Three Big Promotions in the Rochester, MN, Lawn Care World

Rochester, MN, Lawn Care Professionals
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Three Promotions on Rochester Lawn Care Team

Another day at Weller Brothers, another big promotion.

Scratch that – three promotions in Rochester, Minnesota!

We are excited to share that Nino Medar and Ryan Derleth have been promoted to Maintenance Account Managers, while Kirk Olson is now our Minnesota Branch Manager.

At Weller Brothers, our employees’ ambition for individual growth and opportunity is the driving force behind our overall company growth. These three employees making moves in Rochester are the perfect example.

Read on to get to know each employee and how they contribute to creating the healthiest lawns for our Rochester clients.

Kirk Olson – Rochester Branch Manager

Kirk Olson laughs during a team meeting at a Rochester, MN, landscaping company

Like many people, Kirk went to college for an entirely different industry than what he’s doing now. After graduating from Northern Iowa with a degree in criminology, he spent a year working inside a detention center in Colorado.

“I hated it,” Kirk says.

Discovering a Love For Lawns

For a change of pace, he found a job with a local landscaping company as a laborer and quickly found a new love for working outdoors. He quickly moved up into a foreman position, and eventually into a project manager role before moving back to the midwest and taking a position doing grounds maintenance at the Mayo Clinic historic properties.

“I loved working with annuals, perennials, and different types of trees,” Kirk says. “During my ten years at Mayo, I gained a lot of knowledge about turf and plant health.”

Eventually, Kirk was ready for a new challenge in the Rochester landscaping industry. He came across Weller Brothers online and reached out to the team.

“I was impressed by the work I saw on the website and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s who I want to work for.’”

Within a few months of being in touch with Brent Weller, Kirk came on board in a dual role as a maintenance and fertilizer technician, while also doing sales. By the summer of 2022, he had worked fully into an account management role.

Becoming the Rochester, MN Branch Manager

The thought of becoming the branch manager for the Weller Brothers Rochester, MN location hadn’t crossed Kirk’s mind until Brent and Cole Weller approached him about the opportunity. 

With Brent moving his family back to Sioux Falls in January 2024 and stepping into a regional management role (overseeing the Rochester and Des Moines locations) there was a need for someone to handle the day-to-day operations locally in Rochester.

“This is something I wasn’t expecting,” Kirk says. “They [Brent and Cole] said they have confidence in my leadership skills and thought I would be a good fit for the position.”

Brent points to Kirk’s natural leadership abilities as key to having earned respect from both his clients and colleagues alike. 

“Something that has stood out to me the past three years is Kirk’s ability to remain humble, while also inspiring and empowering his teammates,” Brent says. “He brings out the best in those around him, which was one of the primary characteristics we were looking for in a candidate for this position.”

Brent adds that Weller Brothers clients enjoy Kirk as much as the team does.

“Clients who have experienced Kirk’s professionalism firsthand often joke with me that they are going to hire him away from Weller Brothers.”

Despite these positive sentiments toward Kirk, he says that he still didn’t feel 100% confident in taking this new role, but both the Weller Brothers leadership team and his wife encouraged him to jump at the opportunity

“My wife was my biggest cheerleader and pushed me into this,” Kirk explains. “A few years ago, I went back to school for project management. She asked me, ‘Why did you go back to school if not to jump into something like this?’ She was right.”

Kirk Olson, Weller Brothers Landscaping

Looking Forward to Team Management

While Kirk’s new role as branch manager will have some overlap with his previous account management position – such as networking and business development – he will now be more involved in production and financials.

“I’ll be working on the business more instead of on the business; seeing what I can do from a high level,” Kirk says. “I’ll shift my focus to the profit margins for the entire branch vs. for a certain department, like I did before.”

Kirk says he is most excited about managing personnel in Rochester.

“I hope to have more time to be in touch with our team every day,” he says. “As a full-time account manager, I was busy most days meeting with clients and working on proposals. Now, I think I’ll be able to touch base with the team and make sure things are going well for them.”

Kirk adds that his goal is to keep building the culture that is already in place so that they can keep it alive as the team continues to grow.

When Kirk isn’t on the job, you can likely catch him around town coaching his kids’ sports or enjoying weekends outdoors with his family.

Congratulations, Kirk!

Nino Medar – Rochester Account Manager

Nino Medar, Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals

Despite having an experienced and professional team in Rochester, one thing that has been lacking in the office is someone who could “be a bit loud” and “get people fired up.”

Enter Nino.

Nino initially joined the team as a landscape technician and was on track to complete our proprietary Foreman Fast Track program. However, his experience in sales – paired with his energy – made him a great fit to move into a Maintenance Account Management position instead.

“I have worked in the construction industry since my early 20’s,” Nino says. “I’ve transitioned into different roles in other companies throughout the years, but fate always brings me back to my true passion – landscaping.”

A Love For the Job

Nino came to Weller Brothers through the encouragement of a coworker James, who he met through his son’s school. He says that having a simple conversation and seeing his excitement about work was enough for him to seek employment at Weller Brothers.

He says he can’t pinpoint just one “favorite part of his job.” He names the quality of craftsmanship, the teamwork he experiences at work, and the feeling of accomplishment in seeing a satisfied client.

When Nino isn’t on the job, he’s on the basketball court or cheering on his four children in sports.

Great work, Nino!

Ryan Derleth – Rochester Account Manager

Ryan Derleth, Weller Brothers Landscaping

“He has experience in pretty much anything landscape maintenance-related.”

That’s what Kirk has to say about Ryan, who started with Weller Brothers as a Turf Specialist in November 2022.

Ryan brings nearly 20 years of experience in the landscape industry, having started right out of high school and gaining a horticulture degree. He took a short break to explore the retail world, but quickly found himself back in the green industry. 

“I started working for Weller Brothers because I was looking for a change within the industry,” Ryan says. After sitting down with Brent Weller to learn about the company, I knew this would be the place for me.”

“An Easy Decision”

Nino certainly fits right in here, and we are grateful for his well-rounded skillset. Ryan is both a licensed fertilizer application and an experienced irrigation technician. He has experience in mowing and horticulture, as well as in production management and sales.

“This was an easy decision [to move Ryan into the account management role] due to his experience, knowledge, and sales record,” Kirk says. “He has in-depth knowledge of our lawn care services and how they can help our clients.”

He will certainly be an asset to our Rochester clients, as he says that his favorite thing about his job is interacting with clients and coworkers.

When Ryan isn’t outside on your lawn, he’s likely outside somewhere enjoying time with his family.

Welcome to the sales team, Ryan!

Learn More About Careers at Weller Brothers

Our team is constantly growing. As we create positions and promote employees from within, we are always looking to fill roles with talented, team-oriented people.

If you’re interested in a lawn or landscape job in Rochester, MN, Des Moines, IA, or Sioux Falls, SD, you’re in the right place!

Weller Brothers Announces 2024 Employee “Win the Day” Award Recipients

Win the Day award winners Chad Kasten and Tanner Schoenhard

Weller Brothers Announces 2024 Employee “Win the Day” Award Recipients

Congratulations to Senior Landscape Designer Chad Kasten and Maintenance Production Manager Tanner Schoenhard, the first recipients of our brand-new, annual Weller Brothers “Win the Day” Award!

For the first time since 2001, we are introducing an “employee of the year” type of award to the Weller Brothers team.

The “Win the Day” award is a great achievement for a Weller Brothers employee and is awarded to an individual who exemplifies our Roots daily:

  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Communication
  • “Win the Day”

In the inaugural year of this award, the Weller Brothers leadership team selected Tanner and Chad as the recipients due to their outstanding contributions to team management and sales (respectively) in 2023. 

In future years, “Win the Day” winners will be selected through a thoughtful employee nomination process. 

We are so excited to introduce this award to our team and are thrilled to celebrate the winners each year! Read on and watch the videos below to learn more about why Chad and Tanner were selected for the 2024 “Win the Day” Award.

Congratulations!

Chad Kasten – Win the Day Award Recipient for 2024

Chad Kasten and Cole Weller, Chad the 2024 Win the Day Award Recipient

“When thinking about this award, Chad’s name came to mind almost immediately. He’s just growing into the role and knows the value that he can bring to the company but also the influence that he can have on helping others.”

– Jill Holt, Weller Brothers CFO

 

“Chad is a major asset to our business here, and we look at that a lot in anyone who works with us. We pride ourselves on working with assets and that helps us build a better home. Chad, you’re doing a great job.” 

– Jesse Deffenbaugh, Deffenbaugh Homes

 

“Chad sets excessive goals for himself and he exceeds them constantly.”

– Ian Libby, Weller Brothers General Manager

Tanner Schoenhard – Win the Day Award Recipient for 2024

Tanner Schoenhard, 2024 recipient of the Weller Brothers Win the Day award

“The team at Weller Brothers is very wonderful, and one of the most important persons here that makes things wonderful is Tanner Schoenhard.” 

– Carlos Ruiz, Weller Brothers Lawn Foreman

 

“Why do I think Tanner deserves this award? It was a no-brainer for me. The first thing that comes to mind is that Tanner was put into his role abruptly and didn’t have a ton of time to learn as we integrated a brand new company into our own…coupled with unmatched snowfall totals, and he just came in and owned it.”

– Jill Holt, Weller Brothers CFO

 

“He’s like family. He and Sarah bring their daughters over at Halloween and Christmas, and they show us their costumes…It’s so hard to find someone that cares for your stuff like it’s their own.”

– Doug and Julie Lindner, Weller Brothers Clients

Learn More About Working At Weller Brothers

We have the best team in the Midwest; we believe that you can be somebody here. These award winners are just two examples of that.

Learn more about joining the Weller Brothers team and growing your career with us.

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table
Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

How exciting! You have decided to create your dream outdoor living space.

Whether you’re planning for a pool, outdoor kitchen, custom patio, a pergola — or, all of the above — the next step is to find a qualified designer and installation team who can design, build, and maybe even maintain, your landscaping.

You’ve searched online and found a landscaping company in your area. Now, it’s time to meet with the designer.

Before You Get Started, Ask These Eight Questions

Whether you’re in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or beyond, there are several important questions that a homeowner should ask during a landscape design consultation as you approach this huge and exciting investment.

Let’s discuss.

1. What is your design process and how do you work with clients?

The answer to this question will give you an understanding of how the designer approaches the design process and how they work with clients. Some specific things to consider when asking this question might include:

  • How do you begin the design process? Do you start with a consultation at my home?
  • Will you listen to my ideas? What if I don’t have any ideas about what I want? 
  • How will you present your designs to me? Do you provide sketches, computer renderings, or other visual aids?
  • How do you handle revisions and changes to the design? Will you work with me to make changes or do you stick to the original design plan?
  • How do we communicate during the design process? Do you have regular check-ins or do you only communicate when necessary?

You may be working with this designer over the course of many months, or even longer. Entering into the working relationship with an overview of the process will set everyone up for success.

2. How do you approach the design of outdoor spaces and what factors do you consider?

One of your main criteria in hiring a landscape designer is that they listen to your needs and desires for your space, while still bringing their own expertise and creativity.

By asking the designer about their approach to designing your space, you’ll set expectations at the beginning of the relationship.

Some examples of factors to discuss include:

  • Incorporating elements like plants, hardscaping, lighting, and other features into your designs — does the designer have a specific approach to incorporating these elements, or do they take a more flexible approach?
  • Designing outdoor spaces that are functional and aesthetically pleasing — how does the designer balance these two goals?
tile patio with green turf and patio furniture

3. Can you provide examples of your work and references from past clients?

If the answer to this question is “no,” find a new landscape designer.

Work examples and customer testimonials will both attest to the quality of the designer’s work and communication, as well as provide clarity as to whether or not the designer’s style is right for you.

At Weller Brothers, we create landscape tours and client testimonials for many of our landscape design projects. This shows potential customers that our designers and team provide quality and trusted service in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls. Plus, they’re just really fun to share!

weller brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard

Weller Brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard.

Another important thing to consider when looking at a designer’s past work is if it’s similar in style or scope to your project. 

Do they have experience designing outdoor spaces that are similar to yours in terms of size, layout, and other characteristics? If they don’t, perhaps there is another designer on their team who is a better fit for your project.

For example, while all of our designers at Weller Brothers are very talented and experienced, we have one who designs many of our commercial projects and another who loves to work with natural grasses in his designs.

A landscape project is a large investment; take the time to find the designer who can best create what you’re dreaming of.

4. Can you provide an estimate for the cost of the design and any additional services?

Big question, right? You’re probably walking into this meeting with a budget, and maybe you’ve already consulted a budget guide.

Of course, you want to know what this project will cost and what expenses may come up along the way. Maybe you have a budget in mind and you need a designer who can work within those constraints.

Communication is key here.

  • First, the designer should be able to provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the design process, including any consultation fees, site analysis fees, and design fees.
  • How about any additional costs that may arise during the design process, such as changes to the design or unexpected challenges that may require additional work or resources? If so, how will the designer handle these costs?

A clear, upfront conversation about all costs associated with your landscape project will contribute to a smooth and positive experience for both you and the designer.

5. How do you address maintenance and upkeep in your designs?

As the homeowner, are you prepared to maintain your landscape once the project is complete? Do you even know what type of maintenance will be necessary?

Landscape maintenance is an important topic to discuss with your designer because you certainly don’t want your new project to look abandoned and overgrown in a few years. 

If desired, can your designer incorporate low-maintenance plants? Does the company offer ongoing maintenance services to keep your new landscape looking pristine? If so, what’s the estimated cost?

A beautiful landscape is a place to create a lifetime of memories – but it’s also a lifetime of commitment. How can your designer help you prepare for that commitment?

weller brothers employee blowing leafs from a rock bed

6. Can you provide a timeline for the design process and any potential implementation?

Summer is coming, and you want to be enjoying that new patio and fire pit ASAP – we get it.

Just like the budget topic, it’s important to set clear expectations about the project timeline from the beginning. How long will the design process take? When will the work begin? When can I finally dive into my pool?

Other factors that may impact the timeline for the design process or implementation include weather, the availability of materials, and subcontractors. With the freezing Midwest winter, perhaps a larger project needs to be executed in phases.

Communication is key!

7. How do you handle any changes or revisions to the design?

Things happen. Minds change. New ideas take root. So, what happens if you want to revise your landscape design?

Obviously, after a certain point in the timeline, this may not be possible. But, it’s also important that you and the designer work together to create a landscape design you’ll be happy with for years – even if it takes a few revisions.

During the initial design process, does the designer allow a certain number of revisions? Is there a cost associated with revisions? 

  • What if you want to make a change after the groundbreaking?
  • How does the designer handle changes or revisions to the design after the design process is complete and the design has been implemented?
  • Do they offer any warranty or support for changes or revisions made after the design process is complete?

Understanding how the designer handles changes or revisions to the design will help you feel confident that the final design meets your needs and preferences.

8. What is your approach to sustainability and environmentally-friendly design practices?

Some people care deeply about sustainability in their landscaping and all areas of their lives. This may be you!

If sustainability is an important consideration in your Midwest landscaping, bring it up with your designer. He or she may have experience with drought-tolerant plants, rainwater harvesting systems, or incorporating natural grasses into the design.

In general, landscape sustainability boils down to a few key factors (including water usage and types of plants), so an experienced designer will help you find a design solution that you’re comfortable with.

Found the Right Designer? Now the Fun Begins

Once you’ve identified a landscape designer and covered all the bases above, you’ll be amazed at how your outdoor space will transition over the next few months.

We’re so excited for you!

If you’re in the Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, or Des Moines, IA, area and still looking for the right landscape designer, we’d love to learn more about your goals. 

Learn more about our services and processes and reach out if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.

Give the Gift of Lawn Care This Season – Three Holiday Packages

holiday lawn care gift options
holiday lawn care gift options

Lawn Care – A Great Holiday Gift!

The holidays are here!

Perhaps you are stuck on gift ideas for several people in your life. It can be difficult to choose a gift that is thoughtful and useful.

If your loved one is in Sioux Falls, SD, or Rochester, MN, here is a gift option you may not have considered – lawn care!

This is a perfect idea for:

  • A parent who can’t quite do it all themselves anymore

  • A busy friend who can’t find the time to keep up with their lawn

  • A newlywed couple or first-time homebuyers in your life

We know that time is one of our most valuable assets. What better way to give the gift of time this season than to take lawn care off of someone’s plate?

Our 2024 Lawn Care Holiday Gifting Options

We have three different lawn care packages to choose from for holiday gifting:

  • Gift option one: 5-step fertilizer program – Starting at $325
  • Gift option two: option one + one-time sidewalk edging + one application of moisture manager – starting at $720
  • Gift option three: option two + weekly mowing – starting at $2,400

Starting prices are subject to the size of the property’s lawn.

To purchase a holiday lawn care package, reach out directly to your Weller Brothers account manager or designer or fill out the form here.

Five Reasons to Hire a Full-Service Lawn Care Company in Rochester, MN

Rochester, MN lawncare team in front of Weller Brothers building

Five Reasons to Hire a Full-Service Lawn Care Company in Rochester, MN

Maintaining a healthy lawn is no easy task.

Even if you don’t do the work yourself, it can still be time-consuming and frustrating to piece together professional services throughout the year.

“What’s my fertilizer guy’s name again? I need to get a quote. Maybe the college kid down the street will be around to mow this summer for really cheap. Shoot, I forgot to do an online search for an irrigation company to do my sprinkler start-up. Okay, now my grass is dying, and I don’t know who to blame!”

Yikes. Does that sound like you?

The Benefits of Hiring a Full-Service Lawn Care Company

If you’re in Rochester, MN, and you want to eliminate this constant lawn care headache, it’s time to find a full-service, experienced lawn care company that you can count on all year long.

Here are the benefits:

1. You have one dedicated point of contact

When you have a contract with a full-service lawn care company, you will likely be assigned one dedicated point of contact to coordinate all of your lawn services, year-round.

At Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals, we call this your account manager.

You will have your account manager’s email and phone number to contact them should you have any questions about your contract, need to coordinate timing for a service, or general lawn health questions.

This means that not only will you not have to call around to coordinate your various lawn services throughout the year, but you also won’t even need to call our office, speak with our very friendly admin team, and wait for a callback. You can simply contact your account manager directly, anytime during the year.

How’s that for easy communication?

 

2. You have a comprehensive plan for your lawn with one team

There are so many factors that contribute to a healthy lawn. And, especially if your lawn is in rough shape to begin with, the journey to a thriving lawn takes time and care over the seasons.

When you hire one full-service company to provide your lawn care, you can work together to craft a long-term health plan.

You and your account manager will be on the same page about what your lawn health goals are and what it will take to get there, both time- and investment-wise. Additionally, you will know each year what your financial investment will be for the full year of services, which allows you to budget accurately.

When one company is taking care of all aspects of your lawn health, such as proper mowing, irrigation, and fertilizer, there is less room for error.

 

3. You're confident that a trained, professional team is at your home

When you hire a full-service lawn care company, you can trust that the men and women in your yard are both professional and – if applicable – licensed to do their job safely.
 

First, lets talk about professionalism.

At a full-service lawn care company, such as Weller Brothers, our employees have passed background checks and are required to follow our dress code policy while on the job.

We know this is important to homeowners because you don’t want just anyone in your yard or in your flower beds next to your windows. If someone is in your yard wearing a Weller Brothers navy shirt and khaki pants, you will know exactly why they are there.

Now, if you hire the random guy down the street for a one-off bed clean-up, you might look out your window to see some shmuck in a ripped cut-off tee and basketball shorts. Is he the lawn care guy? Is he a rambunctious neighbor kid? Is he running from the police and finding your bushes to be a good hiding place? Who knows . . .

Secondly, let's address training and licensure.

This is especially important when it comes to pesticides. Our team of pesticide applicators are Minnesota state-certified, and they renew their licenses annually by attending an in-person course.

If you just have a “lawn mowing guy”, he likely isn’t licensed to spray herbicide and pesticide on your turf, rock beds, and around your house. This creates a potential risk of the chemicals being applied improperly. They could be mixed too strong (which kills your grass) or could be too weak (does nothing). Or, if someone applies more product than needed, this is bad for both the environment and your wallet.

When you work with a full-service lawn care company like Weller Brothers, you can trust that all applicators are up-to-date on their licensure. That’s because the company will be liable if an employee is spraying without a license – a liability any reputable company will avoid.

4. You receive relevant recommendations for lawn improvement

When lawn care crews and account managers communicate regularly, the customer – that’s you – receives even better lawn care service.

At Weller Brothers, our knowledgeable crews are in constant communication with the account managers. If, for example, a horticulturist notices that your sprinkler head is broken, she will let your account manager know. Then, your account manager will send an irrigation technician to your home to fix it. All this happens efficiently, and you probably didn’t even know about it!

Similarly, when you have the same crew of lawn care professionals at your home each week, they can keep an eye out for developing issues.

Perhaps a lawn mowing foreman notices that, despite following an appropriate irrigation schedule, your lawn is browning week after week. He can let your account manager know, and your account manager may recommend a moisture manager treatment that allows your turf to better maintain moisture during dry periods.

This high-level context and knowledge of your lawn allows the professionals to make the right recommendations, which is great for both your turf and your budget.

 

5. You have a dedicated horticulture team

A full-service lawn care company will have built a team of people who have specific skillsets and knowledge regarding turf, soil, and plant health.
 
Sure, you can hire Joe Shmoe the “lawn guy,” but does he have extensive experience with all of the following:
 
  • correct mowing heights depending on the season
  • how to fix a broken sprinkler head
  • proper chemical mixing practices for fertilizer
  • why exactly your arborvitaes are dying
  • how far apart to plant echinaceas so they thrive

. . . probably not.

But, when you have a team, you get all of this experience in one. That includes a team of trained horticulturists who are dedicated specifically to caring for your landscape beds and plants throughout the year.

The members of our Weller Brothers horticulture team have degrees in horticulture as well as many years of combined experience working in different plant hardiness zones.

This means that your landscape beds will match the quality of lawn care you receive.

Connect With a Rochester Lawn Health Account Manager

Are you interested in getting started on a full-service, year-round lawn health program in Rochester, MN?

Your first step is to contact our office so an account manager can reach out to you. He or she will learn about your lawn health needs, provide an estimate for services, and answer any questions you may have.

Wes Busch Promoted to Landscape Production Manager in Rochester, MN

Wes Busch, Weller Brothers Landscaping

Wes Busch Promoted to Division Manager

Wes Busch, Weller Brothers Landscaping

There’s a new leader in the Rochester, MN, landscaping world.

After several years working on our team as a landscape foreman, Wes Busch is promoted to Landscape Production Manager at Weller Brothers Landscaping in Rochester, MN.

We are so excited to see Wes step into this new leadership role. He’s the right person for the job, and – for Wes – it’s been a long time coming.

Finding Advancement at Weller Brothers

Prior to joining the Weller Brothers team in April 2022, Wes worked as a foreman at another landscaping company for 17 years. Despite his extensive experience, both hands-on and as a team leader, he wasn’t finding the advancement opportunities he was after.

Through a mutual contact, Wes eventually connected with Brent Weller and agreed to meet up with him to learn about Weller Brothers, which had entered the Rochester market about three years prior and was actively looking to grow the team with experienced landscape professionals.

It was during that conversation, Wes says, that he finally found a place where he could continue to grow in his landscaping career.

“Brent and I discussed the paths that I wanted professionally, and he told me, ‘There is no limit here,'” Wes says. “That was enough for me.”

What really sealed the deal, Wes says, was when he asked about the flexibility for family time, like taking off early for his kids’ activities.

Wes says that Brent’s response was “no problem.” With that, Wes was ready to join the team as a landscape foreman.

Shifting Roles – From Foreman to Production Manager

The landscape production manager position became available to replace Matt Stadel, who is opening our Des Moines branch alongside wife and landscape designer, Anna Stadel.

With his experience, ambition, and leadership skills, moving into this role was the natural next step for Wes and the team.

In his previous role as a landscape foreman, he worked hands-on every day at the job site while managing a crew. As landscape production manager, his responsibilities will become broader.

“My new role will be split between office work and training for the crews,” Wes says. “On the job site, I will remain hands-on with crews to teach them the most efficient ways of completing landscape projects.”

When he’s in the office, his job is to make sure that projects are completed on time and on budget, while maintaining the high quality that Weller Brothers is known for. He will create timelines and project calendars and also manage personnel for the landscape division, including assisting HR with interviews and holding employees accountable for keeping great attitudes and showing up on time.

“I’ve been working toward a training-type of role for a long time,” Wes says. “I enjoy training and teaching people processes and then watching them succeed. Sometimes, people even find better ways to do things than what I taught them.”

Wes Busch of Weller Brothers Landscaping reads a landscape plan on the job site

Humility, Listening, and Patience – Wes’s Keys to Leadership

A key reason why Wes was selected for this position is his strong leadership qualities. It certainly takes leadership skills to lead a crew as a foreman, but even more effective skills to oversee and manage a whole division of crews.

Brent points to Wes’s humility as a key leadership trait.

“Wes came to Weller Brothers with a significant amount of experience, yet he also came with humility and an eagerness to learn from others. He has taken feedback respectfully, doesn’t hesitate to ask questions, and we’ve witnessed firsthand how natural it is for him to lead others.”

Wes says that he believes he has become a good leader because he has worked for so many bad leaders, and he learned from those experiences.

“I began landscaping at an early age and there were leaders who were awful at communication. They struggled to give helpful feedback and they had unrealistic expectations,” Wes explains. “I’ve learned a lot through my career of how not to do things. That’s helped me deal with all kinds of situations.”

Wes adds that because each person at work is different, a strong leader has to figure out how people best work together “even if they could spend their whole day butting heads and being unproductive.”

Brent adds that Wes’s approach doesn’t go unnoticed by his team.

“We’ve seen that his colleagues have respect for his work ethic, patience, and ability to stay calm under stressful situations while having compassion for others,” Brent says. 

Wes Busch of Weller Brothers Landscaping shoveling sand

Outside of Weller Brothers

When he’s not laying pavers perfectly, encouraging his team, or communicating with subcontractors, Wes spends his personal time outdoors with his family.

“I hunt, fish, and travel with my family,” Wes says. “My son plays baseball and my daughter plays soccer so I run around all summer. In the winter, I’m hunting and fishing.”

Wes’s Encouragement for Others

The leadership team at Weller Brothers has tremendous confidence in Wes as he steps into this new role. He has the drive, interpersonal skills, and attitude to lead a special team in Rochester.

Even with great skills and potential, Wes explains, some people still find themselves stuck and he offers his advice.

“There are so many people out there who are stuck in their comfort zone, whether with their job or just in their life,” he says. “Had I not taken a blind leap of faith into joining the Weller Brothers team, I’d still be stuck, too. Open up your eyes to what you’re capable of and try something new. If you’re on the right team, the sky can be the limit.”

How Often Should I Water My Lawn?

sprinkler in a green lawn

How Often Should I Water My Lawn?

Whether you have a lawn irrigation system or a garden hose and sprinklers, regular irrigation is key to keeping your grass living and thriving. 

If your turf becomes too dry, it will die; it’s that simple.

So, how often should you water? We’re glad you asked.

The general rule of thumb is to add supplemental water to your turf for a  total of one inch per week for a lush, beautiful lawn. This should be a combination of rainfall and/or irrigation.

Watering Your Lawn With a Sprinkler

The first time you use your sprinkler, set out a dish in the lawn to measure how much you’ve watered and set a timer to know how long it takes to reach one inch. These days, you can purchase a programmable hose end or faucet water timer, so you can then set it accordingly for the future.

There are many types of sprinklers on the market; select one that best suits your application needs. Most homeowners prefer an oscillating one.

Regardless of the type of sprinkler you select and, depending on the size of your yard, you may need several sprinklers or need to move the sprinkler in order to evenly water each section of the lawn.

Watering Your Lawn With an Irrigation System

At the beginning of the watering season (spring in the Midwest), check the heads and pipes for any breakage from the winter.

  • Begin by turning on the system and letting the sprinklers run for two or three minutes per station, checking that all sprinklers are releasing water with strong pressure and are rotating correctly. If any sprinkles don’t appear to be working, there may be a wiring issue, leak, or break in the line.
  • If anything appears to be broken, get a replacement part from a big box store or hardware store, making sure that you buy the correct part for the brand of irrigation system you have. While you can find these parts in stores or online, pay attention to the brand, model, and riser height. There are numerous variations within the make and models which can make it overwhelming. This is one benefit of using a landscape company, like Weller Brothers, to maintain your irrigation system.
  • Once you’ve confirmed that your irrigation system is working properly, adjust how long it needs to run depending on whether it’s a wet or dry season. If you don’t know how long to program it for, you can do roughly 15 minutes on a spray nozzle and 30 minutes on a rotor.

In Sioux Falls, watering days are based on odd/even days of the last number of your house number. The last digit of your house number determines if you are on an odd/even watering schedule. Per city regulation, don’t water between noon and 5 p.m. — the hottest part of the day.

Check Your Rotors’ Rain Curtain

Before launching your irrigation system for the season, you should check the rain curtain on your rotors. A rain curtain refers to the uniform, rotating curtain of water emitted from the rotor head. 

If there is no rain curtain, use an adjustment tool appropriate for the brand of your system and manually adjust the rotor body until you achieve a rain curtain from the rotor head. If you have a huge lawn, this could take hours, but once they are adjusted, they should remain so for the future.

The largest culprit of ill-adjusted rotors will be the heads along the driveway and sidewalks, which may have been hit by snow removal equipment during the previous months.

Other Common Issues

With all of the tiny moving pieces to an irrigation system, there are several other potential issues that should be checked at the beginning of the watering season.

This includes checking the sprays, which are the types of irrigation heads that are commonly placed near sidewalks and driveways, as opposed to the rotors which are on the open lawn.

If sprays are not emitting water, the nozzle or the screen may be plugged. You can remove the obstruction from the nozzle with a paper clip. As for the screen, you can raise it or just replace it.

Also, wiper seals can become worn out on both spray and rotor heads. If the system is running and water is gushing out around the bottom of the cap or out around the riser, the seal likely needs to be replaced. Be sure to match the make and models of the head for the cap replacement — they are not universal. 

How Much Is Too Much Water?

With all of the tiny moving pieces to an irrigation system, there are several other potential issues that should be checked at the beginning of the watering season.

This includes checking the sprays, which are the types of irrigation heads that are commonly placed near sidewalks and driveways, as opposed to the rotors which are on the open lawn.

If sprays are not emitting water, the nozzle or the screen may be plugged. You can remove the obstruction from the nozzle with a paper clip. As for the screen, you can raise it or just replace it.

Also, wiper seals can become worn out on both spray and rotor heads. If the system is running and water is gushing out around the bottom of the cap or out around the riser, the seal likely needs to be replaced. Be sure to match the make and models of the head for the cap replacement — they are not universal. 

Too Much Work?

Many people are simply too busy to keep up with their lawn care. Consequently, their turf never lives up to its full, beautiful potential.

That’s why we are here! Weller Brothers Landscaping provides irrigation service, startup, and blowout services for residential and commercial properties in Sioux Falls, SD, and Rochester, MN.

Prepare Your Trees For Winter – Seriously; Please. We Beg You.

Arborvitaes with snow damage

Prepare your Trees For Winter

Seriously; please. We beg you.

It’s coming – the bitter winter cold.

You know it and you (probably) hate it. But, do you know who else hates suffering in the miserable cold?

Your trees, plants, and shrubs.

That’s right – as you drive off each morning in your remote-started car with seat warmers, with your dog wearing warm booties in the passenger’s seat, your plants and trees are watching you with contempt.

As we approach the cold embrace of winter in the Midwest, protecting your trees becomes more critical than ever. Let’s delve into the essential steps you can take to ensure your trees, shrubs, and plants thrive through the harsh winters.

Why Winter Tree Protection Matters

Jokes about contemptuous trees aside, cold weather protection is a necessity for your plants’ well-being. The South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa winters can be brutal, with extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall. Without proper protection, your trees can face a range of problems:

  1. Bark Damage: The cold, hungry animals can strip the bark of young trees, leaving them vulnerable to diseases and structural problems.

  2. Root Stress: Without late winter hydration, the tree’s roots may become stressed, leading to dehydration and root damage.

  3. Winter Burn: The brutal winter winds can cause desiccation, essentially drying out your trees and leading to dieback.

Remember, the consequences of winter neglect can be dire, potentially costing you the loss of your trees and shrubs.

How to Protect Your Trees and Plants in the Winter

There are a few helpful ways to protect your trees, shrubs, and plants from the issues noted above. Please heed these suggestions from our expert lawn and tree team!

1. Use Tree Guards

Tree guards are simple structures that wrap around the base of the tree, safeguarding against nibbling wildlife and unexpected temperature fluctuations.

It’s common to see hungry rabbits or deer gnaw on a tree bark in the winter. This is because the season has limited their usual food supply so they’re extra hungry. Having a tree guard in place will encourage the critters to go elsewhere.

Secondly, tree guards can create a microclimate that provides some warmth and stability to your tree’s roots and trunk.

You can purchase tree guards from your local hardware store. Otherwise, call upon our team to do the work of placing the guards on your trees.

apple tree with guard and rabbit damage

This apple tree is damaged from a rabbit nibbling on it over the winter.

You can see the owners tried to protect the tree with guard, but the snow drifts got so high that the critters ate above the tree guard.

To avoid this, be sure to apply tree guard as far up the tree as possible.

2. Perform Late Fall Watering

Before the soil freezes, we recommend watering through the late fall and into the early winter to give your trees a deep drink before the weather becomes too cold and dry:

  • Water the tree thoroughly, ensuring the soil is well-hydrated but not waterlogged. Our recommendation is to water at least every other week for 10 minutes with a hose on a slow trickle for deciduous trees, evergreen trees, and large evergreen shrubs such as Arborvitae and Junipers.
  • Perform the early-winter watering when the soil is above 40 degrees F and there is no snow covering.

This helps your trees and shrubs against the dry winter drought and minimizes damage to the root system. Just like humans, well-hydrated trees are healthier, stronger, and look better!

3. Cage or Burlap Your Arborvitaes, Boxwoods, and Junipers

These evergreens are the most susceptible to damage from drying winter winds and snow accumulation.

To prevent this, wrap burlap or wire cages around Arborvitaes, Boxwoods, and Junipers in the late fall to shield them from harsh winds and heavy snow. 

This provides a “blanket” of sorts to the plants, which prevents windburn, breakage from snow, and animal damage, specifically from rabbits, squirrels, and deer.

If you choose not to do this, you’ll likely be replacing your damaged trees and shrubs next spring. Take our advice seriously here – your trees and your wallet will thank you!

arborvitae with snow damage

Because they are along the driveway, snow was packed and plowed up against these Arborvitaes.

We recommend piling the snow in a different location, but also putting a snow fence or cage around them. 

Unfortunately, Arborvitaes are very sensitive to snow damage, and this one will need to be replaced.

4. Apply an Anti-Desiccant Spray, like Wilt Pruf

Anti-desiccant acts as a protective coating of the leaf or needle of evergreens, which reduces water loss during high periods of stress like cold, dry weather.

When the ground is frozen, the tree cannot replace the moisture that is lost from the leaves, which will lead to severe damage or death.

An anti-desiccant, such as Wilt Pruf, will help retain the moisture in the leaves or needles for up to four months in the winter. You can purchase Wilt Pruf at your local hardware or garden store, or you can request that our team apply it for you.

Pro tip: You can also use it to protect holiday wreathes and trees from moisture loss!

5. Touch Up Your Mulching

In the Midwest, applying mulch around trees during winter is crucial for several reasons.

It helps insulate the soil, maintaining a more stable root temperature, which is vital to protect against freezing and thawing cycles. This insulation also conserves moisture, prevents soil erosion, and suppresses weed growth, ensuring the tree’s health and resilience through the harsh winter months.

Take some time to add extra mulch protection to your trees before it gets too cold! What an easy way to aid in tree damage prevention.

Let’s Take Care of Your Trees Before Winter Arrives!

Each spring, we hear from customers who are disappointed that their trees, shrubs, and plants didn’t make it through the winter. It’s always discouraging to hear this because we want your plants to thrive; they are living organisms that should be well cared for.

So, as always, we implore you to take these winter tree protections seriously. 

If you are uncertain of what to do or simply don’t have the time, contact us to do it for you. Let’s work together to get your trees through the winter healthy and happy!

Understanding Seasonal Fall Needle Drop in Conifers

residential patio and fire pit with conifer trees

Understanding Seasonal Fall Needle Drop in Conifers

As fall rolls in and the vibrant colors of autumn foliage begin to appear, you might notice needles dropping from your coniferous trees.

 However, before you start worrying about your tree’s health, let’s dive into the phenomenon of seasonal fall needle drop in conifers.

Seasonal Shedding Is Normal

The sight of needles scattered beneath conifers can be unsettling, but it’s essential to know that this is a completely natural process.

Conifers, such as pine, spruce, and fir trees, shed their older needles in the fall. These needles are typically found on the inner branches of the tree. This shedding allows the tree to conserve energy and allocate resources more efficiently during the dormant winter months.

Proper Hydration is Key

One critical aspect to keep in mind during the fall season is tree hydration.

While the needle drop itself is not a cause for concern, it’s crucial to ensure that your conifers receive adequate water, especially during dry spells.

In Sioux Falls, when the weather tends to be dry, we recommend thoroughly and slowly watering your trees every 10-14 days in October. This ensures that they have enough moisture to prepare for the winter ahead.

Trust Local, Certifed Arborists

Don’t let the sight of falling needles stress you out this fall. It’s a natural process that conifers go through to thrive.

If you ever have concerns about your tree’s health or need assistance with tree care, reach out to our tree health experts in Sioux Falls. Our certified local arborists are here to help you maintain the well-being of your conifers and other trees in your landscape.

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Full Outdoor Kitchen with Mantel Style look, Weller Brothers Landscaping

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Our customers in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls reach out to us with the goal of extending their indoor living space into the outdoors. For many, this means including an outdoor kitchen in their landscape design.

You may quickly brush off the idea of an outdoor kitchen as a lofty investment that will bring your landscape design beyond your budget. However, our designers can likely incorporate the outdoor kitchen elements that you’re looking for into nearly any budget.

So, whether you envision a full-service outdoor kitchen with custom masonry details or a simple kegerator and flat-top stove area – or something else – we’re here to help you decide what will be best for your lifestyle and your budget.

Read on to learn about our favorite outdoor kitchen elements for Midwest homes!

Customizable – The Options Are Endless!

brats being cooked on a grill

The outdoor kitchen is one of the most customizable features in your landscape design.

Unlike some landscaping features that have limitations, outdoor kitchens offer many possibilities. You can tailor your outdoor kitchen to your exact preferences and modify it to your space. Here are a few customizable aspects to consider:

  1. Material Selection: Outdoor kitchens can be constructed from a variety of materials, including veneer stone on a wooden frame, cinderblock retaining walls, and fascia block walls. Your choice of material can greatly impact the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

  2. Size and Shape: Depending on the space available, you can decide on the size and shape of your outdoor kitchen. This flexibility allows you to create a kitchen that perfectly fits your backyard.

  3. Accessories and Appliances: From grills to refrigerators, there’s a wide array of appliances and accessories to choose from. You can even integrate unique features like a kegerator, flat-top griddle, or a pizza oven.

Outdoor Kitchen Elements To Consider

While the options for customization are virtually limitless, here are the elements we typically see our customers choose for their outdoor kitchens:

  1. Grill: A must-have for any outdoor cooking enthusiast, a high-quality grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.
  2. Counter space: Adequate counter space is essential for food preparation, serving, and entertainment.

  3. Fridge: An outdoor refrigerator eliminates the need for trips back and forth to the indoor kitchen.

  4. Bar top or Countertop seating: Whether it’s a bar top or counter with seating, having an area for guests to sit and chat while you cook is a great addition.

Once you cover the basics, you can have even more fun with your outdoor kitchen! Here are additional ideas you may not have thought of:

  1. Smoker: If you already own a smoker, it can be seamlessly integrated into your outdoor kitchen, adding a new dimension to your culinary adventures.

  2. Kegerator: For beer enthusiasts, a kegerator allows you to serve fresh, draft beer right from your backyard.

  3. Flat-Top Griddle: A flat-top griddle is a fun and sleek alternative that allows you to expand your culinary adventures beyond grilling.

  4. Pizza Oven: A custom ceramic masonry pizza oven or a smaller one adds a touch of authenticity to your outdoor kitchen. We’ve had customers implement huge, custom-masonry pizza ovens or smaller, more budget-friendly options.

  5. Fire Table: Consider a fire table as part of your island to create a cozy, warm ambiance.

  6. Swim-Up Bar: While it can be complicated, a swim-up bar is a unique and luxurious option for those with ample space and budget.

man removes pizza from his outdoor pizza oven
homeowners cooking tacos on their evo flat top grille

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen On A Budget

Creating an outdoor kitchen can be a significant investment, but it’s possible to design one that fits within your budget. Here are some tips for stretching your dollar.

For example, instead of building an all-custom outdoor kitchen, our designers can order an outdoor kitchen kit from our suppliers. These pre-designed kits have modular components and they can be a more budget-friendly option.

An important note regarding kits is that the cost savings come from the time saved on the design and planning of an entirely custom kitchen. The elements and appliances are still the same high-quality materials that you can always expect when working with Weller Brothers.

Our landscape designers will always work with you to identify the best options that align with your budget and your vision. That said, let’s discuss what the outdoor kitchen design process looks like!

Other Elements to Consider For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Lastly, you may not have thought about these small but important considerations for your outdoor kitchen. Here are some additional questions are designers will bring up:

  1. Gas or Propane: Decide whether you want a gas line or propane for your grill and other appliances.

  2. Sink Location: Determine if you want a sink connected to your irrigation system or back into your house.

  3. Outlets: Consider how many outlets you want on your backsplash for crock pots or counter lights.

  4. Customization: Think about personal touches like custom beer taps for your favorite sports team or other unique customizations.

The Outdoor Kitchen Design Process

Choosing the elements for your outdoor kitchen involves collaboration with your landscape designer. Our team knows all of the ins and outs of creating and outdoor kitchen!

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your designer will listen to your needs, preferences, and budget. They’ll draw up a design based on this information.

  2. Product Selection: The designer will make product decisions based on your budget range. They may present you with options for different elements, ensuring you’re happy with the design.

  3. Customization: If you have specific appliances or fixtures in mind, the designer can work around those, ensuring your outdoor kitchen perfectly suits your desires.

You can gain a more in-depth understanding of our landscape design process in Sioux Falls, Rochester, and Des Moines right here.

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Let’s Get Cooking!

Do you feel inspired? We hope so!

Your next step toward having an outdoor kitchen is to schedule a consultation with one of our designers in Rochester, Des Moines, or Sioux Falls.

We’ll check out your space and discuss your budget and what elements you’d love to include in your updated space. We can’t wait to brainstorm with you!