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The Best Month To Call Sonoma County Landscapers

It's January. I'll save my breaths.

Why January? It's raining, wet, nothing is blooming yet, and plant availability is low?

January is regarded as landscaping's slow season. Many contractors are hungry for work and have ample free time to pay you a visit and plan your project. Sometimes it feels as if nobody will call you back in the spring or summer. Though we always do, our customer acquisition times are long and open slots to schedule a visit are harder to come by. Prospective customers in January are likely to get us at your door and a proposal in your e-mail inbox much faster than normal.

By consulting with pros in the beginning of the year, you can have all the time in the world to make that design or that proposal perfect before springtime. But there's advantages to performing the work in the dead of winter as well.

January is also slow for suppliers. For some reason, it seems as if nobody is taking advantage of the cool weather and supple, moist soil conditions to begin a project. Hardscape, irrigation, and nursery suppliers are dying for a contractor to come in and clear out thousands of dollars in inventory. As a result, you'll get more materials for less cost.

Easy digging also occurs when the soil is at its wettest. The clay soils fill with water and yield to even the gentlest shoveling. Between heat stroke concerns and rock-hard clay, it can take us almost an hour to plant a 15 gallon tree in August. That time gets cut in half come the rainy season. Labor isn't cheap (especially good labor). Yet another benefit of a winter landscaping project. Ditto for drainage jobs, where hundreds of feet of trench must be dug (often by hand). Not to mention, it's easy for the homeowner and contractor to witness and address the extent of the stormwater problem if there's lots of stormwater actively causing a problem!

Plants, if available, love being introduced to a new home in the winter. Rainfall contains far more clean water and nitrogen than well or municipal water, which contains copper, iron, chlorine, and trace amounts of other chemicals. Irrigation water simply doesn't satisfy a new plant like the real thing! Plus, the cold conditions will prevent sun damage or hot roots (a common cause of stress for containerized plants.)

Trees also respond smartly to pruning in January. Trees in the winter are much like we are - they slow down, conserve energy, and want to chill out. A tree "chilling out" involves storing loads of glucose in the roots and halting new growth until the sun returns. When a tree is pruned in the winter, it loses less energy since less of it stays in the branches. Trees will bud in early spring, and reach peak density in the late spring. Then, heat and warm winds typically begin to stress the tree in the summer. Fruits appear on branches, and while often tasty and beautiful, sucks a lot of energy out of the tree. By Fall, the tree is tired. It soaks up all the sun it can, reduces foliage loads for the winter, and stores energy in the roots. Now imagine you drastically prune a tree during the summer. It's attempting to grow leaves, begin fruit production, AND heal hundreds of little cuts at once! Not a fun time, and the tree can freak out a little trying to do everything at once.

Bonus reason: 3 out of 4 of our employees like working in the cold vs working in the heat.

So if you're planning on making a new years resolution, how about knocking out your yard-work checklist with Winglewich Landscape Contracting! Our skilled and mindful team will thank you for it.

Call 707-755-0612. If I don't respond immediately, I'm probably busy wiping the January mud off the floor mats in my work truck.

- Sam Winglewich

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