4 Tasks To Guarantee Your Landscape Is Ready For Spring

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Feb 28, 2024 9:12:28 AM

Believe it or not, some people don’t count down the days to spring like most of us in the landscape and green industry do. With vibrant colors exploding on the scene, blooms bringing a fresh vibe, and warm relief after months of winter taking its toll, it’s hard to imagine spring not being a crowd favorite.

Maybe its the thought of all that extra work required to prepare a commercial landscape for the swift changes springtime brings. So, to make the change in season a little easier, we’re giving you four proven ways to get ahead of the game before spring bounces your way.

We’ll break down the importance of:

  1. Mulching to improve property aesthetics and encourage plant and tree health.
  2. Pruning and trimming to give your plants and trees a neat appearance, and make room for new growth.
  3. Irrigation installation or updating to assist Mother Nature when rainfall isn’t enough.
  4. Commercial weed control and how it helps desirable plants and turf thrive while protecting your landscape investment.

Now, let’s get our hands dirty with details on these four tasks that will help you achieve a more beautiful landscape this spring. And as an added bonus, we’re even including fresh innovations that cut down on wasted time and can help save you from unnecessary expenses.


Mulching might seem to be the simplest task on our list. However, as landscapers, we must be careful around newly planted flowers and be wary of dyed mulch that can get wet shortly after application. If not carefully installed, it could stain sidewalks, driveways, or building exteriors. Improper application of mulch can also look messy. Not to mention, having too much or too little mulch on the plant material and soil has consequences. 

Using the right type of mulch and in proper amounts will make your landscape look its best and stay healthy year-round. Mulch should not be spread too thin, or weeds will creep in, so aim for up to three to four inches of thickness. Consider these mulch and bed groundcover options for functionality before we talk about color choices.

  • Cedar mulch: Keeps soil moist, plus repels some pests 
  • Rock: Helps regulate soil temps and offers endless variety for visual appeal
  • Pine straw: Eco-friendly and protects plants from extreme temps 
  • Cypress mulch: Naturally rot-resistant and helps control some ants and roaches
  • Recycled materials: Christmas trees and tires are being recycled for mulching in some places 

It’s also smart to consider mulch colors that blend nicely with other aspects of your property. For example, do you want the mulch to match your hotel landscaping’s dominant spring color? Or would you prefer contrast instead?  Or maybe you have an HOA that chooses mulch to match neighborhood homes’ roofs or shutter colors (when practical).


Pruning & Trimming  

There’s nothing like a fresh clipping on a landscape’s dead ends before spring arrives. Pruning or cutting back plants and trees is a must for a healthy landscape—having dead ends removed means more room for fresh growth and lively blooms. 

Generally speaking, the best time to prune is late winter or very early spring, so do the trimming while temperatures remain chilly. As for plants that bloom in summer, those are better off being pruned in late spring. And heavier pruning requires more precise timing as you don’t want large tree problems that could result in more major commercial tree care being required later. 

When in doubt about a specific shrub, plant, or tree, make a phone call to your local Yellowstone Landscape Professional to get advice on timing.

Of course, there are also improper trimming techniques to avoid like:

  • Cutting too close to tree trunks (flush cuts)
  • Excessive cuts
  • Using dull blades on pruning tools
  • Heavy pruning during the growing season

Safety First

Worker safety is also crucial because blades don’t know the difference between a tree limb and a human limb. That’s why we train our crews during our spring Safety Rodeos to use their pruning tools and saws correctly. We promote the use of chaps to protect their legs from blades and other sharp branches that could cause a nasty accident.

And don’t forget the extra danger of ladders combined with holding cutting tools. Having both feet on the ground is often safer. And we always encourage our Landscape Pros to use a spotter if they have to climb into a tree up on a ladder to reach branches in need of pruning.


Irrigation Installation or Updating 

Water, water everywhere—or nowhere! Both are signs of an irrigation problem you don’t want to deal with when spring has sprung. Winter is tough on irrigation systems, ironically, when they’re not in use. So, it’s smart to do a system check-up in early March or April (depending on your location). Key problems to look for:

  • Damaged sprinkler heads
  • Clogged heads
  • Pump leaks
  • Damage to backflow prevention device 

A few signs your existing irrigation system needs updating are inefficient water distribution and excessive water bills. And the benefits of updating or upgrading your system? Healthier turf and plants, cost savings (less water, less maintenance), plus increased property value that comes with an enhanced, healthy-looking landscape. To learn more about the Irrigation services we offer, click here. 

What About Conserving Water? 

Yellowstone Landscape is always seeking new ways to save water and utilize sustainable practices. These two tips should help you do the same:

  • Drip irrigation: Most efficient watering system and eliminates soil erosion
  • Soil moisture data: Along with rain sensors, this feature helps prevent overwatering

Just watch out for two common drip irrigation mistakes. One is water pressure being too high or too low (the sweet spot is about 25 psi). The other is exceeding the tubing’s capacity (uneven water distribution).


Commercial Weed Control

Weeds are the worst! And while that’s not exactly a news flash, it’s worth repeating as a reminder to get weeds under control in the spring before they see the light of day. We know controlling weeds can seem hopeless at times, but if your landscape provider addressed the mulching task already, you are ahead of the game. And if they eliminated 100% of weeds before adding mulch, you should be in an even better position to avoid problems.

Three other keys beyond proper and timely mulching are using a pre-emergent herbicide, soaker hoses for direct-to-plant root delivery, and mowing a bit higher to prompt turf growth that chokes out weeds.

Tardy Weeds

Later in the season, commercial weed control involves post-emergent herbicides. An alternative is hand-pulling weeds, which is a far more expensive and less efficient process. 

Other environmentally friendly options available for commercial lawn service weed control include:

  • A “compost tea” to reduce turf weeds
  • Biodegradable landscape fabric beneath mulch 
  • Organic weed sprays for spot treatment

Is Your Commercial Property Ready for Spring? Yellowstone Can Help You Prepare

Feeling better about getting your commercial landscape ready before spring arrives in all its glory? 

Great! You’ve seen how crucial mulching is and learned about material options you may not have known were available. We also detailed best practices for keeping plants and trees healthy and attractive through proper pruning. 

And sure, the final two tasks, irrigation and weed control, can get complicated and technical. But planning ahead and checking these off the list with your commercial lawn service provider before spring helps ensure your landscape stays in great shape. Your budget will get relief with lower water bills and weeds already nipped in the bud, too.

If you have questions about any spring preparation tasks that seem overwhelming, it pays to have a professional landscaping team you can trust.

Yellowstone Landscape is here when you need us for mulching, pruning, irrigation maintenance, weed control, and much more. Contact us today, and we guarantee your landscape will be ready to welcome in spring—the right way.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.