|Posted on October 18, 2017 at 10:50 PM||comments (436)|
The soil can become compacted and this can be due to an increase in shade typically during the colder months, then there is constant wear in high-traffic areas or a lack of water and nutrients. These are the two biggest reasons for needing to replace your lawn. It is generally cheaper to replace your lawn than to consider other options like paving an outdoor area or maintaining decking. Choosing the right type of lawn is essential if you want to get the best return on your investment when it comes to lawn care. Even the most cared for lawns at some stage become patchy and in need of TLC so don't dispare!
Three things to consider before replacing your lawn:
1. Choose the right type of lawn for your location and the position.
2. Consider the soil, is it in need of fertiliser and have you checked the pH.
3. Do the ground work first, check the drainage and consider the high traffic zones that may require and alternative solution.
Preppartion is the key. Ensure that you get these three tips right before laying a new lawn and remember that he older the lawn gets, the more problematic any issues will be so make sure you consider the tips above and come up with the best solution to prevent issues like high traffic wear, soil compaction and poor drainage.
With good preparation you can extend the lifespan of your lawn and improve the quality. Lawn Solutions Australia recommends calling in an expert to make the right choice for the type of lawn for your property. "Getting the lawn type right is probably one of the main considerations and can amount to only a few percent difference price-wise in the overall scheme of things." - Lawn Care Australia.
|Posted on October 12, 2017 at 8:05 PM||comments (196)|
We've come up with several options just for you!
Carl is available to deliver your groceries. You can now choose from Harris Farm, Aussie Farmers Direct, Harvest Hub, Coles and Woolworths.
#Simply order online and select the delivery option for Monday, Tuesday or Saturday afternoon from 3 pm. Note in the delivery instructions that the driver needs to call Carl on approach to Church Point 0447 507 915 (Delivery address is Thomas Stevens Reserve, Church Point Ferry Wharf).
#Then phone or text Carl and let him know that you've placed an order. Carl will pick it up from Church Point and deliver it to your kitchen door for a flat rate fee of $10- for delivery between Church Point and your offshore home.
Shop online now...
Aussie Farmers Direct www.aussiefarmers.com.au
Harris Farm www.harrisfarm.com.au
Harvest Hub www.harvesthub.com.au ($15 joining fee)
|Posted on October 4, 2017 at 6:45 PM||comments (12)|
Looking for an adventure these school holidays?
Why not take the family on a country drive and explore Sydney's local growers markets and farms where you can pick your own produce. Harvest Trails and Markets exists to keep farmers in the Sydney basin farming. As a not-for-profit community incorporated organisation, HTM helps connect producers directly with consumers to give growers an alternative distribution channel to the central market. Harvest Trails and Markets began as Hawkesbury Harvest in 2000 by a small group of passionate people from a diverse range of backgrounds. As different as they were, they were united by a love of the Hawkesbury region and its agricultural heritage. Hawkesbury Harvest was a way to promote healthy diets, to spread the word about the abundance of locally produced food, the seasonal beauty of the area and the importance of keeping agriculture – particularly food production – in the Sydney Basin. Visit: http://www.harvesttrailsandmarkets.com.au to find out more and plan your country adventure.
Bring the country to the city and plant a vegie garden today.
It's super easy to grow your own herbs, lettuce, beans, spinach and fruits like passionfruit, lemon, lime, oranges and tomatoes. You don't need a big backyard, but you will need half a dozen pots or large containers to grow your fresh produce in. Recycling bins are a favourite for many, built tough with drainage holes they do make the perfect growing tub. Plan to plant on mass, one type of produce per container works best. If possums or birds are a pest to your vegetable garden you can buy a mesh cover for $20 from bunnings, whack in a few garden stakes to keep the net from squashing your produce and leave on 24/7 or cover at night. Growing herbs like parsley, mint, thyme, corriander, basil or lemongrass is a great place to start. You can do a mixed tub of herbs or a full tub of lettuce. As long as you water your produce daily and place them in a position where they can get atleast half the day in the sun, you'll soon have your own pesticide free produce to cook with.
|Posted on September 28, 2017 at 6:50 PM||comments (22)|
Join Harvest Hub: buy local and eat great food that doesn't cost the earth! Carl is the local Harvest Hubster for offshore PIttwater residents delivering weekly to the western foreshores of Pittwater.
Contact Carl now on 0447 507 915 or visit harvesthub.com.au and join now. There is a fee on the first order placed with Harvest Hub, but Carl is generously offering the first delivery for free so when you pay $15 to join Harvest Hub, you'll save $10 on the first delivery making the joining fee just $5. Visit the website to view the awesome range of fresh produce from fresh fruit and vegetables to sourdough breads and free range eggs.
"During the growing seasons, over 70% of our fresh produce comes from the Sydney basin. Harvest Hub is a Social Enterprise connecting the grower with the end user, you, by offering freshly picked, seasonal produce & groceries to local Food Hubs across Sydney. Most produce is grown in the Sydney Basin by small non-industrialised growers. There is a range of pesticide-free, organic, some mainstream produce and groceries" - Harvest Hub.
Harvest Hub prides itself on distributing fresh produce through an expanding network of Food Hubs that empower communities to take control of their food supply reducing packaging, food miles, chemical inputs and their reliance on big supermarkets.
|Posted on September 21, 2017 at 5:15 PM||comments (33)|
Rainbow Lorikeets and other honeyeaters feed mainly on nectar from flowers.Their diet is complex, they rely mainly on the necter, but they also supplement their diet with protein from pollen and insects. Never feed honey or sugar mixes to lorikeets as it reduces their intake of nectar, their digestion system cannot cope with processed sugars, seed, or bread. Lorikeets quickly become undernourished and this makes them far more susceptible to disease.
Seed-eating parrots like the Rosellas, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Galahs, require a variety of seeds and plant material in their diet. The feeding of sunflower seeds has resulted in many of these birds becoming dependant on humans. This dependancy causes an imbalance in their diet and behaviour, suffering a nutritional imbalance and becoming increasingly aggressive. Instead of relying on neater as their main food source, supplemented diets often result in poor bone and feather development, and this can become a serious problem reducing their life expectancy and their ability to fly.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos suffer beak and feather disease, particularly in the Sydney area. This highly contagious disease cannot be cured, it causes feather loss and an increase in beak size that impacts their ability to eat, this leads to malnutrition and premature death. Aside from the impact of feeding these birds, they can become a pest very quickly as their dependancy on humans grows. If your not home to feed them they will destroy almost anything you've left on your deck including furniture.
Kookaburras, Magpies, Currawongs and Butcher Birds mostly eat meat, but not beef or mince meat. They digest whole spiders, mice and cockroaches including the fur, bones and organs that are rich in vitamins, minerals and essential dietary fibre needed for healthy growth. Beef does not provide the calcium these birds need in their diet, a lot of these birds that end up in care are suffering a calcium deficiency. Humans are too often the cause of dietary imbalance that upsets the balance of nature. An over-abundance of Kookaburras, Magpies, Currawongs and Butcher Birds causes a reduction in the number of small birds, thats why we rarely see Blue Wrens and Finches in our gardens anymore and this may be directly due to the over population of these larger birds.
"By welcoming king parrots, rosellas or lorikeets to your house for feeding, you are serving up a diet of junk food, and reducing their ability to forage for food, authorities warn." - ABC Illawarra by Just Hunstdale.
Please consider the Native wildlife as an entire eco-system. Before you make a regular habit of supplementing their diet or feeding the birds for your own pleasure. Consider that this can cause a massive disruption to multiple bird species, and sadly it leads to much cruelty and suffering when simply feeding our native birds.
ABC Why you should stop feeding Native birds in your garden
|Posted on September 13, 2017 at 8:55 PM||comments (108)|
It's no secret that gardening gives us great therapeutic benefit. Gardening calms the mind and refreshes the soul, but it's not always easy to keep on top of all the jobs that need to be done. Garden trends have become a hot topic with TV garden makeovers providing much needed inspiration for many people as they struggle to cope with health and financial issues. Having a tranquil backyard where you can take time out is so important to your health and wellbeing, it's simple pleasures like growing your own vegetables that brings so much joy. This year garden trends embrace imperfection and transience by mixing natives with formal and informal plants, but edible produce is the star. The desire to grow your own produce is one of the biggest trends you'll see as we move into 2018. Not only are gardens giving people the perfect place to renew, but so many people are taking advantage of every outdorr space to grow fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables
The Garden Centre Magazine says this year has seen garden trends embrace the spirit of the Japanese term "Wabi-Sabi," which means to embrace imperfection and transience. they also talk about garden design that gives people "Breathing Room" emphasizing the importance of your well-being to disconnect and relax when taking time out to restore your well-being in your garden space. These trends are driven by people creating garden spaces to renew their senses, balance the stress of modern living and embrace connectivity. Gardening is becoming more about creating relaxing spaces that don't require perfect symmetry.
So what are the easiest vegetables to grow? If you don't have a green thumb then head straight to lettuce, celery, cabbage, peas, buk choy, herbs and any type of climbing fruit or vegetable like asian spinach or passion fruit. You can also re-grow some of your store bought vegetables, that's right, don't throw away those offcuts. It's super easy just cut the last 2 inches off celery, cabbage, challots, onions or buk choy, then place in a dish with 1/2 an inch of water, set it inside with filtered light for three days and change the water each day. As soon as you see the tiny roots appear and new leaves sprout then they're ready for planting!
Resources - Garden Centre Magazine: http//www.gardencentermag.com/article/gmg-2018-garden-trends-cultivate/
|Posted on September 4, 2017 at 7:05 PM||comments (175)|
What is greywater? Greywater is reusable water from your shower, laundry, bath and basins. There are many ways to recycle greywater from your laundry, shower and kitchen sink so why not take advantage of this? Recycling greywater back into the environment is easy, you just need a holding tank or keep it really simple and let the water distribute directly into your garden. The plants in your garden can be used to filter the greywater, but there are a few things that you should know so that you can keep it eco-friendly and re-use greywater safely.
Reusing grey water is a low cost and low maintenance way to keep your lawn looking green. There is no need to have a treatment system as such, as long as you only use earth-friendly products that contain plant based surfactants that are water soluble. Look for laundry products, dish washing liquid and cleaning agents that have no or low phosphates. If re-using your bath or shower water, choose plant based products that do not contain synthetic chemicals like parabens that are not 100% water soluble. Parabens are not good for your skin and hair either, dermatologists advise that parabens damage the skin's lipid barrier leaving it suceptable to eczema and skin irritation so do yourself a favour and choose plant based bath and shower products.
Chosing plant-based products is key to re-cycling grey water back inot your eco-garden.
How does it work? To keep it nice and easy, you'll want to re-direct your bathroom and kitchen water using one or more hoses that allows the grey water to be distributed directly into the garden without collecting it a holding tank. By simply watering the garden every time you have a shower, do the laundry, wash the dishes or brush your teeth you can re-cycle your grey water efficiently. This works well by moving the hose around the garden to areas that need the water most or by setting up an area to best filter and recycle greywater relying on plants and natural microorganisms to treat the water to a very high standard. See the links below for more great tips on re-using greywater safely.
Storing grey water, all or just part of your greywater can also be stored in a holding tank or bladder. This is most beneficial as you can keep your garden hydrated during the dryer months, drought and ongoing water restrictions. If you are going to store the water then a holding tank and treatment plan is essential or you'll have a stinky tank of water to deal with that isn't safe for use.
What treatment systems are available? There are many systems to choose from, it's best to contact your local Bunnings or other retail outlet to find a solution that works best for your garden needs and location. A grey water system can be installed to re-use the water from just the bathroom or it can be set up to collect water from the bathroom and the laundry where most of the water is used.
Checkout the following links fro more info on greywater re-cycling:
- Sydney water, Greywater recycling tips: https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/your-home/using-water-wisely/greywater-reuse/index.htm
- Better Health VIC, Recycling water at home: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/greywater-recycling-water-at-home
- Choice - Guide to grewater systems & safe ways to use greywater: https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/water/saving-water/articles/guide-to-greywater-systems
- Sustainable Greywater Recycling Tips: https://www.sustainable.com.au/greywater-treatment
|Posted on August 28, 2017 at 2:10 AM||comments (251)|
No matter where you live having privacy from your neighbours, busy traffic or unsightly views is a top priority. What you need is fast growing plants that filter and block out pesky eyes from peering in on you when you least expect it. We've done some research into the fastest growing and most popular plants for Sydney based residents. Here are our top 5 picks that are fast growing, hardy plants that once established, don't require too much watering.
No.1 Callistemon better known as the "Bottle Brush" are very popular Australian native's. They can grow up to 10 meters high and thrive in most areas, they work really well as a screening hedges and lots of birds love to feed from bottle brushes like the Australian Native Lorrikeet.
No.2 Syzygium Smithii or Lilly Pilly's are a great choice for Australian backyards, they grow up to 5 meters tall very quickly and produce a small pink berry that can be used in jams or other preserves.
No.3 Bamboo is a particularily common fast growing plant that needs very litle care. However, in the wrong hands bamboo can spread very quickly so container planting is recommended. Clumping bamboo is a hardy choice and is much easier to keep under control than the running varieties.
No.4 Jasminoides is a climber that grows vertically over almost any structure, it smells great and the pretty flowers attrack birds and bees alike. Dense varieties of Jasmine can be trained to become a stunning and effective screen provided you train it to grow over a structure.
No.5 Hardenbergia is an evergreen climber suitable for growing all over Australia. It has purple, pink or white flowers, and prefers sunny or semi-shaded positions.
Let us know what you think?
Call Carl on 0447 507 915 for all your garden maintenance. Services include mowing, whipper snipping, gurneying external surfaces, roof & gutter cleaning, tick and insect spraying, leaf blowing, mulching and green waste removal. Servicing Sydney Northern Beaches, Upper North Shore and all properties that are water access only in and around Pittwater.
|Posted on August 20, 2017 at 10:55 PM||comments (3)|
Spring is the best time of year when the sunshine is warm, the breeze is cool and the hum of lawnmowers brings a sense of renewal. Australian homeowners take a great deal of pride in maintaining their gardens, buying seeds, seasonal plants, fertiliser, weed killers, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, whippersnippers, and many other types of equipment in an effort to improve their garden. A healthy summer lawn is achieved with spring maintenance. Winter can alter the soil pH, compacting the soil so firm that water does not pentrate the roots of your lawn. This creates the ideal conditions for growing weeds and fostering disease. The first step is to repair your lawn
Spring Lawn Maintenance
Step 1. Early in the season is the right time to weed, fertilise and mow your lawn in preparation for summer growth. Now is the time to repair your lawn and avoid unwanted weeds taking over. Look for bare soil patches and weeds, remove unwanted plants and prep the bare spots for new summer growth. Preparing your lawn in Spring is the most effective way to achieve a lush green lawn in the summer.
Step 2. There are an array of common problems to look out for, including uneven ground, poor drainage and bare spots. Uneven ground is susceptable to poor drainage, and as a reult your lawn may be at rsik of dehydartion that quickly leads to a poor quality lawn. Target the poor growing areas with a shovel, leveling any areas that are raised or bumpy and flling in those areas with good quality soil and water.
Step 3. Next check for compacted soil. Using a pitch fork to penetrate the lawn you should be able to easily push the fork in approximately 2 inches. If this is not possible, you wil need loosen the soil with an aerator designed to remove small plugs of soil from your lawn. Once you've finished repairing your lawn, you may need to re-seed parts of the lawn that are brown and patchy.
Step 5. Your local Bunnings should stock Manutec Garden Products Soil pH Test Kit $16.70 or ask Carl to test your lawn for you, this will identify any nutrients that your lawn is lacking. Once you've corrected your soil composition it is important to aerate the ground to avoid any problems, and lookout for soil compaction.
Step 6. Once you've repaired your lawn, soil and re-seeded, don't forget to water regularly! To maintain soil moisture it is best to fertilise with a slow-release low-nitrogen product, and mow your lawn when the grass reaches 3 or 4 inches/ upto 10 cm in height. It's a good idea to only trim half an inch approximately 1-centimeter to avoid stress the plant.
Well established grass requires maintenance. Fertilizers and herbicides are successful in improving the quality of your lawn and paying regula attention to any issues that may lead to an unhealthy looking lawn. But, use chemicals with care as incorrect dose can cause terrible damage to your once perfect lawn.
|Posted on August 6, 2017 at 3:35 PM||comments (184)|
When a lawn looses it's colour this is an indication that something is missing in order to maintain optimal health. So what is missing in your lawn care? The discolouration of a lawn is usually a clear indicator that there is a problem, when a lawn goes into shock this can cause a great deal of damage. It is important to look at the potential problems, the lawn appears to be alive, it's growing slowly, but it's lost it's dark green colour and we know the lawn is just not healthy.
Discolouration can be due to several issues:
- Insufficient water
- Lack of nutrients
- Wrong Ph Levels
Is your lawn getting enough water?
The lawn may appear wet, but on closer inspection you may identify a water issue. It's a good idea to take a lawn sample and eliminate potential issues in your lawn care regime. Take a shovel and dig out a sample of lawn to check for water retention. If the soil is dry and the lawn roots are brittle then this is a sure indicator that you have a water issue.
How often should you apply a wetting agent?
Twice a year it is recommended that you apply a wetting agent to allow greater distribution of water throughout the lawn, the soil may appear wet, but it's just not getting enough water to maintain optimal lawn health. Wetting agents retain moisture and allow for greater distribution of water thorughout the lawn, maintaining hydration for a longer period of time.
So how can you avoid lawn discolouration?
Planning ahead is the best way to maintain your lawn care. Mid-Autumn is the ideal time to apply fertiliser before the lawn becomes dormant through winter. In winter most lawns will loose some colour, there is not a lot that can be done during the colder months, but as soon as the warmer weather arrives and provided you've fertilised during mid-Autumn, then your lawn will recover quickly.