Lifestyle block repairs and maintenance

by Jill Dickie

Winter days are short, they can be wet and cold, and you might rather be inside rather than out, so the more maintenance that can be done on finer sunny days, the better.

The cooler temperatures provide the opportunity to catch up on that list of ‘round-to-it’ jobs that have been left because it was too hot to do them, or you were too busy, or just didn’t feel like it!

In areas of heavy rainfall, get out the mower or weed eater along ditches and drains to ensure free-flowing water, so no damming up or flooding occurs. Clearing culverts of any broken branches or other accumulated deadfall while the creeks are low is a lot easier than trying to do so when they are full of water!

Checking autumn planting that was done along waterways or hillsides prone to erosion, is another productive way to spend some time now, making sure they haven’t been washed out or needing extra support.

Forward planning in this area is a worthwhile exercise to decide which plants and trees will be needed for next year’s plantings. Various programmes and grants are available from some regional councils for landowners choosing to and needing to be environmentally aware.

Household firewood will be required if your home has a fireplace, and this is a good way to clear broken branches or fallen trees, or even trees that may not be withstanding the rigours of winter storms. Keeping trees and treelines tidy should prevent them potentially falling on top of fences or power lines, and if you don’t need the firewood yourself, someone will.

A little maintenance in the yard may also be necessary to save angst on a cold rainy day. Ensuring all your feeding out equipment is in good repair,  a quick service and oil changes done, even fixing that gate that doesn’t swing properly will save your dog from an entertaining run of expletives, as you stumble and slide in the mud later!

If you use temporary electric fencing, check you have enough reels, plenty of standards, and that any battery-run units are charged. 

The maintenance list isn’t too long, doesn’t take too much effort, especially if you’re lucky enough to have family members to help out with some chores like firewood for example, and how satisfying it will be to run through a smooth winter!