With every New Year comes the opportunity to start fresh, creating the mind space to put ideas and improvements into motion. Resolutions shouldn’t be reserved strictly for the individual, it is easy to apply the same mindset to your career or commercial property. Make it a goal to accomplish these three things this year, and the overall image and outward appearance of your commercial property will surely benefit.
Finalize Landscape Contracts
Having a commercial landscape contract in place for the upcoming season will help achieve timely spring service. Spring clean-ups typically begin in February (weather permitting) leaving only a few weeks between now and then to meet with your landscaper to discuss property goals and set the tone for the upcoming year. Regardless when payments or services begin, this is the time of year when your landscaping partner does all of their scheduling and preparation to complete spring services. Late signers lose the opportunity to acquaint themselves with their contractor or make proactive decisions about priorities for the year.
Have a Plan for the Landscape for the ENTIRE Year
Winter is a great time to look at the landscape and create a master plan for improvements with your commercial landscape partner. Without foliage on the trees and shrubs, your landscaper can really see the structure and health of the plants which helps when making recommendations for needed pruning. During the dormant season, your landscaper can also review the landscape more extensively for areas where turf needs to be renovated and can more easily identify drainage issues or concerns that need attention. Make time for your commercial landscape partner this winter and evaluations, recommendations, prioritization, designs, and proposals can be presented for approval sooner. Schedules for enhancement and capital projects are more flexible earlier in the season, so planning now makes it is easier to get projects launched during a time frame that works for everyone.
Schedule Key Seasonal Services
Every service landscaping professionals provide is seasonal and weather dependent. Some services need planning far in advance to be impactful. Here is a short list of services that require advanced planning, do these things early this year and guarantee your property looks great all season.
- Decide if You are an Early Mulcher or a Late Mulcher – Some commercial property owners and managers want to see the signs of winter vanquished from their site at the first opportunity. These are what we consider “early mulchers.” Depending on the winter, clean up and mulching can start as early as mid-February, but some properties prefer to wait long into the season before receiving their mulch so that the property looks fresher long into the summer. These would be our “late mulchers.” It’s really up to you when you want to see your mulch applied and the overwintering debris cleaned up. These services do not have to be concurrent. However, it is important to let your commercial landscape partner know how you would like those services performed so scheduling of materials and resources can be allocated properly.
- Choose Seasonal Flowers Early – The best selection of colors and varieties for seasonal color is available about 4-5 months in advance of when they actually get planted at your property. Growers need to sow the seeds that become the colorful plants we all know and love. That makes Winter the best time to review options for summer flowers with your landscape contractor. Selecting plant varieties, colors, and quantities early ensure that you will get exactly what you want. And don’t forget those containers and pool pots. Tropical centerpieces like Palms or Hibiscus are typically ordered from southern growers so reserving them early is important to make sure that the plants arrive in time for pool openings. Your landscape professional should be able to provide photos to show colors and also offer some ideas for combinations so that you can choose your theme for the season.
- Schedule Your Irrigation Turn On Early – A commercial irrigation system is like a form of insurance for your landscape, but if it’s not working when you need it, what good will it do? In the Mid-Atlantic, it is safe to begin turning irrigation systems on starting in mid-April. You certainly want your commercial irrigation system running when grass breaks dormancy or when it’s time to plant summer flowers so its imperative to get your irrigation service appointment set early. Scheduling ahead gives everyone plenty of time to prepare – whether that means notifying residents or making arrangements to have an on-site representative available to access the water source and approve any needed repairs – your system can be one of the first ones running and properly timed for the upcoming season.