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Jim's Mowing and Gardening

When To Prune Hedges And How Often

Rows of thickly planted hedges are a spectacular way to define your border and boundary, and to keep pets and children out or in.hedge curb

Just like every shrub, hedges need frequent and regular watering, pruning and feeding to look really great. People usually forget to water the root during hot weather, or apply fertilizer very early in spring at the 10-10-10 formula.  It is critical for the hedge’s long term health that it is regularly and properly pruned.

Here are some tips to fix common mistakes when pruning:

Shearing hedges without using a hand prune: Using a shear whether it is a power trimmer or a hand held pruner with a long scissor-like blade to get rid of branches tips makes you hedges tidy and very neat, this also enhances the production of bud near the plants edges. Furthermore, as the buds multiply, the shrub might get so thick that sunlight will be unable to penetrate which will prevent interior growth. This gives rise to a hedge that grows larger and larger every year and is lifeless on the inside. Proper pruning allows sunlight penetration and in turn enable you cut through shrubs so that they won’t get so big.

Pruning at the wrong time: hedges should be pruned basically in late winter, when plant produces buds but are dormant, especially if you want to cut back drastically. It is not so good to allow them break bud before pruning because plants should have enough energy to product new growth where you want them. Usually, energy spent energy are being cut off when you remove or cut off a plant bud and it basically takes some time for the hedges to fill back out.

Not shaping hedges such that the top is narrower than the bottom: Most hedges will begin to widen at the top simple because they receive more sunlight there than every other hedge_trimming_diagplaces. This usually give rise to a kind of V shaped hedge which shades lower branches from sunlight which makes them produce less foliage. You should try turning that V upside down because a sheared hedge should be narrow at the top and wider at the bottom always, regardless of whether the top is pointed, flat or round. It is advisable to start to shear from the bottom all the way to the top, for an accurate cutting.

If you find pruning hedges intimidating (like most people), call Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 for a free, no-obligation quote or book online.

 


Why You Need to Call the Pros – Dangers of DIY Gutter Cleaning

Gutter cleaning is one of the most important tasks included in roof maintenance. Keeping those gutters free from dust build-up and other debris can do so much in preserving the structural and functional of your roof. Along with that, it helps in preventing interior damage to the building and reducing the potential for pest infestation. Needless to say, gutter cleaning is truly a must.

You can take care of this vital task yourself, but roofing experts strongly recommend hiring the pros for the job if your budget can accommodate it.

Why? They claim that it would be a more advantageous arrangement. Plus, there are the dangers of DIY gutter cleaning that you have to consider. It may seem like a simple task, but a lot of DIY-ers actually get overwhelmed by how challenging it is. Accidents can happen, especially if you don’t have a complete set of equipment. You will need a harness to secure you as you navigate your roof to get to your gutters. If you have a big house and you have steeply slanted roofs, for sure, you won’t easily be able to reach your gutters and clean them thoroughly. Plus, it’s not just equipment that you will need to ensure the safe and proper execution of the task; you will need skills as well.

dangers of DIY gutter cleaningdangerous gutter cleaning

On the other hand, professional roof cleaners know the structural make-up of the roofing system and can thus strategically navigate it so that cleaning those gutters can be done safely and thoroughly. It’s also worth mentioning that most of them developed physical skills to be able to clean gutters no matter how high they may be.

Another danger that can come with DIY gutter cleaning efforts is that if you don’t have the sufficient know-how for going about the task, you may actually end up damaging your gutters. So, from just needing a clean-up (which is a simpler and more affordable service), you may end up needing repair or replacement instead.

Meanwhile, the pros have an established system of performing the task; you can be sure that no matter how thorough they are with cleaning, your roof and your gutters will not sustain any damage. Plus, they will even provide you the advantage of inspecting your gutters for issues. As they clean the gutters, they will also keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear, corrosion, holes, loose attachments, et cetera. Therefore, before these flaws become even bigger problems to address, they’ll inform you about their presence, their impact on the whole structure, and what actually needs to be done about them.

While you may be able to save some money by taking the DIY route, gutter cleaning is not as easy as it seems. So, if you want the task done right, it’s best to leave the task up to highly experienced professionals who’ll do a fast and fine job of it. Call Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 or book online for a free no obligation quote!

 


Winter Garden Craft Ideas for Kids

Engaging children in activities all around the house is always a fun and rewarding way to spend the time. Not only will the whole family learn new things about their home, but there will also be plenty of opportunities for the children to exert their energy and demonstrate their creativity toward making simple items and performing easy tasks that could prove to be useful to the household.

kids garden craft

The garden is one of the best places to start projects for the children to immerse themselves in. But while planting seeds and tending to flowers, vegetables and trees are common activities, there’s no reason to limit their projects to these. There’s always the option of making crafts, especially during the winter — it’s the best time to prepare simple supplies or accessories that can be used in the garden once spring rolls around.

Eager to get started? Here are some winter garden craft ideas for kids (and for parents) that everyone will be sure to enjoy.

Creating plant labels

If you’ve got seeds already sown, you’ll need a way to identify which plots contain which seeds. All you need are some popsicle sticks and markers or paint to write out the plant names and perhaps assign a specific color for each plant.

gardening with kids

Decorate pots and planters

Plants can thrive just as well in pots and planters as on the ground itself, and you can add a pretty touch to the garden by decorating them. Let the kids doodle on them or color them all over in their favourite colours.

Build a scarecrow

Vegetable gardens are highly attractive to birds, and you would want to keep them away to prevent damage to your crops — without harming the birds, of course. A scarecrow is a safe solution, and the kids will have fun making it, too. Just tie two garden stakes together to form a cross, surround them with straw stuffing, and dress it up with an old shirt, pants and a hat. Add details like buttons for eyes to make it look more lifelike (to the birds).

scarecrow

Create alternative planters

Many items that can securely hold soil can serve as planters for a garden. You and the kids can make pots from old newspapers moulded into pots, plastic soda bottles, or even gumboots.

more craftcraft ideas

 

Make a grass head

Help the kids draw faces on hard boiled eggs and scoop out their contents. The empty shells can now be filled with damp cotton wool and some grass seed. Remember to keep the wool moist; in two weeks, the eggs will have a healthy head of green grass “hair.”

grass head

If you and your family are too busy to take care of the garden chores, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. Jim’s Mowing offer free no obligation quotes, just call 131 546 or book online!


Bringing Some Color to Your Winter Garden

This winter season, your landscape should not look lifeless and dreary. Although your turf may look a little duller than usual and some of your plants may have stopped flowering, there are plenty of ways to add colour and vibrancy to your garden.

Here are some helpful tips if you are planning on bringing some color to your winter garden.

Swap your exotic plants for flowering natives

Once the temperature begins to drop, you will notice that many of your exotic plants have stopped flourishing. These plants require lots of sunlight, humidity and heat in order to thrive.

The best way to bring some colour and life into your garden is to invest in native flowering plants which do well in winter.

Some of these flowering plants that you can try to add to your garden are the Christmas or Lenten Rose, Bird of Paradise, Winter Daphne, Snowdrops, Qualup Bell and Mahonia. These plants can grow well under shade and some can withstand plenty of rain.

colourful flowers

Consider planting vegetables

Instead of flowering plants, you might want to plant vegetables which grow best during winter. Apart from adding colour to your winter garden, you can supplement your groceries with your harvest.

But before you start planting veggies like cabbage, lettuce and root crops, make sure that you create a raised garden bed. Most veggies do not like too much rain. Additionally, many crops require lots of sunlight so you have to pick the right spot on your yard for them.

growing winter veggies

Creating a winter palette

Instead of using bold colours, stick to cool and crisp colours like green and white and a dash of red for your winter palette. The simplest way to do that is to add more evergreens to your garden.

colourful succulants

A little winter cleaning

During winter, you will find that your hands are full with the sheer amount of falling leaves which you have to rake in order to prevent these from rotting. You may also have to deal with the slippery surfaces on your property.

Before the onset of winter, put away yard furniture that may deteriorate due to exposure to rains. Treat wooden surfaces found outdoors with wood preservers to keep these in good order and avoid potential damage.

Attract local birds

Adding a winter birdhouse to the landscape will not only add vibrancy to it, but you can also help give local birds some respite from the cold weather. Make sure that you feed birds with sunflower seeds and avoid mixtures that contain too much millet and oats.

bird feeder

For all your gardening needs, call Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 or book online for a free no obligation quote. The Jim’s Mowing professional and friendly staff will be happy to help you!


Pruning Your Roses Ready for Spring

Roses are hands-down the most loved flowers of all time. Their blooms are exquisite and their scent exudes pure romance. Perhaps what makes them even more special is that they have a reputation for being “fussy,” delicate and difficult to grow. The more effort you put into making them as healthy and beautiful as they can be, the more special they become. But the level of difficulty depends on the variety; some varieties need more careful maintenance, while others will thrive even under the most relaxed method of care.

More roses

To keep your rose garden looking young and fresh, you may want to prune them on schedule. The months of June to August are the best months for pruning because these are the times when roses are in their dormant state. In Australia, many rose growing experts say that pruning your roses ready for spring is best done during July.

roses

However, this isn’t an iron-clad rule. Your pruning schedule will still depend on the type of rose plant you have as well as the level of cold you have in your location during winter. Some exceptions include:

  • Old-fashioned, banksias, weeping standards: Prune only after the main flowering
  • Once-flowering varieties: As soon as they have finished flowering, usually late spring to early summer
  • Climbing roses: Prune after blooming
  • Roses grown in colder locations: Prune when it’s not too cold to protect new growth from frost damage

It should be noted that roses can still continue to grow even without pruning; after all, shrubs grow in the wild. But proper pruning practices can deliver the following advantages:

  • It stimulates new growth, paving the way for a healthier, stronger, more lush and flowery garden.
  • It allows good air circulation around each plant and facilitates the proper application of fungicide to help prevent fungus growth or blackspot, one of the most common and damaging rose garden diseases you can ever experience in your garden.
  • It helps the plants to grow in a neater and more visually appealing form.

Effective pruning requires a good understanding of the growth process and preferences of the specific rose plants you are growing, as well as how the climate and soil conditions in your area impact their health. You’ll also need to be equipped with the right tools, including leather gloves to protect yourself from thorns, a pair of sharp and clean pruning shears, and a narrow saw.

pruning

Know-how of what to cut and how to cut (such as the angle and length) is, needless to say, absolutely important. Thick, spindly stems, dead and old branches and crinkly stems are the usual parts to remove. A 45-degree angle of cut, sloping away from the bud, is effective for encouraging good growth and stopping fungal disease. After each pruning, make sure to spray the plant with the right lime sulphur solution.

Pruned roses

What you wouldn’t want when it comes to pruning your roses is to simply wing it without a solid knowledge of the process. When in doubt, ask advice from the experts or get a pruning and gardening specialist to help you out. Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 for a free, no obligation quote or simply book online.


Caring for Your Lawn in Winter

Unlike in other countries where lawn care essentially stops during the onset of winter, Australian property owners have their work cut out for them during this season.

It may be tempting to stop yard work during winter due to the lacklustre appearance of your turf. However, if you put in good work during the cooler months, you can make your lawn look vibrant and healthy.

Here are some of the basic tasks you need to perform when caring for your lawn in winter.

Give your lawn ample sunlight

During the warmer months, experts advise leaving grass clippings after mowing. Grass clippings can provide much-needed nutrients from the grass. Plus, leaving the clippings behind can save you a ton of work.

pretty grass

However, during autumn and winter, it is advisable to remove leaves and clippings from the turf. Removing these ensures that the grass gets the ample amounts of sunlight and air it needs to thrive during the cooler months.

If you’ve got lots of trees planted on your property, you might also want to prune these to ensure that your lawn gets more sunlight.

Mow higher and less frequently

When the cooler months set in, you will notice that the grass grows slower. During this period, it is advisable to raise the mowing height to prevent damaging the grass which can result in scalping and browning. Repeated scalping, in turn, weakens the grass and leaves it vulnerable to the onslaught of diseases and weeds.

In mowing your lawn, do not cut the grass lower than 2.5 cm. And instead of mowing the grass every week, mow your lawn once every three or four weeks, depending on the type of grass on your property. Alternatively, you can mow your lawn when the length of the grass’s blades exceeds 6 cm.

Lawn 2

Soil aeration

High volume of foot traffic combined with higher temperatures can lead to soil compaction, which in turn prevents the grass’s roots from receiving the optimal amount of resources it needs to grow and thrive. You can either perforate the soil manually using a hand rake or simply hire professionals to perform this task for you.

aerating

Fertilise

Although the growth of grass slows down during the winter season, it still needs a steady supply of nutrients. Have your lawn’s soil checked first to ascertain what nutrients it lacks and then purchase the appropriate fertiliser with the right combination of nutrients.

 Stop watering

Unless the grass looks very dry, you do not have to water your lawn. If you must water your lawn, do it early in the morning. Over-watering the lawn during the winter can only leave the grass vulnerable to fungi.

watering lawn

If you ever need any assistance caring for your lawn in winter, please don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Jim’s mowing on 131 546 for a free no obligation quote or simply book online! The Jim’s Mowing team are more than happy to help you!


Successfully Growing Vegetables in Winter

June, July and August are the winter months in Australia. And while images of winter in other countries would bring to mind outdoor spaces blanketed in snow as far as the eye can see, with not a single green leaf to be found, it’s not quite the same in the Land Down Under — in fact, winter is the perfect time to get started on planting some veggie favourites here.

If you have a garden with sufficient space, then you’ll be happy to know that it can be bustling with vibrant produce by the time August rolls around. Ready to dig into the earth and lay down the seeds for a bountiful harvest? Here are some great tips for successfully growing vegetables in winter in Australia.

winter veggies

Find out which vegetables grow best from seeds and which ones fare better when transplanted.

Peas, broad-bean, spinach, lettuce, kohlrabi, and asparagus are ideally planted from seed.  For the rest of the winter vegetables, you can ask your local nursery for healthy seedlings that are ready for planting.

vege seedlings

Know what to plant and when.

You might be excited to plant all your seeds and seedlings the minute June rolls in, but a more efficient way to manage your vegetable garden would be to stagger planting among the three winter months. According to seasoned gardeners, here are the vegetables you can plant for each month:

June: Snow peas, cabbage, garlic, radish, broad-bean, jerusalem artichokes, thyme, dill.

July: Kohlrabi, shallots, chicory, parsnip, lettuce, endive, sage.

August: Beetroot, asparagus, spring onions, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, artichokes.

Other culinary herbs that grow well during the winter are bay trees (for bay leaves), marjoram, rosemary, mustard, and oregano.

Ample sunlight is essential.

Different areas in Australia will experience varying levels of frost, so you have to be mindful of how much sun your vegetables will be getting in order to thrive and avoid damage or dying off. If you live in a colder area, your best solution would be to build a makeshift greenhouse over your plants that you can keep on during the evenings and take off during the day — all it takes is some stakes and clear plastic.

growing winter vegetables

 Be careful with watering.

Colder months call for different watering patterns. The water you put in the soil may not evaporate as easily, so there is a risk of water-logging your vegetables’ roots. As a rule of thumb, water only to keep the soil moist, and watering should be done in the morning during winter so that freezing will not be a possibility.

pallet veggies

Call Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 for all of your gardening needs or simply book online.

 


The Importance Of Regular Gutter Cleaning

Gutters are vital roofing components; they direct water away from the house in order to effectively preserve the non-waterproof elements of the structure. However, a lot of homeowners are guilty of neglecting proper maintenance of their gutters. They allow dirt and other debris to build up in them and block the pathway of rainwater caught by the roof.

clogged gutterblocked gutter

Blocked gutters are big no-nos if you wish to preserve your home well because they often lead to internal and external damage to the structure. But this isn’t the only reason why you should regularly clean your gutters; according to roofing experts, they also always stress the importance of regular gutter cleaning in avoiding unnecessary expenses.

clogged gutter cracksdamage from clogged gutters

The cost of roofing repair is no joke; at times, repairing the water damage caused by blocked gutters is not covered by insurance. In addition to this, the extent of damage created by blocked gutters may require you to make unscheduled purchases for replacement appliances or fixtures like doors and windows. You can avoid all this by simply having your gutters checked and cleared regularly.

It’s important to mention as well that regular gutter cleaning is instrumental in making your home a safe sanctuary for the family. You can prevent the proliferation of moulds in your house by effectively directing water away from it and keeping vulnerable structural components as dry as possible even during the wet months. Moulds are health hazards (they can cause skin irritations and respiratory issues) and they thrive in wet or moist places.

mouldy clogged guttersmuddy gutters

Proper cleaning and maintenance of gutters can also contribute to the prevention of pest infestation inside your home. By clearing them of build-up that tends to attract everything from pesky flies and ants, to rodents, you automatically lower the likelihood of unwanted living creatures making their way into your home. Also, if gutters work effectively in coursing water away from the house, the wood and paper components of the structure will be kept dry, making them less attractive to cockroaches, termites and other moisture-loving pests.

There are still so many other reasons that emphasise the importance of gutter cleaning, but the ones provided here are enough to fully establish why every homeowner should never forgo this maintenance task.

All in all, if you don’t want to deal with all sorts of issues with your home, be consistent with gutter cleaning — it’s an easy task to perform, but it contributes so much to making your home the truly comfortable and safe sanctuary that it’s supposed to be.

If you need help with cleaning your gutters, the professional and friendly staff at Jim’s Mowing are eager to help, you can call them on 131 546 for a free no obligation quote or simply book online!


Tips on Killing Weeds in Winter

Winter is here — when this season rolls around, most property owners tend to think that it’s finally time to take a break from lawn care because it’s just pointless to fight nature. But winter actually demands special lawn care tasks, regardless of your location; some things still need to be done.

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Weed control, for one, is a year-long responsibility, especially if you’re from an area that doesn’t get much snow or frost in the winter (like the southern parts of the country). There are weeds that thrive through the changing seasons; therefore, you simply cannot forgo weed control. Also, if you want to reduce your lawn care issues for spring and summer, preventive solutions must be carried out in the winter (ideally, during the latter part of the season).

more weedseven more weeds

Now, when it comes to killing weeds in winter, you need to have a strategic approach, especially if you’re not keen on weed pulling because it’s so chilly out. Here are some tips to help you kill off the invaders this season. Implement them this season and come spring, you’ll surely have fewer lawn issues to deal with.

weed killerkilling weeds

  1. Find a good herbicide that is powerful enough to kill weeds but does not cause damage to your lawn. Go online to find some suggestions from garden experts and look through reviews and ratings to see how truly effective the options sold on the market are.
  2. Clearly identify the grass varieties you have in your lawn to determine which herbicides won’t cause damage to it. If you mostly have Kikuyu and couch, herbicides with the ingredient Dicamba are perfectly safe to use. However, if you have buffalo, it would be best to stick to options without the said ingredient and opt for those that are truly formulated for that grass variety.
  3. Another effective way to kill off weeds in the winter is to spread a new layer of fertiliser. There are formulations that can remove weeds and fertilise the lawn at the same time. Just make sure the product is compatible with the grass varieties in your lawn.
  4. If you have dandelions, spot-treating them can be done with white vinegar. Pour white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the dandelions to kill them off. White vinegar is also effective against crabgrass which normally proliferates from spring to fall, but if you find some in your lawn during the winter (because they truly are resilient), get that vinegar spray ready to make sure it doesn’t reappear in the spring.
  5. Call the professional and friendly staff at Jim’s Mowing on 131 546 or book online for a free no obligation quote! Jim’s Mowing can take care of all of your garden’s needs.

What are the Benefits of Aerating Your Lawn in Winter?

Lush lawns do not emerge as a mere stroke of luck. Proud property owners with well-manicured lawns know and understand that achieving their goals entails a year-round commitment, even in winter.

During this season, there are a few lawn care tasks that you need to perform in order to ensure that your lawn looks great come summertime. These include the removal of weeds, fertilising, oversowing and soil aeration.

What is soil aeration and why do you have to do it?

Essentially, soil aeration is about perforating the soil on your lawn. The small holes created through aeration facilitate the penetration of air, water and vital nutrients down to the roots of the grass. In turn, when the grass’s roots receive an ample supply of these resources, it grows deeply and becomes more resilient.

aerated lawn

Soil aeration is essential because it offers a remedy for one common problem lawn owners face: soil compaction. Soil compaction prevents the grass’s roots from receiving the essential resources these need for optimal growth. Combined with lawn thatch, compacted soil can starve the grass.

What are the signs that you need to aerate your lawn?

One of the main causes of soil compaction is the high amount of traffic on lawns. If your yard is often used by your kids and pets as a playground, this is one sign that you need to aerate your lawn.

If your home is newly constructed, you may also need to aerate your lawn. The main reason behind this is that the topsoil of new homes are usually stripped and it is highly likely that the subsoil has been compacted due to the high volume of traffic during the last stages of construction.

If there is soil layering in your lawn because it was recently established, you will need to aerate the soil to break up the layering and facilitate the optimal flow of water down to the roots.

If you do not notice any of these signs, it is best to aerate your lawn during winter.

One of the main problems that you will encounter during winter is the reduced water retention capacity of the soil which makes the lawn especially vulnerable during this time of the year. Aeration solves this problem by facilitating the optimal flow of the resources, especially water, down to the grass’s roots.

Additionally, aerating the soil after applying fertilisers for winter enables you to get more out of your application of the fertilisers as these get deep into the grass’s roots.

aerating equipment

Jim’s Mowing can take care of all your garden needs, including aerating your lawn! Just call us on 131 546 or book online for a free no obligation quote!


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