One of the many lures of moving to any active adult community is that you don’t have to cut your grass or clip your shrubs anymore.
In fact, it is mostly presented that “Landscaping is included.” But, is that true?
Having now lived in a 55+ retirement community for quite some time, I can give you my perspective on that question.
Yes, cutting grass is something that is done on a regular schedule. In the Summer it is done weekly and in other seasons, done when needed. The landscaping company hired by the homeowners association does cut, edge, and blow and mostly does a good job. You will not need a lawn mover to cut your grass unless you want to; some people do, believe it or not!
Some people have a fenced-in backyard and they like to cut their own grass in that area. If not, the homeowner association charges an extra fee to cut, because of access issues.
Fertilization and weed control is provided, but I can tell you not to the extent it would be done if you hire a private company. My neighbor and I have contracted with a lawn company and our yards look a little better than average.
Now the pruning of the shrubs in the front is included but some people want it done more frequently and either do it themselves or pay a company or person to prune. Also if you add plants yourself, you will need to maintain them. For any dead plants, the homeowner will need to replace them at their own expense.
You know when I moved here, I gave away or got rid of almost all my landscaping tools and equipment. It is true I don’t need a mower or edger but I wish I had kept a shovel, an axe, a hard rake, and some other tools. I really don’t have room for a wheelbarrow but could use one. I did buy two water hoses and two sprinklers, for the front and back.
Some maintenance that I did on my own is I replaced some patches of Bermuda grass in bald spots, planted some flowers, and did some aeration. In the Fall I need to spray for fungus that’s making spots in my Bermuda lawn. Also, even though I have a pest control company, I am going to spray insecticide around the perimeter of my home. Oh, I did have my Crepe Myrtles trimmed back in February.
They did put down pine straw in early Spring but that faded pretty fast. I just put down mulch around my front tree and bought two bales of pine straw to freshen up my island and beds.
I have been watering myself in this hot weather but both my neighbors say they have an irrigation system and I should get one. They may be right. I also heard the water bill for a sprinkler system can be quite expensive.
I am retired and in pretty good shape so this first year I have enjoyed doing a little around the house. But I could see for many people this would be less than enjoyable and something they didn’t count on doing or having done.
I have started to use a local landscaper more and more for small things I used to do. There are too many fun activities that I can be doing to get into landscaping like I used to.
So is landscaping included? Well yes, but if you solely rely on the homeowner association supplied company, your yard will be lacking.
Originally published August 04, 2023