Surviving landscaping adversity in severe weather
The UK has experienced a number of severe weather conditions this year so far and it is only February! Flooding and strong winds have caused havoc, with southern areas encountering the wettest start to the year for about 250 years. But – putting the weather report aside – how does this affect landscaping developments and grounds maintenance within the horticultural industry?
A whole host of landscaping companies have been unable to carry out any domestic work in the South due to the weather, rendering many properties inaccessible and inoperable. This comes at a hefty price that numerous SMEs cannot afford, with sales down by roughly 40%.
Alongside the landscaping companies being affected, the biggest risk is to the landscape itself. Plants are unable to cope with long periods of time spent in waterlogged soil – they literally drown. Water fills all the air spaces between the soil particles, preventing oxygen from reaching the roots. This prevents subsequent root growth and causes the soil to stagnate. Trees are also in jeopardy after prolonged flooding, as it can lead to root rot and canker. Add in winds of up to 80mph in some areas and it can cause trees to snap and subside.
The impact of incessant rain is that landscape developments must remain on hold until the flooding subsides, and grounds maintenance is virtually impossible in the worse hit areas.
Thankfully, this is not necessarily the case for the whole UK though, so if your landscapes are unaffected by this tragic spell of unwanted weather, get cracking with your normal tasks and keep your fingers crossed that you do not have to contend with the repercussions of further rapidly variable weather conditions.