5 Spring Cleanup Essentials for Rental Properties

Written by Kelli Reeder
on July 12, 2019

Depending on the services you choose, a good spring cleanup can boost the health of your lawn throughout the season. Cleaning the yard after a harsh winter is the most effective thing you can do to keep your rental  properties in good condition for the rest of the year. Landscaping companies offer a huge varieties of services, and they can sell most services as 'totally necessary' for each of your properties. Before reaching out to a landscaping company for your rental properties, make sure you know what services your properties will actually need. Region specific services will differ across markets, but the essentials are the same across the board. Every spring cleanup should include the following:

 

Debris removal 

  • Leftover leaves, branches, and other debris from the winter can be harmful to your lawn’s health. Although organic debris can act as a natural fertilizer, excessive debris can block sunlight and nutrients from being absorbed by your lawn. This kind of blockage creates brown or dead spots in your lawn.
  • Excessive debris is also a breeding ground for mold and attracts unwanted pests. 

Rather than trying to rehabilitate your lawn during the summer months, take the step to have excessive debris removed from each rental property and prevent these problems before they happen. This is an easy task and can be done by you, your tenants, or a team of professionals tending to other yard maintenance. Failure to remove organic debris will damage your lawn and decrease your curb appeal and property value over time. 

 

Tree Pruning/Trimming

  • Trimming branches is essential to the health of your trees. Any dead, diseased, or damaged branches put your trees at risk of harmful bugs taking over. Removing them immediately prevents infestations and diseases from spreading.
  • Proper pruning can literally shape the way your trees grow. If you notice that your trees are leaning a certain way (say, toward the house), you can prune it in a way that allows it to grow straight up or even away from your home. This mitigates the risk of trees growing up against your home or falling through a window during a storm. 

Regular pruning helps your trees live longer, protects your home, and stimulates healthy vegetation growth. Tree pruning is recommended once a year during the dormant season. Late fall or early spring are best times to prune, however, pruning in the spring will take care of any damage caused by a harsh winter.

 

Flower Bed Maintenance

  • Surrounding your flowers with mulch is an easy and aesthetic way to retain moisture add nutrients over time, and protect their roots from extreme temperatures.
  • Weeding flower beds needs to be done frequently, but starting with a fresh flower bed at the beginning of spring will allow for easier maintenance throughout the year.
  • Turning over the dirt in your flower beds is an easy way to keep your soil fresh and create a better environment for planting flowers or removing weeds.
  • Remove or replace any dead plants and prune the ones that survived to avoid eyesores and keep your flower beds tidy.

The main function of a flower bed is to increase the curb appeal of your rental properties. A lot of people enjoy gardening, so you may leave the flowerbeds empty for those tenants who want to plant things themselves. If that’s not the case, you will want to make sure they are regularly maintained. If this isn’t something you care about, switch to a zeroscape design for less maintenance.

 

Fertilization and  Overseeding

  • Grass lawns often lack nutrients, especially after a winter of being dormant. Lawns should be fertilized 4-6 times per year depending on the climate.
  • Overseeding is necessary for dirt patches or dead spots in your lawn. It is simply planting new seeds to thicken existing grass and repair damaged areas.

These services are applied using the same technique, so it’s easy to create a mixture and apply both in one visit. This duo plants new grass in dead areas and accelerates healthy growth with fertilizer. This is one of the more simple services that can make a fast, visible difference. Thick, green, and healthy grass are all promoted by fertilization and overseeding. This can also help prevent dead patched in the highly trafficked areas of your rental properties.

 

Dethatching

  • Dethatching is removing the layer of dead grass that has accumulated over the winter.
  • This can be done with a regular garden rake but is more efficient with a power rake. 

This service removes the layer of dead grass, or thatch, so that the healthy layer underneath can receive proper sunlight, water, nutrients, and oxygen. Some people opt for aeration, as it serves a similar purpose, but dethatching makes more sense for single-family rental properties. Aeration is typically meant to prevent or reverse soil compaction. However, soil compaction is only common in clay soils or high-traffic areas, like parks or school campuses.

 

There are different levels of care that owners and property managers feel comfortable investing in their properties. Whether you’re looking to win ‘Most Beautiful Yard’ or just trying to find a decent renter, you’ll need an annual spring cleanup service. These services are considered preventative and will help you stay focused on the more profitable parts of property management. Regularly maintained properties will help you avoid expensive deferred maintenance, keep your rental properties looking great year-round, and keep your tenants happy.

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