Summer Newsletter 2014

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Green Machine Mowing Summer Newsletter 2014

Summer Newsletter

Welcome to our summer newsletter, we hope this finds you all well and enjoying the wonderful long days we are experiencing.  In this issue we will be giving you some ideas for extra services we can provide which will help prepare your lawns and gardens for the coming of the cooler months. There is also some handy tips and suggestions for starting a vegetable garden.  We hope you will enjoy reading.

Fertilising Your Lawn 

The best way to get your lawn ready for summer is to take care of it in Autumn months. It will not only look fantastic and green in summer but it will also be stronger against diseases, patchiness and weeds for the winter. Giving your lawn lots of attention in Autumn will also help prepare it for the rough and tough activities it’s going to endure when the weather warms up again in Spring and Summer.

We all know grass doesn’t flower, so it needs a very different type of fertiliser from your other garden plants – lawn fertiliser is designed to encouraging the ‘leaves’ to grow. Now we understand there are a myriad of fertilisers available at Bunnings or your local nursery and being able to pick which one is most suitable for your type of lawn in your area can be an impossible task, but we are here to help.  We have put some tips for how to pick the best fertiliser for your lawn below but if you would like to leave it to the experts please do not hesitate to call, we can organise a lawn fertilising service for you, so you can sit back and relax and just enjoy the benefits of a well cared for lawn.

Types of Fertilisers

Organic lawn foods including products like Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated lawn food, blood and bone, horse or chicken manure. These are all natural products based on ingredients such as animal manures, seaweed, rock minerals and fish, these types of fertilisers will slowly feed the grass over a period of several months and are usually the ones we highly recommend. Organic matter helps improve the soil structure, acting like a sponge to hold water and nutrients. It also encourages valuable soil organisms such as earthworms and a host of micro-organisms. The side effects when choosing blood and bone or manures can be the smell so if you choose this type of fertiliser make sure you do not have any entertaining planned for a few days after laying the fertiliser down.

Synthetic granular fertilisers like Bunnings Aussie Green Lawn
Fertiliser are chemical fertilisers which contain a mix of major and trace elements and are easy to apply, fast to green up the grass but are not great for the long term health of your soil.
Combination fertilisers like Munns Golf Course Green lawn fertiliser combine both organic and synthetic fertiliser ingredients in one product.
Slow release lawn foods include products like Scotts Lawn Builder, a granular fertiliser designed to release nutrients slowly, again look for an organic blend to assist with soil health. These have the benefits of organic fertilisers but are much easier to apply and don’t have the smell.
Liquid hose-on fertilisers, such as Yates Liquid Evergreen Lawn Food are the fastest acting of all the fertilisers. These will not offer you any long term soil nutrition but they will give you a super fast green up just before a party!

Watch out for Lawn Grubs

During autumn, it is very important to keep your eye out for lawn grubs.  These annoying grubs can be active from later in summer and well into autumn. Lawn Grub can cause a huge amount of damage to your lawn and undo all the hard work you have put in over the summer months.  If you have a Sir Walter lawn, the army worms will normally stick to eating the leaf only, but in other grass varieties they have been known to eat all of it, from root to tip! It is important to treat them immediately to minimise their damage. If you don’t feel confident with this please give our friendly staff are call, we are more than happy to assist.  Remember if your lawn has experienced an outbreak, be sure to fertilise your lawn once lawn grubs have been eradicated,this will assist your lawn to recover quickly and give your lawn everything it needs to be strong, ealthy nd repair itself before winter.  This will also assist in avoiding weeds and other nasties growing in the dead patches.

Premium Mowing Service

“Mowing for Growth”

In the warmer months we can change you over to premium service where we leave the grass to grow for 2 weeks, this allows it to reach it’s optimum height, then we change your services to weekly  and cut no more than a third of the blade at a time.  This prevents the lawn scorching in the sun, like it does if it’s cut too short. When using this method we will also assess all individual areas of your lawn and treat them according to location e.g. grass in shaded areas, will be left to grow slightly longer. It is also important to use a mulching mower instead of a catcher so we can let the clippings fall back into the lawn to encourage soil organisms to recycle it into nutrients.

Garden Clean Up and Mulching

Now the peak growing season is coming to an end, it’s time to think about giving your garden a good clean up. Pruning and trimming back trees and bushes and clearing out all the leaves and dead matter in the garden beds is needed to prepare your garden for the harder conditions of the coming cooler months. The final thing is to spread mulch over beds to keep plant roots warm and help the soil retain heat and moisture, we will make sure it’s not too thick, as thick mulch can act as a barrier to water penetration.  There are many types of mulch to choose from depending on requirements and budget, we are happy to discuss all options with you to assist you in making the best choice for you and your garden.
If you would like further information on any of these extra services or would like to make a booking, please call the office today.

DIY Vegetable Garden:

One of the most rewarding gardening experiances you can have comes from growing your very own veggies. Nothing can beat producing your own food to nourish your family and impress your friends. Getting your children involved is a great way to get them away from the TV, out of the house and into the back yard for some exercise and fresh air. A backyard vegetable garden gives you the convenience of having instant produce at hand and the peace of mind of knowing what went onto them. With careful planning, it’s also possible to have fresh vegetables coming out of your garden all year round.
Where to start
1. Make sure you start small, bigger is not always better. Prepare a small patch and then when you gain more experience and confidence you can always extend.
2. Choose vegetable varieties suitable for the climate and the position of your garden.
3. Take care of your soil, always use organic fertilisers to feed your soil and produce the healthiest vegetables.
4. Plant flowers, like lavender & marigolds, among vegetables to attract pollinating insects. Consider setting up a native bee hive. This has a twofold benefit of helping to regenerate our native bee population and pollinates your veggies.  For more information or to purchase hives please contact, Ingrid at Native Bee’s do not sting.
4. To prevent having a glut of your favorite veggies all ripening at once, plant small amounts of each type about every 2 weeks. That way you will have a new batch of veggies ripening every few weeks.

5. Using an organic sugar cane mulch between the rows and between each plants will help control weed growth
6. Use organic pesticides or try companion planting to ward off unwanted creepy crawlies. If you need extra help, consider introducing some beneficial insects to your garden.(Remember: not all creepy crawlies are bad for your veggies). 
7. Provide shade for new plants, planted in summer months, this can be as easy as using an outdoor umbrella or outdoor shade tent, this can then be easily remove as the plants become established.
8. Give your growing veggies a quick check every day. It only takes 5 minutes to water, harvest any ripe veggies and while you are out there pull out any weeds you see and have a look for unwanted creepy crawlies and signs of disease. Get the kids doing this as one of their daily chores!
9. Always water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening, never water in the heat of the day as the moisture will be lost through evaporation and can burn the delicate leaves.
Location, Location, Location!

  • Sun is really important for your veggies to grow and be healthy; you need to find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun, morning sun is always better as it helps dry any damp that may be sitting on your veggies from the night. If your backyard does not get any morning sun, see if there is an appropriate spot in the front garden that will suit.
  • Make sure you check out how the soil drains, a simple way to do this is to dig a small hole about 30 cm deep and fill it with water. If the water stays in the hole for more than an hour and does not drain away quickly, you may need to look at installing some drainage pipes to help the water drain or consider building raised beds.

Small space vegetable gardens

  • If you only have a small space, think about hanging gardens or vertical gardens on fences or patio walls. See our Spring Newsletter 2013 for information on growing herbs in hanging pots!
  • There are also many dwarf varieties available of your favourite vegetables. Here are just a few to look out for:  Carrots: ‘Little Fingers’, ‘Short ‘n Sweet’, or ‘Thumbelina’.Cucumbers: ‘Bush Pickle’ or ‘Salad Bush’Tomatoes: ‘Patio’, ‘Tiny Tim’, and ‘Window Box Roma’. Beans: ‘Provider’ and ‘Derby’.Peas: ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Maestro’.

If you would like a veggie patch in your back yard but do not have the time to set it up, why don’t you give the office a call and we can come and discuss your needs and provide a quote for our friendly and qualified staff to come and do all the hard work for you.

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