Commercial Landscaping News - October 2013

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Winterizing Your Irrigation System

The irrigation systems that help to manage the gardens and greenery of large properties are extensive undertakings in their own right. Over the winter months, these yards of piping and pumps are at risk of damage from ice, should conditions drop below freezing.

In a drip irrigation and sprinkler system, water remains in the network of pipes under the ground. When the temperatures drop, this standing water can freeze and expand. While some irrigation pipes are designed for a bit of expansion, they are not ice proof and can split. The majority of irrigation piping is not flexible at all, and these PVC pipes are especially prone to cracking in freezing water.

To prevent possible damage to expensive irrigation systems, it is best to winterize the system by removing the standing water from the pipes before turning the system off for the winter months. Removing the water can be done manually if the system is designed to accommodate a manual extraction, or it can be blown out using compressed air. For commercial properties, the large scale of the irrigation systems and the dangerous possibilities of blowing water out of the systems means this is a job best left to professionals.

Landscape Associates can help winterize and maintain your irrigation system. Contact us for an appointment today!

Planting Bed Maintenance

The fall months provide an excellent break in the heat and also in the rapid growth of many summer plants – including summer weeds. This makes the fall an ideal time for maintenance on your planting beds. Now that the peak growing season is done and the less ideal months of winter not quite upon us, it is prudent to clean and prepare beds for the winter and the next growing season.

Standard fall maintenance includes pruning and disease control. Weeds and moss can be removed from the garden and prevented by adding a thick layer of mulch. The mulch will also help to protect the roots of plants during the colder months of winter and potential freezes.

Before laying new mulch, however, also prepare and feed the soil by raking, clearing and fertilizing. This may also be the ideal time to restructure the garden to be sure that the bed is properly draining. With careful pruning, and perhaps the addition of bright seasonal annuals, your beds can be as attractive in the fall and winter as they are during spring and summer.  

Let Landscape Associates work with you to prepare your landscapes for fall and winter. Contact us today.

Invest In Fall Curb Appeal

While improving your individual planting beds, take a look at the bigger picture of your property. This is an ideal time of year to work on curb appeal as well as simply preparing your landscaping for the winter months.

Look for opportunities to improve the appearance of your landscaping by renovating the turf and clearing out or laying down sod. Replace plants that have become overgrown or unattractive, and remove or cut back those plants that have grown wildly over the summer months.

Put down a new layer of mulch to improve the appearance of your beds and to also protect the roots of plants during the winter months. Finally, with the rest of your chores complete, consider adding some bright seasonal colors with mums or pansies in your garden or in containers. Eye-catching urns or planters on a porch, patio or near a door are cheerful and a great way to improve the appearance of your business from the road, and the changes are relatively simply to make.

Planting Bulbs for the Spring

The spring months may be six months away, but some of the season’s prettiest flowers, including nodding tulips and sunny daffodils, require some advance planning. Get started now on planting bulbs in gardens and flower beds if you’re hoping to have the cheerful blooms appear in March or April.

While planting hardy bulbs carefully for cultivation over the winter, also look for the bulbs of plants that are unlikely to survive the harder months of winter.

These are traditionally annuals in a climate that experiences an annual freeze, but you can salvage your plants and enjoy the bright greens of caladium or elephant ears again by digging up bulbs now and replanting them after you are past the worst freezes.

Dig up your caladium, gladiola and dahlia bulbs carefully. Dust the bulbs off and carefully dry them before storing the clusters of bulbs in a location where they are likely to remain protected from wildlife, freezes and wet conditions. When replanted in the warmer months, these bulbs will again grow alongside the tulips and daffodils you’re having planted now.