Spring Landscaping Tips for your Home and Office

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It’s finally that time of year when the weather warms up and we’re able to spend more time outdoors.  This is almost always a positive turn of events, but it can be stressful if you are a home or business owner and your outdoor area is not up to par.  Many of us let our yards and outdoor living space go during the colder months because we don’t spend much time outside.  When springtime rolls around, all the snow melts and we want to start planning events or just some quality time outside, we find that we have a lot of work to do.  Fortunately, this does not have to be a stressful time for you.  By working with a professional and using some of our helpful tips, your outdoors area will be ready in no time!

Why Landscaping is Important

For your home:
The bottom line is that professional landscaping adds value not only to your home, but also to the neighborhood.  Whether you are planning to stay in your home for the next 20 years or are planning to sell in a few months, investing in professional landscaping will make it a more valuable property.

In addition to value, professional landscaping adds enjoyment to your home.  Everyone loves spending time out on the deck, barbequing, watching the kids play or just relaxing with a cold drink.  However, if you’re looking out on a sparse lawn while sitting on rickety, peeling deck, your enjoyment may be dampened a bit.  Having a beautiful outdoor living area increases the amount of enjoyment your family will have and will probably increase the amount of time you spend outdoors as well.  It also impacts your likelihood of inviting friends over for spring and summer get togethers as you don’t want to be embarrassed by how your outdoor space looks.

For your office:
Curb appeal is a huge part of why landscaping is so important for your office.  You want to impress your clients and potential clients and the impression they have of your business begins forming as soon as they pull up into your drive.  Do you want their first impression to be one of a neat, tidy lawn and tasteful landscaping (which translates to an organized business with attention to detail) or an overgrown lawn with weeds and no visual appeal (a sloppy business with no interest in making a good impression)?
In addition to impressing those you do business with, you also want your workplace to be a pleasant environment for you and your employees to come every day.  It’s likely that most of the people who work for you spend almost as much (if not more) time at the office than they do in their own homes.  You want them to be able to look out their windows at a green lawn and perhaps get together with other co-workers on their lunch break to enjoy a nice day on the patio.  Happy employees mean productive employees and a pleasant work environment is crucial to their happiness.

Spring Lawn Care:
Lawn care needs to change with each season.  Spring is a season of rebirth and a starting point for mistakes made the previous year or a time to add knowledge you learned over the winter.  It’s a great time to look at your lawn and landscape and develop a plan for the upcoming growing season.  Were you happy with the look of your lawn last year?  Was it difficult to maintain your standards?  Did you have problems with insects, weeds or fungus?  If so, spring would be an ideal time to consider a different type of turf grass that is less susceptible to those problems or more tolerant of drought or stress.

Spring yard cleanup is also vital.  Even if you cleaned up before winter set in, there are always going to be additional leaves that need to be picked up to prevent fungus, rot or disease developing in the lawn.  Twigs and tree branches that have fallen during the winter should be picked up.  Spring is also a good time for a good power raking or aeration to loosen the soil and provide the  roots of the grass plenty of oxygen and are ready to access fertilizers.

New Trends for Spring:
According to Anne Thompson, designer at Team Green, “This spring, we expect more homeowners to want to ‘go green’.  Raingardens and native plantings are not only kinder for the environment, but they also make maintenance easier.  There is still a strong trend for outdoor kitchens as well.  Anything from a raised bar next to your grill cooktop to elaborate areas incorporating pergolas, water features and refrigerators are more possible now than ever before.”

Working with a Professional:
You may be tempted to handle your own landscaping tasks to save money (or because you feel obligated to, or, in some cases, because you actually enjoy working outside).  However, in most cases, hiring a professional is the better way to go.  “Hiring a contractor is less hassle, hands down,” comments Anne Thompson.  “Most homeowners are not landscape professionals and by the time they figure out how to properly install their project, they have lost additional work or free time and are still not satisfied with the workmanship.  Take into consideration what will happen to a paver patio or retaining wall that is not properly laid.  It may look ok when it’s finished, but after a typical Nebraska harsh seasons, it will shift, fall or sink very soon.  Very often homeowners spend more money attempting a project themselves, not achieving quality results and end up having a professional tear out and re-do the project for more money than it would have taken to have it done by a professional the first time.”

Choosing the best landscaper for your needs is an important step to achieving satisfaction with your landscaping project.  Checking references and asking to see a portfolio of their work are musts.  You should also spend some time talking with the owner of the company as well as those who will actually be doing the work on your project.  Do they understand what you’re trying to accomplish?  Do they have some ideas of their own?  Are they easy to talk to?  Do you feel you will have a good working relationship if you hire them?  Often you can get a feel for this just be having a ten or twenty minute conversation with them and can help you decide if you are having trouble choosing between a few options.
Landscape projects add to the value of your home and office as well as increase the enjoyment everyone has of the outdoor space.  If you properly plan and work with the right professionals, you’ll have an impressive outdoor living/working area that you and your family or employees can enjoy all season long.