Be Prepared for Ice and Snow in Your Garden and Driveway
It has been a good few years since we’ve seen a snowfall quite as impressive as this week’s influx. And, as the latest snow storm hit the UK, we suddenly all remembered that we meant to buy a snow shovel, we fully intended to have some rock salt kept in the garage and we were definitely going to get some of that fluffy white stuff to protect our plants. Most of us didn’t.
As the snow and ice starts to thaw, don’t put it off again. We’ve got some key tips so at least you’ll know what to do next time the cold weather strikes, covering Britain with a blanket of snow and ice. While the snow has the brilliant ability to turn everyday sights into beautiful, picturesque scenes, it can also cause a multitude of frustrating problems. It’s best to be prepared.
Although up and down the country many schools are closed and employees told not to come into work, most of us are not so lucky. We’re up at the crack of dawn trying to figure out how to get the car out of the driveway. Obviously, none-essential journeys should be limited, driving in such conditions poses real dangers, black ice and so on, so please remember to take the utmost care (and be prepared to leave earlier than usual).
If snow is forecast, park your car so it is facing out the driveway. If you’ve quite a long driveway, park as near the entrance as you can. It will save you having to shovel quite so much snow.
Then it’s time, of course, to get the snow shovel out. If you’re not lucky enough to possess such an item, just pop down to the shed and pick up your trusty garden spade, a most versatile tool, this will do the job just fine. Once the bulk of the snow is cleared, grit is the next step. Substances like sand are absolutely fine - you may have something similar again stowed away in the garden shed. Salt is another great option, especially as it will help to melt the snow and ice too. If grit is still not providing the necessary traction, sheet materials can be used as a makeshift bridge, to finally get your car onto the road.
Driveways are not the only areas of your property affected by snow though. If you’re a keen gardener, similar weather conditions will keep you up all night worrying! Freezing temperatures can easily kill off your prized plants, so be sure to take the necessary precautions.
One of the most straight forward methods of protection is to invest in some horticultural fleece (you should always keep some stowed away in your shed). Simply wrap the material around plants and pots to give them a bit of extra insulation. Remember to remove it once the temperature increases, as excess moisture contained within the fleece could lead to fungal disease.
Consider too transporting vulnerable plants to your greenhouse. The best practice would be to section off a small area, and use a heater to keep everything warm. This will save you money as heating a large greenhouse can work out to be quite costly.
Spare a thought too for the poor wildlife outside. Unlike us, they don’t have central heating systems and duvets to keep them warm! Particularly prone to disaster are amphibious creatures such as frogs, when ponds freeze over they can be trapped under the water’s surface, unable to get out. Float a tennis ball on any bulk of water, and remove if the water does freeze over, so there is a little hole to allow escape, and to pop some food in for the koi too!
If you’ve ever tried to build a snowman, which I’m sure you all have, you’ll know that snow is incredibly heavy. So, with that in mind, if you have a particularly old garden shed, it may be worth reinforcing the roof with some additional timber, to avoid bowing or sagging. If you know your shed is on its last legs, perhaps it's time to browse for a new one? Click here to peruse our fantastic range.
Now that you’ve completed all the tiresome jobs the snow brings, why not have some fun? Snow can make us all feel like little kids again, so put on your hat, scarf and gloves and build a snowman, start a snowball fight or make some snow angels. Life is too short to take yourself seriously.
If you’ve got any more suggestions of how to maintain your garden and driveway in the winter weather, please let us know in the comments section below.