Summer’s Almost Over!

Summer is brutal in the Valley.  We’re almost through the worst of it.  That being said, it really takes its toll on everyone, especially those working in the heat.  We’ve been in business almost 3000 days and of that we’ve had to close for about 5 days.  This has been for various reasons, mostly due to health issues.

Last week we had to close for a day due to the heat catching up with everyone.  It was humid and 108 – 110+Corn degrees – a lethal combination for working outside.  For that we’re very sorry for the inconvenience it may have caused some homeowners.

Josh always tells me that I’ve made us look like a “big business” through our website, blogs, communications, and ability to respond rapidly.  Sometimes I think this causes some to forget it’s just me in the office, and one crew in the field!  We’ve chosen at this time to keep the business small so we’re able to keep things simpler for everyone.  The bigger the business gets, the harder it is for two people to manage.  Our crew does an awesome job and we truly appreciate their hard work.

We truly thank all of our homeowners for your business and continued patronage with our small size!

As soon as summer is over, the days will be shorter, cooler, and easier to attend to all the needs of our customers.  We look forward to seeing everyone as you come home to Arizona for winter; it’s sure to be beautiful!

Advertisements

Heat and Patience

It’s hot…very hot.  We’re all a little less patient in the heat and we don’t have time for shenanigans.  Whether we’re rushing to the store or waiting for our yard to get done, things can get frustrating in an instant when we’re hot and tired.  Times sure have changed.  We now live in an era of instant gratification and when you add heat into that mix it’s a recipe for disaster.

552b7de4b9054bbb7a640603e44d2f30--cowboy-western-western-artRecently I’ve had the pleasure of watching a lot of Cowboys ushering in and out of Prescott (AKA, home of the World’s Oldest Rodeo).  I noticed how happy they all were and how kind and considerate they were to one another.  Some looked exhausted, but they still took time to be considerate to one another.  They didn’t seem rushed and they took the time to stop, shake another mans hand, and talk for a moment.  From all appearances, these Cowboys were patiently and kindly moving through life.  Like us, they have issues and problems, but they still remembered to stop and be kind to others.  It was beautiful to watch.

A reality check came quick for me as my phone started alerting me to emails.  Employees started calling with questions and issues they needed assistance with.  All of which is ok, that’s just a part of business and life.  This did make me realize though that understanding others needs, including employees, is essential to our operation.

These past few weeks have been incredibly hard on our crews and it’s not letting up anytime soon.   The heat has been excessive and the challenges in the yards have trying.  The heat is taking a toll on everyone’s yards.  If the service is only being performed every 8 weeks, the yard appears stressed because it’s been awhile since we’ve been there to adjust irrigation and check watering systems.

The Foremen and crew members are suffering from heat exhaustion.  They’ve actually d5bb758f7378e79fef38b21dae02f80cbecome physically ill on some days.  They desperately seek water to put on their heads to cool down when they’re dizzy and sick.  If they’ve used your water without permission, I apologize.  I did receive a complaint about this and I can assure you it was not with malicious intent that they have done this.  I’m sure it was just desperation during extreme heat.

While having your yard maintained, if you notice that we’ve missed trimming something, there’s debris left somewhere, or any other issue you think needs attentionPLEASE let us fix it!  Shoot me an email – this is the ABSOLUTE best way to get in touch with us.  I’ll have the guys back the very next day to get it fixed.  Just know that if something was missed, it was not intentional.  Sometimes we get tunnel vision in the heat and we can miss something.  Regardless, we’ll always make it right.

We realize that not all issues can be resolved with one email or one visit, sometimes troubleshooting can take a bit to resolve.  However, patience is key.  Whether it’s employees, customers, family, friends, or strangers, we need to take the time to show patience and understanding with each others needs.  We’ll do our absolute best to help out when there’s an issue, we just need a chance to do it.  Write to us, having and email is the best way for us to follow up and make sure nothing is forgotten.

For all those out there who have shown us patience, we truly appreciate it!  Your kindness has not gone unnoticed.  Your kind emails and commendations when a job is well done are greatly appreciated.  The crews need to hear this, as do we.  If I could I’d reach out and shake your hand right now – thanking your for taking the time to work with us.  We appreciate your patience when things aren’t perfect, we always want to know when we can make things better.  Thank you for giving us that chance!

 

Food For Thought…

royalty-free-rf-clipart-illustration-of-an-angry-computer-787x300

Ever write a review about a company without stopping to give them the benefit of the doubt in the situation?  I have, and I wish I hadn’t.  Everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – has tough times.  No one is immune to difficulties in their personal and business life.

Before chastising any business publicly, ask yourself, “Did they hurt me in a way I will not recover from?”  “Is the damage permanent and irreparable?”  “Is the public in danger if I do not warn them?”

No?  Then stop, cool off, and decide if you can simply move on.  There is probably a lot more to the story than you may realize but unless they are your close personal friend, you won’t know what’s happening in their life or with their business.

Good advice from TheProvince.com says, “Often, when someone thinks about writing a negative review it’s because they had a bad experience and are very upset. This can cause you to writ

e something really nasty that you regret. The best thing to do is wait a day and revisit your decision to write a review.

RELAX

“If this is malice, if you’re angry, walk away from your keyboard now,” Festinger said. “Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. Walk away because you can’t write a review.”

 

Jan Zeschky, beer and food writer for The Province, said his approach when writing reviews is to be balanced.

“The overall tone of a review can be negative, but it should also offer at least a couple of balancing positives. If there are few or absolutely no positives, I try to give some constructive suggestions on how something could be improved.”

If the experience was truly awful, Zeschky suggests discussing the situation with the vendor or venue before posting anything online.

“It’s likely something has gone wrong with the product or experience you’re reviewing that isn’t representative of what the company offers 99.9 per cent of the time,” he said.

So, that’s today’s food for thought. Be kind.  Be understanding.  Give people the benefit of the doubt.  That kind of good karma will always come back to you!

everything_will_be_fine____by_rare_pearl-d5kg2cu

 

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

It’s hot… and getting hotter.  If you are not at your home right now in Festival Ranch, be sure you have a house sitter or friend make sure the irrigation clock is on and working. Homes that have irrigation clocks on the WEST side of the house are more susceptible to failure due to the direct afternoon sunlight.

Regardless of where it’s located, the heat takes a huge toll on your irrigation clock. Since we’re only at the house once every 4 – 8 weeks, it’s imperative that you have someone checking on your irrigation in between services!

I saw a post I had written on Facebook from a year ago, it said, “Today was so dang HOT. It was not a day to be working outside and yet I did. I’m BEAT. To all those who do this on a regular basis…you should make what guys in the NFL or NBA make and they should make what day laborers make – that seems much more fair.”  

Next Week’s Forecast:

Monday – 118       Tuesday – 117      Wednesday – 114    Thursday – 114     Friday – 114

Our crews bust their butts out there in this heat, day in and day out.  I salute you my friends!  None of us can do this work in the heat without passing out or getting very sick. Forecast

 

 

 

Tree Trimming…Monsoons are coming!

Are your trees starting to encroach on your roof or your neighbors yard?  Need to get the trees trimmed before the official start of the monsoon season?  Get on the schedule NOW!  We’re already filling up the schedule and want to give everyotopping_alt_beforene an opportunity to get their trees trimmed before breakage and damage occurs.

The monsoon season begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, but the storms peak between mid-July and mid-August. On average, about half of Arizona receives about half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon.

Use the link below, our website, or email us directly at FestivalLandscaping@live.com to receive a free quote.  You can even email me photos of your trees and I’ll get you a quote that same day!

Remember – we only serve homeowners in the Festival Ranch community in Buckeye, Arizona.  Thanks!

Email me at

Rumor has it…

We all knorumors-are-no-funw that there’s plenty of rumors and opinions about businesses, neighbors, “friends”, t
he community, HOA rules and more.  There’s even a place for everyone to write their opinions for all to see in Sun City Festival (that’s been a blessing and a curse for some!)
Here’s some questions we’ve heard multiple times and want to supply some accurte answers:

Question:  Can I replace a tree with a Saguaro in my yard?

YES!  According to the SCF Community Standards, “Saguaro Cactus may replace one tree in front yard landscaping when there are more than two trees required. Palms may not be substituted for trees at any time.”

Question:  I’d like to replace some frost sensitive plants with cactus and succulents that will remain green and growing year round.  Can I do this?

YES!  Again, according to the SCF Community Standards, “Cactus, flowers and succulents may replace shrubs on a like size basis.”

Question:  Can I top my tree?

Simple answer, NO.  This is not allowed in Sun City Festival nor is it healthy for your tree. Festival Landscaping will not offer this service to homeowners, but we can help you with a crown reduction if you’re interested.  We trim trees according to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).  This is where Certified Arborists get their training from.   If you have questions about this community standard, you can contact Karey Belanger, the Community Standards Director, at 928-252-2105, or email kbelanger@aamaz.com

Have a question?  Submit it to festivallandscaping@live.com and we’ll post it with an answer!

High Water Bill?

High Water Bill?  << Check out this link – You’re not alone with strange water bills from the City of Buckeye!

Yes, it’s true that a leak or diaphragm issue can cause a high water bill.  BUT, there is a limit to the amount of water usage you’re going to see on your bill.

We had a customer call us today with a water usage of 24,000 gallons – do you realize that’s about 2 SWIMMING POOLS worth of water?  If you had a leak that big, you would notice!

Don’t let the City of Buckeye tell you a water bill that high is a leak – it’s just not true (unless you’re swimming in your yard!)

On the flip side, if you notice a moderate increase of water usage, you may have a leaking valve picture 2diaphragm inside your valve.  This can be caused by a damaged diaphragm (they do wear out over time) or a piece of debris stuck in the valve not allowing the diaphragm to close all the way.

We can certainly help with an issue like this!  Just send us a Service Request on our website www.FestivalLandscaping.com.

We take irrigation issues very seriously and can usually get you in the same day, or the very next day.

It’s Just Me…

I thought it should be said that we like to portray ourselves in a professional manner, but it has been brought to my attention that we may look “bigger” than we really are!

Our landscape crews consist of 5 men right now – 5 fantastic, talented, considerate crewmen!Office  Our office staff consists of…well, just me!  I do the best I can to get Josh the emails and relay messages but it does stack up sometimes.  For this I truly do apologize.  It can be overwhelming, so any patience you can extend my way is always appreciated.

That being said, I want to thank everyone who has shown me kindness and patience while waiting for an email response or call back (sometimes I’m stuck waiting to get the information back to Josh or Chris – but your still patient!).

Have a wonderful day!

Stacy Olson

Weeds Are Back!

It’s that time of year again, the weeds are overtaking yards!  In Festival Ranch we seem to get hit a little worse than those in town.  We’re surrounded by the desert and the wind really picks up some days.  It brings in the seedlings right into your granite and with the first sign of moisture *POOF* – now you’re battling weeds.

That being said, pre-emergent can prevent these.  Pre-emergent will keep these seedlings from ever growing.  The trick is that you must apply the pre-emergent every 6 months. If you wait longer, it can be like starting all over.  You’ll need to treat with a post-emergent until you get the weeds under control again.

Here’s a little Q & A from our website to help you decide if you should have pre-emergent applied:
What is pre-emergent?
  • It is a water based herbicide that when broadcast on your lawn or granite stops seeds from germinating
 Will pre-emergent leave a stain?
  • Temporarily. The color is called an indicator and allows the applicator and client to know what has been sprayed and what hasn’t. Unfortunately the color is built into the material at the factory and we don’t get a choice in the matter. It fades away with sunlight in a few days.
 When should I apply pre-emergent?
  • If you haven’t had pre-emergent applied within the last six months, then now is the time to do it!  We are working in our landscapes year round and can attest that weeds grow every month of the year.  The important part of the service is not to wait until you have a weed infestation.  Apply pre-emergent BEFORE the weeds germinate and then continue to apply it every 6 months to keep the weeds under control.  If weeds have germinated and started to grow, then a post-emergent will be necessary to help eliminate the existing weeds in addition to preventing new ones from growing.
 It rained after the pre-emergent was applied, is it still good?
  • YES. In fact it’s not only good, it’s great!  The pre-emergent must be watered in for it to be effective, this is included in the application process.
  • We will water in the application of pre-emergent during or immediately after it has been applied.  
 After the pre-emergent application was applied to my landscape I still had weeds come up. Did it not work?
  • Pre-emergent herbicides applications are for WEED CONTROL, not total weed eradication.  Often weed seeds have already germinated at the time a pre-emergent is completed. A post-emergent would be necessary to kill existing weeds.
   So if I do a pre-emergent application I’ll never see another weed – right?
  • We wish we could say that you’d never see another weed, however this is an imperfect science and that is exactly why we offer a guarantee. We can treat two identical properties side by side and one will have a weed problem and the other will be pristine. With regular maintenance services, any small amount of weeds that may erupt can be taken care of immediately.  Or if you notice an area that needs further attention simply let us know and we’ll be right out to take care of it immediately!
  • Most homeowners never want to see a weed, so that’s why we do an application every 6 months. Since the material does not last 12 months we do not recommend an application only once a year.
 How long is pre-emergent guaranteed to last?
  • According to the manufacturers label, the pre-emergent can last from 6 – 8 months with an 80-90% success rate.
  • With a single application we guarantee the weed control for 13 weeks.
  • We do offer bi-annual contracts which cover 2 applications – Spring and Fall – and are guaranteed for 26 weeks per application.  This means you’re covered for the entire year!
What does the guarantee mean?
  • Our guarantee means that we will treat any weeds during the warranty period that appear with post-emergent herbicide and reapplication of pre-emergent in problem areas as needed.  
 What is post emergent?
  • Post-emergents (herbicides) are used to kill existing weeds. It is a solution that is absorbed into the leaves, stems, and eventually the roots of the plant to kill it.
 Will post-emergent leave a stain?
  • No. The color fades away with sunlight.
 Why don’t you spray in the wind?
  • We must ensure that we are not spraying plants or other foliage unintentionally.  Since we are very conscience of where we spray and only want to get the pre and post-emergent on the area we intend, we would never spray on a windy day.
 Will pre or post-emergent applications harm my pets?
  • The manufacturers clearly state the application is safe to humans and pets once it is dry. We recommend that pets and children be kept off the treated area until the chemicals are dry. This will vary depending on the season.