Lodging Operator Consultant’s Corner
Customer’s FAQ Concerning Landscape Maintenance
What is the recommended frequency for landscape maintenance to take place?
I recommend customers specify weekly landscape maintenance service.
Landscape maintenance services may include, but are not limited to:
- Turf mowing
- Litter pick up in landscape and hard surface areas
- Planting bed weed control
- Turf fertilization and weed control
- Plant/tree pruning and trimming
- Hard surface edging
- Irrigation monitoring
- Annual flower maintenance
Even in extreme dry periods when turf grasses might not need mowing, the weeds still grow and other services will be necessary.
Do I need to have mulch installed every year on our properties?
Yes, I highly recommend having mulch installed every year. Freshly installed mulch and crisply cut planting bed and tree ring edges greatly enhance curb appeal. Mulch provides moisture retention for your plant life and helps control weed growth.
When should mulch be installed on my properties and how much?
Depending on the property’s location, specify that mulch be installed within the first month of “growing season.” Normally, mulch installation is performed as part of spring clean-up in March or April depending on location, but it can be applied earlier in the year in the warmer parts of nation. I recommend that you have two inches installed on an annual basis.
How frequently should edging of turf along hard surface areas be performed?
You should specify that edging is performed monthly. If a distinguished edge is established during spring clean-up, then a monthly service is adequate.
Do I need to winterize my irrigation system?
If your property is located where freezing temperatures are common, you absolutely need to deactivate your irrigation system and be sure all the water is cleared of the system. This helps avoid broken pipes and heads following the first freeze, which can result in some very costly bills to repair the freeze damage.
While not prone to snow, there are many areas in the South that still experience deep freezes during the cold season. Irrigation deactivation may not be necessary, but there are some winterization steps that should be taken in late fall to avoid cold season damage. Consulting with a professional Exterior Services Management® (ESM) provider can greatly reduce your risk of system damage and ensure proper irrigation system maintenance throughout the year.
How do I address all of the litter in my landscape areas?
Your landscape maintenance company should pick up litter in your turf and planting bed areas when performing their weekly service. If needed, you can employ someone to perform additional “porter” service throughout the week.
How can I save money on maintaining my landscape?
You have made a substantial investment in your landscape to date and your local municipality has laws governing expectations, so be careful what you do.
First, identify and establish the minimum specifications and frequency you need to achieve your desired results, then discuss all options with your service provider. To effectively manage your individual properties’ needs, you may want to move some contractual scope of work to an additional provider, or work order basis; however, this will involve more management and communication on your part.
You should consider consulting a professional ESM company who can address all of your questions and develop a comprehensive exterior maintenance plan. A management program can help improve your curb appeal, streamline service delivery, reduce overall expenses, mitigate liability concerns and provide quality assured service to each of your properties, while allowing you to focus on your core business needs.