Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Thanks to New England’s wondrous, and at times, unpredictable seasonal extremes, businesses and other commercial properties are faced with the daunting task of ongoing property maintenance. This seemingly never-ending list of to-dos, however, can be managed and optimized with a bit of prep work. Here’s how:
Design with Winter in Mind
When designing your commercial landscape, it’s important to also consider your property’s winter needs. After all, it would be a shame if your hard work in the summer were to be tarnished in just a few months due to insufficient planning. To prevent future broken branches, crushed shrubs and salt damage, identify several easy-to-access snow load areas where your contractor can stockpile snow without the worry of damaging the landscape. Once identified, fill the stockpile areas with resilient plants, mulch, or rugged grass to accommodate heavy snow loads.
Plant a Winner from the Start
During the summer months, waves of amplified heat are often produced on commercial properties with large asphalt parking areas. This can be detrimental to the landscape nearby. Keep your green spaces looking lush and vibrant by choosing heat-tolerant plants like ornamental grasses. This will not only eliminate the “heat island” effect caused during the summer, it will also ensure ample space for snow placement during the winter months.
Keep the Color Going
When you notice the spring blooms beginning to wilt in the summer heat, plant colorful heat-tolerant plants such as cosmos, geraniums or marigolds to keep the color going. When the leaves begin to turn in autumn, the color can continue through classic fall annuals such as the chrysanthemum, pansy and aster.
Perform a Thorough Fall Clean-up
Remove any debris that could hinder spring growth, such as thick layers of leaves and branches; fertilize and weed green spaces to promote root growth; and winterize garden beds to prevent fungus and mildew growth. Come springtime, you and your landscape will be happy you made the extra effort.
Pro tip: With cooler weather and fewer insects, it’s easier and more effective to perform these clean-ups in late autumn, rather than late summer.
X Marks the Spot
Before the first snowfall, be sure to clearly mark all landscape edges to reduce potential damage caused by snow plowing, blowing or shoveling.
Make Quick Work of Remaining Rock Salt
Rock salt leftover from the winter has the ability to not only burn existing plants and create adverse soil conditions, it can deteriorate your concrete. So instead of pushing the remaining rock salt into your garden beds or onto the road at winter’s end, sweep the debris into a dust pan and dispose of it responsibly.
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