In this unprecedented era of social distancing, landscaping companies across Canada and beyond have had to change how they approach physical landscaping jobs to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Some businesses have even temporarily closed. This may leave you asking yourself how companies like Hyland are landscaping safely during COVID-19.

With people spending all of their time in the seclusion of their homes, they are keeping a closer eye on the current state of their front and backyard. You might be asking, how do I continue landscaping maintenance needs during this period?

We at Hyland Landscapes are in full force for the design portion of our landscaping projects. We use photos, google maps, and designs to facilitate virtual meetings with our clients. This means we can still proceed with the planning, budgeting, and design stages without having to meet in person. We can safely progress with your landscape plans during this time by practicing social distancing and carefully planning the execution of your project.

We consider landscaping to be an essential service and are still here to help you with lawn maintenance, clearing garden debris, aeration, and larger projects. For property managers, maintenance can be essential to guaranteeing the safety of their inhabitants. For homeowners, it is absolutely necessary to be able to preserve the quality of your yard.

Hyland Landscapes is continuing to do physical landscaping work on properties and is following this protocol to ensure the safety of its customers and employees for landscaping safely during COVID-19:

  • All design and planning meetings are happening virtually.
  • All crew on site are practicing physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from property owners and inhabitants. 
  • All crew are provided with masks, gloves, and plenty of sanitization products for their personal use.

We don’t encourage undertaking any heavy construction work on your own so if you are looking to upgrade your home so you can fully enjoy it during this period, we are one phone call away.

Start that Outdoor Project

Been dreaming of a pergola, a new fire pit, a stone path leading you out into the backyard? With time on your hands, this is a great moment to work with your landscaper to bring this to fruition. With all of this downtime, you can make it an exciting summer for your family by implementing new features into your outdoor space so everyone has something to look forward to outside of your four walls.

The Magic of Garden Care

One of the top holistic suggestions for dealing with any type of mental duress is to step outside into nature. In this current era, we can’t go too far out into it but we can enjoy the nature of our yards. Gardening makes us feel good.

Not only is it a source of exercise, which naturally releases endorphins, we experience it as creative art. It’s a way to express ourselves and to take care of something. For anyone who’s successfully kept a houseplant alive, you know there’s a feeling of a certain satisfaction for seeing it thrive. We tend to cherish our plants when we’re directly connected to their care.

Our number one landscaping suggestion is to get out there and take care of your garden and we can help.

Your garden can be well looked after with some careful planning. We suggest that you do not take on heavy tasks like digging, planting trees, and other things you can handle without two people. Instead, a landscaper can do the heavy lifting. 

As part of the planning of your garden space, your landscaper may create areas in which different people can work, from the vegetable patch, to the herb garden to the larger lawn, etc.

The Lawn

There’s nothing like the sensation of stepping barefoot on freshly cut grass. Right now is the best time to be giving your lawn some love. Your landscaper can still carry out this task for you and you should highly consider it, as keeping a maintained lawn promotes grass promotes healthy grass growth. Your landscaper will likely leave leftover clippings on your grass to allow you to “grass cycle”. These decomposing clippings actually give their nutrients to the rooted grass. This is perfect for containing all of your organic activity to the yard.

Some of the deadliest and most annoying outdoor pests appear in the summertime and as such it’s essential that you have professional help in spraying down any problem areas. This can aid in avoiding an infestation and pesky bug bites in the warmer months.

Weeds and Weeding

An untamed weeding problem can make for an ugly outdoor space. While you might be tempted to rip the roots out yourself, if you have extensive issues, it’s best to involve professionals who know how to remove weeds from the root so that they don’t re-grow.

Planting New Trees and Plants

Late spring can be a great time to plant trees and shrubs and watch them flourish in the summer days. We do not advise that you plant these on your own. Putting down trees involves digging out a large area for them to be placed, a hole that needs to be three to four times the size of the bottom of the plant. The roots need to be subtly placed and you need top quality soil and fertilizer to make sure the roots take to the new soil. A landscaper should be hired to do this on your behalf if you have no experience planting large vegetation.

Flower, Herb, and Vegetable Gardening

The funnest (and most rewarding) garden activities include growing flowers or food. Watching a flower garden blossom is overwhelmingly rewarding and can make your home the envy of all your neighbours. Growing your own food will elevate your home life. Not only does growing food return us to our roots as human beings, farmers who had to learn how to plant and sow, it also teaches us the most basic ways to care for ourselves and our children.

If you want to roll your sleeves up on a project that involves flowers or food, you’ll first need to plan where you want them on your property. Your landscaper can help you find this spot as you work together virtually on a design.

Once they’re on your physical property, the landscaper will clear and prepare the space. They will remove the sod that is covering the area and rip out any weeds that are in the area. Then they’ll upscale your soil by fertilizing. The more fertile your sow, the better your flowers and plants will grow.

Then you’re ready to get planting and a landscaper can help. Or, you can leave some of the planting to your family. If you want to have the experience of sowing your seeds and you don’t already have plants handy, we recommend you order them online. Some garden stores are open, like our personal favourite, Hunters Garden Centre but we suggest you time out your visit to try and avoid any social distancing close calls.

Whether you decide to grow from seed or from a starter plant, you’ll receive a description of your plant and how to best grow it. Refer to the packet for instruction on the depth and spacing required for the plant. Dig your holes and remove the plants from their containers. Untangle the roots and then place your plant in the hole, covering it with soil and watering as needed.

Speaking of watering, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your garden in the warmer months. Seedlings should never be dehydrated and require a daily watering. In fact, most young plants will require frequent watering until their roots are established.  You’ll also want to begin to regularly mulch your garden for nourishment but your landscaper can take this task on. Regardless, be prepared to spend some time every day in your garden if you want it to flourish.

Will a Garden Really Help Through COVID-19? Victory Garden – A Historical Moment

The idea of Victory Gardens sprouted during the First World War when citizens were encouraged to grow their own food, in an effort to help ease food shortages in Great Britain.

While we’re not facing war times, we likely won’t return to the world we had in 2019. Creating a Victory Garden not only allows you a place of comfort, fertility, and liveliness, but some extra, nutritious food for your family.

Choosing to install a large garden on your property can help distract your family in this uncertain time. For those parents who have now also become co-educators for their children, some time away from the computers, tablets, and stresses of balancing life with everyone at home, is highly suggested. Indoctrinating your children into the art of gardening is a wonderful activity that gets the whole family outside, but still practicing social distancing from the rest of your community.

Since children are innately curious, learning new skills outdoors can be very stimulating. Not to mention this is perfect family bonding time and will likely give you memories that will last your lifetime.

A few suggestions on working with children in the garden:

  • Help grow their confidence by letting them plant something that will sprout quickly, something like sunflowers or taking a young plant and re-growing it outside. The more instantaneous results will encourage and captivate them. 
  • Give your kids their own special pots for them to plant what they’d like in so they feel included in the growth of the garden.
  • Grow healthy food to add to meals. Pizza night becomes completely different when fresh basil or tomatoes are used from the garden. This is a moment to teach your children about farm to table living.

Gardening without a Garden: DIY for those who want to bring the outside in

Are you in a condo or an apartment building without an outdoor space of your own? You can bring your garden indoors or onto your balcony if you have one.

Balcony owners can create a lush oasis with some container plants. Container gardens allow you to use the rail of your balcony as a place to hold all your greens. You can plant anything from bright colorful flowers to vegetables and herbs in containers.

For those of you without a balcony, you can absolutely grow herbs inside on a sunny window sill and you can fill your apartment space with indoor plants. Not only does this improve your aesthetic experience of your home, it’s also good for you. Plants are known to produce oxygen and can even remove allergens.

Other ideas for landscaping safely during covid-19 include:

  • Ordering a seed-starter kit online to grow microgreens. If you’re looking for seeds and are based in Vancouver, we love West Coast Seeds for their huge range of offerings.
  • Grow easy plants, like a snake plant, which is almost impossible to kill, or jade plants which are low maintenance. Or, go ahead and get more needy plants since you have more time. You will become attached to caring for these plants once you see them flourish.
  • Grow vegetable scraps. Romaine lettuce and bok choy can be grown from scraps. Cut off 1-2 inches at the base of the lettuce and then put it cut-side up in water on a sunny window sill. Once roots start to grow, you can plant your lettuce in a pot and stop picking it up from the grocery store.  
  • Cut your vines and propagate them to add more plants to your home.
  • Repot your house plants, they will thank you for it. Look at your indoor plants and trim away the dead leaves and foliage. If they’ve been in the same container for years, put them in a larger one so they can expand further.
  • Fertilize your plants!

Whatever activity you decide to do, we at Hyland Landscapes are here to help you complete your landscaping safely during COVID-19. From virtual design meetings to safe socially distant work on your property, we encourage you to get outside, without having to leave the parameters of your home. Having a thriving yard and garden will have your home looking pristine, it’ll keep you and your family healthily distracted in these stressful times, and will certainly positively impact your mental health.