Vail Landscape Logic column: Gearing up for spring landscape projects
Everyone was more than a bit frustrated by last year’s growing season. The November 2014 freeze killed many plants and stunned or damaged others, leaving branches that had to be removed or pruned. Next, the Mother’s Day snowstorm and the atypical monsoon downpour that lasted weeks left even more damage and wet, yucky mud in their wake.
As a result, property owners who had scheduled start dates for new landscaping projects and other services had to delayed their plans more than once. Landscape pros could not start projects because they couldn’t work in the mud or mow saturated lawns.
At the garden centers, plants were piling up because they couldn’t be planted.
Growing season 2015 was the one that felt like it would never get started, and consequently, it finished late. And the aftermath of delays from the previous growing season, in some cases, still existed.
GET A JUMP ON GROWING THIS YEAR
The best advice for this coming spring is to be the early bird who’s out there catching the worm. As you sort out this year’s landscape agenda, start by separating the do-it-yourself projects from those where you will need outside advice or help.
If you need regular grounds maintenance or tree services, get on the schedule early. If you need a new landscape or renovation, set up a time to meet with a designer. If you’re still trying to figure out what you want to do that might require the help of a pro, get to work researching those decisions.
WHEN TO CALL A PROFESSIONAL
It’s generally best to call a pro in the following situations:
• When you don’t know the answer to specific questions: Seek professional advice if you are trying to solve a gardening challenge from last year, don’t know what to plant or where to plant it, or need help diagnosing a problem.
• When it’s not safe or you don’t have the equipment to do the work yourself: Get help when the landscaping work you have planned involves climbing a tree; lifting or moving heavy materials such as sod, blocks, boulders or statues; operating machinery such as front-end loaders; or digging holes for large plants and tree. State law requires that you call and located underground utilities before doing any digging whatsoever.
• When you don’t have the time or expertise to do the project yourself: Usually, projects take more time than expected. If you’re not experienced with some tasks, navigating the learning curve will add time. Factor in finding out which permits and licenses might be required. Learning what you need and going to the city or county will also take time. If you’re like most people and have more things to do than time to do them, then calling a professional might save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Landscape professionals know how to work effectively and use the right equipment for the job. Plus, they have the education and practical know-how to get the project done efficiently. If you have projects in mind for this spring or need maintenance services for your landscape, it is not too soon to start lining them up.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.