SUMMER TIME – Landscaping on the northern beaches and north shores.

Posted on June 26, 2013

Summer is a busy time for gardeners and landscapers on the northern beaches and north shores, it’s a time to prune, clean, plan and plant. It can be a lot of hard work, so you may want to tackle first the tasks that will give you the most benefits in your garden and your yard. Below are some tips  for northern beaches and north shore residents to follow for gardening / landscaping in the summer time that will ensure a beautiful and bountiful garden all summer long.
Once the soil has warmed up, put down new mulch and remember to keep it away from the base of plants.
Complete those odd jobs: damage to the fences, and pathways, check to see what repairs are needed in your yard. Tackle repairs right away in order to prolong the life of the damaged item and to prevent future injuries caused by tripping or falling onto the damaged item.


  • Prune Trees and Shrubs. Wait to do any pruning or trimming until the trees and shrubs in your yard have started growing new leaves. This will allow you to see which branches are dead or damaged. If you need help in removing them, call your local landscaper or if it’s a large tree best to the experts (tree lopping companies) as they will have the proper tools to do the job quickly and without any injuries. As well, trim shrubs each year to keep them to a manageable size.
  • Add Compost To The Soil. If you have a compost pile from last year, spread the composted soil on top of your garden in order to add nutrients to the soil. If you don’t have a compost pile yet, now is a good time to start one. Compost bins and tumblers are easy to use, plus they keep the compost material together while keeping rodents and small animals out.
  • Start Planting. Make sure to place your plants in nutrient rich topsoil, as this will make them grow faster and stronger, Also make sure to keep new plants well watered for the first two weeks while they become established in their new home, and avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers.

Cut the first flowers of lavender to encourage a second crop. Try rubbing your hands with lavender leaves, too, to remove strong odours, such as garlic or onion.
Summer is here, and there’s no better time to start implementing ways to reduce your water consumption (even though landscapers and gardeners on the northern beaches have had to deal with the the wettest summer, i can remember!). By using water smartly and efficiently, you get maximum savings and that means more money in your pocket.


Here are some handy tips: Watering and tending your lawns on the northern beaches and north shore.

  • Consider replacing some unneeded lawn with water efficient plants.
  • Don’t mow your lawns too short
  • Water less frequently to encourage deeper root growth

Taking care of your garden

  • Group plants according to their water needs
  • Don’t over water
  • Same as with your lawn, watering your plants less frequently will encourage deeper root growth.
  • Use mulches to reduce evaporation. Wood chips make the perfect mulch for your garden. You can spread the wood chips over your own garden to retain moisture, protect from temperature variations and combat weeds. They are also perfect for composting.


With all the heavy rain over the past few weeks (and months) we have had on the northern beaches, a serious issue can be, the leaching of nutrients from the soils, with problem being exacerbated, if your garden has sandy and free draining soil, you will need to address this problem ASAP!
If your garden soil is low in organic matter, or is not mulch covered, the heavy rains will take out all the soluble nutrients that the plants need.
“The nutrients may now be below the root area.
Now is the time for replenishing nutrients with organic fertilisers. I specifically mention organic fertilisers as they do not leach as quickly, as liquid or in-organic fertilisers.
The most commonly leached nutrient is nitrogen and when this happens, you will often see the older leaves, or bottom leaves on the plant, will start to go yellow. If this is the case apply a high-nitrogen fertiliser.
If your soil is not well drained, check for trunk/collar rot, as if collar rot is present, it is an open invitation for all sorts of borers, pest and diseases, which could kill even the most resilient of tree or shrub!
MARK LANNING LANDSCAPES: Your northern beaches and north shore, complete landscaping service



Maintenance: For oiled / stained decks on the northern beaches and decks on the north shore
Keeping your timber deck looking its best does require some work; you should inspect your timber deck at least once a year to ensure that you can catch any maintenance issues in the early stages.

Have a look for any signs of the boards becoming discoloured or affected by moisture especially important considering the prolonged wet weather on the northern beaches we have had of lately! Inspect the deck and repair any loose boards and drive down any protruding nails or screws. Decking boards that have minor splits or splinters can be lightly sanded and putty installed if deemed necessary.
Cleaning and re-oiling the deck, is not really a terribly hard or major time consuming job as you may think. Firstly you should sweep off any loose dirt, and then clean the deck with one of the many cleaning solutions, available from most hardware stores (remember to follow the instructions). Make sure to remove not only all the visible dirt, but any algae or moss that may be present; I find it best to use a stiff Bristle broom, make sure make sure when finished, you hose the deck to remove any cleaning residue that may be remaining.

Now its time to re coat your deck with a quality decking oil or stain.
Before starting, cover anything that needs protection from the oil or stain as they can be extremely hard to remove from plants, painted surfaces and pavers, etc. The deck will generally require two coats, so refer to the product manufacturer’s recommendations for advice. If the deck has turned grey from natural weathering, there are alternative ranges of products available which can bring back the timber’s original colour. Remember to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions always.
Good luck.

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