If you own a commercial property, part of your strata maintenance includes the grounds. It’s in your best interests to keep healthy and attractive lawns, gardens, and flower beds. After all, the landscaping around the property is one of the first things prospective renters and buyers are going to see, and a poor first impression could mean lost business.
Proper irrigation is one of the most essential components for this, but it’s not as simple as installing some sprinklers as a garden watering system and just letting them go. Garden design, the type of garden irrigation system you use, when to water, and how much to water are all factors to consider. So are management techniques such as aeration and weed control.
We’re going to talk about these in more detail in hopes of empowering you to make the best decisions regarding strata maintenance and landscaping.
Water Deeply, Not Frequently
For managing irrigation on strata properties, it’s actually better for sprinkler systems to operate less frequently but for longer periods at a time. This allows the water to penetrate deeply into the soil, where the roots of many plants reach. When you water for shorter periods, this doesn’t always happen.
Watering frequently but for shorter periods also runs the risk of overwatering without getting the benefits of watering. Signs of overwatering include sogginess, needing to mow more frequently, and wilted, limp grass.
Overwatering also uses more water and increases costs.
Of course, you don’t want to underwater, either, signs of which include slower growth, grass that doesn’t spring back up after you step on it, and dry soil.
A good commercial landscaping service will know the right balance for grass and gardens on your property here in the Sydney area.
Water Early or Late in the Day
Watering after sunrise or sunset has a few distinct benefits. First, those times of day (especially sunrise) tend to be less breezy, so more water reaches its target. Also, by not watering during the hottest parts of the day, evaporation is much less of a concern, and the water is more likely to have time to penetrate sufficiently. This increased efficiency also conserves water and saves money.
Finally, people are also not as likely to be around the grounds at those times of day. Potential renters or buyers would probably prefer not getting wet by breezes spraying water to unintended locations!
Don’t Water Just the Base of a Plant
Watering the base of the plants alone may seem sufficient, but that’s often not the case. Roots can extend out well beyond the reach of the leaves, outside what landscapers call the “drip zone” (the area where water drips from leaves to the soil). If you aren’t taking care to water all around the plant rather than just the plant itself, the roots may not be getting the water they need.
Use Mulch and Compost
Mulch offers numerous benefits. By absorbing moisture, it makes a cooling effect for the soil, prevents runoff and evaporation, and helps make a barrier against weeds. In addition, managed properly, it can replace grass, which can reduce maintenance costs. Also, fresh mulch beds can provide a pleasing visual effect as opposed to faded or bare garden beds.
Compost has the same moisture-retaining benefits mulch does but with the added benefit of providing nourishment for plants. If compost is not an option, a granular slow-release fertiliser can help plants get the nutrients they need since those nutrients are usually not plentiful enough in lawns and gardens where “natural” cycles are not occurring.
Aeration Is Important
Watering and fertilizing are not enough. Aeration is a process that involves creating small, temporary “holes” in the soil to manage the thatch, which is a layer of decaying organic matter. When the thatch gets too thick, nutrients, water, and air cannot reach the soil and penetrate to the roots. Aeration is the answer to that, and it leads to thicker grass and stronger roots. Thick, healthy grass is actually the best defense against weeds and harmful pests.
Weeds are detrimental to your landscape in a number of ways. On a purely aesthetic level, weeds can make a property unsightly, turning away customers.
Weeds also compete for the same water that your desired plants need. They also have a tendency to take over weak spots in a lawn and then spread, further harming the soil.
You can battle weeds with pre-emergent herbicides that prevent certain types from growing at all and with post-emergent herbicides that eliminate weeds after they appear. It’s important to know which type to use, when, and how so that you don’t harm the grasses and plants you want and so that you don’t harm the environment or contaminate waterways.
Many professional landscaping companies offer weed control packages as part of their services.
Go with an Automated Drip System
Instead of spending valuable time and money watering on your own or having an employee do it, talk to a professional about installing an automated drip irrigation system. With such a system, watering occurs on a set schedule and you don’t ever have to worry about it. The professional who installs it will make sure the watering takes place at the correct intervals and in the right amounts.
For over 20 years now, The Garden Men has been a leader in residential and commercial landscaping services in Sydney, Australia. To get a quote and find out how we can manage your landscaping headaches for you, contact us at 0412 697 045, or just use our convenient online form!