SOA common area updates
These updates on what we are working on in SOA common areas are from Jim O’Connell, the SOA’s Project Manager.
July 31, 2019
Mainline breaks, new trees and summer flowers
As July comes to a close, our common areas are recovering from a whopping 15 mainline irrigation breaks this month – six of which were in the Cut (the area near the east entrance where Somersett Parkway slices through a hill).
Every time there is a break, we have to shut off water to the area while repairs are made and plants, trees and turf get stressed. BrightView aerated, TruGreen fertilized and BrightView techs have been working overtime to get extra water on the stressed areas. Any sections that don’t recover will be repaired with sod or seed, depending on weather conditions.
Our tree replacement project is moving forward with the first 100 trees selected and waiting at a local nursery. We expect to begin planting them in early August. After that, we will conduct a round of plant replacement, and finally, in late summer or early fall, we will replace more trees.
One bright spot has been the summer blooms that have been popping out as plants react to our strategy of reduced pruning. We hope you are enjoying the display!
June 25, 2019
Introducing a new pruning strategy
Do you think the landscape plant material throughout the community looks as if it has not been pruned? If so, you are right! We have not pruned not since last fall, and this is intentional.
Plants are not meant to be hard-pruned into little balls and boxes. They should be left to grow, fill in the landscape beds, and show their new spring growth, blooms and beautiful colors in a more natural look.
Benefits of getting away from the practice of hard pruning include:
- Healthier plants
- Less plant loss
- Lower water needs
- Less susceptibility to pests and diseases
- Plant uses its energy to grow instead of healing from constant pruning
- Mature plants left to fill in the landscape help with weed control, which reduces the use of chemicals
As the plants continue to grow, we will remove spent blooms and we will prune the vegetation in a gentler, more structural way. And, of course, we will cut back any plant material if it creates a public safety or visibility concern, such as along roadways or sidewalks.
June 11, 2019
Last week the BrightView team and I identified 75-plus trees that we will replace over the next month on Somersett Ridge Parkway between the entrance monument and Del Webb Parkway. When this work is finished, it will bring the total to over 100 trees replaced over the last year along Somersett Ridge Parkway alone. We hope you will enjoy the refreshed landscape!
June 4, 2019
TruGreen will apply the second round of liquid fertilizer and post- and pre-emergent herbicide to turf in the common areas starting today. Because of this application, BrightView will not mow this week.
May 14, 2019
In the three weeks since BrightView turned on the common area irrigation system, crews have made an astonishing number of fixes to various components, including:
- 11 mainline repairs
- Replacing over 300 damaged irrigation heads
Fixing the mainlines involved shutting the water off to large portions of the landscape, which explains why turf in some of those areas looks stressed. Replacing the damaged heads is helping us to water more effectively. In the coming weeks, we expect the turf to respond to these improvements as water is flowing more evenly and efficiently.
Turf maintenance plan
BrightView has contracted with TruGreen to put a Turf Benefit Plan in place with the goal of improving the grass in the common area this year. TruGreen has finished the first treatment, which included:
- Post-emergent weed control targeting anything that is not grass (dandelions!)
- Pre-emergent to stop existing weed seeds from germinating
- Preventative fungicide treatment
Because areas of the turf are still not looking as good as we would like, TruGreen will step up the next treatment to four weeks from now instead of six weeks.
It will take some time for the grass to develop a stronger root system and to respond to these treatments, but we expect that within 7 weeks to see improvement and by 12 weeks to enjoy a very noticeable improvement in the turf.
May 21, 2019
Where did all the dandelions go? A few weeks ago the weeds in the common area turf were looking rather … ahem, robust, and several of you expressed concern. As you can see in the photos above, the broadleaf application we applied a few weeks ago has made a big difference.
Next week we plan to wage another battle in our “turf war,” with a second application of fertilizer and broadleaf/preemergent/fungicide control. That should leave our common area turf in great shape for the summer growing season.
On another note, we’ve been keeping an eye on the 50 new trees that we planted last fall along the parkways. They seem to be greening up nicely this spring. The photo below shows a few of the trees that greet motorists on Somersett Ridge Parkway between the West Monument and the Verdi roundabout.