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NOVEMBER 2020

IN THIS ISSUE:

Snow and Ice

Love Your Lawn

Plant of the Month

All About Spring Bulbs

Fall Clean Ups That Get the Job Done

A look ahead at December

Helpful Blogs


outdoor seating areas

The Evolution of the Outdoor Space

Do you remember a not so long ago time when as a child you raced home from school with your friends and played outside until dark and making your way home under the streetlights? The feeling of the wind in your hair, the sun on your cheeks, and the freedom to explore the outdoor spaces. It seems we are hardwired at birth with the urge to be outside and at one with nature. But the past few decades however have produced a societal change, as both technology and our busy schedules seem to have taken over, many of us now rarely find ourselves with the time to be outside anymore. That is to say, UNTIL NOW!  Read more…

Planning for the Terrible Two - Snow & Ice

Snow and ice can be one of the largest liabilities for commercial property owners. Having a thoughtful winter weather management plan helps avoid property damage, injuries and accidents and even lost business.
The single biggest mistake, when it comes to snow removal, is waiting too long to select a contractor. As a Property Manager, signing late means getting on the list at the last minute. This can result in a lower service priority, insufficient planning and logistics, challenging communication and in the end, unsatisfactory service, and complaints. Contractors are at risk too.
Taking on a snow removal contract at the last minute could mean not having enough resources or having the right product to treat ice. And the lack of familiarity with the property creates a very daunting task at a time when services are essential. Planning now, before there is even a storm in the forecast, prevents mishaps and ineffective service later.

plowed parking lot

Quick Next Steps:

  • Select your contractor and execute a contract. Typically there is no cost involved so there is nothing to lose by signing early.
  • Meet on-site with your contractor and review where to push snow, identify key areas to address each storm, and set expectations.
  • Set up on-site staff to handle small or isolated situations. Have ice-melt, shovels, and cones on hand to address refreeze, low spots, or shady areas when it doesn’t make sense to call your contractor back out.

love your lawn

Did You Know?


Healthy lawns are a powerful ally when it comes to helping to clean our environment. Turf absorbs dust, pollen, and other nuisance pollution carried in the air. Surface runoff is often absorbed by our lawns and that helps to keep harmful chemicals and nutrients out of our waterways. And one 2500 sf area of lawn can produce enough oxygen to supply a family of 4. So love your turf – it will love you back!

row of pink muhly grass

The Plant of the Month is
Pretty in Pink

Fall is a time when we start to see the landscape prepare for a long winter break, but there are always plants out there that have to go against the norm. As many other plants are shedding leaves and reserving their energy, Pink Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) screams “look at me!” Wispy thin green leaves are capped with fluffy, cotton candy-like pink plumes. And this grass is more than just a showstopper – it’s great for the landscape. Its clumping habit provides a habitat for wildlife and the plumes attract beneficial insects like Lady Beetles.

Bulbs Shine Bright in the Spring

Bulbs used to be all the rage in the landscape. Everyone who was anyone had to have tulips, but as trends go, that fascination faded. Now, the trend is making a comeback as people are once again appreciating the uniqueness of having stunning bulb displays in Spring.
Bulbs give properties that special “POP” before the turf turns green and the flower buds unfold on the trees.
Contrary to the name, “spring bulbs” are actually PLANTED in the fall in late September through November and they BLOOM in the spring. In order for them to spread their colorful cheer, the bulbs need to go through a cold cycle in order to actually bloom. That’s why they go into the ground in the fall.
Bulbs can be pretty adaptable to various soil conditions, but the one thing they will not handle is consistently wet or soggy soil. This can cause the bulb to rot before spring ever arrives. Some varieties of bulbs are also considered perennials, so if you want to get many years of joy from planting bulbs, use selections such as Narcissus, Crocus, and Allium.


tulips and the washington monument

daffodils in lady bird johnson memorial park

Fall Clean-Ups That Get the Job Done

clean up your fall leaves

Fall traditionally marks the end of the landscape season. Days get shorter, temperatures dip, and plant growth slows down. Services that landscapers perform in fall not only help to tuck the landscaping in for winter, but they also prevent major problems from popping up next spring.

What You Should See in a Good Fall Clean-Up:

  • Lower mowing height – Reducing the amount of foliage that is susceptible to mold and disease that can kill otherwise healthy turf.
  • Mowing leaves – Leaves never fall all at once. For minimal leaf fall, mowing over leaves using mulching blades chops them into fine pieces which then fall back into the turf. As those leaves decompose, they return vital nutrients back to the soil for the roots to absorb.
  • Removing heavy accumulations of leaves that fully cover the turf – Large accumulations of leaves left to sit will cause turf yellowing, disease, and bare spots if left over the winter. Spread these excess leaves in plant beds where as they biodegrade they provide nutrient value to plants.

  • Pruning to clean – Removing broken and dead branches from trees and shrubs before winter helps plants conserve valuable energy. It also prevents injuries and property damage should large branches fall during a storm. Heavy pruning should be saved for early spring.
  • Removing dead or declining plants – Pests and disease can overwinter in debris and declining plants. Getting them out of the landscape reduces outbreaks in spring in addition to removing eyesores.
  • Noting areas where debris naturally accumulates – Large accumulations of leaves or debris can result in drainage issues when snow melts or winter storms come through. It is important to monitor problem areas throughout the winter to keep them clear.

A Look Ahead to December

snow plow

Managing Snow and Ice During a Winter Event

tulips in front of an office

Plan Today for a Beautiful Spring

testing the health of your tree

Why You Should Have Your Tree Health Assessed

Helpful Blogs:

outdoor eating and cooking area

Two-In-One Landscape Design

Landscape Architects and Designers plan landscapes. Working with property owners, they create the objectives to accomplish and define problems that need to be solved. Commercial property owners and managers have a lot to think about when it comes to how the exterior of their property looks.

showy winter plants

Showy Winter Plants for the Landscape

The idea of “showy winter plants” sounds like an oxymoron. After all, this time of year, grass is dormant, the trees are bare, and it’s usually dark when we go to work and when we come home. Are there really plants that bring life and color to an otherwise dull winter landscape? Of course there are! Vibrant berries, exotic bark, and unique foliage color are the stars of a winter landscape, and we have the list to prove it.

snow plow

6 Tips for Selecting a Snow Contractor

Partnering with a good Snow and Ice Management company can take the headache out of severe winter weather for any Property Owner or Manager. If you have never had to hire a snow contractor, or if you have had unsuccessful experiences in the past, here is a surefire checklist for hiring a qualified and competent company who will be by your side through the toughest winter weather.

Building Owners and Managers Association Associated Builders and Contractors Metro Washington Property Management Association Snow & Ice Management Association International Council of Shopping Centers Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
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