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Maintenance

Money can grow on trees

Using your lawns & gardens to your advantage

By
Jamie MacDouall
on
December 9, 2019

One way to up the value of your property?... Your landscaping! Obvious fact, we know but we’ve found we’re having more conversations with people about how to use landscaping to their advantage. So, we’ve come up with a few tips on how to do this.

Spring is the perfect time to get out and enjoy your garden and lawns, or to see what needs a bit of touching up. Landscaping maintenance is increasingly important during these times of drought as we need to be water-wise and keep everything in perfect order.

With that in mind, here are some of our top landscaping tips for your home:

Lawns – how to manage them even in drought

The lawn will most likely be your pride and joy. An excellently maintained lawn can improve the appeal of your garden and make it look even better. The trick with lawn maintenance is ensuring your grass stays nice and green, which can be quite difficult at present with water restrictions in place. What you want to do is ensure your grass doesn’t become too dry or thin. A lawn goes dormant after a couple of weeks without water and can endure drought conditions for roughly six weeks. However, following this there is risk of your lawn dying, so you need to find ways to protect the roots during this time. If the roots die, there may be no way to revive it.  

Don’t scalp your lawns as this allows too much heat and sun to dry the ground and leave your grass yellow and patchy. Instead, start the spring mow with the mower set on high, so the lawn is protected. This keeps it at the ideal length, meaning it won’t dry out, and it can stay lovely and thick.

As a result, you get a deep lawn that looks amazing, is great to walk on, and will save the need for watering too!

Mulch ado about nothing

Mulch, or mulches, are loose pieces of material that you can place on top of cultivated soil. There are lots of mulch varieties available, but they all serve the same purpose. Firstly, they help add superior aesthetic value to your garden. A little bit of mulch can go a long way, and it helps tidy up your garden beds.

However, their primary purpose is to maintain your plant health and prevent things from dying. Again, mulch protects your garden against the extreme summer heat here in Australia. It lays on top of the soil, stopping the sun from reaching it and drying it out.

What’s more, it reduces the amount of water you use in your garden. Instead of watering the entire garden with a hose, you only need to water the plants themselves. This can be done with a watering can so you save loads of water during the drought season.

Feng shui – positioning is key!

Always be cautious when positioning gardens directly against your home. If garden beds are built against brick walls, they can cover up the weep holes. These are small holes built into the brickwork, which allow water to escape from inside. When your garden beds are built close to them, you can cover up these holes and stop them from doing their job.

Not only that, but you can also attract pests to these holes. Grubs and other creatures can find their way up into the weep holes via the soil. So, you end up with a pest problem, which can result in slugs crawling around on your carpets. We’ve also seen that gardens next to weep holes can attract water to the home during bouts of rain as well.

So, all in all, we recommend that you position your gardens, so they’re not built right up close to your home. If you have no choice - because your space is limited - then ensure the weep holes aren’t covered. They must be exposed, or else they won’t work correctly, leading to possible water damage in the home.

Planning, planning, planning

When you’re creating a garden, lots of planning goes into selecting what plants and trees you want to have. In an ideal world, we’d pick whichever ones we like the look of the most!

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. Some plants won’t survive in our climate. We live in an area of the country that’s cooler than most. It still gets hot in summer, but the temperatures aren’t as high as they are elsewhere. Keep that in mind, as you must select plants and trees that are specific to your climate. Some nursery’s sell plants that don’t suit the environment, so do your own research to check what thrives in this area.

Additionally, make sure you plan with the finished growth sizes in mind. Trees look small in their infancy, but they can grow to some serious sizes. The last thing you want is a massive 6-metre tree planted right next to your front door! So, when you choose your plants & tree, pay attention to their maximum height. We’d also suggest thinking about the placement. This is particularly important with trees as they can cast shadows on your garden. Is it a smart idea to plant trees that leave half the yard in a constant shadow? Probably not!

Fertiliser (fancy word for poop)

Finally, you need to use fertiliser in your garden. This will help your plants grow stronger, which gives them an extra boost through the harsh summer. Think of fertiliser like salt when you’re cooking - it’s not technically essentially, but it will definitely improve the final product.

We recommend putting some Seasol in your watering can when watering your plants. Seasol is basically liquid seaweed, and it’s shown to really help with plant growth. When your precious plants aren’t getting much water, they need all the help they can get.

As a bonus, putting this in your watering can will mean you can restrict your watering sessions. So, this helps you save even more water during the rough summer months.

These landscaping tips will help you improve your garden and keep it perfectly maintained. There’s a lot to think about, but the main focus is ensuring that everything looks healthy and survives through the adverse weather conditions. Alongside this, you need to be smart with your water-use, and some of these tips will help you cut down on how much you use around the garden.

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