There is a lot that goes into maintaining a landscape. Even if you’re just trying to keep up with the bare minimum, it can be a lot of work. That’s because landscapes are not self-sustaining. And because they’re always evolving and growing, there are always tasks that need to be done.
While some homeowners try to tackle landscape maintenance on their own and are often looking for those landscaping hacks that will help them get the job done, others have found it’s just not worth all the time and effort involved.
Here are 10 of the best landscape maintenance tasks that should be performed, and a general idea of when to do them.
1. Weekly Mowing
Keeping your lawn mowed regularly will maintain that manicured and clean look that is aesthetically appealing. But keeping your grass trimmed also has the added benefit of keeping pests away as insects like ticks and mosquitoes prefer to “hideout” in tall grass.
While mowing is one of those tasks that seems easy to keep up with, even falling behind just one week on your regular mowing schedule will show. It’s an important task to keep up with both for aesthetic appeal and the health of your lawn.
In terms of when to do it, the mowing season typically starts at the beginning of April and runs through the end of November.
Regular mowing will keep your lawn manicured but if you want to keep it healthy, you must also fertilize the lawn. Fertilizer helps not only improve the color of turf, but it thickens the lawn to help reduce the chance of weeds growing. While some homeowners tackle this on their own with store-bought products, if you want professional-grade fertilization products that will have your lawn as green as a golf course, then this is lawn care maintenance service you should leave to the professionals.
We begin regular applications of fertilizer in the spring and go through late fall. Timing is important as our program focuses on the biology of the lawn rather than just tossing the product down at any given time.
3. Spring and Fall Clean-Up
Several extra maintenance tasks come with the spring and fall seasons. Clean-ups during both the spring and fall season should include landscape maintenance services like pruning, debris removal, mulching, cutting back perennials and ornamental grasses, and re-edging the beds. Fall clean-up should also include leaf removal.
Both spring and fall clean-ups give your property an instant curb appeal boost as clearing debris and cleaning up plant material makes everything look better. But there are also a lot of health benefits to spring and fall clean-up as tasks like pruning and mulching help your plants to grow better and removing debris from your yard helps ensure pests don’t take up residence.
4. Leaf Removal
While it should be part of the fall clean-up process, leaf removal is such a big task that it could be considered a category of its own. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to assume they can tackle leaves in one big clean-up, but the truth is it often ends up being a lot more work than that.
5. Bed Maintenance
Plant beds are one of the nicest ways to add curb appeal to your property. But without regular landscape maintenance, those beautiful plant beds won’t stay looking so nice for long. Of course, keeping up with plant beds is a big landscape maintenance task and therefore may be ignored. But the longer weeds are neglected, the more potential they have for spreading. While many homeowners tackle weeding the flower beds a couple of times a year, the more regularly you do it, the better. Weeding frequently will reduce the amount of work each time it needs to be done so that weeds don’t seed off and spread so rapidly.
Plant bed maintenance should be performed on an ongoing basis in both the spring and fall. It often ends up being a task that is overlooked but can have a huge impact when done regularly.
6. Plant Health Care
Just like your lawn, your small trees and shrubs also need ongoing attention. That includes regular pruning and fertilization, as well as spraying for insects and disease, to keep plants growing and healthy. Your trees and shrubs are a valuable asset to your property and one that should not be ignored.
It’s also worth noting that replacing trees and shrubs that did not survive due to a lack of attention is certainly more costly than investing in their maintenance in the first place. It is another task that should be performed on an ongoing basis throughout the growing season.
7. Aeration & Overseeding
Your lawn has to breathe and helping it to do so means aerating, which is a service best performed in the fall. Core aeration makes small holes throughout the lawn that allow more air, water, and nutrients to penetrate below the surface. As the soil cores are pulled out of these holes and placed on the surface, aeration also helps reduce soil compaction which means grass root systems can grow deeper and become more established.
This means improved health, as grass plants can grab ahold of water and nutrient resources better. That can lead to a thicker, healthier lawn. Aeration time is also the best opportunity to overseed, as the seed-to-soil contact will allow for better growth.
This is one of those services that we would say is not advised as a do it yourself landscaping hack. That’s because if aeration is performed improperly, such as during a drought, it can do damage to your lawn. It also requires renting and operating heavy equipment that is probably best left to a professional who performs this type of service regularly.
8. Watering your Lawn
Regularly watering your lawn is also important to help maintain its health. While this is a landscape maintenance task that can be handled manually – dragging around sprinklers for hours on end – if you truly want the lushest lawn possible, we would recommend a professional irrigation system that is going to ensure your lawn is watered just the right amount. The latest irrigation systems include technology such as weather sensors that ensure lawns are not overwatered or underwatered.
9. Lawn Weed Control Treatments
To prevent weeds from taking over, you should also consider preventative weed control measures. While keeping up with a lot of the landscape maintenance tasks we already mentioned will help produce a healthy lawn and naturally choke out some of the weeds, we also recommend pre- and post-emergent applications that will help keep your lawn free from pesky weeds. Also, with a professional service like ours, we can target specific weeds that may be a problem on your property.
Because the soil in our area contains a lot of clay, a topdressing is important to add organic matter into the soil to improve its structure and provide valuable nutrients for grass and plants.
We add a topdressing of compost which will help further establish a good layer of topsoil. This will help your lawn to thrive.
This is something we consider an “above and beyond” step but one that we still think should be part of the list of the best lawn maintenance tasks – particularly if you’re looking for a truly lush lawn.