Even though it’s still winter one thing we know in the Houston area is that warmer weather is right around the corner. This is why it’s important for every owner to start planning for spring now.
Here’s an action plan that you can use to get your rental property ready for spring.
February is a great time to finish general landscape cleanup and begin making plans for how the property should look during the growing season.
- Get a Plan. Assess the lawn, beds, trees and the general landscape and determine what needs to be cut back, removed, culled and reshaped. Plot a path and follow it.
- Apply pre-emergents. An effective pre-emergent will make the lawn more healthy and weed resistant. In most areas, a pre-emergent fertilizer with time-release action will provide the right amount of nutrients and weed preventatives at the right time.
- Prune and cull. It’s a great time to prune crape myrtles and ornamental trees, plus cull larger grasses.
- Plant spring color. At the end of the month in southern climates start planting colorful annuals in beds. Bright yellows, oranges and reds grab the most attention.
As temperatures warm, put your plan for cutbacks and pruning of flowering bushes into action.
- Cut back ground cover and monkey grass. Mow to two-inch height and remove all the brown and dead grass. Failing to cut these plants back will result in plants that don’t look healthy when they should be lush and green.
- Prune roses. Before it gets too hot, prune roses and other flowering bushes. Pruning in March will help these bushes reach their full potential at the height of spring.
- Reduce large shrubs that are overgrown. Make sure bigger shrubs are but back before they start to bud.
- Check the waterworks. Irrigation systems that have been drained should be filled and tested for leaks or problems. Also, check rain sensors.
- Fertilize the lawn. About three or four weeks before lawns typically start to green, apply a fertilizer with high nitrogen.
For the southern part of the country, April usually is the final chance to get the lawn in shape before the heat hits. “It’s the Last month you have before you start getting hammered by heat,” Lee said. “It’s then that you’re trying to get things accomplished before the plant goes into survival mode.”
- Plant shrubs, grasses and other new plant life. Do it early so that new plants have enough time to get established before summer arrives.
- Trim trees. Most trees will have leafed out by now and you should be able to tell which limbs may be overly weighted and in need of trimming or cutting.
- Apply pesticides. As temperatures warm, fire ants and aphids start to emerge and should be treated to avoid damage to new and existing growth.
- Mulch beds and other areas. About mid-month, mulching should be under way and even finished. However, make sure the rainy season is mostly finished to avoid washing out of fresh-mulched beds.
“Not all of these steps will be right for areas farther north,” Lee said. “That cycle will probably start in March and run through May, for example. Wherever the property is located, it’s important to take a progressive approach to the landscape so that everything has the greatest chance of flourishing.”
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Fall 2017 is officially here and with it comes a change in weather! If your rental property isn’t ready for the change in weather it could be left unprotected. Thankfully, you can get ready for fall weather simply by following the tips in this article.
Do end-of-season yard maintenance.This doesn’t just include raking the leaves (although that’s important, too!). It also means trimming the hedges, fertilizing the grass, trimming unwieldy branches, and removing any weeds or roots that may impact siding, patios, and walkways.
Pack up and store outdoor items.It may seem a little premature to do now–but if the recent spate of hurricanes is any indication of what the rest of this season will look like, it’s a good idea to start now. Clean, pack up, and store outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that could be damaged by late fall or winter weather. If your property is located in a hurricane-prone area, be sure to tie down any large items that could wash or blow away.
Drain water lines.If your property is located in a cold-weather climate, now is a good time to turn off the water leading to outdoor spigots. Turn off sprinkler systems and drain outdoor hoses to prevent water from freezing and bursting the lines.
Clear debris from gutters.One of the best things about fall is watching leaves transform into beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. But it only lasts for so long–and then those leaves fall, clogging gutters in the process. Be sure to clear all debris from rain gutters to prevent water from pooling–or worse, causing roof damage. If you find that your roof has suffered from any form of damage, due to the weather, be sure to get in touch with your residential roofing company, who will be able to attend to your needs and get your roof sorted.
Inspect the roof.Climbing up a ladder and getting onto the roof is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to ensure that the roof is in good condition when you’re heading into the winter months. Loose or missing shingles are easier to replace during the fall. Otherwise, you could face costly roof repairs caused by hail, sleet, and snow. Sometimes you may notice your roof is damaged for no visible reason. This may mean that your house foundation is damaged, which has affected the roof too. If this happens then you will need a foundation repair contractor arlington or it will only get worse through a harsh winter.
Seal windows and install storm doors.Aging seams and weather stripping around windows and doors often lets cold air in and warm air out. This drives up heating costs, which can add up for landlords and HOAs that pay for heat as part of their fees. Seal drafty windows and doors with caulk, install new windows if necessary, and swap out screens with storm doors and windows.
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