ALL landscape maintenance professionals in Manatee County (Sarasota County, too) must individually obtain a Landscape Certification from the Manatee County Extension Service to set foot on a property. This includes the mow and pruning crews, not just individuals applying fertilizer. The required Landscape Best Management Practices is only awarded after successful completion of training from an UF-IFAS Extension Service. Is your vendor certified?
Certification sets an expectation of performance and signifies that your community’s vendor has attained a certain level of knowledge that will give you the confidence that you’re getting the service you’re paying for. Certification put companies on an even playing field so boards can compare oranges to oranges when accepting maintenance bids. Unfortunately, many local companies, some large and some small, are skirting the requirement and providing services while not certified to do so (not to mention that they’re taking your money).
As bid season is upon us, go out and make sure your vendor’s trucks display the vehicle decal to identify certified individuals. Require that companies offering bids are in compliance with Florida’s statutes and visit your county’s extension service website to confirm your vendors have met county requirements. IT MATTERS!