How do you remove snow from your driveway and sidewalks? Shovel? Plow? Blow? Under pavement heating? Every method has an effect on your landscape. None could be considered great for your plant material, but some take a greater toll than others.
Shoveling, of course, is the most strenuous. Blowing is time consuming, Under pavement heating is expensive. Plowing is costly, too, in more ways than one, which I’ll explain.
Shoveling is fine for young, fit people, but can be a health risk as we age. There’s no choice, however, for removing snow from steps, porches and other small areas. You should also shovel snow from around the base of trees to deter small rodents from burrowing under the snow and feasting on the your trees. I’ve seen mice actually girdle trees, compromising the tree’s vascular system and killing it.
Plowing is the only practical snow removal method for our business, but I prefer blowing my driveway. Driveway plowing can cut off edges of the grass if the operator doesn’t aim correctly, and it can be difficult to aim a plow and truck and keep it on course, especially if your driveway bends or curves.
Even if they aim properly and don’t cut sod from the edges of the driveway, they may cut it during another common move. Plow operators have to pile snow somewhere, so they often push it into the front yard. The snow pile is usually peppered with small pieces of sod from the edge of the driveway. Worse yet, if you have a tree in the front yard, the plow operator may pile snow up against the trunk, which is my greatest fear. It has all the downsides of a mulch volcano plus it’s usually piled only on one side of the trunk exerting pressure on that side of the tree, which can cause lean or even failure.
Blowing allows you to cut nicely defined edges, and you’ll know immediately if you are off the pavement. The pattern in which a blower throws snow is better for your landscape. It tends to scatter rather than pile. Rows formed by blown snow are not as high as piles and are much lighter and less dense.
I’ve tried to give you the pros and cons of each removal method. Now, you’ll have to weigh these pros and cons for yourself and decide which method best meets your needs. I’d like to hear your opinion. You can just send a comment below.
Winter storms will be here before we know it. Good ideas on how to remove the snow without doing too much damage to the lawn. There’s always the option to hire a company too.