Great weather, here is how to take advantage

We have been experiencing very interesting weather across the United States. In locations such as Colorado, there has been significantly less snow than normal. Take advantage of this weather, and getting in front of any issues that might have occurred to your roads or parking lot. Below are three crucial areas that should be addressed to help preserve the look and life of your pavement.

Sweeping and Cleaning

First impressions are important, when clients and customers are walking into your building; one feature that always stands out is the cleanliness. A clean parking lot can be a reflection of your organization and can directly shape the perception of your brand. On top of that, maintaining a clean parking lot can also minimize pollution, deter rodents or other pest and prevent erosion. To provide your clientele with a well-kept environment, schedule a routine cleaning including regular trash pickup, sweeping and power washing.

Crack Sealing Repairs

Early intervention is crucial in preserving your pavement and saving you money. When your pavement has a crack in it, moisture can seep down. This causes problems such as further cracking or widening in the pavement, potholes and potentially a major pavement failure. These problems can be very detrimental and extremely costly. We recommend crack sealing, which is the method of cleaning, drying with a heat lance and filling pavement with a hot melted rubberized material.

Pothole Repairs

A pothole occurs when your pavement has a structural failure in it. This can be caused by several issues such as water weakening the soil underneath your pavement, traffic applying pressure or stress from on top or a bad sub-surface. Eventually a breaking point will happen and this will cause the formation of a pothole in your pavement. This issue needs to be addressed quickly to prevent spreading, which will make the situation worse.  The best solution is to dig out the affected area, replace the road base, and then replace with hot mix asphalt.

What’s Next?

Does your parking lot or road require attention? Our experts at Terracare would be glad to help! Please click below and let us know how we may best serve your needs.

 

Schedule an Appointment.

5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

Stay UNDER Budget Every Year!


Each year, as a commercial property owner, you make a budget for landscape maintenance. And each year do surprising or unexpected costs arise? Even after careful planning, organizing and budgeting you may still be taken by surprise. You mean well, but you’re left wondering why you cannot stick to your budget? If this is you, you are not alone! 

We are here to help. By following these five simple steps, you will not only meet your budget, but also come in under budget! Are you ready to write a budget you can count on to make it through the entire year? Let’s get started!

1. Have strong guidelines


Be very critical when it comes to your bid. Make sure it is specific to your wants and needs. Ensure that it includes how many visits, how many services and which services are provided, and how many applications. To receive the most accurate bid possible every single detail needs to be accounted for in the contract.

2. Include extra expenses


Have you ever had a sprinkler head break or decide to include a property enhancement mid-year? Unexpected services are a common occurrence in the landscape maintenance world. There is no telling what may come up throughout the year so it is important to be ready when that time comes. Setting aside money now may be crucial down the road.

3. Ask questions


Don’t sign on those dotted lines until you ask some very important questions from your landscape provider. These can range from: What awards nationally or regionally has their company won? What is their company’s safety record? Does the landscape provider hire certified, trained professionals? It is very important to make sure you have all your questions answered before you are commit to a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements


Analyze which services or projects are need to take place this year. Does your irrigation system need improved upon or modified? Does a flower bed need renovated? Do you have a turf conversion project to be done? These different projects can help keep your property in pristine condition; however, they can also influence your budget. Plan now and avoid unexpected revelations.

5. Hire a qualified landscape company


You may think that all you need from your landscaper is to ensure that your grass is cut and weeds are pulled. However, there is a lot more that goes into a quality landscape company. Search for a landscape provider that invests in the training and education of their employees. A landscape provider that guarantees that their legal workforce is held to a high standard whether that be by drug testing or by background checking their team. A professional landscape provider has a crew that holds industry certifications and also adheres to strict safety guidelines. In addition, you want a landscape provider that cares about the project not just the numbers. Simply put, these types of landscape providers are a step above their competition.

What’s next?


Whether you are clear about the commercial property landscape goals or you need help to define a plan, take a moment, and schedule a consultation with your Account Manager at Terracare. We at Terracare Associates will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

Four Commercial Landscaping Trends for 2018

Every year we look forward to upcoming trends in the commercial landscaping world! This year, we wanted to show off some of the trends that you will be seeing in 2018. Below are four of our recommended trends you may want to try on your commercial landscape property.

Green Roofs

As more commercial properties search to find ways to reduce their carbon foot-print, the trend of green roofs has emerged. Green roofs allow projects in high-density areas to be built with a landscape, by partially or completely covering their rooftops in vegetation and plant life. By taking this green initiative, a property can expect to significantly reduce heat loss, filter out storm water, lower energy consumption, and have improved insulation. In addition to being eco-friendly, other benefits include, allowing residents or employees a chance to relax and escape the day-to-day grind, attract an assortment of wildlife and even serve as farm to table gardens for restaurants.

XeriscapeBark

Xeriscaping is another trend that will continue to take off as we go into the new year. The increased frequencies of droughts and scarcity of water has put a spotlight on the importance of xeriscape. Xeriscape landscaping can be the most efficient method for commercial properties to achieve water use reduction and reduce costs. In fact, xeriscape can reduce outdoor water use by as much as 70 percent. Because of this, your commercial landscape property will reduce your water costs. You will also have a well-maintained, beautiful and appealing landscape. For more information on xeriscaping, click here.

Brush Management

For most of the country, this fall has been very dry and the winter months will offer more of the same. This lack of precipitation is a major issue, especially when it comes to wildfires. In fact, according to WX Shift, “since 1970 the annual average number of wildfires larger than 1,000 acres has more than doubled in the western U.S. The typical wildfire season has also stretched by about two and a half months longer over that time”.  Because of this, maintaining the brush on commercial properties is vital to the prevention of wildfires.  On top of this, more and more cities, municipalities and counties have and will continue to establish guidelines and rules for managing brush and reducing fire risk. Click here for tips on how to manage your brush.

Native Plants

Reed GrassThere has been a great interest in finding methods to aid in sustainability and at the same time reduce the property owner’s costs. Due to these needs, the trend of planting native foliage has emerged in the commercial landscape world. One of the main factors leading to native plants becoming such popular alternatives is their ability to thrive without much human intervention. The word “native” means that the plant is indigenous to a certain area. Since native plants are already adapted to the local environment, less water is required as well as a reduction of fertilizers and other lawn care treatments. For a few suggestions of native plants in your area, contact Terracare Associates today. If you are interested in native plants, click here.

 

5 Plants to Brighten Up Your Property This Winter

For many of us there is no avoiding the upcoming snow and ice this season. Because of this, choosing lively plants that can thrive through the winter months is a great way to bring some life to your commercial landscape property. Below are five of our recommendations:

 

dogwoodRed Twig Dogwood

The fire red colors of this fun shrub provides a unique pop to any commercial landscape property, especially through the winter. During these months, the Red Twig Dogwood drops it’s leaves which in turn exposes the shrubs incredible, bright red bark. Red Twig Dogwood are exceptionally adaptable and are known to thrive both in the cold and hot extremes.

Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce

A popular evergreen tree, the Colorado Blue Spruce, gives off a silvery- blue hue and is a perfect way to add a lush feel during these cold, snowy months. Colorado Blue Spruce trees can grow to about 30 to 50 feet high, however they only are 10 to 20 feet wide. In addition to that, birds love these kinds of trees! That being said more color will be added as the birds fly in and out of your commercial landscape property.

Juniper
Golden Pacific Juniper

This low growing evergreen juniper grows to 10 to 15 inches tall and is great for any ground cover or for cascading over a wall. Golden Pacific Juniper stands out in the winter months by giving a yellowish, golden look that really comes through. On top of that it is a very low maintenance, durable plant, being both resistant to deer and insects.

Camellia
Winter Camellia

Adding a Winter Camellia might be just what your property needs for that extra spark during the dull winter months. Known for being a winter bloomer, this beautiful shrub surely is a treat for any commercial landscape property. The Winter Camellia produces flowers that range in color from pure white to soft pink to a dark red.

Reed grass
Feather Reed Grass

This persistent grouping of ornamental grass, holds its grain heads well into the winter. Feather Reed Grass grows to be 3 to 5 feet tall and the grain heads at the top will add a golden hue to your property. An added perk is that Feather Reed Grass is an extremely versatile plant. Due to that, it can be found in many locations in the U.S.

The Quick, Easy Guide to Build a Bat House

When bats are brought up in conversation, most people’s immediate thought is Halloween. The spooky holiday may give these creatures a scary rap when actually they are very beneficial to your commercial landscape property. These furry, flying, nocturnal animals are not only known for being pollinators, they also are great for pest management.

The United States has over 40 species of bats and every one of those is helpful to your property. Bats are amazing for pollination; in fact, they pollinate over 500 species of flowers. In addition to that, they are some of nature’s best form of pest control. Bats are known to consume anywhere from 100 to 600 bugs per hour, which can lead to a decrease in pesticide use and save you money.

To attract these bats to your commercial landscape property one of the best ways is to build a bat house. A bat house simulates their natural habit and encourages a bat to roost on your property. Below are the materials and steps to take to construct a bat house as recommended by hobbyfarms.com:

Materialsbat house
  • 26½- by 24-inch piece 1/2-inch AC, BC or T1-11 outdoor-grade plywood (backboard)
  • 5- by 24-inch piece 1/2-inch AC, BC or T1-11 outdoor-grade plywood (landing area)
  • 16½- by 24-inch piece 1/2-inch AC, BC or T1-11 outdoor-grade plywood (front board)
  • 1-pint dark, water-based stain, exterior grade
  • 1 1×2 pine furring strip in 24-inch length
  • 2 1×2 pine furring strips in 20½-inch lengths
  • 1 tube of paintable latex caulk
  • 20 to 30 1-inch exterior-grade screws
  • 1-pint water-based primer, exterior grade
  • 1 quart flat, water-based paint or stain, exterior grade
  • 1×4 board in 28-inch length (optional, but highly recommended for roof)
  • black asphalt shingles or galvanized metal (optional)
  • 6 to 10 7/8-inch roofing nails (if using shingles or metal roofing)
Steps
  1. Roughen inside of backboard and landing area by cutting horizontal grooves with a sharp object or saw. Space grooves 1⁄4 inch to 1⁄2 inch apart, cutting 1⁄32 inch to 1⁄16 inch deep.
  2. Apply two coats of dark, water-based stain to interior surfaces. Do not use paint, as it will fill grooves.
  3. Attach furring strips to inside of backboard using 1-inch screws, caulking first. Start with 24-inch piece at top and space each additional strip at 3/4-inch intervals. This will be the roost chamber.
  4. Starting with the top furring strip, attach front board to furring strips using 1-inch screws (caulk first). Leave 1⁄2-inch vent space between top and bottom front pieces.
  5. Caulk all outside joints to further seal roost chamber.
  6. Attach roof (optional, but highly recommended) with 1-inch screws.
  7. Apply three coats of flat stain or paint to the exterior. Use primer for first coat.
  8. Cover roof with shingles or galvanized metal (optional) using roofing nails.
  9. Mount on building or other structure. South or east sides usually work best.

Winterizing Your Property’s Irrigation

With colder temperatures fast approaching it’s time to think about winterizing your property’s irrigation system. This will prevent water loss and icy walkways. Prepare your irrigation system for winter by performing a system audit to check for potential problems.

Step 1: Check the sprinkler heads

  • Check for missing or broken sprinkler heads and replace any broken sprinkler heads.

  • Remove clogged heads and clean the filter or replace, if necessary.

  • Adjust tilted heads to ensure that they are not spraying in the wrong direction.

  • Replace all leaky valves in the valve box to prevent leaking water and high water costs.

  • Remove and trim back grass, shrubs or other plants that cause misdirected or blocked spray pattern and obstruction of raising the heads.

  • Adjust the sprinkler heads to avoid spraying sidewalks, driveways or other hardscapes. This will not only save money on watering costs, but it will also prevent icy, slippery pedestrian walkways.

Step 2: Consider the watering needs of cool season plants

During colder weather many cool season plants need less water. Turf grasses like St. Augustine and Bermuda grass go dormant during the winter months. You need to adjust the timing and zone settings on your irrigation system to prevent over watering.

Step 3: Use weather-based smart controllers

SnowWeather-based controllers are designed to adjust your irrigation schedules based on weather conditions. These climate-based systems gather local weather information and factor in your exact landscape to make irrigation run-time adjustments so your landscape receives the appropriate amount of water.

Step 4 Install rain/freeze sensors

Contact the irrigation system specialists at Terracare Associates to ensure your property is ready for winter.

Quick Landscape Enhancement Projects to do this Fall

Part 5

During the month of August, we will provide you a 5 part series on how to easily create your 2018 budget, with the help of your commercial landscape company. Below are the links to the previous blog posts in this series:

Many enhancement projects to a commercial landscape property are not only a quick and easy way to add curb appeal, but are also a great way to add value to a commercial landscape property. Enhancements serve as a reinvestment in the property’s existing features, upgrading sections of your landscape to improve the overall appeal. This autumn is the perfect time to complete these enhancements and have the property in pristine condition. Here are four great recommendations of enhancements projects to start this Fall:

Mulch

Mulch is any type of material – usually natural – serving as a cover and is spread over the soil. It can take many forms including bark, compost, grass clippings, shredded leaves, and straw. Mulch creates insulation helping reduce water from evaporating off soil thus reducing the need to water plants frequently. In addition, when thoroughly applied to an area, mulch is very effective in minimizing the growth of weeds.  Mulch also adds a sensational pop to the property.

Sustainable landscaping

Xeriscape

Xeriscape is a set of water-wise landscaping and water conservation principles. It’s the idea of maintaining both an appealing landscape through introducing low-water-use plants. With the increase of droughts and water scarcity, xeriscaping has become a very popular enhancement. In fact, in a recent report some xeriscape conversations reduce outdoor water use by as much as 70%.  There’s no better time than the Fall to have a landscape provider identify small areas that can benefit by water-wise planting.

Xeriscape

Planting Perennials

A perennial is a plant that grows for many seasons, unlike an annual which only lasts one season. This enhancement is growing in popularity not only because it’s good for the environment, it also saves money on water costs and requires less time needed for replanting. A great place to incorporate perennials are paths and walkways to ensure that guests enjoy their beauty. Interested in finding out more about perennials options? Click below:

Planting Perennials

Shade Trees

Path

Choosing trees that are known for providing shade and planting them strategically around a property near buildings can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs. In addition, these shade trees can increase the overall attractiveness of the property and allow for an increase foot traffic. To learn more about your shade tree options, click below:

Shade Trees

Is Your Property’s Irrigation System Wasting Money?

It’s HOT!  Don’t send money down the drain! Your landscape provider can help you maintain and monitor your property’s automated irrigation system to ensure this is the most efficient way of watering your landscape. Having a properly maintained irrigation system is also one of the best ways to minimize water waste and lower overall watering costs.

Smart scheduling saves water

An irrigation controller can help monitor your system’s watering schedule to fit \ the watering needs of your property.  Here is what your landscape provider is looking to do:

  • Setting the timer for early in the morning or in the evening can minimize water evaporation by up to 30%.
  • irrigationA rain or soil moisture sensor controller to monitor and adjust your watering schedule regularly and based on seasonal weather conditions and other factors. Weather-based controllers automatically adjust the irrigation schedule as weather conditions change.
  • Consider the amount of sun, shade, and wind exposure on the plants and schedule individual zones to be most efficient. The type of soil will also affect how much water can be absorbed without runoff. The landscape provider will evaluate the setting to the irrigation system to run for three or four short intervals, allowing time between each for the water to soak more deeply into the soil.
  • Checking often on the sprinkler heads to ensure they are set properly to avoid watering driveways, sidewalks, or buildings.

 

Regular irrigation system maintenance saves water.

Like any other mechanical system, the irrigation system also needs regular maintenance to keep it working efficiently. Parts will break or wear out and must be replaced. An older system may not be able to handle the needs of a new landscape design or other changes to your property.

Retrofit the system with a rain or soil moisture sensor to prevent over watering. Rain sensors stop the system from operating when it rains; soil moisture sensors use long metal probes to measure moisture at the root zone and turn the system off when no additional water is needed, this is highly encouraged for water conservation practices.

At Terracare Associates, we recommend performing a regular irrigation system audit. Your irrigation systems should be regularly inspected for leaks, broken sprinkler heads, or other damaged components. During our regular inspections, we evaluate pressure and adjust it as needed so your sprinklers work optimally to distribute the water.

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Free Irrigation Audit

Five Perfect Shade Trees for Your Property

Planting trees on your commercial property is a great way to make your landscape more attractive, but did you know it can also save you money in the long run? Choosing trees that are known for providing shade and planting them strategically around a property near buildings can save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling costs. Here are five trees that are perfect for adding shade to your property this summer and for many years to come.

hybridHybrid Poplar

The hybrid poplar tree is a popular shade tree because of its fast growth rate of up to 8 feet per year. The triangular leaves on the hybrid poplar reach 3-6 inches long and 4-5 inches wide with rounded teeth. Because of this the hybrid poplar provides plenty of protection from the sun. This tree is a cottonless hybrid so it will not create a mess on your property come spring. When it reaches maturity, the Hybrid Poplar stands 40-50 feet tall with a 30-foot spread.

sawtoothSawtooth Oak

The sawtooth oak is a great shade tree for any property because it adapts to a wide range of soil and climate conditions. It has a spreading canopy of leaves that provide ample shade and beauty, opening a beautiful yellow color in the spring and turning green in the summer before transitioning to golden brown in the fall. The sawtooth oak reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet tall when mature with a spread of 40 to 60 feet. This tree has the added bonus of producing acorns which will attract a variety of wildlife to your property.

hornbeamHornbeam

This tree is a more compact shade tree that is perfect for smaller properties. When it reaches maturity it stands 20-40 feet tall with a 20-30-foot spread. The hornbeam will put on a show in the fall as its leaves turn yellow, orange and crimson.

ZelkovaZelkova

The zelkova is a great shade tree for properties located in urban areas because it is tolerant to drought and air pollution. It is known for its beautiful shape, attractive bark and resistance to Dutch elm disease, making it the perfect low-maintenance eye-catching addition to any property. The zelkova grows to be 50-80 feet tall. It also has a similar spread if planted in full sun.

tulip treeTulip Tree

A beautiful shade tree is the tulip tree. It produces tulip-shaped flowers 1-2 inches in diameter that bloom in May and Junealong with a spreading canopy of leaves that block sunlight. This tree has a mature height of 60-90 feet and a spread of 30-50 feet. Contact the experts at Terracare Associates to learn more about which trees are best for your commercial property.

 

Planting the right tree in the right place is a decision you should discuss with your landscape provider.  Some of the above suggestions of trees grow better in certain geographic areas, while others need proper positioning on the property to ensure strong growth.  Contact Terracare Associates landscape management team for advice on best shade trees for your commercial property.

 

 

 

What is the Difference Between Perennials and Annuals?

What exactly is the difference between perennials and annuals? The dictionary defines them as:

Perennial: lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.

Annual: occurring once every year.

Flowers

Perennial flowers continue to grow year after year by remaining dormant through the winter. Annual flowers are planted in the spring and summer and die once the season is over.

Both types of flower have their advantages and disadvantages. Annuals are typically cheaper than perennials so they can be added for a beautiful display of color throughout the spring and summer seasons at a lower cost upfront. Perennials are sustainable; they last for years and withstand a variety of weather conditions. They require less maintenance than annuals since they don’t need to be replanted each year and they can even be divided to make more flowers after several growing seasons.

Terracare Associates recommends planting a combination of annuals and perennials to create the most beautiful landscapes. Attractive landscaping can add significant value to your property, so contact us today to make sure your property is in top shape for spring.