[This article was first published here in December 2021 and has been expanded and revised.]
Officially, winter does not begin until December 21st. And for many homeowners, yard work - and yard waste - continues until it gets too cold or too wet.
The question is, when it's already cold, or already wet, do you really want to be hauling yard waste? Or can it stay?
Hauling Yard Waste in Winter: Not a List Topper!
Getting in that last mowing of your lawns and spending brisk afternoons raking the last of the autumn leaves might be gratifying, even invigorating. But having to deal with the piles of yard waste and organic debris? Not so much.
In addition, you might have some stacks of old lumber from any number of dismantled structures that were once standing in your back yard.
Old fencing, for example, or a rotting deck. Perhaps you had a tool or garden shed that finally had to go. Then there's the old swing set that the kids are too old to use anymore and was becoming less stable every season. And, finally, it could be those leftover stacks and piles of pavers, bricks, or flagstones from last year's patio or walkway project.
You don't really want to leave that debris and junk out in your yard all winter until spring comes. But you really don't want to do the work of cleaning it all up, loading it in a truck that you may not have, and hauling it to the local landfill or waste transfer station in the cold, wet, and yuck!
So, what should you do?
Cold Weather Yard Maintenance: Working in a Winter Wonderland
A common question among homeowners and renters is whether they need to do any yard work in the middle of winter. Outside of the obvious restrictions and limitations of severe weather, there is really no reason to avoid yard work and maintenance in the winter months.
As one gardening site notes,
"While most lawn care takes place between spring and fall, winter is still a good time to accomplish tasks such as aerating, amending, mowing, raking, seeding and sodding, watering, and weeding."
Another source explains it this way,
"Winter is a peaceful time in the garden, as most plants are dormant, storing energy for the upcoming growing season. However, winter is the ideal time to take stock, get organized and take care of minor upkeep and routine maintenance tasks."
For example, the month of December is a good time for tasks that can keep the garden looking its best:
- Water plants if the weather is cold and dry. Hydrated plants tolerate cold temperatures better.
- Pull weeds that show up in the flower bed and rake up leaves.
- Remember to turn the compost pile and cover it with plastic if the winter is particularly wet.
- Put Christmas trees to good use by placing them where wild birds can use the branches for shelter, or cut the branches, and lay them over tender perennials.
- Mulch around trees, plants, and shrubs to add extra protection for winter. A two-inch layer of mulch will reduce water loss and help maintain even soil temperature around the roots.
- Winter is best for most pruning in many regions. Pruning in late winter leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short amount of time before new spring growth begins.
- Apply anti-transpirants to plants and trees, especially evergreens, to help reduce water loss from plant leaves. Burlap wrapping also may be used to shield valuable evergreens.
- In snow country you can tie branches together that may be susceptible to snow loads. Remove snow from low branches by gently brush them instead of shaking limbs. Remove limbs that may break from snow or ice as damaged trees are more prone to disease.
Don't DIY When You Can Have It DFY
Smart, successful executives and business owners understand the importance of not doing everything themselves.
They understand the value of prioritizing their time and their energies in order to maximize their efforts and optimize their strengths. Which is why they leverage the power of delegation in order to accomplish more with less, and have more time for themselves, as well.
And homeowners can do the same thing.
In fact, if you have kids old enough to hold a rake you've probably already done some degree of delegation. For others, hiring a neighborhood kid to mow the lawn or rake the leaves might be viewed more as "outsourcing" than "delegation" but the underlying principle is the same.
In other words, don't "do it yourself" when you can have it "done for you."
"But," you may ask, "why can't I just leave it all until next year?"
Here's the thing: some amount of organic debris on your lawns is a good thing. In fact, decaying grass clippings and leaves provide essential nutrients for your lawn grass. However, everything in moderation!
Also, when it comes to the organic waste materials piled up in your yard, don't overlook the benefits of composting.
According to one source,
Compost is created from the aerobic decomposition of materials usually considered waste. Compost is prepared by managing the aerobic decomposition of organic materials like yard debris, grass, leaves, kitchen scraps, paper, manures, straw, hay, wood chips and sawdust.
Composting requires 4 basic elements:
3. Nitrogen, and
Water is necessary for sustaining the microbial life in the pile and oxygen maintains aerobic conditions. Nitrogen-rich materials, commonly referred to as “greens,” are typically moist and contain a higher ratio of nitrogen to carbon. Greens are food wastes, grass, coffee grounds, and others. Carbon-rich materials, or “browns,” help balance the green materials and are typically dry, brittle materials like leaves, straw, newspaper, and wood chips.
Large piles of leaves or grass clippings, branches, mounds of earth or rock, and especially large debris materials like masonry, sand, lumber and other solid, in-organic materials can kill your grass and worse.
In addition, much of this type of yard waste materials present a potential safety hazard, especially if they become covered with snow during the winter months. You don't want to discover that old pile of broken boards by tripping over them in a snow drift!
But you still may not want to get rid of all that stuff yourself.
So, what do you do?
DFY Junk Removal for Winter Yard Waste
With winter just around the corner, and the possibility of winter storms, getting your outdoor spaces cleaned up and all your yard waste removed now is a great idea.
And you don't have to do it yourself!
At Junk King, we understand how difficult winters can be and realize that no one wants to handle their own yard waste and outdoor junk removal then. That's why we specialize in "done for your" full-service junk removal.
You can count on Junk King to provide efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal services that makes the whole process easy for you.
Our experienced junk and yard waste removal teams have the resources necessary to haul off any debris and other junk items quickly, easily, and cost-effectively. And, as we go into another winter season, we are continuing to maintain social distancing and following guidelines from the CDC in response to the ongoing coronavirus spread.
So, give us a call and make an appointment today.
Our professional and insured junk removal and disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your home. And, once we’re there, we’ll give you a free quote based on how much room your junk will take up in our truck.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).