The Case for Winter Brush Mowing

Climate MapFor the northernmost climates in the US and Canada, winter brush mowing is not an option. That pesky snow gets in the way and the biting wind and cold makes it unpleasant to attempt outdoor projects. For those in more moderate climates, though, such as those in the green, yellow, and orange areas in the map at the right, winter brush mowing and brush cutting can be a useful way to maintain fields and meadows.

Make it easy for new growth to emerge

When you mow down all the dead growth, invasive woody plants, and unwanted vines, you make it easy for new growth to emerge come spring. Your brush mower will chop up all the dead matter into a fine mulch that will begin to decompose into the soil instead of blocking new growth.

Easily see what’s what

After all the trees have shed their leaves and most of the green undergrowth has died away, it’s easy to look at your fields and meadows and identify the plants that are invasive and should be taken care of, and those that you want to encourage. It’s a good time to find the patches of invasive honeysuckle, buckthorn, Autumn olive trees, wild roses, wild cucumber, and other species. Some may be difficult to identify without their leaves, so look for identifiable traits in their bark, fruit, stems, and growth formations. Then, mow them to a mulch and remember to return periodically throughout the spring and summer seasons to ensure that they haven’t re-emerged.

Winter brush mowing

Take care of perennial gardens

Perennial gardens can be mowed down in the winter months to keep them looking tidy. Mowing with a brush mower is much easier than cleaning them out by hand, and the mulched material will provide nutrients and protection for the new growth come spring.

Safer in fire-prone areas

If you live in an area that is particularly prone to brush fires in the summer months, brush mowing may be outlawed during certain times of day or in certain areas. In summer’s hot, dry conditions, running gas-powered machinery can be dangerous and it is important to comply with all municipal regulations. An alternative is to mow your brush in the fall or winter. There is little to no risk of starting a brush fire in the winter (in most locales), and you can maintain all the overgrown fields that were untouchable in the hot months.

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