Fall Maple. Taken 11.1.13.

Fall Maple. Taken 11.1.13.

Today is the first day of winter contracts starting for most commercial real estate properties in the Upper Midwest. This Fall has been kind of odd for most areas – in Greater MSP, most of the leaves are still on the trees!

Check out our recent Ethical Notes email for why the leaves are still hanging this year (sign up while you’re there!).

Closing your commercial landscapes down for the winter is critically important to maintain your asset and aesthetics for the long winter season.

Here is a checklist of things you need to make sure are done:

  1. Irrigation system is shut down for winter.
  2. Daylilies, hosts and iris cut back to the ground. Leave all of your other grasses and perennials for winter interest.
  3. Final mow of the season completed. Do not mow shorter than the previous mow height. (some people believe mowing shorter prevents snow mold, critters and other issues. It does not.)
  4. Leaves blown out of landscape beds and mulched into the turf areas.
  5. Summer and Fall containers and flower beds removed and raked smooth.
  6. Spring-flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinth) planted in annual flower beds.
  7. Plan now for winter pruning of trees – especially oaks because they are least susceptible to Oak Wilt from Nov to March.

Here are a couple of bonus tips for next year:

  1. When setting up your 2014 Summer Specifications, extend your contract through November 15th to handle times when leaves are down like this year.
  2. Require 2 fall cleanups in your contract. One by October 31 and another by November 15.
  3. If you want to save money on maintenance in 2014, plan to seed unnecessary turf areas to native plants now or in early spring.

Thank you and have a great day!!

Brad

PS: We are also starting to get pricing for summer 2014 mowing contracts today.