Commercial Landscaping Fall Checklist

Fall is here! The leaves are changing and the weather is beginning to cool down. This is the perfect time to get your commercial landscape property in pristine condition and ready for the winter weather. While every region of the country experiences different winter weather, there are a few tasks that are applicable to every landscape.

CamelliaReplace Seasonal Color

Fall is an amazing time to change out summer seasonal color with flowers and plants that can handle the winter months. A few suggestions for winter color include Pansy, Viola, Dianthus, Cabbage, Kale and Winter Camellia. For more information on winter seasonal color click here: Winter Plants

Aerate

No matter the style of aeration, fall is the best time to aerate the green spaces and grassy areas on your property. Aeration opens the soil and promotes a better environment for grass roots.

Reshape trees

Conduct major re-shaping of shade trees (oaks, aspens, poplars, elms and birches) as needed after the first freeze when plants go dormant. This is a good time to remove dead or excess plant materials that stands out on bare limbs.

Prune

This is the time to prune trees and shrubs to minimize any possible damage, which may occur during ice and snowstorms. After the spring and summer growing seasons, overgrown branches and limbs can cause damage to your property. Removing damaged or diseased limbs will contribute to the overall health of the tree and also help with the prevention falling limbs. Trees should be pruned to allow “room” for sunlight and breezes to naturally flow through. For more pruning tips click below:
Fall Pruning

Install new plant material

Plant roots grow anytime the soil temperature are 40 degrees or higher – this is typical during the fall. Cooler temperatures and more moisture means newly sowed plants can focus on establishing heartier root systems.  If a root system is established in the fall, then when spring arrives, this expanded root system can support and take advantage of the full surge of spring growth. It also means it is more likely to survive during the summer heat.

Divide and replant perennials

A benefit to including perennials into your landscape property is that they can be divided and replanted after they become established and healthy. Now is a good time to do this task. Perennial flowers such as iris, day lily, coneflower, coreopsis, and lavender are great examples.

Control weeds

Weeds are just like other plants in your landscape. They are saving the last bits of sunlight, water and nutrients to survive through the winter. Now is the time to apply weed killing compounds to stop their growth.

What’s Next?

These steps can be challenging and overwhelming for any commercial property owner. This is where Terracare Associates comes in. Our trained and certified professionals are here to help you achieve the commercial landscape property that you have always dreamed of. Click below to set up a meeting:
Contact us

5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

Each year, as a commercial property owner, you make a budget for landscape maintenance. And each year do unexpected costs arise? Even with careful planning, organizing and budgeting you may still be taken off guard.

 

Let Terracare help! Here are the benchmarks you need to make sure your budget covers to meet your landscaping goals.

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 applications needed, how many services are desired and provided. 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 have you wanted to add an unplanned enhancement to your property? 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 is the company’s safety record? Does the landscape provider hire certified, trained professionals? What awards nationally or regionally has their company won? It is very important to make sure you have all your questions answered before you enter a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements

Analyze which services or projects 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 to avoid unexpected expenses.

5. Hire a qualified 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 your commercial property landscape goals or you need help to define a plan, take a moment, and schedule a consultation with your Project Manager at Terracare Associates. We at Terracare will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

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.

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.

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.

Commercial Landscape Spring Checklist

Spring is in the air! The trees are blooming, the birds are chirping and flowers are beginning to poke out of the dirt. This is the perfect time to get your commercial landscape property in pristine condition for the upcoming year. We all want a beautiful commercial property; here are a few suggestions for a successful spring season.

Cleanup and Prep:

With the freshness of spring comes plenty of cleanup from the season before. This cleanup is an important first step to restore your commercial property to its former glory. Some keys areas for our Terracare landscape expert to focus on;

  • Cleaning up debris
  • Raking up leftover leaves, sticks or pine needles
  • Trimming back perennials and grasses
  • Removing excess mulch and leaf scraps from the base of your plants
  • Checking any metal edging to make sure that it is hasn’t heaved over the winter.

Lawn Prep and Maintenance:

Having a well-manicured, green yard is something that will increase the overall appearance of a property and have a lasting impact on the amount traffic and business your company attracts. Lawn preparation is a vital step for any commercial property. We recommend aeration which is poking small holes in the lawn so water and fertilizer can reach the roots effectively. Terracare recommends the application of both quality fertilizer and a product for pre- emergent weed control. These applications are very helpful in preventing weeds and boosting your plant’s nutrients.

IrrigationIrrigation System Startup:

Another crucial step when getting your commercial landscape property in order for the upcoming season is the proper preparation of your irrigation system. This process ranges from ensuring that the water pressure is correct to replacing damaged parts and even to checking that the ground is unfrozen. It may seem lengthy and challenging, however all of these steps are important to avoid future unnecessary costs.
For springtime irrigation steps, take a look at our article here:
Irrigation Steps.

Spring Planting:

Spring is also a great time for your commercial landscape property to set itself apart from the rest. A great way to do this and also attract more visitors is by adding color to your property. Studies show a beautiful commercial landscape can raise your property value and attractiveness by as much as 20%. To do this Terracare recommends adding perennials, because they will return year after year. To learn more about five perennials that can really make your property stand out click here:
Perennial Choices.

What’s Next?

These steps can be challenging and overwhelming for any commercial property owner. This is where Terracare Associates comes in. Our trained and certified professionals are here to help you achieve the commercial landscape property that you have always dreamed of. Click below to set up a meeting:

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.

5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

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 applications needed, how many services are desired and provided. 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 decided 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 enter a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements

Analyze which services or projects 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 to avoid unexpected expenses.

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 to choosing 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 Project Manager at Terracare Associates. We at Terracare will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

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.