As we move towards the winter months, the assumption from many is that landscapers and arborists would scale down their activity. However, yards and gardens are still in need of maintenance so our winter landscaping tips could help.
Stay in Control of Leaves
Leaves begin to fall from trees in the Autumn and, although they may look pretty, they can be hazardous and unsightly when they gather in large volumes.
Grass needs room to breathe and enough exposure to the sun in order to stay healthy, even during the dormant months. A flurry of leaves on top of the grass can block this sunlight and oxygen from reaching the lawn, and turn luscious green into a yellow/brown colour.
Small quantities of leaves can be composted or even mulched into the soil if they can be safely cut by a mulching mower.
As well as gardens, errant leaf piles can form in driveways, paths, roads and even railways. Using a rake and/or a blower can contain the leaves into large piles, but then the question is what to do with that pile.
Using one of the bucket attachments on a Kanga machine, you can move a few days’ worth of leaves in one scoop, ready to be shredded or composted.
Branch Cutting in Winter
With all the leaves off the (deciduous) trees, it can make pruning a lot easier. You would be able to see each branch more easily without all the foliage, so you are more likely to produce clean cuts.
Without the foliage, you would be free from inadvertent cut leaves flying off into your face. You would also be foregoing the need to trim the foliage off the branches once felled. Winter landscaping can involve tree pruning whilst the grass isn’t growing so fast.
Winter Landscaping in the Snow
The coldest days of winter, typically in January and February, hold the highest chances of snow. Whilst the roads are managed using gritter lorries, any build up of snow on lawns, gardens, yards, paths and driveways needs to be moved by a landscaper with the right equipment.
Small amounts of snow can be managed using a handheld scoop or spade, but there are machines and tools out there to help when you need to scale up.
A mini hydraulic loader such as the Kanga TK216 can be used with an array of attachments such as a backfill blade, which can be used to scoop and move snow quickly and easily.
Keep Your Hands Warm
Probably the most obvious piece of winter gardening advice would be to stay warm, but this is not simply a matter of comfort.
Operating any machinery with cold hands can have safety implications, especially when you are working at a height. Let’s say you are using a chainsaw up a ladder. Your level of concentration needs to remain at a high level, but also your level of grip and dexterity. A good pair of forestry gloves with a decent grip should put you in good stead to work safely in winter.
Look Out for Wildlife and Pets
Woodland animals such as hedgehogs tend to hibernate in winter, and dense shrubbery or hedgerows provide the shelter they need. You might even find pets or other animals seeking refuge in piles of leaves or whatever fruits of your labour. Make sure you check the area for evidence of animals before you start disturbing the area.
You may think this is just advice for animal lovers, but for endangered species this could have legal implications. Nesting birds, hibernating woodland creatures, even some species of amphibian are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.