As the snow begins to melt, and you gaze across your commercial property, you notice your landscape looks…well…awful.

The grass is a lackluster shade of yellow-brown, your landscape beds appear to be filled only with dirt, and your parking lot is full of a combination of salt, sand, and half-melted snow.

You know that a well-maintained landscape helps to boost your reputation, catches the attention of those passing by, and can vastly impact safety. But how do you revive your once thriving landscape area?

Let’s explore what landscape maintenance tasks you should be worried about this Spring so you can restore your landscape for the busy summer season here in Northern Michigan.

1. Inspect Your Landscape and Repair Snow Plow Damage

Winter in Northern Michigan is a very messy season. No matter how many snow markers are installed near your grass areas and landscape beds, it is likely that your property has some snow plow damage.

Begin by reaching out to your snow removal contractor to repair all damages. This should be something they provide free of charge, as they were the ones who caused the damage. Since it is difficult to fertilize or mulch in damaged areas, it is important to reach out to your provider ASAP, so the it can be remedied before landscape work needs to begin.

neatly trimmed bushes and lawn at bank

For this reason, we wholeheartedly recommend using your commercial landscaping partner for your snow removal team, if they offer that service. It makes less work for you in the Spring months, and it typically results in less damage, as the same teams that plow will be making the repairs.

Since the team is responsible for your property year-round, commercial properties tend to receive better service when team members know it is not someone else’s responsibility to clean up their mess. Relationships are also formed when property managers and landscape teams have ongoing, continuous contact, which means landscaping or snow crews are more likely to treat your property like it’s their own.

2. Perform a Spring Clean-Up

While fall clean-ups are extremely important in the Traverse City area, Spring clean-ups are vital for a healthy landscape.

Start by cleaning up all of the remains in your parking lot from battling the winter weather. If your snow removal contractor uses primarily brine, there will be significantly less parking lot cleanup at your property. It is wise to consider asking next season if brine vs. traditional rock salt is an option (hint—it is also better for the environment and works more effectively than rock salt).

aerial photo of landscape bed near patio of restaurant

Blow any debris, leaves, or trash off of your lawn and out of your landscape beds to prepare for fertilization and mulch.

3. Apply Fertilizer to Turf

Both the first and last application of fertilizer to your grass are by far the most important. The Spring application is your first line of defense in battling weeds. Commercial fertilization blends have pre-emergent herbicide built-in, meaning it can help prevent weeds like crabgrass from germinating. While you will likely still have weed breakthrough, not fertilizing in the Spring means a huge weed problem in the summer. Remember, fertilization provides the food your grass needs to thrive.

lawn care expert fertilizes grass

If you have a new landscape provider or plan to fertilize on your own, be sure to consider the timing of your first application. Fertilize too early and the ground is still frozen, meaning the vital nutrients do not sink in. Fertilize too late and your turf is already struggling and weeds have begun to germinate.

Thankfully, Mother Nature provides us with a very easy way to tell when is the right time to fertilize. Watch for the brilliant blooms of Forsythia! Once these native perennial plants start to bloom, apply the first application to your lawn.

4. Install Mulch WITH Pre-Emergent Herbicide

If your landscape beds contain mulch, as opposed to rock, be sure to invest in mulch every season. Not only does it help your commercial property to look beautiful, but it retains moisture to help your plantings and can help prevent weeds.

landscape crew shovels mulch out of wheelbarrow

Mulch installed without a base layer of pre-emergent herbicide can result in disaster. Treflan, a commercial-grade pre-emergent, helps to prevent weeds from germinating and taking hold in your landscape beds. Using Treflan can help save you money later in the growing season when weeds can become a problem.

5. Consider Spring Annuals

Looking to brighten up your property this Spring? Adding Spring annuals to your container gardens can help your property look alive before it truly rebounds from the winter. While a Google search may provide suggestions for planting annuals in the ground, Northern Michigan is not a location where investing a large portion of your budget into Spring annuals is a good idea.

flowers in landscape bed at restaurant

If you have lived in Northern Michigan for any period of time, you are familiar with our varying temperatures, especially in the Spring months. The ground is typically not ready for annuals until after Mother’s Day, and we hesitate to plant in containers too early either. If you decide to plant in your container gardens at the first sign of Spring, make sure to bring your planters inside each night to protect them from the chilly winter-like temperatures.

Partner with a Reliable Full-Service Commercial Landscape Maintenance Contractor

Checking these five items off your to-do list this Spring will help to lay the groundwork for a healthy and beautiful landscape all season long. As a property manager or business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. That’s why it is so important to partner with a commercial landscape company that you can trust.

At TruNorth Landscaping, we provide full-service year-round landscaping and snow removal services to some of the most well known commercial properties in the area. Whether you manage a big box store, a hotel, a medical facility, or restaurant, our years of experience mean your property gets exactly what it needs when it needs it. It’s time to get back to all the rest of the items on your to-do list and leave the landscaping to the experts!

Ready to beautify your property this Spring? Fill out our contact form and a team member will reach out to you to meet and begin creating a plan to ensure your landscape is both safe and healthy.

Get started today with a consultation!

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