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:
Contact Us

Understanding Snow and Ice Removal Contracts

Budgeting for snow and ice removal can be challenging. Some winters are one snowstorm after another, while others can be extremely dry. Because of the fluctuating amounts of precipitation each winter, it may seem hard to make the best decision for your snow and ice removal needs. Terracare understands these challenges and has the right contract for your needs. We offer three unique contracts that allow our clients to select the best fee structure that meets both their needs and budget. Below is a description of these snow and ice contracts to simplify the process.

Lump Sum Price

A lump sum price is usually the safest contract to decide upon. It allows the client to pay a fixed amount per month and no matter how much or how little it snows, our crews will be there. Many clients love having a fixed amount because they do not have to worry about the price fluctuating throughout the season. The bill is always the same. In addition, another beneficial aspect is that we will have crews on-site at the property. Whenever it snows you can feel at ease knowing the snow will be cleared without delay.

Snow PlowPay Per-Push

This type of contract is for property managers that just want to pay for when it does snow. If there is no accumulation then the clients are not billed. However, when it does snow our crews will be on-call and will be dispatched accordingly. This contract also allows the client to set a fixed amount of snow whether it be any snow at all or a couple of inches before we send our crews out. The benefit of this contract is that if the client believes the winter is going to be particularly dry than they save the money that would have been spent on a fixed contract. The risk of pay per-push is if there is large amount of accumulation then you will be paying for each snowstorm that year. There also is a delay because the crews are on-call instead on on-site.

Hybrid

The last contract that we offer is a combination of the first two. A hybrid contract allows the client to set a base limit of hours that they pay for up front and then after that limit is reached they switch to the pay per-push contract. This contract is valuable to clients that want to make sure they have our crews on-site and available in case a storm does happens. Clients that usually utilize this contract are larger such as cities or municipalities.

What’s next?

Take time now to plan and be prepared. Let Terracare do the rest. Our snow and ice removal experts at Terracare have a vast amount of knowledge and experience. If you have any other, questions about snow and ice removal or want more information on which contract best fits your needs feel free to reach out to us.

Contact Us

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.

Contact Us

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

 

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.

Contact Us.

 

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.

How to Respond to Four Common Spring Issues

The snow is melting and warmer weather is on the horizon! As a commercial landscape property owner, a few unexpected issues may arise as the nicer weather returns. Good news! Terracare Associates is here to help your commercial landscape property look phenomenal for the rest of the year. Below are four very common issues that you may run into and ways to address these issues.

Harm from Snow Removal and Winter Salt

Whether it be from improper shoveling or damaging salts, you may notice that brown spots have appeared throughout your commercial landscape property. This problem arises most frequently on turf areas that border sidewalks or parking lots. Salts that helped us in the winter have absorbed moisture and left brown or yellow sections in areas in your turf. To repair this issue, we recommend seeding now in early spring for early spot repair, keeping it green.

Invasive Crabgrass and weeds

When your property’s lawn is weak, it is the perfect opportunity for challenging weeds and crabgrass to move in. These weeds and crabgrass can be hard to get rid of especially the later it gets into the year. To regulate this issue and prevent these weeds, crabgrass control should be applied annually. By doing this a barrier will be created to protect your grass and combat the weeds from invading your property.

Drainage Issues

With spring comes precipitation throughout most of the United States. This precipitation is usually a blessing for your commercial landscape property and will lead to a green, vibrant property. However, when certain spots on your property have poor drainage and retain this precipitation you can have over watered turf that will destroy your lawn. Additionally, this extra water can lead to over watered turf and destroy your lawn. The solution to this problem is to walk the property early on with a Terracare professional and identify these problem areas. Our landscape professional will carefully access your property and prepare a clear solution to any drainage problem.

Sustainable landscapingErosion

Spring precipitation brings erosion to any sloped area you may have at your property. The moisture comes down and drives materials towards the bottom of the hill. To prevent this issue we recommend to either vary your root type, to mix up your leaf type or to fluctuate your plant height. By taking these actions, your soil will anchor in and prevent the erosion.

For help with any of your springtime needs or concerns reach out below:
Contact Us.

5 Perennials to Make Your Property Pop!

Spring is the perfect time to add colorful flower beds to your commercial landscape property. Studies show a beautiful commercial landscape can raise your property value and attractiveness by as much as 20%. The addition of perennials is a cost effective investment. Perennials will bloom and return year after year cutting down on replanting. Below are five examples of perennials that we would recommend.

May Night Sage

This impressive perennial presents in tall spikes of indigo flowers with lush green foliage. The flower also has an exceptional hardiness to the cold and is the wonderful fit for any commercial landscape property in cooler climates. The May Night Sage blooms from late spring to early summer and matures to a height of 15 to 18 inches tall.

 

Blanket Flower

These beautiful flowers project a daisy-like feel with strong shades of wine red, orange and yellow. For the most part these flowers’ petals have a unique tubular shape. On the other hand, some of petals have frilled edges that also looked very stunning. The sizes of this plant will range from 10-12 inch high dwarfs to selections as tall as 24-30 inches.

Echinacea

Echinacea, better known as cone flowers, are colorful daisy-like flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall and can grow up to five feet tall. They thrive in areas with full sun and poor soil. These plants are drought resistant and do not require fertilization. You will see beautiful flowers return year after year with very little work if you choose this plant for your property.

Yarrow

Yarrow consists of flower heads full of small, tightly packed blossoms and aromatic leaves. This plant blooms from mid-summer to fall and typically grows to be two to four feet tall. It grows best when planted in well-drained soil with full sun. Yarrow is known for being durable and tolerates dry weather, so it is a perfect low-maintenance yet beautiful addition to any walkway.

Lavender Hidcote

Lavender Hidcote is a tall, purple flower known for its wonderful fragrance and its tendency to attract butterflies. It prefers hot, sunny and dry air and well-drained soil, making it the perfect choice for western climates. Lavender Hidcote does not require regular watering and will thrive on just 9-12 inches of rain per year. You can expect to see this plant bloom in mid to late summer.

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

A Guide for a Successful Commercial Landscape Request for Proposal

Finding the quality commercial landscaping company for you property will have a direct effect on the overall look of your location. When your organization uses a request for proposal or a RFP you will be able to let a potential landscape company know what to expect; from whom you are to what your budget is. Below is your guide to making the most out of your RFP to obtain and sustain a beautiful property.

Why is a RFP important?

Compare the RFP process to hiring an employee at your company. With so many potential employees seeking a position, it can be extremely overwhelming. However, when you look at the resumes you can more clearly filter through to find the stand out applicant.

An RFP allows potential applicants to:

  • Have a better idea who you are and what you’re looking for
  • Understand what kind of budget you have and whether it is fixed or flexible
  • Know what kind of materials are needed to be an effective applicant

Your RFP will identify the commercial landscaping provider that will meet and surpass your needs and expectations.

La JollaDescribe Your Property

An essential step when filling out your RFP is to provide pertinent information regarding your property to the prospective landscaping company. Clearly explaining your goals and expectations is extremely helpful. Whether your property is modest or large in size the more information received will be a real benefit.

Be Clear About Your Selection Criteria

The next focus you will want to address is your standards or criteria for the landscape provider. It’s important to gather specific information about a perspective landscape provider. Of course, the cost is at the top of your inquiry, but look for other essentials such as years of service, range of service, number of employees and timeliness can be very important too.

Determine Submission Requirements

The main goal of your RFP will be to have the potential landscape companies respond with the essential information to determine who is best for your budget and commercial landscape property’s needs. A few things to include in your submission guidelines might be:

  • BCBSTXSpecific formatting details, making it easier to compare the applications
  • A deadline for the RFP to be submitted
  • A length of proposed contract
  • References from similar clients
  • Proof of applicant’s fiscal stability
  • Detailed description of services
  • A depiction of the current staff and their expertise

Read RFP Submissions Carefully!

Once you are ready to send the RFP, decide on an appropriate period to get quality responses. Allowing the landscape companies time to a put together a quality proposal is always a good idea.

This level of professionalism in your hiring process will provide you with extra information about a landscape company. If a prospective landscape company cannot stick to the submission guidelines, required RFP format, or make the submission deadline, then you cannot expect them to provide timely, quality services. Their response to the RFP says a lot about the quality of their landscaping installation and maintenance services.