Winter Gritting Experts

Seasonal Grounds Maintenance Planning

April 25, 2019

We can’t expect Facilities Managers to be expert horticulturalists but grounds maintenance experts GRITIT argue that having a seasonal approach to planning your year can help you stay in control.

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Learning the essentials of year round planning is invaluable for facilities managers seeking to get the best out of grounds maintenance teams and contractors.

In the previous part of this article, we introduced the grounds maintenance and soft landscaping planners (also included with this article) and talked through the importance of using the winter months wisely to lay the groundwork for the busier summer period, which we will look at in this second part.

From a horticultural point of view, late spring into early summer is an ideal period for activities such as planting bedding plants and hanging baskets, but also a key time for meeting with grounds maintenance teams to plan an outline schedule of works, a schedule for the season ahead and review and set KPIs, as well as agreeing processes for reporting and reviewing activity.

Summer Grounds Maintenance

Summer is the most intensive period of activity during the year with the vast majority of activity focused on the demands of grass cutting and pruning. However, when outdoor spaces are at their most busy, also use this time to evaluate potential site improvements.

This is the time you can best assess a site and understand which changes could add the most value to end users or the client.

Seek out opportunities for multi-functional improvements, such as aesthetic changes that also encourage wildlife. A great example of this is the creation of a wildflower meadow that both adds visual interest and supports pollinators.

As well as improving a site’s environmental impact, this sort of feature can actually be cost effective by reducing the time required for mowing.

From a risk management perspective, summer is an important time to monitor sites for reportable invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed and plan control measures into new plans.

Autumn Grounds Maintenance

Moving into autumn, this is also a good juncture to more comprehensively review your landscape assets and management and maintenance plans and specifications.

This is a point where, as a facilities manager, you can gain a lot of added value from working with grounds maintenance and landscaping experts to develop plans or to produce a comprehensive set of output specifications that helps you achieve objectives such as environmental improvement or workplace wellbeing.

This consultative process can also help to identify opportunities to change the landscape – for example by replace trees or shrubs with species that require lower maintenance or that are better able to cope with a changing climate.

More practically, autumn is the ideal time to schedule site improvement works such as planting and arboriculture activity and to plan any tree surgery necessary to keep wooded areas healthy and safe.

About GRITIT

Overlooking grounds work, both the essential and the aesthetic, can cost you in the long term. Talk to GRITIT about our grounds and facility maintenance services. Grounds, repairs to asphalt, site inspections, landscaping services, lawn maintenance, car park cleaning and winter services can all be a part of your custom service package. 

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