Southwest Landscape Management can beautify any lawn or landscape

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Southwest Landscape Management’s residential landscape management program is available for yards of all sizes and includes a spring clean-up, bed edging, mulch application, weekly mowing and more.

By Ken McEntee

During a recent visit to Southwest Landscape Management, owner Steve Rak talked about a new grandfather who bought his son a season of lawn and yard maintenance.

“It wasn’t because he wanted his son to have a beautiful yard,” Steve explained.

“It was because he wanted him to spend more time with the baby and not worry about his yard. Time is something that you don’t get back.”

Although Southwest Landscape trucks are commonly spotted all around Strongsville’s best-looking commercial properties, the company has been giving Strongsville homeowners the time to enjoy their own yards for more than 25 years.

“Because we have such a high profile in commercial landscaping, some people don’t realize we offer residential services as well,” says Steve, a past president of the Ohio Landscape Association and former columnist for Turf Magazine, a national trade publication.

“It’s true that the majority of our work is with commercial properties and homeowners associations, but we do a lot of residential properties.”

It’s been the visibility of Southwest Landscape’s trucks that has fueled much of the company’s residential business.

“People see the trucks and they actually stop and ask if we do homes,” Steve says.

Southwest Landscape’s year-round residential landscape management program, offered for yards of all sizes, includes:

  • Spring clean-up
  • Bed edging
  • Mulch application
  • Weekly lawn maintenance
  • Bed maintenance
  • Shrub and tree pruning
  • Fertilization
  • Fall leaf clean-up

The company also does irrigation start up and shut down.

What Southwest Landscape doesn’t do is hardscapes and patio installations.

And for a good reason.

“We’re landscaping experts and I think it’s best to stick with what you know,” he shares.

“There are other companies that do fantastic work with patios. Because those can be such high-cost money-makers, it’s natural that a company will assign its A-team to them. When we come out to do your lawn and landscape maintenance, you’re getting our A-team.”

The Rak A-team started with Steve’s dad, Steve Sr., a Strongsville resident who had been in management at United Airlines.

“They moved his job to Chicago, but Dad loved it here and didn’t want to move,” Steve recalls. “He always enjoyed working in the yard and did it on the side for pretty much his whole life. So, he started a landscaping company out of our garage.”

As young boys, Steve remembers he and his brother helping Steve Sr. by trimming around mailboxes with hand clippers.

Steve Jr., runs the business now, but Dad, now retired and 77 years old, still pops into the office frequently.

“He fixes things and just likes to keep busy,” Steve Jr. says. “Just like when he started the business. He never wanted to grow too large. He wanted to enjoy what he did.”

But the company’s reputation for quality work grew the business anyhow, Steve Jr. says.

“Starting with homes, we began to pick up condos, homeowners associations and commercial accounts around Strongsville and the surrounding areas,” he says.

Southwest Landscape’s Enhancement Division offers a variety of additional services to its residential and commercial clients, including:

  • Spring and fall color plantings
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
  • Mums
  • Landscape renovation
  • Tree trimming
  • Entrance way and sign plantings
  • General grounds clean-up
  • Small design projects
  • Turf renovation
  • Aeration

In the winter, the company offers commercial snow and ice management services.

“We manage the business of snow so the snow doesn’t manage your business,” Steve says.

“Our team of dedicated snow fighters are equipped to provide service 24/7. We have the ability and experience to provide service for retail sites, commercial facilities, condo associations, homeowners associations, cluster homes, medical facilities and apartment complexes.

Services include:

  • Snow plowing
  • Snow shoveling
  • Salting
  • Snow hauling

But with snow and ice season hopefully in the past, April, Steve says, is the ideal time to get started on a landscape maintenance program.

“A spring clean-up and an initial lawn fertilization application are the first steps toward a healthy and gorgeous yard throughout the summer,” he says. “April is also a good time to apply a layer of wood mulch. Getting mulch in your plant beds early will help to prevent weeds from developing, while giving your beds a well-maintained, finished look, and improve your home’s curb appeal.”

Southwest Landscape is picky about its mulch suppliers, Steve says.

“We deal only with the two best mulch producers in the area,” he insists.

You can leave your yard to the experts while reserving your time for the important things by calling Southwest Landscape Management, at 440-748-6000, or by sending an email to Southwest Landscape Management is located at 33593 Royalton Road, in Columbia Station. The website is

Categories: Westside Home & Garden