How to Determine Your Annual Landscaping Budget

canva coins spilling from a jar

Landscaping is a necessary and worthwhile investment for any commercial property. But how do you determine what to allocate for landscaping when planning for the upcoming fiscal year? 

Without a proper budget, a property runs the risk of overlooking vital ongoing and one-time costs. And while it may seem easy to simply copy and paste last year’s number into the new spreadsheet, that approach doesn’t account for price fluctuations, new projects and repairs, and other budget items that can change from year to year. 

Fortunately, we can help. As landscape professionals, we can help clients evaluate their current budget and assess their needs for the upcoming fiscal year. Here are the five areas we suggest reviewing before finalizing your new budget. 

Landscaping & Capital Investments  

As time goes by, nothing stays the same – especially your landscape.  The landscape on your community is constantly evolving. Trees are growing, plants are maturing and the size and shape of “problem areas” continue to change. This is why it’s critical to plan with up to date pricing and proposals.

Similarly, if you are planning any capital investments for the upcoming year, it’s important to have an up to date proposal before finalizing your new budget, especially if any projects were put on hold for the current fiscal year. 

Before building your new budget, ask your Earthworks property representative to review your landscape bids and capital investment proposals to ensure the figures are up to date. We’ll discuss updated pricing for projects that were put on hold, and we can provide proposals for upgrades, repairs, or “wish list” items for the upcoming year. Our expert advice can give you the information you need to balance your allocations with confidence. 

Tree Trimming

Nearly every Texas property has trees, and they need regular assessment for tree trimming. Ask your property rep to review your tree trimming needs for the upcoming year – we can give you an estimate based on the number and condition of your trees. 

Irrigation Needs

When it comes to irrigation, no two years are the same. One summer may be cool and damp, while another may be hot and dry. Rather than plugging in the same numbers for your annual irrigation costs, we suggest basing your irrigation budget on a three-year average. We also strongly encourage our clients to reach out to your local water authority to discuss upcoming pricing changes for water. 

Price Fluctuations

Just as one can’t predict the price of a barrel of corn for next fall, there are certain landscaping items that fluctuate in pricing and are beyond our control. Commodities such as rye grass and plant material have a “market rate” that changes based on economic factors. 

Another surprising culprit for pricing changes – the oil industry. Most irrigation parts are a petroleum by-product, and international relationships and fluctuating oil prices can affect the availability and cost of certain parts. 

While we work to provide the best possible pricing on every service and part, there are areas that are out of our control. For this reason, we recommend building in a 5% buffer to accommodate for potential pricing fluctuations in the coming fiscal year. 

Let Us Help 

Existing Earthworks clients don’t have to budget alone! We’re happy to help you build your budget. We can pull historical data for most of the above areas, and we can update proposals for projects that were postponed for the current year. 

Before you finalize your budget, reach out to us for assistance. With a little planning and expert input, you’ll have a budget that will keep your lawn and your ledger happy for the upcoming year. 


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