The Importance of Campus Landscapes

What attracts students and parents to a school? One major factor that might go overlooked is the curb appeal of the campus environment. A well-maintained landscape will draw them in and add a level of pride and beauty, which will contribute to their decision. Below are three recommendations to add value to your school or campus and increase enrollment.

Entryways and Medians

One of the first things a potential student or parent sees when they are making that initial drive to explore the school or campus are the medians leading into the parking lot of the school. The school sign and the median landscaping surrounding it are the first impression of the educational institution. This makes entryways and medians that much more important. Many families capture visual images to help remember the campus and it’s important that yours stands out. We recommend having beautiful, eye-catching flowers and plants that guide visitors as they make their way to their parking spot.

Green Spaces

Having well maintained green spaces are vital when it comes to schools. No matter what age the students are, they all appreciate having open spaces. These spaces provide opportunities for relaxation, physical fitness and a place to connect with others. In addition to that, green spaces provide vegetation that help with carbon levels ensuring that the students are breathing cleaner air. Another perk of green spaces is noise reduction, helping students with their ability to study.

Shade Trees

Planting trees on your property are also a great way to make your landscape more attractive to prospective students or parents who are deciding on the school. Shade trees provide students with comfortable places to relax and stay cooler out of direct sunlight. Additionally, choosing trees that are known for providing shade and planting them strategically around your property can save you up to 30% on your building’s heating and cooling costs. For suggestions on shade trees click here:

What’s next?

Here at Terracare, we have a proven track record of providing high quality landscape maintenance at educational institutions. From Colorado Christian University to St. Mary’s Academy, we have a vast amount of experience maintaining educational institutions. Our experts can help with any landscaping needs or enhancements you may have at your school. For all of your campus landscape maintenance needs please contact Terracare below:
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The Benefits of Drip Irrigation

High summer heat can severely affect our trees, shrubs and turf grasses. With the climbing temperatures comes higher water costs. If you are a commercial property manager looking for ways to keep your landscape healthy and costs down, drip irrigation is your answer.

What is drip irrigation?

Drip irrigation is a low volume watering system that applies a small amount of water directly to plants over a period of time.

The benefits of drip irrigation:

Plant health

Landscape experts agree that low volume irrigation systems promote plant health by reducing changes in soil moisture levels. Drip irrigation can also be beneficial in avoiding plant diseases by limiting the amount of water on the plant’s foliage. A properly designed drip irrigation system will deliver water to your landscape at a uniform soil depth. This will bring the water to the root zone instead of to the surface of the planted area.

Water waste

Water is applied where it is most needed and is not wasted on unplanted areas or on streets and sidewalks.  Since the drip system is located closer to the root, little water is lost in evaporation. As a result, this process makes it extremely effective in controlling landscape water usage.

Maintenance costs

Another benefit of drip irrigation is lower maintenance costs. Because sprinkler systems can spray water onto unplanted areas, property managers must factor in the cost of eroded walkways and pavement, rotted wood fences, and peeling paint and plaster.

A properly designed and installed drip irrigation system can be a low cost and low maintenance option for many property owners. Contact the irrigation specialists at Terracare Associates to make healthy landscape changes that will meet all of your drip irrigation needs.

Your Irrigation System Checklist

Many property owners unintentionally over water their landscape every time their sprinkler system turns on. Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy. A good irrigation system is also one of the best ways to keep watering costs low and protect the environment.

Are you planning to upgrade or make significant repairs to your irrigation system this year? There are a number of things you should consider before you invest in an irrigation system.

Investing in a good irrigation system

Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow along with your property. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is often true, especially when you are investing in an irrigation system that can last for many years.

By using the best components you can afford, you minimize future maintenance and extend the lifetime cost of your system.

Plan for plant health

Designing an efficient irrigation system requires understanding of irrigation design principles and local environmental conditions. Even the best irrigation design won’t perform well if installed incorrectly or with inferior components. Something as simple as selecting the correct type of pipe can mean the difference between a system that lasts and one that requires ongoing repairs.

In addition to proper irrigation components, you should also consider your property’s features. You should select the appropriate trees, turf and plants that have right requirements for your area.

Plan your irrigation zones carefully, grouping plants with similar water needs together. Be sure your system will have enough capacity, both now and in the future. The more irrigation zones you plan, the more you can tailor watering even if you modify landscaping.

  • Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation and plant water use.
  • Use quality components to minimize future maintenance needs and the total lifetime cost of your system.

Plan for Growth and Flexibility

Allow for future landscape redesigns and changes to your property.  The plants, turf areas and trees on your property each have different watering needs. Over time, these needs may change and your system should have the flexibility to change along with them.

Keep future expansion in mind when you install a new irrigation system. You will want to allow for excess irrigation zone capacity, including extra connections in your system design, to make it easier and less expensive to expand in the future.

Select an appropriate system for your property’s water pressure. Having water pressure that is either too low or too high can seriously affect an irrigation system’s performance.

If you have questions about how to improve your irrigation system, contact Terracare Associate’s irrigation specialists.

Drought Conditions? Try Xeriscaping

As a commercial property owner, you are always striving to keep your landscape in immaculate condition despite the circumstances. With projected drought conditions for much of the western United States, this will be a struggle. However, the idea of xeriscaping, which is, the practice of conserving water through strategic landscaping, may be your solution. While not a new concept, the increased frequencies of droughts and water scarcity has put a spotlight on the importance of xeriscape and its capabilities of reducing water while maintaining a beautiful and appealing landscape. Here are some of the benefits you can gain by incorporating xeriscaping practices into your property.

10NorthCityReclamationPlant_previewLessens Water Usage

When drought conditions are present, the main concern for any commercial landscape owner will be cutting back the usage of water. Property owners that chose to xeriscape will be able to reduce water usage as much as 70 percent. To make this reduction possible, begin with careful planning and designing of your landscape. This ensures that not only water efficiency is achieved, but also maximizes the survival of carefully chosen plants. It is also important to include correct mulch, rocks, and composted soil into your landscape plan. These steps will help reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, which then limits water usage. Another vital xeriscape procedure is to choose plants that require low amounts of water. These plants can range from native plants to non-invasive plants that are well adapted to our local region’s climate. To learn more about native plant options click here.

Increases Property Value

One of the foremost concerns that will often arise when drought conditions are present is being able maintain an appealing landscape. The dryness and lack of water from the drought will unfortunately turn your property into dried out shades of yellow or brown. When the health and beauty of your landscape suffers, it can reflect poorly and may decrease the value of the property. However, a xeriscaped commercial property will offer a beautiful landscape year round.

What’s next?

Are you a commercial property owner in need of more information of xeriscaping or transitioning your landscape? Contact your Terracare expert for all your xeriscaping needs.

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Who else wants to add color despite drought conditions?

Whenever drought or water restriction hit, one of the first things commercial property owners notice is how brown and dry everything gets. Your property’s once lush landscape will quickly begin to fade. One way to add some color to your property’s landscape despite these drought conditions is the addition of native plants. The word “native” means that the plant is indigenous to the area and can thrive without human contributions. Below are five beautiful options that can enhance your property.

Prairie Coneflower

The prairie coneflower’s coloring ranges from yellow to red, which will surely brighten up any commercial property during the dry months. Prairie coneflowers can thrive in full sun exposure and only need light to moderate watering.  In addition to their drought resilient ability, these flowers are also resistant to most diseases and pests that plague other garden plants.

Desert Four O’Clock

Desert four o’clock is one of the showiest drought resistant flowers. They produce an attractive magenta flower that will catch anyone’s eye.  They require little to no additional water making them the perfect flower for your commercial property once a drought rolls around.

Tradescantia

These unique flowers offer something different to your landscape. Tradescantia flowers are usually blue or purple and only remain open during the day, closing during the night. They are very resilient and prosper in hardy conditions.

Gaillardia

If your commercial property’s landscape is in need for a cheerful flower this is surely the one. Gaillardia are marked with a flamboyant bright red and yellow coloring. They flourish in full sun and love well-drained soil, which is great for dry conditions.

Pink Muhly

This ornamental grass is a tough, hardy plant that is undaunted by drought conditions. It also, does amazing in conditions ranging from full sun to shade. If alone doesn’t sell you on the plant, the grass also changes coloring throughout the year. In the spring and early summer months, the grass begins as a green, then changes to a pinkish, burgundy grouping, and then finishes off the year as a wheat colored plant.

For recommendations or help planting flowers for your commercial landscape property click here: Contact Us

 

2018 Summer Weather Predictions. Will your Region Experience a Drought?

Summer is almost here! Now is the perfect time to evaluate your region’s weather. By doing this now you can prepare for any restrictions and potential drought conditions in your area. For these forecasts, we chose to use The Farmer’s Almanac along with other accredited weather sources.

10NorthCityReclamationPlant_previewCalifornia:

California is projected to have warmer conditions that combined with dryness can pose a risk for wildfires and drought. The southwestern part of the state will surely will be affected by these conditions the most. Additionally, The Farmer’s Almanac states, “the hottest periods will be from late May into early June and in mid-June and mid-July”. Fortunately, rainfall should increase for the area from July to August and bring much needed relief to this region.

Colorado:

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, temperatures throughout Colorado will be “warm to hot” and “the hottest periods will be all of July and mid-August”. The biggest issue facing Colorado however is lack of snowfall from the previous winter. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says, “The state would need over 14,000 percent of its normal precipitation now to reach normal peak levels”.

Texas:

Texas is predicted to have a “very warm, average rainfall with plenty of thunderstorms” with “the hottest periods in mid-July and mid-August”. However, in spite of this rainfall, Texas currently has almost 50 percent of the state dealing with a drought that is still threatening to spread. In addition, the Texas Tribune says “six Texas cities already limit residents to two days a week of outdoor watering: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Lubbock and The Woodlands”.

Drought conditions may seem daunting especially for your commercial property’s landscape. It may be hard to keep up the appeal you want while adhering to mandatory water restrictions. However, they do not have to be. Each Thursday this month, we will be releasing articles on how to respond to these conditions. Terracare can also help you with any questions you have in the meantime.  If you have any questions please contact us below!

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5 Amazing Trees for Your Parking Lot or Streetscape

Choosing the right tree for your parking lot or paved area can be a very daunting yet important task. Hardy trees are imperative and need to be able to withstand the baking sun and lack of or excess of moisture in a parking lot environment. The addition of the right type of tree can benefit your property’s parking lot or streetscape. An appropriate tree will not only improve the overall appearance, but also can help reduce storm water drainage problems and prevent soil erosion. Below are five great options to try in your parking lot or streetscape.

Elm

Up until the 1930s, the elm tree was the most popular tree for streets and parking lots. Around that time, Dutch elm disease struck causing turmoil for countless elm trees. Presently, the elm tree is making a comeback! Researchers have developed cultivators, which allow the tree to be more resistant to the disease. In addition to now being disease resistant, these trees are also very tolerant to any salt from your roads or parking lots.

Crepe Myrtle

This vibrant tree is a great option for your parking lot. These trees range from red, pink or white blooming flower clusters, which will brighten up any parking lot. Parking lots are also notorious for being hot. Heat reflects off the asphalt making it very hard on trees. Crepe myrtle trees fortunately can thrive in this heat. They have the ability to flourish in drought conditions, which is good for parking lots with storm water drainage problems.

Zelkova

The zelkova tree can grow up to 60 feet and forms a beautiful vase-like shape with a rounded crown. In the fall zelkova trees also have a beautiful, rusty red and orange color that will truly add to the appeal of your property. This tree flourishes in parking lots or other paved areas because of its high tolerance for wind, pollution and drought conditions.

Linden

Another beautiful option are the Linden trees with their dense canopies and fragrant flowers. This canopy produces amazing shade for anyone entering and exiting your parking lot. Furthermore, linden trees have the ability to tolerate a wide variety of hostile conditions such as pollution, compacted soil and parking lots with poor drainage.

 

 

Scholar tree

The scholar tree grows from 40 to 50 feet in height and displays beautiful white or yellow flowers in the summer. These trees thrive in sunny, heated locations and can tolerate polluted city conditions, salt, alkaline soil, and moderate drought.

A Look Inside Terracare’s Sustainable Practices

We hear the term “sustainable” a lot nowadays. From the food we eat to the energy we use, it seems like the word sustainable is everywhere. As a landscaping company, Terracare has a passion to be stewards of our environment while protecting the health, safety and welfare of our communities, clients and staff. This dedication has allowed Terracare to lead the outdoor industry in developing sustainable environments for more than 30 years. Furthermore, we believe it is our responsibility to preserve our landscapes and take steps towards sustainability. In turn, ensuring that our future generations have an environment they can enjoy. Below are a few practices Terracare regularly takes to make your property more sustainable:

Providing you with a new approach to landscape

Terracare positions itself as a leader that embraces new technologies in our field and that understands new trends. By taking this approach, TCA can offer solutions that are innovative and cutting- edge. A few examples of this are using smart controllers, xeriscaping, installing edible gardens and drought tolerant landscapes.

Providing you with safer, more efficient plant-health care

Our team of professionals will bring out the best in your landscape implementing a strict Integrated Pest Management (IPM) schedule. This will focus on properly feeding your landscape while monitoring the plant material and using pesticides only as a last resort.

Use recycling practices

Whenever possible, TCA composts and recycles plant materials and other organic material. By taking this approach, we cut down on the amount of waste in landfills and reduce greenhouse gases. Additionally, compost acts as a natural soil conditioner, which improves the soil structure and reduces needs for pesticide and synthetic fertilizer. We strive for zero waste on our projects.

What’s next?

If you need direction for your regenerative landscape and sustainable steps, reach out. Let us see what Terracare Associates and your organization can build together.

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5 Benefits of Green Roofs

You may think living in an urban environment severely limits a commercial property’s ability to enjoy a landscape. However, the trend of growing a green roof now provides that opportunity. A green roof allows projects in high-density areas to be built with a landscape, by partially or completely covering their rooftops in vegetation and plant life. Green roofs have many more benefits and below are a few of these attributes.

Reduces Heat

In many urban or metropolitan environments, heat increases considerably due to the use of various materials such as the concrete and steel that cover most buildings. These materials absorb and store the sun’s energy as heat. Furthermore, as the population expands in these environments, so does the use of these materials. This dome of heated air in cities is referred to as the “urban heat island effect”. As a result of noticeably warmer cities, the cooling costs of the building are significantly raised. However, with the addition of a green roof to a building, it can reduce the heat a building generates by 50 degrees. The vegetation of the green roofs serve as a cooling property. This provides a natural insulation that result in a work environment with a pleasant temperature.

Storm Water Management

Throughout a typical day in an urban environment, dust and particles collect on rooftops. This dust then builds up until a storm washes it away. The precipitation then carries the dust that has been built up resulting in unwanted runoff.  When a property has a green roof, vegetation stores the water and other materials like a sponge. This results in a great reduction in the amount of runoff. Additionally, the green roof will delay the excess amount of storm water from the roof or into your property’s storm water system.

Allows for Employees/ Residents to Relax

Whether you are trying to escape the office or just need a chance to enjoy some beautiful foliage, green roofs can be your solution. A busy, loud city can add stress to the lives of occupants at a commercial property and the calming green roofs provide a much-needed respite. Having the opportunity to walk through and enjoy the scenery that a green roof brings is the perfect way to add some much-needed relaxation in the midst of a hectic day.

Create an Eco-system

With the expansion of growth, the urban setting has displaced the natural habitats of many animals, insects the native vegetation. With the addition of a green roof, a commercial property can attempt to recreate the eco-system. This attracts an assortment of wildlife to the green roof. From bees to migratory birds and even foxes that the Facebook campus in Menlo Park has, installing a green roof will help restore the environment that is no longer there. Additionally, green roofs allow for the replacement of the plants that were likely destroyed when the building was constructed. This is beneficial because the plants generate necessary oxygen and trap the hazardous carbon dioxide. The plants also catch particles and pollutants that reduce the dust and smog levels.

Farm to Table

One unique benefit that a green roof can offer is to cultivate fresh produce. This trend is growing in popularity as farm to table restaurants continue to spread throughout the country. This allows restaurants to incorporate the yield from the gardens into their menu. Guests enjoy eating the freshest foods and those preparing the food know that they had a hand in the process at every step along the way.

3 Reasons to Add Mulch to your Property this Spring

We have almost made it through the frigid months of winter! Now is a great time to get out and assess your commercial property’s landscape. When you are doing this, you might have realized that after months of moisture and colder temperatures your landscape beds need help. This is a great time to refresh and add new mulch to your landscape beds. Below are a few benefits your property receives when mulch is added.

Traps moisture in the summer:

During the warmer months of summer, mulch is such a helpful tool. One of the major benefits is the increased amount of moisture your plants receive. This moisture is essential to offset the water restrictions that are sure to come in the summer months. When applied, mulch helps conserve moisture in your landscape beds, keeping your trees, shrubs and flowers healthy.

Prevents weeds:

Weeds are a common and often unruly problem to your landscape beds. They steal the necessary nutrients and block much needed moisture. Weeds also make your property look unkempt. Using mulch however, is a phenomenal way to naturally combat this invasive weed. Just like other plants, weeds require light and warm soil to survive. When mulch is used, it creates a barrier that prevents weeds from sprouting because they do not have the strength to push through the mulch.

Provides a professional look:

You may have noticed that mulch loses its vibrancy and fades with time. Generally, your mulch has a shelf life of less than a year and after surviving winter, it is time to replace it for best impact. Although this is not the main purpose of mulch, the faded, dull coloring gives off a less than professional appearance. A few mulch options we recommend trying are pinestraw or wood mulch for a natural colorful look.

What’s Next:

Do you need help adding mulch to your property or deciding which type of mulch to add? Have a Terracare expert come out and assess your property now!
Schedule an Appointment.