Prepare Your Commercial Landscape for Summer and Winter
The Challenge of Commercial Landscape Maintenance
In areas that experience hot summers and cold snowy winters, commercial landscape maintenance can be tricky. During the summer, businesses want to present customers with an appealing, colorful vista. During the winter, they need commercial landscaping that can withstand being buried in snow and other cold-weather conditions.
But though it’s challenging in such climates, commercial landscape maintenance is certainly doable. Herbaceous plants like groundcovers, perennials, and annuals look good in the summer but die back in winter. This means they facilitate safe snow storage without risking harm to vulnerable branching. In the spring, they provide burgeoning green and other colors in the spring and transitional colors in autumn.
Here are additional pointers to help you with commercial landscape maintenance.
Commercial Landscape Maintenance: What to Do for Summer
Your biggest commercial lawn care problem during the hot months is likely to be drought. Commercial properties are likely to suffer from drought worse than other areas due to the abundance of asphalt. In such conditions, drought-tolerant plants like ornamental grasses can keep a property looking lush and green with the least amount of watering.
Additionally, do the following:
- Promote new growth by attending to the areas that bore the most snow load during the winter. Rake leftover salt and sand from landscape edges and then water them thoroughly. The watering leeches salt that has penetrated the soil.
- Spread a compost and loam mix with seed and fertilizer on lawn edges that were stressed by snow removal.
- To achieve early color and retain it as long as possible, plant spring-flowering bulbs like hyacinths, daffodils, and narcissi between Halloween and Thanksgiving. In addition, cool-season annuals like forsythia branches, pansies, and pussy willow provide spring color and look good along sidewalks and around entryways.
- Planting summer bulbs like cannas and dahlias ensures you’ll have color in late summer too. So do annuals like lantana, scaveola, and petunias. (Note that the annuals will require some ongoing care in the form of consistent watering and periodic fertilization.)
- Plant fall annuals like chrysanthemums in early October. Ornamentals like ornamental peppers and ornamental kale will provide color even into the start of winter.
- When winter is on its way, seasonal greens and berries in planters, possibly with the addition of branches and pinecones, create an appealing woodland look. Ornaments and colored lights can celebrate the coming of the year-end holiday season.
Commercial Landscape Maintenance: What to Do for Winter
When performing commercial landscape maintenance for winter, the biggest problem is dealing with all the snow that has to be removed from parking lots and sidewalks. Big piles of snow can break branches and crush plants. Salt and sand can hurt plants and lawns and make dirty messes. Here are the things that you can do to cope:
- Designate snow-load areas for snowplow operators where there are no vulnerable plants. Snow-load areas should be easy to reach.
- Designate snow stockpile locations. You want one such location for every 100-foot run of parking lot or driveway. The snow stockpile locations are where the heaviest snow loads are going to end up, so they should go in landscape areas with mulch, hardy grass, and/or rugged plants that won’t mind being covered over in heavy snow. They should also be in place where they won’t hamper snowplow operators as they go about their work.
- Make sure landscape edges are easy for snowplow operators to spot. Even in adverse conditions like a snowstorm or at night, the operators need to be able to differentiate between the area that needs to be plowed and the space beside it. Additionally, all areas should allow for easy cleanup.
- Obviously, safety comes first, and thus you may find yourself using a lot of potentially plant-damaging salt wherever people walk outdoors. But if you can, avoid over-salting and be mindful that a different drainage strategy might eliminate some pools and puddles and keep ice from forming in the first place.
- Once they’ve served their purpose, get rid of sand and salt as soon as possible to keep them from damaging vulnerable plants.Don’t brush it onto planed areas and let it sit there.
If you need any sort of help with commercial landscape maintenance, we invite you to contact us here at Country Landscape. Our team of professionals is ready to help you.