Landscaping your rental property can present challenges. You want your property to have special curb appeal to attract ideal tenants and maintain its value, but you also need to control your overall maintenance costs. Finding the right combination should be your goal.

Here are some ideas on how to manage landscaping investments for your rental property.

Long Term Planning
One of the best ways to keep your property looking good while minimizing costs is to map out a long term landscaping plan. Using your property budgeting software, set aside a fixed amount every year devoted to landscaping upkeep. Landscapes look good when first installed but living things change over time and need continuing care. Aging and environmental conditions affect the landscaping, so addressing these things with smaller annual investments on an ongoing basis helps avoid costly major renovations later.

Trees
Trees are one of the most valuable assets of your landscaping. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they can also help you control costs. Trees on the east and west facing surfaces of your building will help reduce indoor temperatures in the summer. In northern climates, falling leaves allow the sun to warm the buildings and reduce heating costs in fall and winter. However, arbor care is critical to keeping trees viable. Cross branching, disease prevention, thinning and fertilizing are all required to keep your trees in perfect health. Proactive arbor care prevents costly major tree maintenance issues down the line.

Alternative Ground Cover
Vast sweeping swaths of green lawn can be impressive. They are also expensive to maintain because of weekly labor, watering systems, water demand, and fertilizers. You don’t have to eliminate your lawn completely, but consider cutting it back and replacing parts of it with native drought resistant plantings and other ground covers. Gravel, mulch, bark or wood chips can be attractive and will also save on maintenance costs. Such alternatives help maintain soil moisture and keep down weeds, as well.

Color Alternatives
The radiant colors that come from annual flowers are dramatic, but there are other ways to achieve similar results at reduced costs. Incorporating a mix of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and ornamental trees can provide the color you need without the extra maintenance expense.

First impressions matter, so you should never neglect your landscaping. With a well thought out plan, you can achieve an appealing landscaping design without breaking the budget.