How to Prevent Unexpected Landscape Maintenance Costs (With the Help of Your Landscape Provider)

Michael Hatcher

Aug 18, 2020 8:10:00 AM

Sometimes a saying by Benjamin Franklin is exactly the right advice.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” says Jim Williams, director of sales and relationships for the commercial maintenance division of Michael Hatcher & Associates.

(Jim’s quick to admit he didn’t come up with that one himself.)

But it fits. 

A landscape maintenance pro like Jim has lots of proactive tricks up his sleeve.

Act now — save money, time, and hassle later.

Here’s how to prevent unexpected landscape maintenance costs.

Tend to Trees 

The good old dependable trees on your property are pretty low maintenance — until dead branches suddenly crash down from above, threatening pedestrians, parked cars, and your buildings.

professional tree pruning on commercial property

Inspect large trees every year or two, Williams says. Check for dead and dying branches that should be pruned out before they take an unfortunate and potentially costly tumble. 

Another reason for proactive pruning: When mature trees are growing in turf, they can shade the grass too much, causing it to struggle and even die.

Thinning the branches can let more sunlight in, for happier, healthier turf. Healthy turf needs less attention and expense. 

Proactive Plant Pruning

Yup, we’re still talking about pruning. It makes a huge difference in preventing unexpected landscape maintenance costs down the road.

Don’t let your plants, shrubs, and small ornamental trees get overgrown.

professional plant pruning on commercial property

When they get too big or out of control, they cause visibility and safety issues around doors and windows. They can obstruct your business signage and traffic signs on your property.

Large evergreen plants need rejuvenation pruning to keep them healthy.

It costs less to prune plants now than it does to tear them out and replace them later. 

Check That Irrigation to Keep Landscape Maintenance Costs Down

A monthly irrigation system inspection is the ultimate way to prevent unexpected landscape maintenance costs. 

During these monthly irrigation inspections, technicians check everything over, testing each of your zones to make sure the right amount of water is hitting all the right places, so your plants and turf stay healthy.  

irrigation system on commercial property

You could be wasting a ton of water — and money. Or your lawn and landscaping might be struggling if it’s not getting the water it needs. 

Irrigation technicians will also spot the little issues that can lead to bigger problems later, from cracked lines and leaky valves to clogged nozzles or broken spray heads.

When an irrigation tech checks your system every month, that’s an extra set of eyes making sure everything is working properly.

If our tech sees something amiss during a monthly inspection, they can often take care of it right there. 

It costs less to fix a small irrigation system problem now than a big one later. 

Ward Off Water Worries

Water seems innocent enough, dripping from your downspouts and splashing into puddles. 

Ducks love it, right?

But too much water, or misdirected water, is a powerful force on your property — and a common culprit when it comes to surprise landscape maintenance costs. 

pavement damage from erosion

Little by little, it’s washing away your commercial property’s topsoil.

Over time, this erosion can damage your parking lots and building foundations, expose tree roots, and wash dangerous pollutants into your neighboring water sources.

All of this means stress for both you and your budget.

Look for areas on your property where water hangs around. Make sure water flows away from your buildings, not toward them. 

Williams has seen apartment complexes where trees shaded the grass so much, it died out, leaving bare soil. 

“Water takes the path of least resistance,” he says. “So, it ended up on apartment patios and going through sliding doors into living rooms.”

When your account manager does regular visits to your site, they’re on the lookout for potential drainage and erosion issues that can add to your landscape maintenance costs. 

Then, there are lots of proactive plans to keep trouble at bay: 

  • Concrete swales collect the water that flows off your paved area and direct it down concrete channels where you want it to go.
  • Rain gardens installed in a low area of your property encourage storm water to soak slowly into the ground instead of flowing directly into storm drains.
  • Retention basins collect water from rain and runoff and release it slowly, preventing flooding or erosion.
  • Strategic plant material slows down the water flow and protect the pond by holding soil on the bottom and at the water’s edge, which reduces erosion.
  • Re-grading low spots directs water flow away from buildings instead of pooling where it shouldn’t. 
  • Permeable materials like porous concrete, permeable pavers, and gravel systems allow water to filter through, rather than wash off concrete or asphalt. 
  • A terraced system of plants installed on your property’s steep slope can break up the slope and slow down water and soil. Slopes are big erosion problem areas, as water rushes down them.

You get the idea — we have lots of creative, hard-working solutions to prevent erosion and drainage issues before your budget, and blood pressure, go up.

Avoid Extra Landscape Maintenance Costs: Keep Expert Eyes on Your Property

The more time our account managers and crews spend on your property, the more we get familiar with it, which means we notice even tiny changes over time.

Commercial property landscape maintenance inspection

We’re more apt to catch things before they go wrong.

Hatcher account managers do these eagle-eye inspections as part of their jobs, but they also train the foremen who are on properties even more often, so they look for potential problems, too.

They catch potential problems before extra costs catch you off guard.

With Hatcher, Avoid Unexpected Landscape Maintenance Costs

It’s challenging enough to stay on top of your budget without surprise landscape maintenance costs popping up out of nowhere.

Save the surprises for birthday parties. Choose a commercial landscaping company with a proactive eye on your property, and your budget. 

Are you ready to boost the appeal of your commercial property while keeping a watchful eye on your budget? Talk to one of our commercial landscaping experts today! We’ll meet at your property, create a custom plan, and get you on your way to enjoying a beautiful, worry-free property.

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Michael Hatcher

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is Founder and Chairman of Michael Hatcher & Associates.