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Triple Play: How to keep your properties attractive in the face of extreme weather

Triple Play is a weekly NJBIZ feature that asks top executives in New Jersey to talk about three things related to their industry.

Steven Jomides is the CEO of Lawns By Yorkshire in Westwood.

We asked Steven how commercial and multiunit residential owners can keep their properties looking attractive in an era of extreme weather, without breaking their budgets.

What’s the best type of landscaping to consider? Xeriscape, which is landscapes that are not as dependent on water and can tolerate arid conditions, starting with a plant pallet that doesn’t require higher amounts of water. In a perfect situation, select plants that will thrive under typical rainfall amounts and require little, if any, irrigation. Irrigating via a sprinkler system would then be reserved for drought situations. All of this should be done by a licensed professional.

What are cost-effective ways to change existing landscaping? First, introduce perennials that are drought-tolerant for seasonal color, as opposed to annuals. Second, as older landscapes outlive their aesthetic life, replace them with more drought-tolerant species. One example is the Knock Out Rose, which blooms for the majority of the season, can handle drought and low water conditions rather well and overwinters nicely in our area. Third, when reseeding existing turf, do some research and ask for recommendations on better cultivars of seed to use. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension is a great resource. Lastly, have an irrigation audit done of your existing sprinkler system. Many times, the system has minor issues (bad seals, leaky valves) that can be corrected that can save large amounts of water.

Are there ways to be less vulnerable to heavy snow events? Managing the financial impact for larger storms has always been a pain point. Seasonal contracts gained traction after the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. The concept behind these are to minimize financial risk to the tenants/owners. Flat fees are established and paid over a prenegotiated payment schedule.

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