If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to have a great-looking yard, now is the perfect opportunity to develop a landscaping service plan for the upcoming year. Taking into account each season and what should be done to keep your lawn and landscape healthy and beautiful, a properly designed service plan takes the guesswork out of yard work. It’s important to establish your service plan now, during a relatively dormant period, so that you have the time to carefully consider all the elements necessary and to get prepared.
What are the Basic Elements of a Good Service Plan?
A good service plan should encompass total landscape care throughout the entire year, including: keeping your lawn, ornamental grasses and shrubs healthy and blooming; fertilizing; controlling weeds, insects and disease; garden bed maintenance; pruning and mulching; lime applications; aeration, overseeding and top dressing.
Mow weekly during heavy growth periods and vary the mowing frequency during drought conditions. Edge sidewalks, curbs and bed edges and use a weed eater around buildings and permanent structures. Be sure to blow away debris on your patio, deck, driveway, sidewalks and mulch beds.
Mulch helps soil retain moisture and protects plants from stress during hot and dry weather. New mulch should be applied evenly to your garden beds once or twice a year. Also, remove weeds and debris and edge the beds to form a vertical trench.
Several times throughout the growing season, you should perform maintenance pruning, apply pre-emergent and herbicides, deadhead plants and check their health, and hand-pull weeds within the canopy of plants.
Turning mulch over twice per year will loosen the mulch and improve moisture absorption, reduce mold and mildew that can build up from compacted mulch, and improve the appearance of mulch beds.
Winterizing Garden Beds
Prepare the garden for winter by cutting back perennials, ornamental grasses and roses. Remove winter leaves and other debris and spray evergreens to prevent winter burn.
Aeration and Overseeding
Improve your lawn’s ability to absorb water, air and nutrients with core aeration. Removing cores allows more air and water to reach roots and controls thatch. After aeration is complete, over-seed to promote density, better color, and decrease the weed population.
Create a healthier soil after aeration and overseeding by applying soil amendment (topdressing) to the lawn. Topdressing smoothes the lawn’s surface, promotes seed germination and helps control thatch.
Reduce turf loss, maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance and control other symptoms of fungus. Caused by high humidity, elevated nighttime temperatures and other environmental factors, fungus can be controlled with consistent fungicide applications.
Provide a richer growing environment for your lawn and improve the effectiveness of fertilizers with lime applications. Lime applications regulate your soil pH level and a healthy pH level makes for fertile soil.
Control insects and prevent them from engaging in destructive behaviors with insecticide applications. Various applications can control surface and root feeding insects, and help eliminate fleas and ticks.
Used to control broad-leaf weeds and annual grass before germination, pre-emergent should be applied three times during the growing season.
It’s important to protect your lawn with regular routine landscape maintenance. Having a good plan and implementing all of its elements is the best way to ensure that your lawn and landscape stays healthy for years to come. Some jobs are tougher than others and require special equipment, manpower and larger transport vehicles. If you’re not sure when to perform certain landscape maintenance jobs, or if you lack the proper equipment, manpower or know-how, call Epling today. Epling will help you choose the proper programs, so that you can enjoy looking at your great lawn and landscape all year long.