Great Seasonal Color Displays Start With Clear Specifications

Authored by: Luke Tedder

Posted: Mar 21, 2017 4:40:53 PM

It’s the time of year when you’re thinking about annual flowers—a boost of color to spruce up drab winter beds. Maybe you’re writing specifications for annual flowers that you’ll provide to your landscape professional. Or, perhaps you will collect several RFPs for flower installation.

How many flowers do you want this season?

You write in, “6 flats.” You figure, six flats of flowers will be plenty to fill the landscape beds at the entrance of your commercial property. Your annual flower specifications are complete, right?

If you think that specifying annual flowers means identifying the number of flats you want, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and take a good, hard look at the terminology you use and how denoting “flats” can impact the cost and results. In short, stop using the term flats when talking annuals.

Instead, here is the terminology you should use when specifying annual flowers so you can be sure that the landscape provider understands not just the quantity of flowers, but other key factors involved in planning and planting annuals.

In order to properly bid annual flowers, your landscape professional will collect three crucial pieces of information:

  1. square footage of bed (bed size)
  2. type of annual flowers you desire
  3. proper plant spacing for the selected annuals

Let’s explain this further and provide you with some pointers and the proper terminology so you can win at specifying summer annuals this season.

How Mulch Delivers Sustainable Value—Plant Health Benefits and Beyond

Authored by: Dan Stever

Posted: Mar 14, 2017 9:34:21 AM

When we talk about sustainable practices and green infrastructure, the landscape projects that usually come to mind are green roofs, rain gardens and permeable pavers. But the reality is, we can make a big impact on our commercial properties by selecting materials thoughtfully and applying them correctly. And, when we rethink the way we approach basic landscape practices like mulching, even standard maintenance can be a significant step toward improving the ecosystem on your property.

Mulching should go beyond simply putting down material for aesthetics. In fact, appearance is an ancillary benefit of mulch and not at all its primary purpose. Mulching properly provides plant health and cost-saving benefits, contributing to the value chain of becoming more sustainable.

We always encourage property owners to think beyond curb appeal and consider how their landscapes can “do something” beneficial. Mulch is a perfect example of how you can approach a necessary spring service with a sustainable approach and realize more value.

We know that the benefits of mulch include preventing erosion, improving soil and plant health, and retaining moisture. But let’s talk about how these mulching benefits contribute to the big picture of a more environmentally balanced commercial property.

The Official Landscape Spring Cleanup Checklist

Authored by: Dan Stever

Posted: Mar 8, 2017 5:58:21 PM

Spring is here. That’s why we’re talking to property managers now about important tasks to prepare their landscapes for summer. Landscape spring cleanup sets the stage for success the rest of the growing season, and it’s critical before you can truly “move on” to other landscape maintenance activities.

The level of spring cleanup your property requires depends on whether it was cared for during winter. Properties that receive winter services including debris cleanup and weed removal will have less of a job come spring. That’s one reason why we recommend winter cleanup services as part of a year-round commercial grounds maintenance program. Continuity of service ensures the best results.

Whether or not you elected winter services, it’s time to spring into the warm-season and plan for cleanup. Here is a landscape spring cleanup checklist so you know what to expect.

Warm Winter Having Your Budget Feeling Flush?  Reinvest In Your Landscape.

Authored by: Dallis Crowe

Posted: Mar 2, 2017 6:27:00 AM

Predicting how much snow will fall during winter is ultimately a guessing game. Most property owners look back on previous years’ records to create a snow and ice management budget. The problem is our Kentucky winters could be snowy one year and warm and wet the next. 

 

For property owners with seasonal snow contracts and fixed monthly pricing, they know exactly how much they’ll pay each winter. But per-push contracts run the risk of going over budget, or having leftover dollars in a mild winter season.

 

How does your snow removal budget look now? If you have extra dollars that won’t be spent on winter services, you might be wondering: What’s the best way to allocate your leftover snow removal budget? Review your landscape wish list.

 

What projects have you been putting on the back burner? Now that you’ve handled your snow removal needs, it’s time to reallocate dollars towards checking some ‘wants’ off your list. We have a few ideas for you on how to prioritize your landscape’s needs.

The Benefits of Dividing Perennials

Authored by: Dan Stever

Posted: Feb 28, 2017 6:20:00 AM

Kentucky landscapes and gardens are filled with flowering perennial plants. Perennials are special plants that come back year after year. Often times they are herbaceous and die back to the ground each winter.

 

But come spring, they regrow to full size and have profuse blooms – which is why we love them in our gardens. Some perennials stay where we put them, but others spread out with time. This can be a good thing, or it can be a problem depending upon the situation. 

 

When a plant like Liriope spreads it forms a lovely dense groundcover that prevents weeds from sprouting. But other plants, like Obedient Plant, can grow aggressively and crowd-out other plants in the bed. Of course, problems can be avoided by initially choosing the right plant for the right place. 

 

But there are practical opportunities to take advantage of with spreading perennials. By dividing them, you can get essentially free plants.

 

How to properly handle and divide spreading perennials requires understanding how they grow and spread.

 

When a plant propagates itself by sending out runners to form clumps and masses, it is called asexual propagation. The plant has essentially made a clone of itself. 

 

Here are the common ways plants make clones of themselves and how they can be divided.