Personal Touch Landscape | Get answers to frequently asked questions about landscaping in Hawaii
Personal Touch Landscape is on of Hawaii’s premiere landscaping companies. We understand that landscaping services can be tricky and ambiguous. You can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions here, along with helpful tips on ways to improve your outdoor living area and other landscaping needs. Personal Touch Landscape offers all types of different landscaping services for local businesses and residential homes. Landscaping services include: planting designs, hardscape designs, 3D walk thrus, retaining wall installation, water features, decks, patios, built in planters, pergolas, walk ways, irrigation installation, plant installation, vertical gardens, fire pits, tree installation, outdoor lighting, lawn care, plant care, tree care, pest control, disease control, lawn aeration, dethatching, fertilization, irrigation, ponds, weed control, and so much more! At Personal Touch Landscape, we pride ourselves on being able to offer all types of different services, with the highest level of quality and service possible. Personal Touch Landscape is here to offer the best service, at the best price, to local companies and individuals here in Hawaii.
planting designs, hardscape designs, 3D walk thrus, retaining wall installation, water features, decks, patios, built in planters, pergolas, walk ways, irrigation installation, plant installation, vertical gardens, fire pits, tree installation, outdoor lighting, lawn care, plant care, tree care, pest control, disease control, lawn aeration, dethatching, fertilization, irrigation, ponds, weed control
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FAQs

General Business

Are your personnel trained and supervised landscape professionals?

Yes, all personnel are trained, wear a company uniform, use the proper equipment, and are supervised at all times on all job sites.

Is English a second language for most of your employees and will this create a communication barrier?

Some of our employees speak English as a second language, however there is always at least one crewmember with the necessary English skills with which to communicate clearly with.

Do you meet Hawaii State Licensing requirements?

Yes, Personal Touch Landscape meets all certification and licensing requirements for the State of Hawaii.

Are you properly insured?

Yes, our insurance policy covers workers comp, liability, and motor vehicle insurance.

What is your company’s drug and alcohol protocol?

All company employees, with special attention to our drivers, are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

How are visits scheduled?

Our visits are based on availability, as we are a full service company serving both residential and commercial clients.

Do you a specific type of residential clientele? I.E.(luxury, high-end, condo, etc.)

We service all clients desiring the value created by professional care and maintenance of residential landscaping.

Professional Lawn care is an investment, what type of return should I expect?

A well maintained lawn and grounds increase home values an average of 15%. It is possible to recover 100% or more of your landscaping cost when home is sold.

Does a well maintained lawn help sell my home?

Real Estate Appraisers and Professionals all agree that well maintained lawns sell fast and at a higher price than other properties.

Do plants and trees help the environment?

Yes, plants and trees help protect the ozone by absorbing pollutants. Plants and trees also produce oxygen and help regulate temperature. Heating and cooling costs can be reduced by up to 20% with an efficient landscape design on your property.

Is lawn care good for the environment?

A carefully maintained lawn at 50’x 50’ turf area can turn an amount of carbon dioxide and hydrogen fluoride to support a family of four.

What costs should I expect upon hiring your company to provide services?

Costs will vary and depend on which services you require. As a year round, fully insured, well trained company, we use multiple overhead recovery system to recover labor, equipment, and overhead costs as well as provide fair professional profit. Schedule a consultation for detailed pricing today.

How are employees trained?

We have a standard orientation that last a full day upon employment. Safety and additional training is performed through the year.

Landscape Design

What are the benefits of hiring a professional landscape designer?

A landscape professional is both knowledgable and dedicated to the work they do. Their main objective is increasing your homes curb appeal, ambience, and value through personalized, creative design and attention to detail.

Landscape design is challenging and takes into account many factors from seasonal considerations, to efficiency, plant life, etc. and only dedicated professionals with experience can draw the best conclusions in helping you making decisions about your landscape design.

Having a professional landscaper design your landscape first on paper helps save time and money and allows for changes before any work is done. Additionally, this same professional will be able to continually consult with you throughout the maturation and life of your landscape.

What’s included in the initial consultation offered by Personal Touch Landscape?

The initial consultation consists of an onsite meeting to hear your ideas/vision for the property.
Discuss possibilities for the site based upon your wishes and budget. Upon mutual determination that we have a good basis for partnership, Personal Touch Landscape will prepare a design services proposal indicating the scope of work and the estimated fees for the project.

How does the process of landscape design work?

1.Outdoor Visualization Concept
Assimilation of all input from your completed client questionnaire, review of favorite photos/gardens, budget discussion and determination of a color palette for the garden.
Site analysis & base map preparation. Includes measuring site, taking photographs, analyzing soil, conducting building code research, observing sun/shade/wind patterns, noting drainage issues/noise problems/privacy issues, and identifying plant material to be retained/removed/relocated.

2. Concept sketches & client review.
Once I complete the base plan, I will develop one or more ideas for you to review. We may also look at examples from books or photographs to help select a design concept & direction.

3. Preliminary plan development & client review.
Determine final location & design for all desired site elements, including patios/decking, walkways, fences, arbors, play areas, outdoor kitchens/eating areas, pool/spa/water features, lawn and planting beds, trees and general plant materials. Determine building material specifications for the hardscape elements and develop landscape lighting plan, if desired.

4. Planting plan development & client review.
Develop plan showing specific location of all plant material, including botanical & common names, quantity and size of each plant selected. Includes picture report of all plants.

5. Master plan preparation.
Prepare final conceptual plan which may include any or all of the following: demolition plan, hardscape plan with building materials legend, construction notes/details, lighting plan, planting plan & proposed irrigation zoning plan.

Landscape Installation

What costs are associated with landscaping my property?

While costs vary based on services needed, site condition, and plant selection, if you are taking advantage of all services provided (hardscape, fencing, drainage, irrigation, lighting, plant material, etc.) you can expect to spend an average of 10%-15% of your home’s value.

Why should I hire a licensed & insured landscape contractor?

Just like going to the dentist or consulting an accountant, when it comes to your home you want to consult a licensed and insured professional with the knowledge and credentials to provide you the best service. Many communities have regulations that must be met and a licensed professional can guide you in the right direction. Also ensure any landscape professional you consult is ensure so you are protected from any liability and damage that can occur. Hiring an unlicensed contractor leaves you susceptible to many risks that are not worth the cost savings.

When is the best time of year to do a landscape installation?

Fall and spring are generally the best times to plant. Plants that have been dug from nurseries in the fall are generally dormant and less likely to stress from transplanting. The dormant season allows the plant’s root structure to grow and become established before energy is expended in the spring and summer to produce top growth.

Some definition of “fall” is needed, as it relates to the landscape industry. The planting season associated with “fall” has more to do with the dropping of leaves and moisture content of the ground than a specific date on the calendar. Rainy periods in the fall make the digging and transport of plants from the fields difficult. Conversely, dry periods in the fall can be tricky because it becomes more difficult to keep soil undisturbed around root balls. We try to work with the elements to find the best way to install a landscape.

When planting in the summer months, additional care and attention will be required to insure plant viability. Plants that are to be installed in the summer should be dug from the nurseries early, “healed in” to protect roots from drying out, and carefully monitored from the time of installation throughout the warmer months.

Are there guidelines regarding the watering of newly installed landscape plants?

Yes. It is important to water new landscaping adequately in order to establish a healthy plant life. Do not overwater as it can drown the plants and stop the oxygen flow needed in the soil. Yellowing of leaves from inside of leaves is a sign of too much water. Know the water requirements for all of your plants to avoid these mishaps.

Landscape Lighting

Is there follow-up service/maintenance for my landscape lighting?

One year of maintenance is included with installation. Afterwards, we offer maintenance service contracts based on your needs. This service includes: checking bulbs, lense cleaning, fixture adjustments (pruning around fixtures, foliage management for fixtures, trimming around fixture), and checking of wires for damage or in case of a malfunction.

I would like to reduce my energy consumption. Can you help?

Yes we normally use low voltage lighting that uses only 1/3 the energy of line volvtage. Low voltage lamps at 35-50 watts produce the same effect as 75 watt voltage lamps. Our new LED lamps dramatically reduce power consumption as well.

We are interested in a low voltage lighting system. Do you provide service and maintenance for these systems? If so, do you recommend any particular brand?

Yes. Personal Touch Landscape works with low voltage lighting systems and will recommend the appropriate brand based on your needs ensuring cost savings and efficiency. We have experience with all the major brands and can recommend the right one based on your personal needs.

Do I need to plan ahead for a Landscape Lighting System?

Most of our projects are installed to existing landscaping. If you are having any landscaping or hardscaping done first, have 1″ Schedule 40 conduits run under any patio, walkway, or driveway hardscaping if possible. If your home is new construction, ask that a dedicated GFCI outlet be placed outside in a convenient location to areas of your property.

What damage will occur to my landscaping?

We do not use trenches or otherwise disrupt your turf and landscaping. We also use hand tools when placing fixtures and running wires for the systems. Occasionally we will use a small trenching blade.

How does a Personal Touch Landscape Lighting System compare to a big Home Store lighting kit?

Our personalized and professional service backed by our extensive experience leaves no comparison to a home store kit. Our components are of much better quality and far superior to a store kit. Our fixtures are made of either copper or brass and come with warranties ranging from 15 years to lifetime. You will notice the difference in our fixtures in comparison to store kits.

How much does one of your Landscape Lighting systems cost?

Smaller systems start around $2,000 and take 1-2 days to complete. Medium size projects are about $4,000-$6,000 taking 3-5 days. Larger size projects are $6000 and up.

Can you describe how my lighting system operates?

Our systems typically are composed of a very efficient design that turns on at dark and turns off at the timing preset by you. We also use remote controlled and sensor based systems that can be connected to your home lighting system as well.

Would you explain about the transformer and how it functions?

A transformer converts line voltage power into low voltage power. The transformer cabinet is mounted on an outside power source and also includes the timers and photo cell controls.

I have a small urban landscape that needs lighting? Is this feasible?

We specialize in small garden settings. The correct use of space creates the perfect, well-lit urban garden with a right size and positioned fixtures that allow the landscape to shine and ensure a high level of efficiency and charm.

Is it possible to plan both my landscape and lighting during the construction phase of the home?

Yes. This is the best time to plan for the landscape in order to ensure electric power is distributed effectively along with the landscape and lighting designs.

I would like to use landscape lighting without it illuminating my neighbors property as well; is this possible?

All lighting is adjustable and also includes glare control. Our crew is also very detailed in how they direct lighting fixtures to illuminate certain garden areas.

Do you provide/recommend service on the lighting system after it is installed?

Our maintenance crew’s mission is to keep your lighting system in the best condition possible through training and high service standards. We also keep on hand an extensive inventory of all components to replace and repair your system in a fast and efficient manner.

I would like to install a more efficient lighting system with long life lamps to avoid the frequent burnouts I am currently experiencing; can you achieve this?

The lamps we use in our lighting systems are long life and energy efficient. Many of the lamps we use have an average life of five years or more.

I would like my lighting system to blend with the landscape instead of detracting from it. Are you experienced in these type of design elements?

We do our best to blend fixtures in with plant foliage and conceal them in the landscape. We like our landscapes to portray a nice evening setting that replicates a perfect moonlit evening out in the garden.

Irrigation

Do you offer irrigation installation and services?

Yes. We perform irrigation system installation and services for both residential and commercial properties. Please schedule a consultation so we can find the right plan for you.

How often should I water?

Turf grass should be watered 3/4″ – 1″ per week.
Shrubs and trees should receive deep watering 1-2 times per week.
Annual and perennials should be watered 2-3 times per week. This answer is for established landscapes.

I am interested in having an underground automatic sprinkler system installed, what recommendations do you have?

An automatic sprinkler system is meant to enhance Mother Nature and in no way replaces her. In especially dry conditions, a sprinkler system provides adequate watering to maintain the right moisture levels for your lawn and plants. Irrigation systems do require maintenance in the spring and fall, as well as ensuring it waters according to current conditions by periodically changing the automatic watering schedule.

Will installation destroy my lawn?

All lawns grow back within 14 days and we do our best to install irrigation systems with as little impact/damage as possible.

What is the timeframe on landscape installation?

Installation time depends on size and type, consult us for a specific timeframe based on your personal landscape design.

What kind of irrigation system are used and recommended by Personal Touch Landscape?

We install Rain Bird professional products and focus our efforts on maximizing efficiency and ease of use. We recommend installing timers that offer multiple programs and start times to fully customize the irrigation schedule to fit your property’s unique requirements. We use low precipitation sprinklers for lawns, and drip irrigation for practically everything else (including drip micro-sprayers for veggie-gardens).
*Is this true for you all?

Are you usually busy with installations and should I expect a wait?

Spring is the busiest time of year but we install systems year round. Ask us about off-season pricing. It is possible to sign up in winter.

How long should my irrigation last before replacement is required?

Systems last approximately 30 years as long as routine service is maintained and the system properly cared for. We also offer Lifetime Warranties on our system installations.

Could you explain the different types of sprinklers used in the irrigation system?

Rotary: Rotating sprinklers with a single stream that shoot a stream of water 25-40’. Rotaries are commonly used in large grass areas and also for shrubs in certain locations on your lawn.

Spray: These sprinklers only spray water and do not rotate. The spray distance is normally 4-15’. These sprinklers are used for foundation shrubs and when deep soaking areas need attention.

Drip irrigation: Or point source which can be used on any plant and is very efficient. Drip systems boast 90% efficiency while sprinkler systems top out at 85% and can be lower in general. Great system to use in case of water shortage.

What components make up an irrigation system?

An irrigation system installed by Personal Touch Landscape normally includes a controller (system control unit), valves (for water travel), and sprinklers (administers water in target areas). Irrigation systems are also customized to your needs and we can install rain shutoff controls, moisture sensors for your soil, and detect drip irrigation zones.

Are repairs you make under warranty?

We offer a 90 day labor warranty on repairs. Most parts come with manufacturers warranties. Each repair is different as are the warranties that come with them.

Landscape Maintenance

What are the benefits of professional landscape maintenance?

Landscape maintenance includes mowing of lawn, edging areas bordered by sidewalks, curbs and driveways; removing clippings and organic material caused by mowing and edging from sidewalk, curbs, driveways and other surfaced areas; pruning bushes, shrubs and ornamental trees; trimming perennials, grasses and ground covers; leaf removal and planting bed maintenance. Most homeowners are too busy to provide the constant care usually necessary to maintain an attractive turf. An effective maintenance program involves fertilization, watering, mowing, and cultivation. A lawns appearance, after it has been established depends on a sound maintenance program.

Once a landscape is installed, how do I maintain and care for it properly?

All landscape installations installed by Personal Touch Landscape can be maintained by regular service visits. All maintenance services are available on a weekly, bi-weekly or as needed basis for proper maintenance and care of your landscape. Contact us for a consultation.

What does landscape maintenance cost?

Personal Touch Landscape determines the cost for maintenance service based on the size of your lawn, planting beds and the amount of pruning required. Give us a call to receive an estimate of cost for maintenance for your property. We will survey your site, evaluate the property’s needs, and develop a proposal that is customized to your specific circumstances.

Do I need to aerate? When?

All turf requires aeration at some point; normally when thatch layers are above ½”. Aeration creates deep holes in the thatch and turf and even though clay soild. Afterwards, it is easier for air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of the turf and keep your lawn fresh and healthy.

The recommended times for aeration are spring and fall and should be done at least once a year.

Aeration benefits include: breaking down of thick thatch that blocks nutrients, sun, and air; reduced soil compaction, helps grass to remain firmly rooted and healthy, increases protection against drought, enhances fertilizing benefits, and allows fertilizers and lime to be absorbed faster into the turf.

We are interested in having a pond installed as part of our landscape design. What maintenance requirements do they have?

Pond maintenance includes: filter maintenance, algae control, water temperature regulation and quality. Personal Touch Landscape can install and maintain your pond as part of your landscape maintenance package.

What can I do to resolve the thatch layer problem in my lawn?

Thatch layer problems usually occur in more mature lawns. However, if you fertilize regularly with nitrogen (4 or more times a year), your thatch layer will thicken considerably. It is best to keep thatch layer below ½ inch. Any thicker causes lawns to become stressed and diseased. To resolve and prevent these problems, core aeration is recommended. Core aeration should be done at least once per year, or twice (bi-seasonal). After aeration, overseeding problem areas helps to rebuild a healthy lawn and if pH levels permit, add lime.

Are there benefits to overseeding?

Benefits to overseeding include: fill in bare and damaged areas, especially after aeration, incorporate a variety of seeds to achieve a balance of grass that grows well in both the sun and shade, and finally-overseeding helps young and healthy grass to grow on your lawn that is resists head and stress bought on from drought periods.

I have brown and yellow dead spots on my lawn. How can I get them green again and keep them that way?

Pet urine is a common cause of brown and yellow spots. These spots can easily be treated with at least a gallon of water poured over the spot to dilute the urine. Additionally, herbicides used for weeds cause brown spots and ensure you are not using these products on your grass. Also protect your lawn against larvae, grubs, and insects(especially pest) as they eat grass and also promote growth of fungi.

What is the benefit to mowing my grass weekly, opposed to every other week?

Cutting grass weekly helps to keep lawn free of stress and less susceptible to disease. As long as grass is growing at a normal rate, 1/3 of the blades should be cut weekly, especially during peak season (spring).

What do I do with the grass clippings?

When moving regularly, and at the recommended blade height of 1/3 grass blade height, clippings left on the lawn serve as a source of organic nutrients. To get the most out of blade clippings, keep thatch layer as thin as possible to ensure soil benefits. If thatch layer is too thick, have lawn dethatched or dispose of clippings after mowing lawn.

Are lawn clippings caught and/or recycled?

Clippings are recycled whenever possible as they serve as the best compost for healthy organic soil as they contain 80% water and nutrients. Catching occurs when lawn area is exceptionally small or a large amount of clippings is caught. We will do a double cut based on a 7 day mowing cycle at no extra charge in order to ensure your lawn maintains a high quality appearance.

Friday is the best day to have my lawn cut. Is it possible to accommodate my schedule on a weekly basis?

Our daily lawn care schedule is routed similar to UPS and Federal Express and takes into account route density and efficiency. Open availability on existing and new routes will factor into lawn care scheduling. We will do our best to meet your personal preferences.

When having a special event or party at my residence how much notice is required for scheduling service prior to the event?

With 7 -10 days notice, we can schedule and provide weekly service on the day prior to your event If given 14 day notice, a more detailed service is available where we will provide, a full crew service, mulch, pruning, and add special seasonal details that will ensure your property is in pristine condition for your event. This includes Open Houses if your home is on the market.

How often are my shrubs pruned and what technique is used in the process?

Pruning occurs when damaged and diseased shrubs and branches are present and need removal in order to maintain plant health and retain natural shape of the plant. Hand pruning is recommended over shearing.

Should I use mulch as part of my lawn care regimen?

Yes. A mulch base of 3”-4” inches is recommended for shrubs and ornamental trees as it helps prevent weeds, regulate moisture levels in soil and adds an organic layer against soil decay. Some plants and trees (evergreens, woody, ornamental) do not require mulch for maintenance.

What type and size of grass mowers do you use?

We use a variety of mowers and use the appropriate size for the lawn being cared for. We have lawn mowers from 21”to 64” deck size and larger. We always use the right size machine along with a highly qualified operator to care for your lawn.

How do you cut lawns and at what height do you usually cut them.

General lawn care requirements are 3” mowing height. On the windward side of Oahu we cut to 2.5”-2.75” due to heavier precipitation in the area.

Is it important to mow at a certain height and use an alternating patter?

Yes, mowing at the right height protects your lawn against damage and ensures plants are under less stress leading to better vigor, inability for weed growth, and protection against insect damage.

Do you sharpen your mower blades? If so, how often?

Yes, our blades are sharpened for every 15-20 working hours.

Is shrub pruning one of your available services?

Yes, we provide both shrub pruning and hand pruning. In fact these are one of most popular landscape services.

Is grounds maintenance for commercial properties an available service?

Yes, for over 25 years Personal Touch Landscape has provided commercial grounds maintenance to an array of properties. From hotels to shopping centers, condos, and small businesses, we are experienced in commercial property maintenance to enhance your curb appeal and business image.

What maintenance plans are available to get most of my lawn care?

Personal Touch Landscape provides three yearly maintenance plans. These plans cover everything from lawn maintenance to platinum garden care. Two of the plans are set monthly charges and the other plan is charged man hours used. All services include seasonal cleanups and are charged based on man hours used. Additionally we offer service and installation for low voltage lighting and provide irrigation service agreements. Two of our lawn care programs come with discounts upon pre-payment. Schedule a consultation so we can find the lawn care program for you.

Are seasonal colors provided?

Yes with services starting at approximately $500, we provide spring bulbs, Summer Annuals, Fall Mums, and more.

Do annuals and perennials require mulching?

Yes, but only about 1”-2” is recommended for these plants. For annuals and perennials, a mulch compost mix is a better choice since soil for these plants needs to remain tillable and loose.

What are some of the most import things a lawn needs?

Proper mowing height should be kept at 3″ always cut with a sharp blade, additionally, adequate deep infrequent watering, core aeration once per year and three to four pounds of nitrogen per year.

What fertilization and weed control methods do you use?

Personal Touch Landscape offers two different programs based on your personal expectations of how your lawn should look. We offer one basic plan, and one premium plan based on your personal preferences. Schedule a consultation for more details.

Contact us today for your free consultation.