Category Archive:Winter

ByKevin Post

Is your development site designed with snow in mind?

I’m one of those weird ones that like winter. Snowshoeing deep into the forest. Cross-country skiing under the clear blue winter sky. I even like the great workout I get, when there are a few inches of the white stuff freshly fallen from the sky.

I was taught in school that within most of Ontario, parking lots can lose up to 20% of their parking lot space to snow piles. That is about one space out of five, lost to snow! Luckily, most of our snow falls after New Year’s Day. But, early, before the Holiday Seasons, snow falls can eat up lots of parking space for those crazy last minute shoppers (like myself).

If you are designing a new site or adding a new building or expansion to an existing site, one of the best times to review your parking lot layout is during the site plan development phase. Before you submit the plans for review, examine where the snow will be pushed, piled, and stored? Here are a few discussion points to start the conversation with your design team and snow removal contractor:

  1. Where are the possible starting points for the contractor to enter the site and start pushing the snow around?
    1. Does your site have more than one entrance?
    2. Are there clear paths to push the snow to an end aisle?
    3. Will vehicles be parked overnight?
  2. Will conflicts occur between the snow windrow around the roads and/or large snow piles with the drive aisles and the pedestrian walkways?
  3. Are the walkways wide enough that the snow removal contractor can drive his/her truck and quickly remove the snow? Will they need to snow blow / hand shovel?
    1. For the small pickup sized snow plough, the walkway should be about 2.4m (8′ wide)
  4. Where is the snow going to be piled or will it be trucked off site?

As a landscape architect, with experience with snow removal, I can work with your site design consultant team to improve your parking lot and landscape design to ensure less space is lost to snow.

Hope these discussion points help to improve your site during winter. Feel free to send us any questions you may have about your site, especially if it is still in the design phase. We would love to hear your comments about our blog and any Site and Landscape Design topics you would like to hear more about.

Kevin Post
Beyond The POST
kevin@beyondthepost.com

ByKevin Post

4 tips to reduce poisoning your landscape

Winter Stream

Winter Stream – One reason to help reduce your salt use.

Here are four tips to help reduce poisoning of your landscape soils during winter. Less poison (not the rock band but salt – Sodium Chloride) in the soil will help to ensure your landscape looking good after winter. Discuss with your snow removal contractor these 4 points will help to ensure a healthy looking landscape after winter is over.

  1. Reduce your de-icing usage as much as possible. Do you require all walkways or roadways to be used or can you close areas to reduce your maintenance during winter?
      • Some office buildings have large concrete patio areas that are not used in the winter. These areas offer good places to reduce your winter maintenance and salt usage.
      • Ensure all fire exits are correctly maintained per the fire safety codes requirements in your area.
  2. If available in your area, look for a contractor which is certified through the Smart About Salt Program.
    • Smart About Salt certified contractors know techniques to reduce their salt usage and help to reduce the amount of salt entering our groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.
    • Better yet become a Smart About Salt certified site. Review the smartaboutsalt.com website for details. Benefits include (source: Smartaboutsalt.com):
      • Reduce your costs for winter salt management
      • Qualify for insurance premium discounts
  3. If you do need to use a lot of salt to keep your main walkways free of ice, after the snow/ice event has finished and the salt has dried, sweep up the excess salt for future reuse.
  4. Use salt alternates that are safer for plants. De-icers such as potassium chloride or magnesium chloride can reduce soil poisoning from sodium.

Hope these suggestions help to keep your landscape looking its best after the winter. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips regarding all aspects of the landscape from site plan approval process for new developments, trail design tips through to maintenance tips like this post.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and look forward to your comments, questions and the unusual tips you have found useful.

Sincerely,

Kevin Post

Beyond The Post

www.beyondthepost.com

ByKevin Post

3 reasons to site walk with your snow removal contractor

Now that the fall colours have started to set upon Southern Ontario, we will soon start seeing the white stuff falling from the sky. For some this can be a welcome sight. For others it means heavy jackets, salt covered boots, and long hours removing snow.

Before the snow flies, it is a great time to have a site walk with your snow removal contractor to help ensure your landscape looks great after winter. During your walk, discuss the finer points of snow removal. It helps to be able to see the ground, where the planting beds are, and how the land slopes. Understanding the site, how the melting snow will go, can help to reduce the damage to your landscape.

Morning after a early spring freezing rain

Morning after an early spring freezing rain storm


Here are three reasons why you should define where the contractor piles the snow:

      1. The heavy snow being forcefully pushed or dropped into the bed can cause perennials and shrubs to be ripped out of the ground or crushed to death.
      2. The weight of the dropping snow and ice can cause soil compaction which makes it harder for plants to grow.
      3. Salt in the cleared snow can build up to toxic levels for plants.

 

Planting beds receiving large amounts of snow usually do not fair as well as sod (grass) areas, or better yet, concrete or asphalt parking areas. Define which planting beds the contractor should avoid or if there is no room, truck the snow offsite.

Feel free to give us a call, and we can walk your site with your contractor and you to create a plan for the snowy season.

I hope these suggestions help to keep your landscape looking its best after the winter. Sign up for our newsletter for more tips regarding all aspects of the landscape from site plan approval process for new developments, trail design tips through to maintenance tips like this post.

I appreciate your time in reading this post and look forward to your comments, questions and the tips you have found useful.

Sincerely,

Kevin Post
Beyond The Post
www.beyondthepost.com