We might be in the midst of winter, but property managers know spring comes fast. There are landscape maintenance tasks to manage as soon as possible to prepare your grounds to look their best when the time comes to enjoy outdoor spaces. Some of these late-winter/early-spring landscaping to-dos can be handled during temperate winter days, so it’s a good idea to plan now so your commercial maintenance provider can leverage opportunities to get your property in shape well before the weather breaks.
Here are some early spring landscape services that will set your property up for a beautiful season.
Get a Jump on Spring Cleanup
Winter winds toss around leaves that are shed from trees in fall, and some hold on to their foliage through winter and drop them intermittently. No matter how thorough your fall cleanup was, properties gather leaves in the cold weather months that need to be cleaned up so turf can breathe. Otherwise, you can end up treating lawn diseases. Besides, scattered leaves in landscape beds look messy. Typically, spring cleanup occurs after the last thaw for the season when we have some days of moderate temperatures without snow cover and the ground is dry. At Neave Group Landscape Management, we like to make the most of those times to handle tasks like collecting leaves and stray branches.
Late Winter Pruning
On a balmy day, even with snow cover, we can still accomplish landscaping tasks — particularly pruning. There are benefits to pruning plants while they are dormant. For one, we can see the tree canopy without foliage and assure that proper shaping is accomplished. Also, when we prune before a plant develops new growth, it can recover from the cuts and there is less plant stress. Plus, plants enter spring prepared for vigorous growth. Some plants that deserve pruning in late winter include evergreens like pine, boxwood, hollies, and other needled and broadleaf varieties. We also prune shrubs that do not flower in spring. As for trees like oaks, winter pruning can prevent disease and pests will not be attracted to the cuts.
Mulching Landscape Beds
During fall cleanup and throughout winter with wind and snow clearing, landscape beds can lose some mulch. There are benefits to mulching in fall and in spring. We recommend fall mulching — often adding a light layer — to protect plants during winter. If you skipped this step or mulch wasn’t necessary at that time, early spring is an ideal window so you can help the soil retain moisture and nutrients while suppressing weeds. However, we keep in mind the types of plants in beds and surrounding trees that might drop “helicopters” or foliage. It’s best to wait for early spring bloomers to drop so fresh mulch can be applied after cleanup.
Addressing Winter Damage
Inevitably, the snow season causes some “burn” from deicing products and torn-up turf in areas bordering parking lots, driveways, and walkways. During a spring assessment, we identify areas that will need special attention in early spring. Some plants can suffer from winter burn, resulting in browning, scorched foliage, or dead limbs. We can prune damaged or dead branches during winter, and if plant replacement is necessary, going into spring with a plan allows us to take advantage of balmy days once the ground has thawed.
Jumpstart Spring Lawn Care
The first lawn care application is a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent grassy weeds (crabgrass) from germinating. In spring, fighting weeds can feel like a losing battle if your property is not on a customized turf and plant care program. Spring fertilization prompts green-up and wakes turf up from winter. Additionally, properties benefit from aeration, which reduces soil compaction and allows water, nutrients, and oxygen to reach turf roots, resulting in healthier growth. We combine this with overseeding to rejuvenate the lawn. This annual best practice can be performed in the fall and then pre-emergent is applied in the spring. We perform this service once the soil temperature is consistently 55 degrees or warmer.
Consider Landscape Enhancements
When the weather doesn’t allow for lawn and landscaping maintenance, you can evaluate your commercial property’s grounds and we can identify opportunities to create a more attractive entrance, functional outdoor gathering areas, or landscape improvements to update the look. This year, we’re adding fire and water features to commercial properties, along with outdoor covered spaces.
Get Set for Spring with Neave Landscape Management
At Neave Outdoor Solutions, we take the time to walk your property with you, discuss your vision and identify areas that could be improved. We listen. And this is the foundation of a successful partnership. Let’s set up a free, pre-season site visit so we can identify ways to get a jumpstart in spring.
We look forward to getting to know your property. If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at 845-463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call 914-271-7996; from Connecticut, dial 203-212-4800; from New Jersey, dial 201-591-4570. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.