Flip flops? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Cooler? Check.
You're all set. But is your property ready for the scorching heat of summer?
If you don't want your retail center’s lush green landscaping to dry up and start to crunch, better be prepared.
Tyler Read, client relations manager at Greenscape, Inc., fills us in.
Water, Water, Water
The number one thing your property needs to thrive in summer's crispiest weather is irrigation.
“The difference between retail centers that have irrigation systems and the ones who don’t is night and day,” Read says.
Sure, you can hire a landscaping company to send a water truck over a few times a week, but the cost adds up fast.
“We offer hand watering, but that’s a recurring cost,” Read says. You’ll spend between $50 and $75 an hour for hand watering at least three times a week, he says.
Why not invest that money in a more permanent solution?
An irrigation system is the most efficient way to water your property.
Hoses and sprinklers use more water than necessary and don’t evenly distribute the water. Water often sprays where it isn’t needed, shooting over onto pavement, driveways and sidewalks.
An irrigation system prevents this waste, delivering water only where it’s needed — to lawn, shrubs, trees and flower beds. And timers ensure automatic shut off.
You take care of business, while your irrigation system takes care of your property’s health.
Planning a new retail center? Consider an irrigation system before you build, Read suggests. Cutting into concrete to install one after construction is expensive.
Already Have An Irrigation System?
“Be proactive about keeping it running smoothly,” Read says.
He advises clients to pre-approve a fund for irrigation repairs — typically $500 — so if irrigation technicians find something wrong, they can repair it on the spot.
“Water costs money,” he says. “You want to use it as wisely as you can.”
That means taking advantage of smart irrigation. If your system hasn’t been updated with this water-saving technology, it should.
Smart irrigation controllers use data from sensors and local weather forecasts to deliver just the right amount of water at just the right time, with little waste.
Smart irrigation systems have rain sensors that know when nature has already done the watering, so you don't have to. When a line breaks or another mechanical problem pops up, they automatically turn off.
You — and your water bill — will love this upgrade.
Bring On The Mulch
Don’t head into summer’s scorching heat without a fresh application of mulch. Old mulch won’t do the job of the new fresh stuff.
When mulch gets old and thin, it doesn’t retain moisture in your beds as well. Weeds start to sprout. Grass creeps in.
New mulch keeps your plant’s roots cool, retains moisture in the soil and deters weeds.
Mulch makes your landscaping look fresh and bright — even when you feel like you’re wilting.
At Greenscape, we replace mulch twice a year so
it stays fresh and does its job.
Perfect Plant Placement
Choosing the right plants for the right spots goes a long way to keep your property green and healthy during the scorch of summer.
Your Greenscape client relations manager can steer you toward the best — and away from the worst — plants for your specific property, Read says, based on light conditions, soil and irrigation needs.
He loves hollies for their drought tolerance, and they hold their glossy green leaves year round.
The nice deep green makes a great background for colorful annuals for curb appeal, he says.
As water becomes an increasing commodity, two big water-saving trends are on the rise: xeriscaping and native plants.
Xeriscaping is planting drought-tolerant trees, shrubs, plants and ground cover that need little if any water or fertilizer.
North Carolina boasts a host of beautiful native plants. They’re the ultimate in easy care, because they automatically love where they’re planted.
Your client relations manager knows the plants that won’t work well for you, too, so you won’t waste money on flowers that can’t take the heat or a shrub that’s a water hog.
A healthy green landscape doesn’t just happen — especially in the challenging conditions of a North Carolina summer.
It takes great communication between you and your landscaping company.
“Catching things early is crucial,” Read says. “Make sure you’re getting regular site visits from your landscaper.
If you don’t see their car or truck at your site a couple times a month, that’s a problem.”
You’ll see us a lot. We’ll visit your property at least twice a month to make sure everything is holding up in the heat.
“We’re the second pair of eyes your property needs,” Read says. “Property managers can’t be there all the time. So we’re there to say, ‘Hey, I noticed this patch of grass is brown,’ or ‘That plant isn’t doing too well.’”
If summer is taking a toll on your property and something doesn’t look right, we’ll snap a photo on the spot and send it to the project manager for your site, so they can attend to it right away.
Taking Care Of Turf
The best way to keep your grass green and thriving through summer’s heat is to set up a regular turf care program, Read says.
The healthier your grass, the better it can stand up to heat, drought and invaders like pests and disease.
“Brown patch” is a fungus that often strikes fescue grass in the heat of summer.
“You have to identify it early, because it spreads like wildfire,” Read says. “It hops from root to root to root.
But if you catch it while it’s still just a small patch, we can treat it.”
Poa Annua is another summer lawn killer, he says. The long wispy blades kill grass by stealing its water. Again, it needs immediate professional treatment to get it under control.
The professionals know the secrets to good summer lawn care. They know not to cut more than a third of the grass blades’ length in a single mowing. Taller grass has a larger root system, which means it’s better at keeping weeds at bay, and can better withstand summer heat.
And soil can retain water better when longer grass provides cool shade.
Watch Your Summer Landscape Thrive With Greenscape
There’s no doubt — summer is tough on landscaping, from turf to trees, flowers to shrubs.
But the experts at Greenscape can set you and your property up for a successful summer season, from irrigation to plant selection, skilled turf care to the best communication in the business.
We’ve been meeting the full-service landscaping needs of commercial customers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary areas for more than 35 years.
We offer landscape management and lawn care, design and build services, irrigation, landscape lighting and more.
Call us at 919-552-7742 or fill out our online form to request a free consultation and learn how we can transform your landscape.
We can take the heat.