The terms landscape management and maintenance are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that they describe two different ways of caring for your property. While there can be some overlap, they generally include different types of services as well. For this reason, it’s important to know whether your landscape requires management or maintenance before you settle on one or the other. It can be costly to request management when all you need is maintenance, or to request maintenance when you actually need management.

What is Landscape Maintenance?

Landscape maintenance

When most people think of the work a landscaping company performs, they’re likely thinking of maintenance. Landscape maintenance is the act of preventing a property from deteriorating by sticking to a regular schedule of upkeep work. Often, this will include tasks such as watering grass and flowerbeds, pruning trees and bushes, and laying down fresh mulch each year. These are tasks that can be performed on a regular schedule to keep the property healthy and looking nice.

Another aspect of landscape maintenance is reacting to deterioration by using “off-the-shelf” solutions. For example, if the grass is beginning to dry out and turn brown, then the solution would be to water it. These reactionary tasks are often performed alongside regularly scheduled tasks in order to fill in any gaps that may lead to the deterioration of the landscape. However, it’s important to keep in mind that regardless of the type of maintenance task being performed, the primary goal of maintenance is to mitigate symptoms of deterioration, not solve the underlying issues causing it.

Maintenance Services

The most common maintenance services include watering, pruning, fertilizing, planting, weeding, mulching, raking, and mowing, but there are many more. Any time a service is designed to keep the status quo of the landscape, it’s likely to be considered maintenance. But, these services can also be part of a broader management strategy.

What is Landscape Management?

Landscape management

Landscape management is the use of a dynamic and robust plan to get ahead of the underlying issues causing landscape deterioration and prevent them from occurring in the first place. Management fixes problems, not symptoms. And to accomplish this, landscape management professionals must understand the quirks of the particular property and the desires of the property owner. By combining this information, they are able to formulate a plan of action that’s tailor-made to meet every need.

Management Services

Services that fall under the umbrella of management are varied. Some of the more standard services include tree and shrub care programs, fertilization and weed control programs, and other comprehensive ground solutions. However, there are also more niche services that property owners don’t always realize they need, such as irrigation and water management. In many cases, a well laid-out irrigation or water management system can save time and money in the long-run by making the water usage of a property more efficient.

Additionally, strategic planning and budgeting is another service most property owners don’t think of when they think of landscape management. It’s not just our job to keep your landscape healthy and looking its best, but to do so while staying within your budget and any other restrictions you may have.

Do You Require Maintenance or Management?


Are there underlying issues causing your landscape to deteriorate? If so, you likely require management to devise a plan to solve those issues. If not, maintenance may be enough to keep your property looking pristine. However, it can be difficult to immediately determine whether there are underlying issues at work, which is why a comprehensive audit of your property’s health is the first step.

The more complex your landscape situation is, the more likely it will also be that you will require management over maintenance. A maintenance schedule that works for one landscape will not necessarily work for another. Landscapes are not static. They are full of life and need to be nurtured on an individual basis. Topography, plant types, and amount of sunlight are all things that can change from one property to another and make them and their needs unique.

An example of this in action would be how something that seems minor, such as a gentle slope, can have major effects on the drainage of your property. If it results in flooding of certain areas, you’ll probably take notice. But what if the only result is that it’s draining water away from plants that need it? That’s not something that’s as easy to identify without the proper experience.


Landscape maintenance refers to the general upkeep of a property through the use of regularly scheduled services. Landscape management involves an in-depth audit of a property and the development of a strategy to stop deterioration at the source by fixing the underlying issues. Maintenance involves watering plants more when they’re dried out, while management involves figuring out why they’re dried out in the first place and how the problem can be solved. Whether your property requires maintenance or management can be determined by a landscape professional.

Merit Landscape Solutions

Your property says a lot about you. What kind of impression does your place of business give to those who visit? At Merit Landscape Solutions, our goal is to provide quality grounds services and management to bring out the best of your property. Contact us today to learn more about how our landscape management services can keep your property looking refreshed all year long.