A property’s landscape is often the first thing prospective tenants notice. A yard in dire straights could be construed as neglectful ownership and drive away potential renters. If your landscaping has been neglected, spring is the perfect time to create some rent appeal. (See what we did there?)
PropertyManagementInsider.com provides the following tips on how to get your yard looking great for Spring. Tip #1 helped me – I usually begin my weed treatments once I see them, which is too late. In Georgia, you should begin applying a pre-emergent in February to nock out the roots of weeds before they become a problem.
Landscaping Tip #1: Apply Pre-Emergents and Fertilizers
The best way to control weeds is to control them before you see them. Weeds actually begin germinating in February in warmer climates, and if left unattended they will invade a landscape quickly. Apply a pre-emergent now, and then follow with a post-emergent application closer to spring to keep dandelions and other weeds at bay.
Also, applying a slow-release fertilizer will give your landscape the right amount of nutrients at the right time. Typically, about 50 percent of the active nutrients and nitrogen are released at the time of application. Depending on the formulation, the balance will be released over the next two to three months when nitrogen is more in need to promote top growth.
Landscaping Tip #2: Treat for Grub Worms and Cutworms
If critters like armadillos and possums are digging up the landscape, that’s a sign that grub worms and cutworms have infested the lawn. If not treated, the lawn may resemble a war zone. Apply a granular insecticide or larvicide to keep worms from hatching and reproducing.
Landscaping Tip #3: Prune Trees to Encourage New Growth
Winter is a good time to prune trees because they are less stressed and most fungal diseases aren’t overly active. Pruning gives trees a clean, fresh start on the season and promotes even growth. Keep in mind that when trimming deciduous trees that some limbs may need to be pruned even though they aren’t sagging. If not pruned, the limbs likely will sag when new growth buds out.
Landscaping Tip #4: Remove Winter Damage from Plants, Grasses and Shrubs
Some pre-spring cleaning may be in order to cull winter damage incurred by plants, grasses, and shrubs. Before new growth begins, the dead matter needs to be trimmed. Depending on the plant, the entire top may be removed. Removing the weathered or wind-whipped matter enables new growth more opportunity to flourish when warmer temperatures arrive.
Landscaping Tip #5: Make Hard Cutbacks to Larger Plants, Shrubs and Trees
Hard cutbacks usually leave the plant, tree, or shrub looking a little thin and ugly, and that’s not appealing when the rest of the landscape is blossoming. Cutbacks, much like pruning, enable more opportunity to full growth and may be necessary to clean up areas around windows and walkways that are overgrown.
Landscaping Tip #6: De-Winterize Sprinkler Systems after Final Seasonal Freeze
After the last freeze of the season, winterized irrigation systems need to be drained, brought back on line, and tested zone-by-zone for any repairs. Leaks may develop over the winter because of temperature changes and swollen pipes. It’s best to isolate any issues and make repairs before your landscape needs regular watering.
Landscaping Tip #7: Install New Plantings and Mulch
Spring is the optimal time of year for new plantings, but in some warmer climates new landscape material can be applied as weather permits. Generally, the time is good for planting trees, dormant grasses, and shrubs. Also, it’s agood time to apply mulch, provided leaves are finished falling and have been removed from all beds.
Letting the landscape sit idle during the off-season is the last thing a property management team should allow. By employing some preventative maintenance, cleanup, and general preparedness, you can put the wheels in motion for a bold entry into spring.