Native Land Design Blog

HOA Playground Maintenance 101: Much More Than Mulch

Ben Collinsworth

Children living in a homeowners’ association (HOA) community and their playgrounds go together like peanut butter and jelly. Nothing beats having a nearby, safe area for children to gather and enjoy the outdoors together while their parents visit with each other.

However, safety is a huge concern when it comes to any outdoor play structure and the surrounding landscape. An HOA must keep safety in mind when hiring a landscape professional to assist them in maintaining its playground.

While mulch is a very large factor in HOA playground upkeep and safety (we’ll go more into mulch below), it’s not the only consideration. There are other factors that impact HOA playground safety that your landscape professional can help you address.

Sure-Fire Signs Your Landscape Maintenance Provider is Underperforming on Your Bid

Ben Collinsworth

Feeling a little pressure as a Texas commercial property manager?

We understand. It’s a tough job. You have tenants to answer to. You have a budget to adhere to. You have requests and complaints and suggestions coming at you from every direction. The last thing you want to do is waste time, energy or money by investing in a professional who isn’t delivering the results you agreed to. 

But, unfortunately, not every hire is going to meet or exceed your expectations.

How Native uses technology to provide professional customer service.

Ben Collinsworth

A whopping 89 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.


This according to the RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report.


At Native Land Design, we know how important customer service is. It plays a critical role in how we think, plan and strategize our business.


We never want our customers to feel like it’s challenging to do business with us.


As such, over the last four years we’ve invested in some key technology to make doing business with us much simpler.

Hate Landscape Budget Planning? Your Account Manager Can Help!

Ben Collinsworth

It’s that time of year again … and it’s not one that many folks look forward to.

Dental cleaning and cavity filling? Root canal time? Your least favorite distant relative is coming to visit? And they want to stay with you for a week? Nope. None of the above! It’s landscape budget planning season. And some property managers say it’s even more dreadful than any painful dental visit or uncomfortable family get-together.

Why is this the worst time of year? Because it’s getting to be the busiest time of year as school starts soon and the holidays near, so momentum is building toward year’s end. At the same time, meeting or beating annual numbers is on everyone’s mind. Planning the next year’s budget amidst all of this activity is typically one of the least enjoyable aspects of your job. 

Sometimes, though, we make the task worse on ourselves because we don’t take advantage of tools and tricks that can make it easier. You can avoid the many pain points of landscape budget planning by taking advantage of the wisdom of your landscape account manager.

Here’s how.

Common Texas Lawn Insects, Diseases & Weeds Every Property Manager Should Be Able To Spot

Ben Collinsworth

There are a lot of problems you face during the growing season on your Texas commercial property. And most of these problems happen in the lawn.

A fine blanket of lush green turf that has blemishes on it in the form of scraggly weeds, brown patches of disease or torn up bits from armadillos trying to get at the insects lurking beneath stands out like a sore thumb. No office park, hospital, retail center, homeowner's association or other commercial property wants its image tarnished by a lawn riddled with blemishes and infestations.

Lucky for you, there are usually a common few insects, weeds and diseases that typically plague Texas lawns. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to recognize them so you can get ahead of the problem and stop it in its tracks before it does too much damage?

What Are The Pros and Cons of a Self-Performing Vs. a Subcontracting Landscape Company?

Ben Collinsworth

When you’re looking to satisfy the lawn and landscape management needs of your Texas commercial property or properties, and you’ve made the decision to look outside of your current organization for a vendor to help, the market provides you with two choices: hire vendors that self-perform their services or opt for vendors who subcontract their services.

Self-performing the services means the company you hire sends their maintenance crews out to do the work, while subcontracting means they hire another company to do the work for them while still playing the role of account manager. So, in essence, with subcontracting, a truck with a different logo than the company you hired may show up to your property to conduct the duties that need performed on your commercial landscape.

So, which do you choose?

How Large is Native Land Design (And Why Does it Matter)?

Ben Collinsworth

Every American loves small businesses. Everyone feels a soft spot for that scrappy start-up or mom-and-pop shop because they are very relatable and have values we admire: creativity, innovation, authenticity, excellent service.

In fact, businesses that operate using these values make a bigger mark on their communities. Even if communities today are much larger, technology has enabled customers to interact directly with each other as if they lived in a small town. People online are banding together in small communities. People want to buy things locally. Being more human and relatable like a small business is the trend consumers are craving today.

In a very natural way, Native Land Design has grown to embody this feeling at its company. We like to say we are “big enough to serve you but small enough to know you.” Let us tell you more about what that means.

5 Multi-family Landscaping Services To Ensure Your Property Always Has a Wait List

Ben Collinsworth

Many property managers struggle to handle the needs of their multi-family properties. Juggling multiple tenants and a surge of incoming maintenance requests requires a significant investment in time and energy.

Turnover is costly. Getting vacancies ready to rent, advertising them, showing them and screening tenants is an expensive and labor-intensive process. Once you find the ideal tenants, the goal is retaining them. In today’s competitive multi-family residential market, struggling with tenant turnover, delinquencies and dissatisfaction is not an option.

Overcome weaknesses and thrive to get your tenants to renew again and again, ensuring your property always has a waitlist, by focusing on these key landscape areas.

Production Mapping and Gantt Charting: What Are They and How Do They Help You?

Ben Collinsworth

Every business is concerned about improving productivity. As a business works to improve and grow, boosting productivity can help them clarify goals and refine systems so they run more smoothly, wasting fewer dollars and resources.

Employees play a key role in productivity. Being efficient helps the firm increase the capacity of their people. Productive people are also happier as they work together toward a common company goal. Healthy and happy employees make for a more successful organization.

One way Native Land Design minimizes waste and increases job site productivity on its clients’ landscapes is through production mapping and Gantt charting.

5 Texas Weeds Property Managers Should Know About Before They Become HUGE Problems

Ben Collinsworth

This might just be the worst situation Texas commercial property managers deal with.

You spend countless hours trying to create a lush, luxurious carpet of emerald lawn to be the forward-facing highlight at the front of your facility. Your first impression amplified in brilliant, vibrant green.

Then, weeds strike. And once they infiltrate your once-flawless lawn, sometimes it feels like nothing you can do can keep these scraggly, rough-textured blemishes from ruining your perfect commercial landscape picture.

The only way to keep weeds from destroying the lawn you’ve created is by knowing which ones tend to strike and when and staying ahead of them to prevent them from sinking their seeds into your turf.

The Top 3 Reasons to Plant Trees and Shrubs in the Fall in Texas

Ben Collinsworth

Now that the dog days of summer are over and you’re feeling that little bit of nip in the air that screams, “Autumn,” it’s time to start planting in your landscape.

Yes, we said planting … and, we know, it’s not spring.

There is a misconception that spring is the best time for planting, but, contrary to popular belief, fall is actually a better time.

Plants and trees not only add aesthetic value to your Texas commercial property, but they also do a lot of good for your community by removing pollution from the air, reducing heating costs and lowering stress levels.

Set your plants up for success by planting them at the appropriate time of year. Here are the top three reasons autumn can help get your plants and trees off to the best start.