Is a Spring Clean-Up for Your Property Really Necessary Every Spring?
Angels Landscape and Suburban Sidewalks
It’s that time of the year again….
when some days we think it’s spring time when the calendar actually reminds us its really still winter. Regardless of the ebb and flow of our local temperatures, spring will be here before you know it and that means your landscaper is probably on your property already working.
Nothing says spring like the sound of leaf blowers humming on your property, especially after a few warm sunny days…
Many people believe spring doesn’t really start until the spring cleanup on your property is completed; leaving your landscape beautiful and ready to reach its full spring and summer potential. While many people believe in this philosophy; some ask, is a spring clean-up really necessary? Here are my top 5- reasons why every property needs a spring clean-up.
Spring Clean-Up Basics for Multi-Family Communities…
Remove Leaves, Weeds and Other Organic Debris…
When it comes to the spring clean-up for commercial properties, an out-with-the-old mentality takes center stage. Whether it’s blown, swept or raked, a good-looking lawn and landscape start with the removal of leaves, weeds, litter and fallen limbs. And while a debris-free property is a great start, this service isn’t done for aesthetics alone.
Landscape debris removal also prevents leaves and other organic material from rotting on your turf and in your beds. Rotting leaves can lead to an array of turf problems including disease and pests; leaves also smother your turf’s access to sunlight, air circulation and moisture absorption.
Edge Your Planting Beds and Tree Rings…
Edging your landscapes planting beds and tree rings is a lot like adding a frame around the picture on your home’s wall. A defined edge provides a clean definition of your planting bed. Most landscapers achieve this using either a hand spade or mechanical bed edger. The end result is used to produce a distinct edge between your turf and beds — something that needs to be done before pre-emergent and fresh mulch are applied. When done properly, a deep manicured edge will help hold back grass roots and weeds from creeping into a landscaped bed. It also makes mowing up to bed edges easier and greatly reduces the risk of damage to plants. Let’s not also forget the ‘curb-appeal’ a fresh edge provides to a property’s ‘first-impression’
Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicides in your planting beds…
A pre-emergent herbicide doesn’t kill existing weeds, instead, it prevents weeds from taking root in the first place. In most cases, when this preventive step is taken at the appropriate time, it greatly reduces the need for post-emergent weed control later in the year. As I mentioned; applying a pre-emergent herbicide to your shrub beds and tree-rings is all about timing. Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied early in the season, when soil temperatures are still below 50 degrees. If pre-emergent is applied too late, you run the risk of battling weeds all spring and summer long.
Add A Fresh Layer of Mulch/Pine Straw to your planting beds…
Once the pre-emergent has been applied, adding a fresh layer of mulch can do wonders for a winter-worn landscape. Mulching or Pine Straw and edging is part of spring clean-up for commercial properties. It’s like a fresh coat of paint on walls. Adding a 1”-2” layer of new mulch in the spring comes with a handful of benefits for your beds. For starters, mulch can curb weed germination and suppress weed growth. It also helps the soil retain moisture and stay cooler as temperatures rise, which can prove to be even more valuable in the summer heat. While mulch comes in many types, it is suggested to use a mulch of a hardwood variety which either comes in its natural forms for color enhanced such as brown or black dyed.
Turf Fertilization and Pre-Emergent Herbicides…
Many lawn care professionals follow a basic ‘rule of thumb’, apply fertilizer in the spring. For those who prefer a weed-free lawn, which most commercial property owners do, spring turf care is as much about weed prevention as it is about fostering healthy lawn growth. Whether a weed is an annual or perennial, your commercial landscaper will use a pre-emergent herbicide or a post-emergent herbicide against it (today; landscapers commonly use both pre-emergent and post-emergent crabgrass killers, an indication of how tough that weed is to battle). For cool-season turf grass in New Jersey, most landscape management programs include either a basic 3-step or 4-step program or a more comprehensive 5-step program.
In conclusion; a good spring cleaning establishes a benchmark for how your property will need to be maintained for the foreseeable months ahead.