Some landscaping vendors can cost you significant money when left with all the decisions about watering your landscape.
As part of your budget and your reserves that cover landscaping, you can develop a plan to help the association save money while keeping your grounds looking their best.
New developments and high-rises have different landscaping issues. The Community Association Institute (CAI) Website has several articles written by educated advisers, to help you think about establishing and maintaining your water and irrigation expenses in your condominium.
Here's a link to the downloadable articles. You can choose the Anytime link for ways to save water, or any of the seasonal links for irrigation tips you may want to include in your plan.
Also, if your development is new, inquire about the quality of the top soil and grass seed employed by the developer to generate your new lawn. This detail will help your landscape professionals determine how best to keep your 'curb appeal' highest given the variables.
When you hire a landscape professional, pass along an inventory of landscape assets. If you don't have one, ask that one be generated. You can include:
- The kinds of trees, types of bushes, variety of lawn grass, descriptions of other botany
- A log that details the watering patterns for all your irrigation zones
- The effectiveness and efficiency of your irrigation system
- The pruning and fertilizing recommendations for your landscape elements
- Aeration patterns and frequency
- Pest and disease vulnerabilities, both seasonal and locale-specific.
These fact patterns will help your board understand how the landscape professionals can best work to preserve your curb-appeal assets. Over time, and with appropriate vendor supervision, you can preserve your landscape assets through the course of its useful life.
Remember to include your landscape assets in your reserve studies and reserve contributions.
An Example of Finding Great Lawn Care
Reading this in the March 5, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal spoke to me, in the sense that it offers an apparent thorough exploration of all the options given the charter: Give Us Great Lawn.
It represents what I would consider Great Board Work.