How to winterproof your premises
It's slowly getting colder, the trees are losing their leaves and the air is starting to smell of snow. Time to send your company's outdoor facilities into hibernation.
But wait, just a moment.
Don't forget to prepare the outdoor area for winter and bad weather beforehand. Only if you take the right precautions will lawns, hedges and water pipes survive the cold season in good shape. We're sharing the points that matter with you.
Why you should prepare your premises for winter
Of course, in autumn you can simply sweep the leaves from the paths, empty the ashtrays and wait for winter to come. But there are at least three good reasons to do more:
Protection from damage
If you don't take any precautions, sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice can cause serious damage. It might just be the garden furniture that gets damaged, but it could also be the pipes that burst.
Attractive greenery in spring
If you get lawns, hedges and potted plants properly prepared for the winter, you'll be able to enjoy vivid green and lots of pretty flowers again next year. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will end up with bare patches and dead plants.
Less work once winter is over
Good preparation saves a lot of work. In spring, there'll be no damage for you to repair, nor any extra work necessary to revitalise your green areas.
When is the right time?
There is no fixed date on which preparations for winter are done. If it is still warm in late autumn, you can wait longer – and vice versa. You're best doing most of the work between mid-October and early November. Once the first frost sets in at night, then it's high time to get the job done.
Checklist – how to winterproof your outdoor facilities
Preparing outdoor areas for winter involves many small jobs. Here are the most important ones:
Mowing and fertilising the lawn
Mow the lawn one last time in October to a height of 5 centimetres. The ideal time for this is straight after the first night of frost. Then apply autumn lawn fertiliser, which contains plenty of potassium, to make the grass hardier in the winter weather. If you notice bare patches after mowing, use this opportunity to sow new seeds.
Remove leaves from paths and lawns. Swept paths help prevent accidents, while cleared lawns prevent fungi or pathogens from spreading throughout the garden. A rechargeable leaf blower is ideal for large areas. The more quietly it operates, the better it is for the environment and a sense of peace in the neighbourhood.
Trimming trees, hedges and shrubs
The best time to bring hedges, trees and shrubs into shape is between October and early November. Important for ensuring pruning has the intended result: the right tool, for example a battery-powered hedge trimmer, and the right temperatures. Make sure it is warmer than 5 °C so that damaged shoots can recover.
Moving sensitive plants indoors
Do you like to decorate your outdoor area with potted plants such as olive trees or oleanders? These need to be put into a protected spot in winter to survive the cold season in good health. For most plants, a temperature of 5 to 10 °C is ideal. The room should also be bright. Planter pots on wheels save you or your employees the effort of lugging them around.
Not every item of furniture can withstand snow and frost. If you have sensitive wooden furniture in your outdoor areas, bring it inside. You can leave metal or plastic tables and chairs outside. The same applies to weather resistant park benches or picnic benches. However, cover outdoor furniture with a tarpaulin or a sheet. This ensures the spring clean won't be as time consuming.
Turning off the water
One of the most important tasks when winterising outdoor areas is turning off the water outside. Allow any remaining water to drain from the pipe once you've done so, and remove any water hoses that are connected. This ensures that no pipes will freeze and burst.
A final tip – it pays to think ahead
You've heard it before: the first snow usually falls when no one is expecting it. To make sure that you have everything you need at hand, check that you've got grit and – if necessary – salt spreaders and grit containers in stock for when you need them. This ensures you'll have peace of mind regardless of when winter arrives.