It may not seem like it now, but spring is only a few weeks away. Our yards and landscapes have been taking a nice long nap and have been dormant over the winter.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a little necessary work to be completed before the weather warms and things start to grow again. At emi, our approach to spring cleanup is comprehensive. You’ll recognize our sites by the way we prepare our properties every spring.
We have specialized crews that focus on each of the following spring cleanup tasks.
Step One: Trash Pickup
Our first step is to address the trash and debris that collects over the winter. It typically gets buried by the snow, and once that melts, it leaves behind an ugly sight. It’s a general cleanup – trash, sticks, and so on. Not glamorous, we know, but highly necessary.
Step Two: Establish Bed Edges
Next, for every bed and tree ring, we use a Turf Teq power edger that cuts a two to four-inch deep wedge, depending on the soil conditions. This gives those rings a nice defined edge, and we’re able to then go in and shovel out all that debris.
Here’s the kicker. It’s a little different than how our competitors approach this task – they generally don’t cut a wedge as deep as we do and they also just push the dirt back into the tree ring. That’s not good for the tree: over the years, that will build up and become unsightly.
Step Three: Apply Pre-Emergents
At this point, our bed management team will visit to spray pre-emergent on the beds and tree rings. We use a combination of Dimension, which targets grassy weeds, and Gallery, which takes care of the remaining broadleaf weeds to ensure they don’t have a chance at germination when the temperatures warm up.
Step Four: Make it Beautiful with Mulch
Once this is complete, all the beds are topped with about one to two inches of mulch. We use triple ground natural wood mulch, which decomposes over time. We typically use natural-color brown mulch, which will eventually fade to gray through the summer, but dye options are available for our customers who are looking for that fresh mulch appeal longer into the season.
Another emi difference, you ask? Many of our competitors use mulches that contain pallet wood, which doesn’t naturally decompose and stays on the bed forever. This is no bueno in our books and we don’t compromise on quality!
As far as mulch application, we use a mulch blower for most jobs, but if your landscape has small perennials or high-profile areas, we’ll go in and mulch by hand so that we don’t bury anything. In addition to that, we take special care around your flowers, bulbs, or other plants that may just be starting to sprout, because the natural heat on the mulch can burn them.
Now, since we specialize in commercial landscape maintenance, we’ve even created a special approach for mulching alongside buildings that stops the mulch from blowing right up against the building itself. This is especially important if you have us apply dyed mulch because the black mulch, for example, will dye anything it touches. Our crews know to pay particular attention to this.
Here at emi landscape, we’re also mindful about how we approach tree rings. In both our existing client sites but with new clients in particular, if trees are planted near each other, we will combine the tree rings and create beds rather than mowing between the trees – that’s not good for their overall health. This approach means that there’s less competition for nutrients between the trees and the grass below. This is something we particularly do with evergreens, and we extend that bed outward so that the whole evergreen tree and its branches are in the bed. All of these efforts also make the landscape look so much better!
If you’re a new client, we’ll also focus on bed maintenance. The last thing you want is “mulch volcanoes,” where the mulch gets piled up year after year. We’ll actually go in and remove all that old mulch and replace it with some fresh mulch to get it to the proper height.
Step Five: Final Walk-Through and Cleanup
After all of this is complete, we’ll then do a final cleanup and walk-through, blowing off hard surfaces and making sure your landscape is ready for the new season!
You might not think of early spring as a time when a lot of effort gets put into landscape maintenance. But our goal each year is to have this work done for you by mid-April so that we can switch over to mowing, planting, and making your landscape look spectacular for the warm months ahead.