In landscape maintenance, there is an appropriate time for everything. We work alongside seasons and growth cycles to achieve a landscape that looks cared for. It all has a time that works in line with normal changes in weather and daylight. It is a science and we can look back over the years to see trends that worked, and what we did that didn’t. Of course, when dealing with Mother Nature, she can be fickle and surprise us.
Aeration and overseeding can be that way. We plan on mid-September, but many years we have to re-adjust if it is hot and dry. This year, we pushed fescue seed to the very last week of September. For us that meant that the day we put the aerators up, the first flower delivery arrived at the shop and the next 4 weeks was planting to get flowers in before the first frost. Unfortunately, that was the same crew producing both so they were especially happy to get back to normal recently. They did great and we could not be prouder.
Another trend that we have seen over the last 10-15 years change is mulch and pine straw application timing. I remember using the time between late December and February to install mulch and pine straw. Maintenance crews were not mowing so the time was used to condense crews and crank up mulch teams. With the influx of our northern neighbors moving in, the trend seems to have changed to wanting this application to happen in March and April for Spring. It is a direct result of usually having snow on the ground in the northern states versus the lack of snow we typically see here. HOA’s tend to like to see mulch and pine straw before the families arrive for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The only problem with that is the great unknown of leaves falling. Last year, it was very late. This year we expect them to be early and we are already vacuuming as of the last week of October. We certainly prefer the early leaf drop, the crews like to get through it as quickly as possible.
As our climate continues to shift and change, we will probably see more adjustments in the future. For now, it is measured in weeks. In years to come could it be measured by months? Will our summers be hotter causing plants that we normally use to struggle? Will our winters come early and be harsher? There is no way to tell. But no matter what happens we will plan on trends and forecasting to help us execute to the fullest in the years to come.