Maintenance and Repairs

March 17, 2022 Published by Grand River Chapter - By Andrew Westrik

SPRING FORWARD – in Your Condominium Landscaping!

It’s March! With the first real warm rays of spring about to caress our faces, our thoughts turn to the warm days of summer and once again enjoying the outdoors!

It’s March! With the first real warm rays of spring about to caress our faces, our thoughts turn to the warm days of summer and once again enjoying the outdoors!

Now is the time to get things approved to ensure your condo community can benefit THIS YEAR from the investments you make! At your upcoming Board Meeting, create a plan to discuss your outdoor landscapes. What provided enjoyment over the past year(s)?  Are there any spaces that could benefit from a “refresh”? Is there a larger project, that by pre-planning now, could experience a successful start for enjoyment in 2023? Are there areas that provide safety concerns for unit owners? 

Here are some ideas to consider now in the expectancy of warmer days ahead.

imageTurf Enhancements. 

The best defense against weeds and unwanted pests is a healthy lawn.  While many annual landscape maintenance contracts include regular fertilizer applications, this is often where turf care stops for condo boards. Regular, proactive care relating to your turf can save thousands of dollars in the long term. Consider adding regular weed treatments, core aeration, topdressing and seeding to your regular care. Many properties have turf areas that are heavily shaded and/or where there is high foot traffic; grass just won’t grow. Consider amending these areas by replacing the compacted earth with mulch and/or stepping stones.

Mulching your Garden Beds. 

Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your gardens.  You have likely seen the positive impact that is immediately evident following an application of fresh mulch.  Not only does mulch provide a barrier for weed growth, mulch also helps your garden retain the needed moisture allowing plants and shrubs to thrive.  Mulch will help prevent rainwater from washing away your soil. Furthermore, if you use an organic mulch (shredded pine bark mulch is recommended), it will release valuable nutrients in the soil as it naturally decomposes.  

Rejuvenate Shrubs and Garden Beds. 

Over time the existing garden beds and shrubs on your property can really start to show their age. Depending on the amount of maintenance they receive in an ongoing manner throughout the year, a rejuvenation is a fantastic way to provide an immediate improvement that will be evident to all owners.  A rejuvenation involves horticultural pruning to shrubs such that new, fresh growth is encouraged.  The early days of spring are optimal to have this service provided! Not only will this provide a fresh, new look, it is also very healthy for the plant material. 

Enhance Entrance Signage. 

How is your complex distinguishable from others in the neighbourhood? Are the name and address visible?  Adding (or enhancing) your entrance sign will provide a positive focal point for visitors and potential buyers. Adding some lighting will provide for year-round interest as you enter and leave your complex. From a safety perspective, a well-placed and visible sign is a beacon in times of emergency for first responders.

Corrective Drainage Solutions.

Spring run-off and melting snow accentuates the wet, soggy areas of condo properties; we all know where the wet spots are on our properties! Given the high density of the building projects in recent years, there is less surface area for spring runoff and rain water to be absorbed into the ground. Pooling of water can also occur in areas where the ground has been saturated. A corrective measure, while not providing an impact that can be seen, will solve an annual nuisance and provide enjoyment for years to come.

Create a Place for Community. 

Do you have an area that is frequented by many of your unit owners? Is there an underutilized common area? Consider the impact that adding a community garden might have. Permanent benches added in common areas give the message “stay a while”.

The coming weeks can provide a great opportunity for planning to ensure success in the coming warm season of 2022.  We all know the intensity that spring provides: spring clean-ups, scheduled walk-arounds, etc. Moreover, your service provider’s capacities will be most stretched in the busy days of May and June. Proactive planning in March and April allows for project scheduling so your ideas can be implemented in a timeframe that works for you. There is no better way to jettison the ugly memories of grey snow piles than to anticipate the arrival of spring.

Make it an agenda item for your April board meeting!

Andrew Westrik, Sales Manager/Landscape Sales


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