As if HOA management boards don’t have enough to deal with, landscaping automatically enters the mix each spring — as you’d be hard-pressed to find an HOA without as many blooms as the local florist! While this duty might be easier in more predictable climates, you live in Minnesota, where temperatures can drop thirty degrees or more in a day. Constructing hardy community landscaping may be difficult, but it can be done. 

Gassen, your Eden Prairie provider or property management services, is here to explain how!

Get Residents Involved

HOA members love to give their input when it comes to what goes in their neighborhood or condominium, and they deserve to. It’s their home! So give them a chance to participate in the changes you’re planning to make.

Ask for Input

Encourage your residents to provide ideas or feedback about what can be done to make the landscaping better or more of what they want. Find out if they have flower or plant preferences, want to start a garden specifically to attract butterflies or a community vegetable garden, or if they would like to have patio seating around the landscape.

The more you can learn about your community’s needs and wants, the better you can provide for them. And the more interest you give, the more residents will want to participate. 

Schedule a Yard Work Day

If your HOA is a neighborhood that has plenty of landscaping around it (not including the private properties), we recommend that you schedule a cleanup day or yard work day. A cleanup day, among other spring HOA event activities, can help your neighbors get to know one another better and build a sense of community.

Asking for volunteers to help clean up the yard can also help you allocate money in your budget for other things instead of spending it on landscaping or can cut down on the cost of new landscaping. 

Schedule a spring cleaning day now so that you can have a better chance of getting widespread commitment later. 

Do Your Plant Research

No matter what type of garden or landscape you want to create, you should do your research, see what trends are popular in landscaping, and work with a local vendor or landscaper who can help you choose plants that will last and look beautiful in your space. 

Get a handle on what plants need a lot of care and attention and which are low maintenance, which plants grow well in Minnesota soil or need supplemental nutrients, and more. This not only helps you create and maintain a stunning landscape, it also helps you know what your budget can afford. 

Here are some specific things to consider while planning your HOA plant landscaping. 

Native Minnesota Plants

When in doubt, go with plants native to Minnesota, from maple trees to small Juneberry trees, coneflowers to day lilies. It’s not just a trendy thing to do right now, native plants are a guaranteed way to get a good ROI on your landscape investment. 

Since landscaping can be expensive, planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that are sure to thrive and not need a lot of extra care because they are local is always in your best interest. While plants from different locations can bring in unique colors or textures, it’s often more work and expense to keep them alive.

Pollinator Gardens

Especially in neighborhoods with families, pollinator gardens are a great way to get residents outdoors and involved in their landscape. Planting native flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and other insects, as well as provides protection for birds and small animals adds life and vibrancy to any community. 

Along with enhancing community and supporting more eco-friendly environments close to home, pollinator gardens are often easy to manage and perennial, so once they’re started they don’t take much time or cost to keep them going for years. 

Growing Zones

If you do want to bring non-native plants into your landscape, keep in mind that Minnesota, especially the southern half of the state, sits squarely in the USDA plant hardiness zone 4. This means that plants that can tolerate temperatures dropping to -20° to -30°F will grow well in Minnesota and keep coming back each year. 

It’s not that you can’t plant trees, bushes, or flowers from other growing zones, but those plants are more likely to die or need a lot of additional care. And you may have to replant new ones each year. 

Annuals vs. Perennials

Another decision for your landscape is whether to plant annual or perennial plants. Most trees, shrubs, and Minnesota flowering plants are perennial, meaning they go dormant during the winter months then start growing again in the spring. 

Filling most of your landscape with perennials is a more cost-effective way to keep your gardens and green spaces full of plant life without having to redo it each year. While some maintenance has to be performed to clear away old brush to make way for the new, there’s no need to replant or buy more plants each year. 

Annuals, on the other hand, work well in planters and can add a lot of bright color around your outdoor living spaces. Save a little money in your budget each year for a few annuals if you want to add pops of color in certain areas. 

Ensure Your Ground Is Ready

Landscaping often requires more than just digging in the dirt, dropping in a plant, splashing it with water, and calling it a day. From the design layout and plant selection to proper irrigation, preparing your green spaces for landscaping is crucial for the longevity of your plants and safety of your property.

Work with a landscaper or property management professional to check that your grounds will sustain your design for years to come.

Perform a Landscape Survey

Offered by landscaping companies, a landscaping survey essentially evaluates what’s currently going on with your setup, pointing out places that might need more or less water, where water is being wasted, and more. 

This will enable your HOA to efficiently use its water and cut down on landscaping maintenance costs. 

Fix Slope Erosion Problems

Yes, a hilled arrangement looks lovely, but slopes come with their own share of problems. As rainwater flows down them, it carries away the topsoil—or otherwise destabilizes it. This can lead to unsightly mud puddles and a lack of overall landscape longevity.

Luckily, plenty of avenues are available to your HOA to stop or reduce such a problem. Consider

  • Terraced designs
  • Pebbles spread along the hill to derail flowing water (often called riprap)
  • Professionally constructed retaining walls

Gassen: Here to Simplify HOA Life & Landscaping

At Gassen, we know property management extends into maintaining and beautifying all parts of your property, including the grounds around it. Let our exceptional team manage your property and its regular landscaping maintenance or let us help you acquire the capital you need to finally complete a landscaping renovation project. 

Whether you need hardscaping services for refined outdoor living or assistance budgeting for better grounds maintenance, Gassen has just the service you need to bring exceptional to where you live!

Call 952-922-5575 or message us online to learn more about all the ways our trusted experts can serve you!