Winter is the Perfect Time for Debris Removal and Cleanup

landscaping and irrigation

At the Parke Company, we are known by our Nashville clients for our landscaping services, tree service, installation of irrigation systems, sourcing shrubs and flowers, and other traditional landscape tasks. Of course, most of those tasks take place when things are growing. Spring and fall are our busiest seasons.

But when winter arrives, it brings its own set of lawn problems.

Nashville is a southern city, so we don’t get much snow compared to our neighbors to the north. In fact, Nashville only averages about 7 inches of snow in any given winter. We get rain, and the temperature drops to an average of about six degrees above freezing. That limits the amount of outdoor activities that the fine folks of Nashville are willing to participate in, and it creates a problem for lawns and other outdoor spaces.

Too Cold to Do Much of Anything?

While driving on a freeway or even a residential street during the winter months, you’ll probably notice that the landscape looks a bit trashy.

Culverts will have filled up with windblown leaves, trash and debris. Lawns may appear to be unkempt because they are littered with debris. Our Nashville winter scenes rarely consist of pristine snow-covered lawns, but rather cluttered spaces with mostly grey skies up above.

Why do our winters look like this? In part it’s because it’s just considered too cold for many homeowners or even state road maintenance to be out raking and cleaning debris. It’s not that there is some “extra” supply of winter trash that somehow hits our landscape, it’s just that the usual trash is not picked up.

While a debris-filled lawn is not attractive, it can actually do harm as well. If left unattended, the debris can damage the grass under it when the first thaw hits.

Our early springs tend to be wet and muddy. Leaves, twigs, and other “yard trash” can hinder the growth of the grass when it comes out of dormancy. This can leave yellow patches or off green patches unless the debris is removed.

If you have done a good job of mulching, you may be inviting another, smaller, threat to your lawn. Field mice love mulch. If you see narrow yellow trails coursing across your lawn, these are the rodent freeways to the mulch bed. Raking out the trails will help the trampled grass and give it a chance to survive when spring arrives.

Clean Up Winter Debris

Obviously, the way to avoid yellow spots in the spring is to clean up debris during the winter. If your lawn is fenced, has hardscaping or drainage ditches, finding the debris will be easy. Winter winds will pile up the debris in these areas.

The trusty leaf rake can do leaf collection, but for most of our clients with large lawns, this will be a full weekend project. A leaf vacuum mulcher can handle most of the task. Large items (twigs, branches, trash) will need to be collected and bagged manually.

Of course, if you don’t have the time for a winter lawn cleanup, you can always call us at the Parke Company, and we will be happy to handle the job. We have the crews and the equipment to make quick work of transforming your debris-littered lawn into a clean winter landscape.

Let’s all hope for an early spring.

Winter Lawn Care in Nashville

Lawn with Frost

We are literally weeks away from seeing the cold temperatures that come with a Nashville winter. Unfortunately, your beautiful lawn can take a major hit during the coldest season if you haven’t taken precautions to protect it.

The Parke Company, Nashville’s leading provider of landscaping services, suggests you take certain precautions in the short time remaining to ensure your winter lawn makes it through the season and is healthy and ready to go when spring arrives.

Some fall clean up steps are going to require the services of a professional landscaper, but most you can do yourself providing you have the time.

Prepping Your Nashville Lawn for the Winter

Probably your biggest risk for a winter disaster, both in terms of damage and dollars, involves your irrigation system. If the system is not completely drained, there is a risk of an irrigation pipe bursting, an event that will probably go unnoticed until the thaw begins.

A burst irrigation pipe can damage the lawn, create a seepage in your foundation, and of course will require digging up the lawn to make a repair. Have your system serviced professionally before the temperature drops below 32 degrees overnight.

A clean lawn will survive the winter better than one that is littered. Even a little weight can damage dormant grass. If you look out the window today and see a lawn covered in leaves, you’ve got a leaf clean up project in your immediate future.

Breaking out a leaf rake and leaf bags is one way to tackle the problem, but there are faster methods. If you own a leaf vac you already know the advantages. If you don’t have one, The Parke Company can provide that service and take it one step further.

We have a leaf vacuum mulcher that will leave your lawn as clean as a billiard table and turn your leaves into a nutritious mulch for your spring garden at the same time.

If you have grasses common to Nashville like Bermuda or bluegrass, give your lawn one last fertilizing to carry it through the winter. If you do this before the freeze, you’ll get the advantage of the fertilizer reaching the roots.

After the Snow Flies

The key here is to prevent damage because any damage after the grass has gone dormant can’t be repaired until the spring.

In Scotland, many of the legendary golf courses are open in the winter. It’s cold but there isn’t that much snow. The grass is not brown, it’s “golden” or “crispy,” just like dead grass everywhere. No carts are allowed because the weight would crush or break the grass. When you’re ready to hit your ball, the caddy will lift it up, place a small mat of AstroTurf down, and replace the ball.

This will come as a shock for first timers, and at $280 a round, it may take a little joy out of the game. However, the Scots know that if golfers could whale away on the fairways while the grass is dormant, their course would suffer significant damage.

Your lawn is just as vulnerable as the Saint Andrews fairways. Keep it clean through the winter. Periodically check for toys, tools, or other items that may have been put down and forgotten. Minimize foot traffic on the lawn by keeping sidewalks cleared of snow and ice.

A little prep work and a little vigilance during the cold season will be rewarded in spring when your lawn comes back lush and green.