is best done from a wholesale grower if possible, and/or a garden center that is willing to deal with you as a professional and price you that way. A wholesale grower is limited to what they can grow in large amounts to make money and ship the whole crop in season, not keep it around for the occasional installer. Many will sell to you, you just have to be early to get what you want in the containers you want, otherwise you will get what didn't sell to the garden centers, florists or other retail outlets. Find annual or seasonal growers in your region and they should be able to help you with product and recommendations.

    Planting depends on what you buy, both type of plants and size. Annuals can be purchased in flats of cell packs, 2.5", 4" & 6" pots. You want to use enough plants in each planting hole to give a full effect from day one and will grow together to make a large mass. Seasonal color is best in larger areas for impact. When planting sell packs, I like between 3-6 in every hole no more than a foot apart, usually 6". 2.5" work well in threes, 4" in pairs and a 6" annual is usually a pretty good looking plant on it's own. It all depends on the impact you are trying to create and when it has to look that way. I have clients that are on seasonal color plans of 5 times a year, including fall planting of spring bulbs and some only twice a season. I have also had the call, "we are having a pool party this weekend, and we want that summer color you told us about 2 months ago", then we plant what we can get and plant heavy. Amending the soil is not a bad thing, and will help the soil and successive plantings but not always needed if the soil drains well and can be irrigated.

    To maintain annuals in the ground or containers, you can use synthetic fertilizers, they're like a Coke and a candy bar. They can't live that way for long, but they are annuals and a big show is why they are there. You may need to feed them monthly or use a product like Osmocote that will last the season or the duration of the plants. Spring flowering bulbs are a different story and should typically be treated like perennials and given the correct type of bulb fertilizer at the right times. You may need to deadhead, remove spent blooms, prune to keep compact or in bounds and make sure they are watered and your client can enjoy color all season long.

    Seasonal color does not have to be flowers. There are some great tropical plants that have great color and form like Coleus or Canna, that do have a flower, but not the main reason you grow it. Elephant ears is another great foliage plant. Grab yourself the Ortho or similar book on annuals, from most bookstores, Lowes, Depot or Amazon and get started. Learn the plants, find out where to get them, and sell them to everyone one of your clients, just not the same plants.

  5. PlantSolutions

    PlantSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Kirk - good going.... not much to add except that Osmocote will be good for a long duration, but annuals want that liquid fertilizer like a great expresso in the morning...gives a boost of energy to keep on going....
  6. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Suzannah, some of us don't drink coffee, and you are all lucky for that.An espresso, liquid fertilizer, is an excellent immediate jolt of fertilizer and an excellent addition to the program. Remember the year after getting out of high school, you can live on pizza and beer, just not for a really long time. It's the same for the annuals, push them hard, change them out for the new season and compost the remains.

  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well I can't add much to that Kirk..keep up the good posts they are very well written and informative.
    But you keep beating me to the good ones!
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    I don't think so, your posts in the calendar forum are much better than I can ever achieve. Perhaps we need more plants, planting and design discussion going on.

  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You can say that again!That is for sure!
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Here let me show you one I will be doing soon and ask for your suggestions just for fun..K?

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