Winter challenges in commercial landscapes demand proactive preparation to maintain health and aesthetics. This guide focuses on essential steps for groundskeeping staff to effectively winterize these outdoor spaces.
Assessing the Landscape
Start with a comprehensive landscape assessment. Pinpoint areas like delicate plants, water features, and irrigation systems that need special attention. This initial step is crucial for tailoring maintenance activities to specific landscape needs.
Lawn Care and Preparation
Lawns require careful pre-winter care. Adjust mowing heights gradually in late fall, apply winter fertilizer for nourishment, and aerate the soil. In colder regions, overseeding with cool-season grasses ensures a lush lawn throughout winter.
Tree and Shrub Care
Prune trees and shrubs to remove vulnerable branches. Wrapping young or sensitive plants can shield them from cold winds. Also, inspect for pests and diseases as a preventative measure against winter damage.
Irrigation System Winterization
Properly winterize irrigation systems to avoid freeze-related damages. Drain pipes, insulate exposed components, and store above-ground elements safely. This prevents pipe bursts and costly repairs.
Mulching and Plant Protection
Apply a protective layer of mulch to insulate soil and plant roots. Straw or bark mulch are effective choices. In windy or heavy snow areas, use burlap screens to protect sensitive plants.
Inspect and repair walkways, patios, and other hardscapes. Ensure drainage systems are clear to prevent water logging and ice hazards. These steps are vital for safety and landscape integrity.
Service and store landscaping equipment. Clean, repair, and dry-store tools and machines to prevent rusting and ensure readiness for spring.
Snow and Ice Management
Prepare for snow removal with well-maintained equipment and sufficient supplies of eco-friendly ice melt. Plan carefully to minimize landscape damage while ensuring safety.
Effective winter preparation is essential for the health and beauty of commercial landscapes. By following these guidelines, groundskeeping professionals can ensure these outdoor spaces are well-protected against winter’s rigors and ready for spring rejuvenation.