Your new install looks great! You are thinking about the time you are going to spend in your new back yard, or how the house looks from the road. Everything is fresh, green, and beautiful. Now the maintenance begins. Nature is always fighting to get back to its natural state. Landscape crews do maintenance to keep the will of nature at bay through weed control, pruning, mulching, and mowing. Ensuring that you have a company that can stay on top of seasonal services and get them done on time is key.
- A great turf program
That new sod will need to be fed and weed control measures taken to ensure it stays weed free and healthy. New sod can also be susceptible to brown patch disease from the need to water more frequently. Brown patch is a quick killer of newly laid sod or seeded lawns. Ensuring that a company is assisting with monitoring turf pests and diseases so they can be treated early protects your investment. A company that performs at least a 4-application weed control and fertilization program is best, along with an annual lime application. Anything less and the results will be evident in the lawn you are left with.
- Aeration for grass areas
Aeration of warm season grasses, like Bermuda, in the summer, and aeration and overseeding of cool season grasses, like fescue, in the fall, is important to protect your sod investment. Aeration helps with compaction and allows the roots to breath. Fescue needs to be replenished with seed each fall to ensure it stays thick and lush. Assume that you will loose 20% of fescue each year, that seeding will keep it going and looking great.
- Irrigation monitoring and maintenance
Water is key, especially the first two years, to ensure that plants and turf can establish well. Your landscape company needs to provide irrigation start ups and walkthroughs in the spring, irrigation shutdowns in the late fall, and monitoring the system to ensure that it is not over or under watering. Ensuring that there is someone on deck to perform repairs so that the system is operational is key as well. A newly installed lawn can fail overnight is hot temperatures and no water in the summer.
- Tree and shrub care
New trees and shrubs are a big investment. Ensuring that they successfully establish and are healthy is key. Irrigation monitoring and monitoring for pests and diseases is needed on regular basis. Knowing how to prune newly planted shrubs is key as well. Some shrubs and grasses should not be pruned the first year they are planted. Having a company with knowledge to tend to newly installed plants is important.
- Annual mulch
Keeping a good mulch schedule not only improves the look of your property but helps keep weeds at bay and moisture where it needs to be, at the roots of the plants. Any new plant bed will see an increase of weeds, they thrive in disturbed soil. Adding mulch suppresses this weed growth. Adding back mulch annually that will naturally break down is good for the plants and soil as well by adding back nutrients through natural composting.
- General Cleaning
Debris and leaves in the landscape is a constant battle, year around trees drop leaves and bark. Making sure turf stays uncovered and mulch beds stay tidy ensures your landscape looks nice. Allowing leaves to sit on paver or concrete surfaces will also discolor your investment. Having a crew do weekly cleanings is key to a good looking and well-maintained landscape.
- Enhancement services
Having a company on deck that can enhance your space into the future is important with an in-house design team. Adding a seasonal bed, more plantings, landscape lighting or making some small changes can keep your property up to date and nice well into the future. Using a company that knows the history of your landscape is helpful when doing smaller projects after the install. Utilizing the same people can cut down on possible mistakes, irrigation repairs, lighting wire cuts, and more since those folks have seen exactly where those lines are and how the systems work.
Using a full-service company that has in house designers, install and construction divisions, as well as a maintenance division is the best bet when planning and executing your landscape investment. All of these parts work together to ensure that your landscape stays alive and well-tended into the future.