Winter is finally a distant memory, although it did snow into April. It’s amazing how Toronto has lost its blended seasons and simply goes from one season to the next without any break in between. That being said, let’s get straight to business.
First and foremost: be patient. There is still a lot of time for your property to look amazing for the summer. With these beautiful days, it can be tempting to start doing things too early, and that can often be a waste if your irrigation system isn’t fully up and running. That, or the cold nights might kill your newly planted annuals.
LOOK OVER THE PROPERTY FOR WINTER DAMAGE
This is the time when you will see the salt damage on plants, turf, and interlocking, as well as the damage to your curbs from plows. The fence that now has a nice curve in it when it was straight before the snow pressure. Do an audit, and let your snow plowing/property maintenance company know the issues before you pay them their last cheque!
If your property has an irrigation system, you may want to wait until there is no chance of freezing overnight, and start it up to see if there is any damage. An improperly closed system will be a “water feature” come springtime, with water shooting all over the place. Repair the heads, and look towards making improvements if you noticed issues last summer. This is the perfect time for this to happen with minimal damage to the gardens. Look towards drip lines to improve root health.
Spring planters are nearing the end of their time with your building, and it is now time to plant your summer plantings. Look at your planters – are they cracked, are they draining properly, do they look nice?
This is also a great time to improve on the quality of your soil – how did the gardens do last year? Perhaps adding
Triple-Mix or Mushroom Compost will help. For your lawn, a good topdressing mix will help smooth it out, fill in the ruts, and improve the overall health of your lawn.
Once the trees are starting to bud, you will see how well they are doing, and if any areas are not growing as they should. Before the rush of summer, this can be a good time to do a selective pruning or to remove dead or dying trees. Be sure to look into the permits for your community if applicable.
Everyone loves seeing a freshly planted garden but as discussed above, be patient and wait for the right time, when the risk of frost is gone. It would be a waste to plant flowers, only to see them die right away.
After the flowers are planted, any perennials replaced, soil amended, and gardens edged, we can now Mulch (black, red, or natural). Mulch helps keep the moisture in the soil, suppresses weeds, and it looks pretty. It is usually a cost effective way to brighten up an area.
The winter can do a number on your walkways and roadways – now is the time to look for those trip hazards, broken pieces, and the overall look of the material. Fixing these issues is usually a lot cheaper than having to deal with an accident insurance claim.
Spring time is also a great time to do a walk around with your Property Maintenance Company and your Property Manager. Do not only look at the outside of your buildings, but the grounds as well. This is the perfect time to reconnect, give them feedback on the winter, and your vision from the summer.