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How to Do Landscape Maintenance the Right Way

Why Landscape Maintenance is Essential

Keeping your outdoor space in top shape is the goal of landscape maintenance. This involves a variety of tasks focused on making your garden, yard, or park healthy, clean, and attractive. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:

  • Prune shrubs to maintain shape and health.
  • Control weeds to prevent overgrowth.
  • Water regularly to keep plants hydrated.
  • Fertilize soil for nutrient-rich growth.
  • Insect care to protect your plants from pests.

Proper landscape maintenance is not just about appearances; it’s about creating a sustainable and inviting environment for you and your family to enjoy. From mowing lawns to planting seasonal flowers, maintaining your garden can be both satisfying and rewarding.

My name is Marco Picano, and I co-own Picano Landscaping. With years of experience in landscape architecture and maintenance, I’ve helped many homeowners in Reading, MA, achieve beautiful and functional outdoor spaces.

Essential Benefits of Landscape Maintenance - landscape maintenance infographic pillar-5-steps

The Essentials of Landscape Maintenance

Proper landscape maintenance is vital to creating a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space. Here are some key tasks to keep your landscape in top shape:

Pruning Shrubs

Pruning shrubs is like giving them a haircut. It helps control their shape and encourages healthy growth. Remove dead or overgrown branches in early spring. This allows more sunlight and air to reach the plant, promoting new growth.

Think of it as giving your plants a fresh start before the growing season begins.

Shaping Hedges

Shaping hedges keeps them looking neat and tidy. Regular trimming also prevents diseases. Use sharp shears and trim after the first new growth flush in summer. Always cut at an angle to allow water to run off and avoid rot.

Preventing Weeds

Weeds can steal nutrients from your plants. Prevent them by applying mulch around your plants. Mulch acts as a barrier, blocking sunlight and stopping weed growth. You can also use preventative weed control treatments in plant beds.


Water is essential for plant health. Water your garden early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems to ensure water reaches the roots without wasting any.

Tip: Water new shrubs and trees once a week, soaking the soil to a depth of 1 foot.

Insect Care

Regularly check for insect damage. Look under leaves and stems for signs of trouble. Early detection can save your plants from severe damage. Use natural insect repellents or insecticides as needed to keep pests at bay.

Deadheading Flowers

Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers. This encourages more blooms and extends the flowering period. Simply pinch or cut off the faded flowers just above the first set of healthy leaves.

Soil Care

Healthy soil is the foundation of a thriving garden. Amend your soil with organic matter like compost in the spring. This enriches the soil and provides essential nutrients for your plants. Aerate your lawn to help the soil breathe and improve water absorption.

By following these essential landscape maintenance tasks, you can keep your garden looking its best year-round. Next, let’s dive into seasonal landscape maintenance tips to ensure your garden thrives through every season.

Seasonal Landscape Maintenance Tips

Spring Landscape Maintenance

Spring is a busy time for landscape maintenance. As the weather warms up, it’s time to prepare your garden for the growing season.

Spring Lawn Care

  • Fertilize: Once the snow melts, apply a spring fertilizer to your lawn. This gives your grass the nutrients it needs to start the season strong.
  • Repair Dead Patches: Use grass seed or sod to fix any dead patches in your lawn.
  • Dethatch and Aerate: For weak lawns, dethatching and aerating can help revive them by improving water and nutrient absorption.

Tree and Shrub Maintenance

  • Remove Winter Protection: Take off any winter trunk protection and old mulch. Add fresh mulch at the base of trees and shrubs.
  • Prune: Trim dead, broken, or diseased branches from trees and shrubs. Prune summer-flowering shrubs to encourage new growth.
  • Water: After dry winters, give new plants a thorough watering to help them establish.

Garden Maintenance

  • Amend Soil: Add organic matter like compost to your garden soil to enrich it.
  • Plant Cool-Season Vegetables: Start planting vegetables like peas, lettuce, and spinach.
  • Prune and Plant Roses: Trim your rose bushes and plant new ones.
  • Divide Perennials: If your perennials are overcrowded, divide and replant them.
  • Plant Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes: Fertilize them several weeks before they bloom.

Hardscape Maintenance

  • Clean and Protect Decks: Clean wooden decks and apply sealant or stain as needed.
  • Repair Cracks: Fix any cracks in paved areas.
  • Tune and Sharpen Tools: Make sure your lawnmower and pruning tools are in good shape for the season.

Summer Landscape Maintenance

Summer is all about keeping your garden and lawn healthy through the heat.

Lawn Care

  • Mow Regularly: Mow your lawn as needed, removing only one-third of the grass height each time.
  • Water in the Morning: Water your lawn in the morning to minimize evaporation, aiming for about 1 inch of water per week.

Tree, Shrub, and Groundcover Maintenance

  • Weed and Mulch: Weed around trees and shrubs, and add mulch, keeping it 1–2 inches away from trunks.
  • Check for Damage: Regularly inspect for insect or disease damage.
  • Trim Hedges: Trim hedges after the first flush of new growth.

Garden Maintenance

  • Mulch Beds: Apply mulch to garden beds as needed.
  • Harvest Vegetables and Fruits: Pick vegetables and fruits when they are ripe.
  • Fertilize Monthly: Fertilize flowers and vegetables monthly to keep them healthy.
  • Deadhead Flowers: Remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.

Hardscape Maintenance

  • Clean Tools: Clean your gardening tools after each use.
  • Weed Pathways: Weed between pavers in pathways and repair any cracks.

Fall Landscape Maintenance

Fall is the time to prepare your garden for winter and the next growing season.

Lawn Care

  • Overseed: Overseed your lawn to keep it thick and healthy.
  • Fertilize: Use a fall grass fertilizer to strengthen your lawn for winter.

Tree, Shrub, and Groundcover Maintenance

  • Mulch and Water: Mulch and regularly water newly planted conifers.
  • Plant New Additions: Fall is a good time to plant new trees and shrubs like holly and oak.
  • Cut Back Roses: Trim rose canes and cover them with soil or mulch in cold climates.

Garden Maintenance

  • Cut Back Perennials: Trim perennials to 6 inches above the soil.
  • Divide and Replant: Divide and replant overcrowded perennials.
  • Plant Bulbs: Plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils.

Winter Landscape Maintenance

Winter is a time to protect your garden and prepare for the next year.

Lawn Care

  • Fertilize: Apply a winterizing fertilizer to give your lawn a nutrient boost.
  • Water Evergreens: Water evergreens to prevent them from drying out.

Tree and Shrub Maintenance

  • Prune Fruit Trees: Prune fruit trees to remove any dead or diseased branches.
  • Protect Shrubs: Cover tender shrubs with burlap or mulch to protect them from frost.

Hardscape Maintenance

  • Repair and Clean: Repair any damage to hardscape elements and clean them to prevent ice buildup.

By following these seasonal landscape maintenance tips, you can keep your garden healthy and beautiful all year long. Next, let’s explore the differences between landscape management and landscape maintenance.

Landscape Management vs. Landscape Maintenance

Understanding the difference between landscape management and landscape maintenance is crucial for keeping your outdoor spaces beautiful and functional.

Landscape Management

Landscape management involves strategic planning and making operational decisions to ensure the long-term health and beauty of your landscape.

  • Strategic Planning: This includes creating a comprehensive plan that addresses all aspects of your landscape. Think of it as a roadmap to achieve your ideal outdoor space. For example, understanding soil conditions, local climate, and the types of plants that thrive in your area.

  • Operational Decisions: These are day-to-day choices that keep your landscape vibrant. Whether it’s deciding the best time for fertilization or scheduling regular inspections for pests, each decision plays a role in maintaining the landscape’s health.

  • Maintenance of Design: Ensuring the original design of the landscape is preserved while adapting to any new needs or challenges. This might involve adjusting plant placements or adding new features to enhance the overall look.

  • Resource Control: Efficiently managing resources like water, nutrients, and labor. Proper irrigation management ensures that plants get the right amount of water, while avoiding waste.

Landscape Maintenance

On the other hand, landscape maintenance focuses on the regular upkeep tasks that keep your landscape looking its best.

  • Pruning and Shaping: Regularly trimming shrubs and hedges to maintain their shape and health.
  • Weeding: Preventing weeds from taking over plant beds, ensuring that your desired plants get all the nutrients they need.
  • Watering: Adjusting watering schedules based on seasonal needs and weather conditions.
  • Insect Care: Treating plants for pests and diseases to prevent damage.
  • Deadheading Flowers: Removing spent blooms to encourage new growth.
  • Soil Care: Adding compost or mulch to keep the soil rich and fertile.

Combining Both Approaches

For a truly stunning landscape, it’s essential to combine both landscape management and landscape maintenance. While management sets the stage with strategic planning and resource control, maintenance ensures every element remains in top condition.

By integrating these approaches, you can create and sustain a vibrant, healthy outdoor environment that adds value and beauty to your property.

Next, let’s dive into the key landscape maintenance services that make all the difference.

Key Landscape Maintenance Services

When it comes to landscape maintenance, several key services ensure your outdoor space remains beautiful and healthy. Let’s explore the essentials:

Spring Cleanup

Spring cleanup is the cornerstone of landscape maintenance. It involves removing leaves, branches, and other debris accumulated over the winter. This cleanup helps prevent disease and promotes healthier plant growth.

Example: Imagine your garden beds filled with old mulch and fallen leaves. A thorough spring cleanup will prepare the soil for new growth, making your plants thrive.

Dividing Perennials

Dividing perennials is crucial for preventing overcrowding and promoting vigorous growth. This process involves digging up and splitting the root systems of mature plants.

Tip: Do this in early spring or fall when the plants are not in active growth. This helps them recover quickly and flourish.

Trimming Shrubs

Regular trimming keeps shrubs healthy and shapely. It involves removing dead or overgrown branches, which encourages new growth and flowering.

Fact: Proper trimming techniques are essential. For instance, trimming hedges after the first new growth flush can help maintain their shape and health.

Weed Control

Weeds compete with plants for nutrients, light, and space. Effective weed control involves regular monitoring and removal.

Techniques: Hand-pulling, mulching, and using herbicides are common methods. Be vigilant in spring and summer when weeds are most aggressive.

Edging and Mulching

Edging creates a neat appearance and defines boundaries between different areas of your yard, such as lawns and flower beds. Mulching preserves moisture, suppresses weeds, and enhances the appearance of garden beds.

Pro Tip: Apply mulch in spring to keep the soil cool and moist during hot weather. It also helps feed the soil as it decomposes.


Fertilizing provides essential nutrients that promote healthy plant growth. Use a balanced fertilizer in spring and a fall grass fertilizer to prepare your lawn for winter.

Statistic: According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, proper fertilization can significantly enhance the health and appearance of your landscape.

Insect and Disease Treatment

Keeping plants healthy requires proactive measures to prevent infestations and diseases. Regular inspections can catch problems early.

Example: If you notice insect damage on your shrubs, treating them promptly with natural remedies or chemical products can prevent further damage.

insect damage on shrubs - landscape maintenance

By focusing on these key landscape maintenance services, you can ensure your outdoor space remains vibrant, healthy, and beautiful year-round.

Next, let’s address some frequently asked questions about landscape maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions about Landscape Maintenance

What is meant by landscape maintenance?

Landscape maintenance involves keeping your outdoor spaces healthy, clean, safe, and attractive. It covers a range of tasks such as pruning shrubs, shaping hedges, preventing weeds, watering plants, and caring for insects and diseases.

The goal is to create a landscape that is not only visually appealing but also thriving and sustainable.

How do you maintain a landscape?

Maintaining a landscape involves several key activities:

  • Pruning: Regularly trim shrubs and trees to promote healthy growth and maintain shape.
  • Shaping: Keep hedges and ornamental plants looking neat and tidy.
  • Weeding: Remove unwanted plants to prevent them from taking over your garden.
  • Watering: Ensure plants get the right amount of water, especially during dry spells.
  • Insect Care: Monitor for pests and treat infestations promptly.
  • Deadheading: Remove spent flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Soil Care: Fertilize and aerate soil to keep it nutrient-rich and well-drained.

By staying on top of these tasks, you can create a landscape that is not only beautiful but also healthy and resilient.

What is the difference between landscape management and maintenance?

Landscape management and landscape maintenance are closely related but have distinct roles:

  • Landscape Maintenance: Focuses on the general upkeep of the landscape. This includes scheduled services like mowing, pruning, and weeding to keep the area looking good and functioning well.

  • Landscape Management: Involves strategic planning and operational decisions to maintain the landscape design and resources. This can include in-depth audits to identify underlying issues, strategy development for long-term sustainability, and resource control to optimize water and soil use.

While maintenance is about regular care and immediate needs, management is about planning and optimizing for the future.

By understanding these differences, you can better plan and invest in services that will keep your landscape thriving.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, we hope to clarify what landscape maintenance entails and how it differs from landscape management. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about caring for your outdoor spaces.


At Picano Landscaping, we pride ourselves on our unwavering attention to detail. This means we don’t just maintain your landscape; we elevate it. From selecting the right plants to ensuring they thrive all year round, we go the extra mile to keep your property looking its best.

Our commitment to quality services is evident in everything we do. Whether it’s pruning shrubs, shaping hedges, or seasonal maintenance, we approach each task with the same level of care and precision. Our team of experienced horticulturalists and landscape professionals ensures that your outdoor spaces are not only beautiful but also healthy and sustainable.

Thanks to our dedication to excellence, we have a growing client base. Homeowners and businesses alike trust us to handle their landscape maintenance needs. Our clients appreciate our reliability, professionalism, and the stunning results we deliver.

Positive referrals from satisfied clients are a testament to our hard work and high standards. Many of our new customers come to us through word-of-mouth recommendations, which speaks volumes about the trust and confidence our clients have in us.

If you’re looking for a landscape maintenance company that combines expertise, attention to detail, and a passion for creating beautiful outdoor spaces, look no further than Picano Landscaping. Let us help you transform and maintain your landscape, ensuring it remains vibrant and healthy for years to come.

Ready to see your dreams take shape? Contact us today to get started!

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