Winter Gritting Experts

Introducing Grounds Maintenance and the New Seasonal Contortionist

August 11, 2018

In the past twelve months every season has sorely tested companies like GRITIT GM who provide year-round FM outdoor services. The weather extremes, when and how long they have persisted, has meant only highly flexible and informed Grounds Maintenance practices have been able to keep our customers' grounds looking in good shape. 


As we move into late summer the latest turns in the weather means more versatile capabilities of Environmental and Specialist GM services are being brought into play earlier than normal ..  


The late and wet start to this spring saw vegetation quickly making up for lost time. Standard rigid schedules for grounds maintenance work went out the window. Shrubs and hedges burst into life along with the inevitable weeds. Ground conditions meant delays using heavy mowers so where cutting was essential lighter methods needed to be employed.

If you were circumspect and maintained work over winter to condition your grounds, the sudden flourish of growth will not have been as much a shock as it could have been – time invested in leaf collection, keeping hard standing areas free of soil and decayed vegetation and early mulching will have paid off with less lawn damage and germinated weeds.  


Pros and GM Cons of a Long Hot Summer


Quickly following the short spring, the early warm start to the summer with record May temperatures meant we all benefitted from early flowering and prolonged flowering of shrubs and borders.

As the heat continued drier conditions slowed growth and made lawns virtually dormant. Time that would been spent on regular lawn cuts was better served keeping the borders and lawn edges tidy, and earlier pruning and mulching to keep moisture from evaporating (fewer cuts and raised cutting blades reduce the strain on already stressed lawns due to temperature and low moisture).

Some properties saw us introducing additional watering programmes for the first time which all had to be tailored to the site’s types of vegetation and water requirements and soil conditions. (Read our next GM Blog features more strategic approaches for sustainability and responding to climate changes.)   

Autumn GM Leaf Clearing jobs in Summer

The dry conditions have accelerated browning of leaves and earlier leaf fall. While these conditions persist, some leaves have provided some protection to the ground and helped to retain moisture. Much earlier than normal, heavily leaved areas have had to be cleared to prevent possible problems where they collect or wash into drains. Once again this timing has testing the flexibility of previously planned schedules and additional removal and recycling of green waste.   

Just as nature quickly bounced back in spring we can guarantee the same will be true as the rains come at the end of the heatwave. Where we have already had a taster of heavy downpours and high winds additional services are being enlisted much earlier than usual. This is less of a problem where the contractor like GRITIT GM offers a range of Environmental Services such as cleaning and Tree Services.  

Full GM Services for Storm DamageOnce again anticipating the spurt of growth from greening lawns and borders, early planning and site conditionining can help prevent weeds and proactively remove weakened branches. Such action will stand your grounds in good stead for the season to come, what ever is thrown at us.  


Top Strategic GM tips In Brief:

  • Maintaining grounds work in the winter gets the spring off to a more effective and money saving start
  • Concentrate on Grounds Maintenance Specifications that focus on specifying the standard to be achieved rather than the resource or method required to deliver it (Output vs Input Specifications)
  • Consider incorporating watering programmes into plans and specifications and improvement to plans for water tolerant planting and zoning  
  • Utilise the expertise of your grounds contractor to incorporate intelligent and best practice maintenance approaches that respond to the changing conditions rather than prescriptive regimes




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