Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
October 2012 Facility Focus

Fertilizing The Future With Landscaping

You can sustainably grow your bottom line and entice tenants to take root with clever design.

October 17, 2012

In today’s economy, the competition for tenants in commercial properties begins with curb appeal.

Ensuring that your property looks as attractive as possible creates the first impression required to generate property interest.

A well-shown property will help draw tenants to your available space and can help raise your retention and occupancy rates.

Getting your property noticed is the first step in getting a new tenant on a lease.

So, it is essential to maintain a well-manicured property by adhering to sound landscape management practices that will help ensure that your property retains its maximum value and generate long-term cost savings for owners and investors.

Having an acute sense of awareness, understanding your environment and partnering with the right commercial landscape management professional are keys to achieving the desired results.

A Blueprint For Blooms

When it comes to landscaping your property, it is important the landscape be intelligently designed in addition to being aesthetically pleasing.

Not only can you create a beautiful, functional landscape, but you can create one that is also energy efficient and provides you with significant savings in the long run.

With the current movement of energy and water conservation and the need to reduce carbon emissions, proper irrigation is critical in maintaining your grounds efficiently.

Sufficient hydration is necessary to maintain the health and appearance of your property’s landscape.

There have been significant developments in irrigation technology that allow landscape professionals to design custom-tailored systems based on your particular property’s needs, resulting in reduced water usage and lower ongoing maintenance expenses.

The “smart” controller is the most technologically advanced development in water conservation on the market today.

Regardless of how efficient an irrigation controller’s watering schedule is, it must be able to take into account always changing weather conditions — specifically, rainfall and evapotranspiration (ET) — to protect the health of the landscape and gain maximum efficiencies.

ET is the amount of water lost from the soil through evaporation plus the plant’s water loss, which are both dramatically affected by weather conditions.

A smart controller uses current weather and ET information to water your landscape only when it needs it.

Smart controller systems work with virtually any controller, converting a conventional irrigation system into one that is weather smart and that self-adjusts according to accurate, real-time data.

As the weather changes, your smart controller receives automatic hourly updates and won’t allow your controller to water unless needed.

This results in significant water savings and a healthier landscape.

An irrigation system retrofitted with a smart controller, moisture sensors, drip irrigation and high-efficiency heads can provide cost savings that will pay for the initial purchase and installation costs in less than three years.

Deciduous Decision-making

Simple aesthetic changes to a property’s landscape can also greatly enhance a property’s appeal.

A relatively basic landscape can be improved simply by replacing non-flowering plants with flowering varieties.

If you want instant impact and a dramatic change in your property’s curb appeal, use annual color.

Annual color can provide simple changes to a property’s landscape, which will go a long way in making your property stand out from the competition.

With a variety of colors, species and sizes — and the ability to thrive in the shade or sun — annual flowers can revitalize the look of your grounds.

Selecting plant and flower varieties in colors that complement both exterior building materials and interior color schemes creates a unifying effect that will help your property looks its best.

Your landscape contractor can help decide which varieties best complement the climate and style of your property, as well offer advice on the best colors and designs that highlight your property.

Before the installation of color, proper steps need to be taken to prepare your planting beds so your investment will provide the returns you desire.

This includes tilling the soil to the proper depth, adding necessary amendments and adjusting your irrigation system’s runtimes so the plants will receive the moisture they needs for the color to flourish.

Proper maintenance and fertilization is needed on a consistent basis by a landscape professional to ensure a long season of bloom and health for your annuals.

After installation, it is important to work with your landscape professional to establish a proper pruning schedule.

Pruning allows the trees and shrubs on your property to maintain their greatest flowering or fruiting potential.

However, pruning is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it is essential that you tailor how much you prune any tree or shrub to its growth habit.

In order to prevent harm to your plants, it is important to select a landscape contractor who considers the specific needs of your property as well as the image you want to convey when it comes to pruning.

Planning a landscape that will work for every season takes time and consideration but will result in a property looking its best all year long, season after season.

And, a healthy and attractive landscape creates an agreeable, friendly environment that can help commercial property owners maximize the value of their sites.

The partnership between a landscape professional and the property manager is the key to this long-term, successful management strategy.