Top 3 Tips for Keeping Landscape Plants Healthy

The spring solstice is just around the corner. So many property managers are gearing up for the arrival of warmer weather, new planting, and new growth.

Follow three easy tips for keeping your landscape investment in beautiful shape for years to come.

1. Provide proper irrigation

Set plants up to grow and bloom during the spring and summer months by taking proper care of them during the winter. This means making sure trees and other plants receive the correct amount of water and fertilizer during this time period.

Depending on location, hydration will be easier as plants receive water from snow melt and rain. For instance, in the milder climates of California, property managers will need to make sure that landscapes are adequately irrigated year-round without relying on heavy snows or rains.

2. Pick the best location for your plants

Make sure the ideal growing climate agrees with where plants, shrubs, or trees will be planted. Will it have room to grow fully or will it need to be continually trimmed to remain the space it’s been planted? Consider how various microclimates will affect the plant’s health.

If the plant requires full sun to grow and flourish, then make sure it is set in a location that provides full sun all day. Furthermore, space plants out in a bed. If plants are crowded together they will compete for light, water, and nutrients and also creates excess humidity allowing diseases to thrive.

3. Maintain it

To allow the plant to grow naturally and fully, make sure that the plant receives adequate water, the appropriate amount and correct type of fertilizer is pruned and monitored for pests. It’s easier to maintain healthy plants by constantly checking them rather than trying to revive stressed and unhealthy ones.

Every property and landscape is different and requires separate maintenance. In addition to sticking to these tips, it’s recommended to partner with landscape professionals to assess the best approach and preservation for your property.

Remember that often the property’s landscape is the first point of contact for visitors, so make the best impression. A clean, beautiful landscape adds curb appeal making it easier to market and adds value to your property.

To learn more about how TCA can work with you to improve your property’s landscape, please contact us.

Quinton Guenther serves as an Enhancement Manager for Terracare Associates in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in offering services outside Terracares base maintenance contract including but not limited to upgrade or enhancement creative ideas and water saving systems. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact us to find out how TCA can help you improve your plants’ health.

What Property Managers Need to Know About El Niño

El Niño. The most popular two words on the nightly news. The weather reports are inundated by El Niño and its effects on your local weather. But what exactly is El Niño and how does it impact the way you manage your commercial and municipal property?

What is El Nino?

“According to the National Weather Service, “El Niño is a state where the water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator become abnormally warm. This is a natural cycle that repeats itself on average about once every two to seven years. El Niño tends to begin in the summer and usually peak in intensity during the following winter.”

El Niño disrupts weather patterns on the West Coast causing storm surges, torrential rain storms, and mud slides. California is not alone in the El Niño effect. Property managers throughout the U.S, including the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountain states need to prepare for landscape maintenance issues caused by El Niño.

How Does El Niño Affect Your Property?

After years of heat and drought conditions in California and the Southwest, what should you expect from El Niño? Over the winter months, we are all experiencing increased rain and snowfall and in some cases severe flooding.

Some of the most devastating and damaging effects of the rains and El Niño on landscaping are:

  • Soil erosion from heavy rain and water runoff
  • Damage to parking lots, streets, and roadways
  • Drainage and flooding
  • Tree and plant damage, such as fallen trees due to saturated soil and high winds

Preparing Your Property for El Niño

What can you do to prepare your property?  Here are a few suggestions to help you protect your property from the damaging effects of El Niño.

Evaluate your Property

We often think that El Niño is just a news item that does not impact us locally. However, every property manager should evaluate their landscape and storm water drainage before and after storms. Take a walk through the property to assess the landscape and outdoor maintenance needs. Contact a professional landscape maintenance contractor to assist with this.

Protect Against Soil Erosion

To control soil around plant beds, turf and trees, mulch areas that may be prone to erosion. Here are a few simple landscape modifications that can be made to prevent runoff:

  • Installing netting to help secure slopes
  • Add mulch and mount waddles to differ water runoff.

More extensive erosion control may be needed and this can be evaluated with your landscape maintenance contractor.

Use Sustainable Flowers, Shrubs, and Trees

For commercial property managers, the severe weather conditions will impact your property’s landscaping in some way. To minimize this risk, consider evaluating the variety of plants that are most durable for your region.

I suggest planting drought tolerant ground cover, such as Lantana, Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet, Myoporum ‘Pacificum’ Cotoneaster. Ground cover plants will  help to stabilize the plant bed and will blanket sloped areas to reduce erosion or water runoff.

Keep a Watchful Eye on  Your Trees

Trees can become stressed during extreme changes in weather. A quick shift from drought conditions to severe rain can be taxing on weak or even healthy trees. Regular pruning and tree maintenance is recommended to reduce end weight on branches that might fall during high winds and storm surges.

Removing weak and broken limbs will help to prevent damage to cars and building structures and reduce susceptibility to tree disease.

Keep Storm Drains Clear

With large volumes of water falling in a short period of time, it is extremely important to clean and clear debris from outdoor drains regularly on the property. At times, install subgrade drains in areas where storm water tends to collect and flood. This will assist in reducing flooding during rain and snow run off.

In landscape areas with continued problems with flooding, the layout and landscape design of your property may be poorly designed to prevent damage and flooding. Retention or detentions ponds may be r in flood zone areas. Consider installing additional drainage, hardscapes, bark and drought tolerant plants to help prevent further damage from the El Niño effects.

Maintain Parking Lots and Walkways

Extreme hot and cold weather, combined with water is a recipe for damaged hardscapes. After a wet and cold winter, parking lots and walkways will show signs of cracks and those unavoidable, potholes. Not repairing the damage can create an eyesore or worse as it is dangerous to pedestrians and drivers.

Volatile weather conditions are predicted to continue. Drought conditions and torrential rains are in the forecast. El Niño weather conditions impact everything outdoors from landscape plants, trees and turf to parking lots, streets, irrigation and stormwater management. Start by evaluating your outdoor maintenance needs to protect your property from the El Niño’s effect.

Want to Know More?

We have published several articles about the impact of weather on

Follow Terracare Associate on Twitter #ElNiñoLandscaping for more information on how El Niño affects your commercial and municipal property.

Next month we will take a look at plant health care.

Quinton Guenther serves as an Enhancement Manager for Terracare Associates in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in offering services outside Terracare’s base maintenance contract including but not limited to upgrade or enhancement creative ideas and water saving systems. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact us to find out how TCA can help you improve your plants’ health.