Landscape Maintenance: Cutting Costs During COVID-19
As we progress through one of the most volatile economic times in recent memory as a result of the global pandemic, business leaders everywhere are taking a hard look at their expenses to see how they can save money to weather this storm. For property managers, it might be tempting to drastically cut back landscape services, especially while many commercial buildings are going unused; but taking such extreme measures might actually increase enhancement and repair costs in the long run if outdoor environments go neglected through the summer months.
Before cutting out services that might be critical to the survival of your landscape, consult your landscape provider about each of the following:
Ask your landscaper to conduct a quality audit before making any changes to your landscape. A true service partner should be able to provide you with a detailed report that outlines the overall health of your landscape. This report will help you determine the areas of your property that are most important to the curb appeal of your building and will identify areas where you can cut back services to save money. An audit could also reveal any minor issues that, if left unchecked, could lead to major repair costs down the road.
Space out service frequency. Certain areas of your property might not need to be serviced as frequently as it is currently; in fact, allowing your grass to grow out a little in the warmer months can help prevent against heat damage.
Remember to turn off your irrigation system when rain is in the forecast. Spring can bring lots of rain, so be sure your landscape provider is monitoring weather patterns on a weekly basis.
Choose perennials over annuals when selecting color. If you do decide to plant flowers this season, you might want to consider varieties that will last past the shutdown. While perennials typically cost more up front, they’ll bloom for more than two years; annuals, on the other hand, complete their life cycle in just one growing season.
Ask about cost-saving seasonal services. Many spring operations can save money in the long run. Landscape treatments, like plant growth regulators (PGRs) and weed abatement programs, will help cut down on future service needs like pruning and weed removal.
Above all else, remember to clearly communicate your goals for your property to your landscaper. A trusted partner will do everything they can to help you meet your needs – and your budget – to get you through the tough times.