Sure, the school itself is the main focus when it comes to higher education. It needs to have the requirements necessary to provide students with expertise in their majors and areas of study.
But while they are spending that time on campus intensely learning, a well-maintained, eye-catching landscape can be exactly what they need to relieve stress while studying. College curb appeal is a motivating factor when it comes to why students choose your school. It shows you care about the space in which they are learning, their education, and how their environment can impact that learning process.
When well-maintained university grounds can attract students, enhance campus safety, and improve grades, focusing on better campus landscaping each year can be well worth the effort.
6 Campus Landscaping Enhancements
So you know campus landscaping can have an impact on the school someone chooses. In fact, USA Home Remodeling says 62% of students choose their school based on appearance alone. They may not have even realized it, but their surroundings sent a positive message.
Aesthetics is important when students are spending 4+ years at a facility learning and growing.
If budgets are tight, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep making improvements. There are actually some simple campus landscaping tips we can offer that can ensure your school grounds look fresh and inviting … and the students won’t even know you saved some time and money along the way.
1. Mulch Cultivation
An annual layer of fresh mulch in your landscape beds can do so much for better campus landscaping.
Mulch cools the soil, keeps it moist, suppresses weeds, and decomposes over time to add nutrients to the soil.
But it’s possible that you have enough mulch from the previous year to extend that application’s life with mulch cultivation. Planting beds should never have more than 4 inches of mulch during a growing season.
Using a tiller and/or rake, mulch cultivation involves breaking up the existing, compacted mulch and rejuvenating it. This brings its natural color back, freshening its appearance, similar to adding a fresh layer of mulch.
If you choose to mulch every other year, a mulch cultivation service during those off years can cost 35% to 40% less than the standard mulch application and still give your university that polished look you like in early spring or late fall.
You can also apply mulch during the end of the school year and cultivate it before school resumes to dust off that Northeast Ohio winter and get that fresh spring look.
2. Arbor Day Activities
Looking for a simple way to not only add greenery to your campus, but also get students and faculty involved in a fun and memorable campus activity?
Creating a student event where you coordinate the installation of trees for special days like Arbor Day can enhance your campus landscaping while allowing students to become more connected to your school at the same time.
This is a simple campus landscaping tip that builds college aesthetics and relationships simultaneously, and can even garner local press and show a school’s dedication to beautifying its local community and caring for the earth.
3. Aeration & Overseeding
University and college campus turf takes a beating. It’s mainly due to all the feet walking over the property scurrying to and from classes again and again.
This compacts the soil, blocking good air, moisture, and nutrient flow. As compaction grows, excessive thatch develops. This is an area of grass stems and roots that are bottled up and not breaking down. This makes the lawn more susceptible to weeds, pests, and diseases.
Also, if you’re trying to fill in bare spots so your campus lawn looks good, seeds won’t germinate well in a compacted, thatchy lawn.
Enter aeration and overseeding. Aeration is a process of removing small soil plugs to break up thatch and compaction and allow your lawn to breathe. It also enables the lawn to improve its appearance and growth because it now has better access to air, food and moisture.
Top that off with some overseeding while the soil is open, and you’ll be able to fill in those bare areas and thicken up your lawn before weeds get a chance to take over.
It’s an inexpensive and simple campus landscape tip that can have a major impact on your turf.
4. Strategic Seasonal Color
Want to add a little color -- maybe even your school colors for some spirit -- but with such a large campus, you’re not sure how this campus landscaping enhancement can fit into your budget?
Install seasonal color in your high visibility areas to get the color you’re after at a reasonable cost.
These areas include entrances, near the admissions building, and by sports facilities.
5. Update Outdated Landscapes
Have you had some landscape updates on your list, but you can’t find a good time to get them done during the busy campus schedule?
Try this simple campus landscaping tip: Plan to update your outdated landscapes as part of your capital improvements when those specific buildings are scheduled for large external projects as well.
This can reduce the cost of the construction because the workers don’t have to worry about not damaging the landscape. And it will give that building an immediate, fresh look, killing two birds with one stone.
6. Container Plantings
Want seasonal color or variety, but with all of your campus events and activities, this still amounts to quite a large amount of places where you’d prefer some extra color and greenery?
Choose to add your color strategically in containers across campus. Then you can move those containers around as you see fit to serve as decoration for special events or to enhance different parts of the campus during peak times of year when certain areas are busier than others.
This campus landscaping enhancement can save you money and give you that updated color and interest without anyone being the wiser to the fact that these containers aren’t everywhere all the time.
Get Better Campus Landscaping With Turfscape
Yes, your current and potential students are taking notice of your college or university grounds. So don’t disappoint them by avoiding these simple campus landscaping tips that can keep your school landscaping fresh and help you meet your budgetary goals at the same time.
Still looking around your campus wondering if any of these ideas can work for you? Or maybe you’re not sure where to start.
We understand. You’re busy and your time is valuable. Let Turfscape help. We can discuss your priorities and do the research for you, presenting you with some ideas that can be done easily but make an incredible impact. Faculty, students and their parents will be impressed, and you’ll look like the smartest person in the room.
Want a Northeast Ohio college or university campus that has amazing and memorable landscaping and common areas? Request a proposal today. Together, we can help your higher education grounds look amazing while also providing great areas for function and usability.