Right about the time we are kicking winter out for good, it almost seems like a greener world appears instantly. However, you can’t just rely on Mother Nature alone to create that gorgeous, spectacular landscape you have been dreaming of. It not only requires work and dedication on your part, but in order to have a beautiful landscape for your home and business in the spring you will also want to partner with professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right—and with the right timing!
If you are beginning a landscaping project on a property, whether residential or commercial, it is very important to be aware of the exact location of your property lines. This is something that should be done before anything else, mainly because it can be costly later on down the line if you have utilized property that you don’t own in your design. The money that you spend in your landscaping project is an investment in the overall value and appearance of your property, but if you don’t own the land you are improving you are effectively investing in someone else’s property value. Land Survey, Inc. specializes in assisting property owners by providing exact property boundaries. Toni Montana, owner of Land Survey, Inc., advises, “Many times property owners assume they know where their property starts and ends, mainly due to a previous landscape that offers a boundary feature such as a fence or retaining wall, but I cannot emphasize how important it is to know where your property lines are, especially the corners. I employ a method which utilizes CAD drawn plans (as opposed to hand-drawn ones), which are far more clear and concise. Although they may take a little longer, there is greater accuracy in the results. When considering how you will obtain a boundary survey, ask other property owners first. Word of mouth or the Better Business Bureau website is a good place to start in finding the best professionals when it comes to any aspect of landscaping, but especially when choosing who will accurately assess where your invisible property lines lie. Furthermore, the service of land survey takes a lot of time to learn and the property laws can be confusing. My best advice is to always consult with a licensed surveying firm before proceeding. Trying to cut costs up front may cost a lot more in the end.”
There are many important things to consider when planning a landscaping project. Dustin Dyer of Liberty Grounds explains, “One of the most important things to consider is location. The location of the bed in relation to sunlight determines the types of plants that will do well and how much water will be needed to keep your plants healthy. Another important thing to consider is how you plan to fill the space between your plants. Surrounding your plants with mulch will help hold moisture in and beautify the space. On the other hand, utilizing river rock can add another element to the space, but may require additional watering, as it reaches higher temperatures and may cause water evaporation. It is also important to consider the maintenance necessary to keep your landscape beds looking beautiful. Weed and pest control, as well as pruning, will keep your beds in tip-top shape. This maintenance may be required monthly, or even every few weeks, depending on temperatures. With immature landscaping, regular water schedules are extremely important. Paying attention to the appearance of your plants can help you identify if they are stressed. During our hottest summer days, watering may be required twice a day to prevent plants from burning. However, you must be careful not to overwater your plant, as overwatering prevents the plant from being able to draw nutrients from the soil.” He adds, “Planning your budget is crucial. A common industry rule of thumb is to invest about 5-10% of the purchase price of your property in landscaping. Buying materials in bulk will save you money, but may come with delivery fees. Also, educate yourself on the plants you will be using, the maintenance required for those plants, and the mature size of plants to make sure you give them enough space to grow. If you are planning on doing it yourself, shop at a local nursery where the staff is well educated on plants so that they can answer any of your questions. Our landscaping professionals are also happy to help you as little or as much as you need.”
When seeking out assistance with your landscaping project, it is important to understand that you may need help with several aspects: design, installation and maintenance throughout the year. Brandy Prettyman with The Grounds Guys of SW Omaha advises that the most important aspect of taking on a landscaping project is being conscious of what your capabilities are in comparison with your goals. She says, “It is important to be realistic with what you are willing to invest in time and money during the initial phases of design and installation. You should know what maintenance you are willing to do personally once the design and installation is complete, what your limitations are and what you should have a professional maintain for you. In my experience many people know what they want, but they don’t always understand what it takes to get to that point and keep it there. I always prefer to do a personal interview with our clients. One of the most important questions I ask is about how they like to spend their free time. If their first answer is spending time with family or activities and the last is getting out and gardening, then I tailor what they want to have done with their subconscious needs in mind. Therefore, I emphasize being honest with yourself in this area. Most people just want their landscaping to look pretty, which isn’t a bad thing. However, even though a professional can design a landscape that requires a very minimal amount of upkeep, this just isn’t possible without some level of routine maintenance. For those who want to take on their own project, my advice is to consult a designer unless you have a background in horticulture. This may simply mean asking ‘Here’s my idea, do you think it will work?’ If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, choose a company that you trust to work with. The moment you meet someone, interview them like you would a job candidate and evaluate them to see if you can work with them and that they have your best interests in mind when developing your landscape. Anyone company worth hiring will welcome the chance to earn your business; they will take the time to gain a comprehensive understanding of what the project and the resulting maintenance will entail.”
Mark Aupperle of AUP Landscape agrees that landscape and sprinkler maintenance are crucial to maintaining your investment. He says, “It is one thing to install your plants and landscape, but proper maintenance is the key to having a nice looking landscape for years to come.” Spring is a great time to spruce up your existing landscape, which will go a long way with routine maintenance over the rest of the year. He adds that spring is also a good time to focus on drainage and erosion as a majority of the rainfall occurs during this season, as well as planting trees and shrubs, creating decorative edging, and constructing retaining walls if slopes exist.
If you are taking on a project but don’t have the necessary equipment, Honeyman Rent-All is an excellent resource as they offer a wide variety of items for rent from basic tools all the way up to heavy equipment. As an added value, their knowledgeable staff will make sure you fully understand how to operate each piece of equipment that you rent before you leave with it and are on your own. Troy Honeyman of Honeyman Rent-All emphasizes, “Our main goal, besides having everything you might need available, is to provide guidance and hands-on service in order to ensure that you have the right equipment and tools for the job so that you can bring your landscaping project to life!”
While the beautiful spring weather is a bonus for working outside and enjoying the fruits of your labor, there are far more reasons why spring is the best time to get started on your landscaping projects this year. If you need a little (or a lot) of extra help make sure to take advantage of your local resources, as they are the key to enjoying an attractive property throughout the rest of the year!