Lawn mowing

How often should your lawn be mowed?
Most people cut their lawn too short and too infrequently, however, keeping your lawn lush, healthy and in perfect condition requires ongoing care. Frequently mowing your lawn not only enhances the direct visual appeal of your lawn areas, but it also prevents further weed growth within your lawn by cutting weeds down before they are able to grow more seed heads or reproduce.

What is the correct mowing technique?
Simple techniques should be applied when mowing your lawn. For example, try to avoid mowing in the same direction as this will cause the soil to become compacted and result in uneven grass lean – instead, break up your cutting pattern by mowing left to right, up and down, anti-clockwise and clockwise. As well, try to avoid ‘shocking’ your grass by only trimming one-third of the blade at any given time.

How often should you water your lawn?
Just like other parts of your garden, it is important that your lawn be watered. In saying that, we recommend less frequent deep watering as it will promote a stronger root system.

How often should you feed your lawn?
Feeding your lawn the appropriate fertilizer will ensure that it remains in peak condition throughout the year. We recommend feeding your lawn in the warmer months of the year; when it is actively growing.

Edge trimming

Why is edge trimming important?
Edging prevents unwanted grass from spreading onto paved walkways and garden beds. Moreover, professionally cut edges give your lawn areas a manicured appearance.

What is the correct technique for trimming edges?
Lawn edges should have a 20-40 degree angle on them – to achieve this, we use a motorised edger that cuts a small gap between the grass and the area you are trying to separate from the turf. To avoid ‘crushing’ the edge, we recommend to cut your lawn before trimming your edges.

Pruning of trees, bushes, and shrubs

Why is pruning important?
Correct and frequent pruning not only keeps plants in great shape, but also helps to promote strong growth. Pruning has many benefits including:

>   Allows dead, damaged, and diseased plant growth to be removed
>   Improves and maintains plant health
>   Reduces the risks associated with falling branches or debris

When should pruning be undertaken?
For summer-blooming trees and shrubs it is suggested that you prune them in late winter/ early spring, while they are dormant and about to push out their new growth. For spring-flowering trees and shrubs, it is suggested that you prune them in late spring/early summer, soon after their flowers fade.

What are correct pruning techniques?
When pruning, it is important to cut just above the bud, sloping down and away from it, as this will encourage new growth in a desirable direction. Cutting too close or too steep may cause the bud to die. When pruning above a node with one or more buds, remove the inward-facing ones. Thin cuts should be made just above the parent or side branches and roughly parallel to them.

Hedge trimming

Why is hedge trimming important?
Regular hedge trimming promotes dense and even foliage – this is great for the visual appeal of your gardens, not to mention the added health benefits.

When should hedges be trimmed?
Generally speaking, hedges are best trimmed right before they break dormancy in late winter/early spring. Privet (a common type of hedge) should be trimmed at least twice a year between May and August.

What is the correct hedge trimming technique?
The vertical sides of a hedge should be trimmed first, followed by the top of the hedge. When trimming the sides of the hedge, an upward and downward sweeping motion should be adopted. When trimming the top of the hedge, the blade should be angled at around 10 degrees to the horizontal and a horizontal scything motion should be adopted to sweep cut material off the hedge.

Weed removal

Why is weed removal important?
Weed growth has the potential to negatively impact on the health and visual appeal of your lawn and garden beds. If left untreated, weeds can rapidly expand and multiply, leaving your beautiful plants and shrubs struggling to survive amongst a growth network of weed roots.

How should weeds be managed?
It is important that you get on top of weeds as soon as possible or else you risk them taking over your lawn and gardens. Larger weeds should be pulled by hand and in doing so, care should be taken to ensure that their root system is also removed in the process. Cultivation of weeds is another effective strategy, and involves breaking the weed’s root system through the use of a manual hand tool or device. Depending on their variety, weeds should also be sprayed with a broad-leaved herbicide which targets common weeds such as clover and bindi. A broad-leaved spray will prevent your lawn areas from being negatively impacted by your weed removal strategy.

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Aerating of garden beds and lawn areas

Why is aerating important?
Aeration helps to improve the health and integrity of your lawn and garden beds by allowing water and fertiliser to enter the soil, improving oxygen circulation, and preventing weeds from establishing in the compacted ground. Moreover, and on that latter point, compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.

When should aerating be done?
It is recommended that aerating be done throughout the growing season. That way, your lawn and gardens have an opportunity to heal and fill in any open areas that are left behind during the aeration process.

Laying of mulch

Why is it important to lay mulch?
Covering soil with mulch helps to conserve moisture and improve soil health, which in turn leads to healthier gardens. Mulch also helps to prevent root competition by suppressing weed growth and preventing weed germination.

When should you lay mulch?
Mulch should be laid on garden beds after planting, and spread evenly as a 2-3 inch layer on the surface of your soil. When laying mulch it is important that you apply mulch correctly, otherwise, you risk stimulating the growth of fungus, attracting insects, and starving the plant’s root system of oxygen.

What is the best mulch?
Shredded bark is one of the most common types of mulch, and is one of the best mulch types as it breaks down relatively slowly.

Fertilising

Why is fertilising important?
You have probably heard of the saying, ‘the key to a good garden is good soil’…and yes, that couldn’t be more correct. Essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are needed for plants to thrive. Unless you are returning all waste matter back to the soil (such as leaves, twigs, and clippings), the soil will need to be fertilised to replace lost  nutrients. Applying organic material and natural fertilisers to the soil not only promotes plant growth, but it also helps to improve soil quality and texture; thereby increasing the soil’s ability to hold water, reducing erosion, and raising the soil’s pH.

When should you fertilise your lawn and gardens?
It is important to realise that different plants require different fertilisers, and at different times of the year. As a rule of thumb, it is best to apply fertiliser to lawn and plants when they are actively growing, such as in Spring. Feeding plants at the wrong time of the year may render the fertiliser ineffective, for example, feeding plants when rain is expected can result in run-off; whereby the fertiliser does not have the opportunity to be absorbed by the soil and root system but rather goes into your drains.

Can you over-fertilise?
Yes, it is possible to over-fertilise your lawn and gardens. Over time, various nutrients can build up in the soil, and therefore, should additional (unneeded) nutrients be added to the soil, it can disrupt pH levels and lead to toxic accumulations of harmful elements. Overfeeding plants can also make the leaves of plants softer and more susceptible to disease – for example, soft-leaved plants are commonly affected by grey mould.

Pest and disease control

Why is pest and disease control important?
Plants, like humans, are subject to disease and illness. Left untreated, the consequences can get serious. In saying that, healthy and vigorous plants are much more resistant to disease, so it is important to keep on top of pests and diseases should they present, and also be proactive when it comes to promoting a healthy growing environment.

What to be mindful of when treating pests and diseases?
All gardens are teaming with insect life. Yet, very few of the species you see in your backyard are damaging, so it is important to assess the situation before spraying all kinds of harmful chemicals to eradicate the problem – broad-spectrum insecticides kill all insects, both good and bad.

Hand watering

Why is hand watering important?
Hand watering prevents over-watering by allowing you to target specific plants that are in need of additional water, and in doing so, this reduces the risk of runoff that has the potential to remove topsoil. Although many parts of Australia are susceptible to water restriction, hand watering is generally permitted, provided it is with a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.

How often should you water your lawn and gardens?
Water is a necessary factor behind a healthy garden, but in saying that, over-watering should be avoided. Likewise, under-watering can have severe and negative consequences. Generally speaking, gardens should be watered intermittently and, in the morning, so as to promote strong root growth.

Leaf blowing and vacuuming

Why is leaf blowing and vacuuming important?
Nothing beats a neat and tidy garden, and this can only occur if all unwanted leaves and garden debris are removed. Handheld leaf blowers and vacuums allow for large areas to be cleaned up in an efficient manner by easily removing debris and mulching them into tiny pieces, which can then be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

Removal of all grass and garden trimmings

Why is it important to remove all grass and garden trimmings?
A pile of unsightly green waste has the potential to distract from a beautiful garden, and also gives the impression that any garden work is incomplete. Moreover, leaving excess garden debris on lawn and garden areas has the potential to suffocate growth.

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