Planning Your Fall Landscaping

By Ken Hutcheson President, U.S. Lawns | August 09, 2015

By planning in advance, and working with your contractor before fall begins, hoteliers can ensure a healthy landscape and smooth transition into the fall season.

Fertilization

Your landscape undergoes a tremendous amount of stress during the summer. Whether you’re located in a region that experiences extreme heat, dryness, rainfall, or a combination of all three, the effects from summer can leave your landscape looking dull and unhealthy.

This is where the significance of fall landscaping comes into play—with fertilization being one of the most important tasks to complete. Making sure your landscape is properly nourished is important, not only for promoting growth during fall and winter seasons, but also because it replenishes the nutrients the soil has lost during summer. Fertilizer also helps plants and grass develop tolerance against pests including: weeds, insects, and various diseases.

Because various fertilizers and pest control elements can be toxic to plants, animals, and people, hiring a professional to carry out this process is imperative. Typically, your landscaping company has a pest control service that will come out and spray, but in the off chance that they don’t, it’s important to choose a localized professional, as they’re familiar with your region’s topography, soil conditions, soil temperatures, and the products applied in specific areas.

Before the pest control starts the fertilization process, however, you should sit down and discuss which fertilizer or other chemicals they’re planning on using to treat your hotel’s landscape. With the amount of foot traffic hotels experience, choosing a fertilizer that’s not only safe for the environment but also people is crucial.

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.