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.

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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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!
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5 Steps to Tune-Up Your Irrigation this Spring

The sun is out and shining, the weather is warming up and the ground is thawing out. There is no better time than springtime to ensure that your commercial landscape property’s sprinkler system is ready for the rest of the year. By following these few simple steps you will be able to save money, prevent water loss and avoid a mid- summer landscape disaster! Start your warm watering season off the right way by following these easy steps:

Lone Tree Plaza-21. Don’t Jump the Gun

By starting your property’s irrigation system too early, you risk damaging the pipes, especially if the ground is still too hard. It is important to make sure that the soil at your commercial property is not still frozen. To do this you will want to take your shovel and push it down at least twelve inches. If it’s tough to do so or the ground is rock solid, it is a good idea to wait a week and try again.

2. Check the Controller

Now is the time to evaluate the irrigation controls and programs of your irrigation systems. It has been months since your commercial property’s irrigation system has been used. Many things could have happened to the controls during the colder months. It is important to make sure that the date and time are accurate, the setting fits correctly and that the back-up battery is up to date. We suggest that your irrigation system’s back-up battery be replaced every six months for optimal use.

3. Unhindered Flow

Over the course of a winter, debris can cover up your commercial property’s sprinkler heads. If unchecked, substances such as dirt, branches or rocks can lead to wasted water and an unhealthy landscape. It is very important to thoroughly inspect the commercial property’s sprinkler heads and remove any barrier that may be blocking the spray.

Irrigation4. Replace Damaged Parts

Was one of your property’s sprinkler heads run over by a lawn mower? Perhaps a community dog is pulling out the sprinkler heads. Sprinkler heads and valves are made to endure normal wear and tear; however, it is best to be ready for the occasional mishap. Springtime is the perfect time to address and repair these broken irrigation parts. By doing this you can prevent over watering which will wreak havoc on your plants and your water bill. Contact Terracare Associates trained and certified irrigation technicians to schedule any irrigation concerns or repairs.

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5. Check the Pressure

Now it is time to turn the main water valve back on. However, it is crucial to ensure that the water pressure is at a safe operating range for your irrigation system. If your commercial landscape property’s irrigation system is too high it can result in damages. A few examples of the potential damages could include cracked pipes, busted valves, sprinkler head leaks and inefficient watering. To counterattack any of these damages we recommend having your system at an operating range between 40-65 PSI.

What’s Next?

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 at the optimal level to distribute the water. To schedule an audit from one of our trained irrigation techs please fill out the form below:

Free Irrigation Audit

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.

 

Benefits of Native Grass on Commercial Properties

As a property owner, the sustainability of the landscape is essential in not only saving money, but also providing a lasting impact on the environment. One factor that you might not have considered when thinking about sustainability is planting native grass. The word “native” means that the plant is indigenous to the area and can thrive without human contributions such as fertilizers and other lawn care treatments. Along with that native grass has many other benefits to a commercial landscape property, below are a few of those benefits.

Reduces heat

Lawns reduce environmental heating through cooling evaporation. On sunny days, air temperatures over lawns stay 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than air over asphalt or concrete. The resulting cooler air temperature means lower cooling costs for your building.

Curb appeal

Native grassGreen spaces make your property more attractive and increase its value. On average, buyers are willing to pay 11 percent more than asking price for a well-landscaped property. On top of that, customers spend more time and money when businesses have attractive landscaping. Adding grass to your property not only attracts customers, it also makes a commercial landscape property more attractive to potential employers and decreases turnover.

Stress reduction

Many studies prove that exposure to natural greenery reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, improves attention and increases feelings of happiness. People who work in an environment with a view of nature have been found to recover from stress more quickly and experience less job pressure and greater job satisfaction. Exposure to nature has even been shown to increase work productivity. An investment in green space is a positive investment in your company.

Reduces soil erosion

Native grass has an extensive root system that locks soil in place to protect against wind and water. A single grass plant can have up to 300 miles of erosion-controlling roots. Gardens and other types on landscapes can experience up to 600 times more erosion than natural lawns, meaning more money shelled out by property owner’s for maintenance.

Purifies air and improves air quality

Approximately 12 million tons of impurities are absorbed from the air by turf grass each year. One these impurities is the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. U.S. lawns alone capture an estimated 5% of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide annually. Grass absorbs these impurities and moves them to the root zone where soil microbes help break down pollutants. Growing natural grass on your commercial property is a great way to decrease your business’s carbon footprint.

Produces oxygen

Grass is a living organism, meaning it takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. A lawn measuring 2,500 square feet generates enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of a family of four.

Contact the experts at Terracare Associates for your commercial landscaping needs today.

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