The leaves are falling. The air is crisp, cool, and filled with the scent of pumpkin-flavored coffee.
It’s autumn! And despite how beautiful the fall foliage can be, it signals more than just the Halloween season. It also means that winter is banging on the door.
Is your commercial landscaping prepared for the upcoming cool weather? Did you know that preventive maintenance can help salvage your landscape through the cold season?
Keep reading to discover what items should be on your landscape maintenance checklist this autumn.
Grab your rake and let’s get started!
Don’t Put the Mower Away
All too often the first task people ditch come fall is mowing the grass. This is commercial landscaping mistake number one.
Not only is a well-mowed lawn aesthetically appealing to clients and patrons of your business, but it promotes healthy greenery.
If you really want to leave a good impression on people, try mowing a design into your lawn. Something as simple as well-placed lines can leave an eye-pleasing impression.
Start by mowing two strips around the perimeter of your property and then mowing alternating, straight lines perpendicularly.
You can also get really creative and hire a professional company to mow your business logo somewhere on your landscape.
Water Your Landscape (But Not Too Much)
Believe it or not, watering your lawn and landscape is essential beyond the hot summer months.
In fact, erratic fall weather means days of extreme, dry heat followed by cold, damp days. It’s important to monitor weather patterns.
You can hold off on turning the sprinkles on following several days of heavy rain. On the flip side, if your area is experiencing a drought, you’ll want to hydrate the grass.
Just be careful not to overwater your landscape. Too much water can be equally as harmful to grass as neglecting to water it. Signs that you’re suffocating your grass with overwatering include standing water or grass and soil that is damp to the touch.
Prepare Your Irrigation System
Speaking of watering, your commercial business also needs to prepare the irrigation system for upcoming changes in weather.
Your irrigation system provides necessary hydration to your landscape throughout the year. But once the cold winter months creep in, you need to protect your hoses and pipes from freezing. This can cause major damage and compromise the system come spring.
Be sure to disconnect and drain all the hoses. Insulate any exterior faucets, valves, and backflow preventers to avoid freezing and breaking.
You’ll want to keep a hose handy though to water your lawn and plants during those dry spells leading up to snow cover.
Pick Up Those Colorful Leaves
Yes, the autumn leaves are gorgeous to look at but leaving them scattered about your landscaping can actually cause damage.
The roots and soil beneath your grass need oxygen and water to thrive and grow. A layer of leaves left unraked can actually suffocate your grass! It may also cause issues with mold and fungus growth.
Once you see the leaves start falling, be sure to get them cleaned up ASAP. This can be done using the traditional rake-and-bag method or a leaf blower.
A lawn scattered with leaves does more for your business than just maintain a healthy lawn. It also improves curb appeal, creating a more pleasant and inviting appearance for guests.
Trim and Prune
Fall landscape goes beyond just a lush, green lawn. If your outdoor space includes shrubbery, trees, and other plant life, you need to consider trimming and pruning branches before winter sets in.
Pruning helps remove dead branches from both trees and shrubs. It also controls their growth and size.
Pruning during the colder months, like autumn, is best. This is when trees and shrubs are dormant, allowing them to heal more easily and return healthier and stronger in the spring.
Professional landscapers guarantee that the pruning process is done right. This means maintaining the plant’s natural growth habits and size.
Fight the urge to have landscapers create elaborate, unnatural designs out of your shrubbery. While these designs might look cool, they can negatively impact the health of your landscape.
Mulch is another important element of commercial landscaping. Not only does mulch look good (coming in a variety of colors including black, brown, and red), but it also helps preserve plant life over the winter.
Mulch acts as insulation – trapping moisture near the roots of your shrubs and trees. This prevents them from drying out over the winter.
Pack a healthy layer of fresh mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs as soon as the cool weather creeps in. Mulch also comes in a variety of types, some lasting upwards of five years!
This is one of the best ways to prepare your commercial landscaping for the fall. Aeration allows water, fertilizer, and oxygen to move more freely through the grass and soil, creating healthier turf.
The process is fairly simple. Your landscaper will remove plugs of soil from the ground, leaving them on the surface of the grass. It’s these holes that allow oxygen in – helping roots to breathe and stimulating growth.
Another bonus is that the removed soil plugs are filled with microorganisms that help prevent soil compaction.
Aeration offers benefits throughout the year. We’re all familiar with those pesky grass clippings left behind after a good cut. Aeration actually helps speed up the decomposition process of clippings left behind.
Start Planning Your Commercial Landscaping for Next Year
Maintaining proper commercial landscaping throughout the year does more than just make for a green lawn. It also shows clients and customers that you’re a professional company that takes pride in its appearance.
Are you looking to improve the cleanliness and overall appearance of your business? We can help.
Contact us today to learn more about our many services and how we can help you put your best foot forward!