You might think that winter would be a quiet time in the life of a landscape gardener. But in fact, this isn’t the case. It’s at this time that a whole range of tasks must be carried out to prepare a given garden for the coming year. Time and energy invested at this point will reap considerable dividends once the last of the ice has melted, and the clocks have changed again.
What’s a landscaper?
We should make a clear distinction between a landscaper and every other kind of gardener. This is a bit like the distinction between a chef and a cook: the former will plan the work and do the design before getting their hands dirty.
A landscaping company can therefore offer a complete redesign of the entire garden, rather than just performing the tasks involved in maintaining the existing ones.
In winter-time, naturally, the vegetation enters a rest cycle. With less energy available from the sun, there’s no sense in trying to grow when the conditions aren’t right. But that doesn’t mean a landscaper can’t keep busy.
The tasks of a landscaper during winter
Let’s run through a few gardening tasks that can be done, even when it’s cold outside.
Collecting dead leaves
Fallen leaves should be swept up fairly promptly. They can be composted, but they take a while longer to break down than other materials like grass clippings. Gutters should also be cleared of leaves – as debris of this kind can cause knock-on problems. If a lot of leaves need to be cleared in a short timespan, then the landscaper might resort to a battery-operated electric leaf blower, especially if the job takes place far away from convenient power sources.
Scarifying is a process of removing the top layer of surface thatch which naturally settles onto a lawn. This is done mechanically, using tiny little blades which get rid of not just the moss, but the underlying cause. When this is done, fertiliser can be applied, and the grass can receive the nutrients it would otherwise have been starved of.
When vegetation is at rest, it can be pruned. This allows the gardener to shape trees and bushes to grow in the desired direction, and to remove dead branches. Excessive growth in the wrong place can place a burden on the plant; pruning is the process by which this is done.
Sprinkler systems rely on pressurised hoses, which are vulnerable to freezing during cold weather. As water freezes, it expands. This can cause pipes to burst. Draining the pipe will prevent this from happening.
Removing Ice Plates
During particular cold spells, large sheets of ice might form in certain areas of the garden. Getting rid of these will reduce the damage that they do.