Blog by: Mike Fitzpatrick, Vice President of U.S. Lawns.
You Should Already Be Planning Your Spring Start Up
With springtime just around the bend, we all look forward to the approach of longer daylight hours, warmer temperatures, and the awakening of our turf, trees and plants.
For commercial property owners and managers, this refreshing of the seasons can present new challenges with the landscape.
Spring is typically the best time for mulching, changing out last season’s flowers for some new blooms, fertilizing and replenishing your turf, and starting up your irrigation system after it’s been off all winter. And for regions that get heavy snow and ice, there is probably some plow damage to address, in addition to left-over surface treatment product that needs to be cleaned up.
Partner With Your Commercial Grounds Care Provider Early
So if you want to make sure your grounds are looking fresh and beautiful to welcome the new season, it’s important to connect with your commercial grounds care provider early on. This matters for a number of reasons.
The Landscape Needs Time To React
First, the landscape takes time to react to things. If you want your grass or turf to be bright, Kelly green on St. Patrick’s Day, you need to have that conversation with your landscape contractor in January or February at the latest, and November or December would be even better. Similarly, if you’d like to have annual flowers in full bloom by a certain date, then they need to go in the ground a good four to five weeks prior if the temperatures and weather predictions are favorable.
Secondly, planning ahead is valuable for budgeting. Repairs to the irrigation system, mulching and flowers can all be significant expenditures, so you’ll want to be sure they are included as you plan your budget for the upcoming seasons. At U.S. Lawns, our franchise owners work closely with each commercial client to put together a plan that effectively meets the individual needs of every property.
Now while we’re still on the subject of planning ahead, take heed of your flowers. If you know you’d like to plant pink Begonias, but wait until the week before you want them to tell your landscape contractor, chances are very good that you’ll have to settle for what they can find–and it likely won’t be what you asked for. However, they can pre-order exactly what you want, as long as you give them a few months’ notice.
Be First On The List
Third, remember that everybody in your region has the same target date as you do. If the last freeze date is April 15th, you need to partner with your grounds care service provider to make sure you are both on the same schedule. First one in is usually first one on the list.
Don’t get so focused on wintertime and all the hassles that go along with it, that you put off planning for spring until winter is on its way out, because then you’ll be at the end of a very long line.
Roll With Mother Nature
On a final note, take into account that all of the landscaping activities associated with spring start up are driven by soil and air temperatures, not a date on a calendar. So just because you’d ideally like everything done by a specified date, if it’s been 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside every day prior to that, it won’t happen as originally planned. It won’t be beneficial to turn on your irrigation system or plant spring flowers while there is still a possibility of extreme winter weather.
The long and short of it is we all know how unpredictable Mother Nature can be. While it’s necessary to use calendar dates in order to have a schedule, we must still be prepared to be flexible to her impulsive whims.