Real World Gardener Garden Paths in Gravel in Design Elements

June 20th, 2019

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Garden Paths Series Part 1: Gravel Paths

Garden paths serve an obvious function but they can also be aesthetically pleasing.

This next series in Design Elements, is all about garden paths that work and that you can do yourself.

Over the next 4 weeks, landscape designer, Jason Cornish, and I, will delve into 4 different types of paths and things you need to now before you put them in.

Let’s find out the first one is:Gravel

I'm talking with Landscape Designer, and, Director of Urban Meadows Jason Cornish.

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Gravel Path: Hear The Crunch When You Walk

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gravel%2Bpath.jpg

There’s a few things to think about when putting in the cheapest path option. The stone's colour can be used to tie into the scheme of the garden.

Limitations are when walking with a wheelbarrow or wheelie bin whose wheels can sink into the gravel making it hard going.

On the other hand, if it's too thin a layer of gravel, weeds can take over making it a chore to maintain.

Weedmat underneath the gravel is good for a time, but as the leaf litter builds up on the surface of the gravel, weeds will still find a foothold.

Then again, it might suit your location or garden, or maybe just the thing before you decide on one of the more expensive options. 

If you have any questions either for me or for Jason, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Sharpen Your Garden Secateurs in Tool Time

June 16th, 2019

TOOL TIME

Sharpen Those Secateurs

What’s the state of your gardening secateurs?

Do they open easily, are the blades sharp? You know they’re sharp if they make a clean cut through a plant’s stem without leaving a little tear behind.

Almost as if you only cut through part of the stem and then pulled off the remaining part.

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Secateurs and garden snips photo M Cannon

If they’re not sharp, those cuts that you make on your plants will end up with bruising and tearing on the stems leading to dieback and fungal disease problems.

Let’s find out some tips about sharpening those precious garden tools.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

Bypass-secateurs-in-need-of-a-good-clean

 

 

  • Clean your tools at the end of the day, even if it's just a wipe over with a rag or cloth.
  • What you should be doing is give them a wash with warm water and two teaspoons of dish soap to scrub away sap and dirt from the  blades with a stiff brush
  • This is to prevent that gunk build up on the blades which can harbour disease.
  • Rub some vegetable oil onto the blades before putting them away to prevent the blades from rusting.

 

To quote a long time gardening presenter on Gippsland FM Community radio, 

"The jobs not done until the tools are put away."

 

 

 

Real World Gardener Toolbox for the Advanced Gardener in Tool Time

April 15th, 2019

TOOL TIME

Tools for the Advanced and Mature Gardener

Over the years, gardeners accumulate quite a number of tools that they regard as essential and wouldn’t be without.

Last week we talked about what you might need if you were a beginner or slightly more advanced gardener.

Cutabove_Tools_A07.jpg

Cut Above Tools

So now we’re going for tools with more oomph and powered by more than your muscle power.

The reason is that it’s the experienced and the mature gardener that’s getting a look in.

Let’s find out what the experts recommend.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

 

What do you think, do you agree with Tony’s advanced gardener’s tool kit or would you have chosen something else?

Gear%2BActoin%2BLoppers.JPG

 

If you haven’t already, it’s probably time to buy a pair of ratchet secateurs (sek-a terrs) to add to your toolbox. Ratchet secateurs are great for pruning shrubs.

Mature gardeners might want gear action loppers

If you have any questions either for me or Tony, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Beginner Garden Toolbox part 1 in Tool time

April 15th, 2019

TOOL TIME

Garden Toolboxes for the Beginner and Semi-Advanced Gardener

Over the years, gardeners accumulate quite a number of tools that they regard as essential and wouldn’t be without.

Garden%2Bbarrow%2Band%2Bshovel.jpeg

 

I’m not talking about anything that is powered, wither by petrol or electricity, but hand tools.

Quite often we even have several of the same too.

If you knew someone who was just starting out in gardening, what would you recommend they have as an essential part of their gardening tool kit?

Limit it to three and see how you go.

Let’s find out what the experts recommend.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

PLAY: Toolbox part 1-11th July 2018

 

What do you think, do you agree with Tony’s essential beginner’s tool kit or would you have chosen something else?

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For the most part, I’m sure listeners would have said a pair of secateurs would be the bare minimum, but one pair of secateurs doesn’t make a kit, you need two more things.

What are yours? If you have any questions either for me or Tony, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com

 

Real World Gardener 3 Types of Secateurs You Need In Tool Time

November 26th, 2018

TOOL TIME

Secateurs times three

Are you a one type of secateurs gardener?

Did you know that you could be doing yourself a disservice by only having one pair of secateurs?

Especially if you’re a keen gardener who’s out there most days doing something in the garden even if it’s only thirty minutes.

Let’s find out what other types you could use?

I'm talking with Tony Mattson from www.cutabovetools.com.au

 Anvil vs By-pass vs snips are the three main types of secateurs.

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Anvil secateurs: Cut above tools

  • The anvil type of secateurs can best be described as having an upper blade that cuts down onto a lower flat area. Much like a knife onto a cutting board. 
  • The upper blade can be sharp on one or both sides. 
  • Did you know that the majority of ratchet secateurs are anvil based because they need to be able to cut up to 28 - 30 mm thick branches.
  • These are best for thicker, harder stems such as chopping up branches to go into the compost bin. Good for either either a right hand or a left hander. 
  • For bypass secateurs the blade is going past the anvil at the bottom. More suitable for softer plant tissue and using on live wood or plant tissue. 

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    By-pass secateurs: Cut above tools

  • Note: only sharpen the outside edge of the cutting blade.
  • Good for sharp, precise cuts.

Snips are good for florists and those gardeners that like to propagate plants, as well as for cutting flowers. 

 

If you have any questions, either for me or for Tony why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Expert Hedging in Tool Time

October 18th, 2018

TOOL TIME

Expert Hedging

Chances are you have a hedge in your garden, maybe to hide the back fence or just for show.

Hedges come in sizes and shapes and even vary in the colour of their leaves.

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Chosen carefully hedges don’t need that much maintenance in the form of pruning or clipping or even disease control.

Perhaps you’ve let it go over the years, and now it’s that bit too high to manage easily making you dread having to tackle it.

Let’s find out how to get the hedge back into shape.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

Today’s episode was all about bringing that 3-4 metre high hedge back to a more manageable height, starting with the top first and only lightly pruning the front.

Tony's expert hedger, Simon was tackling a lilly pilly, Acmena smithii minor "Goodbye Neighbour," and Murraya.

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Plumbago and Muehlenbeckia hedge

Recommendation:Simon's recommendation was to hard prune hedges only in March-April, and August-September.

Each time you

You will need to use long handled (1.2m shears) as well as normal sized hedge shears.

Also, a pair of secateurs to cuts some of the thicker stems that are too hard for the hedge shears.

BIG TIPcut or trim the hedge back, do it in stages, that is , a bit deeper each prune, otherwise you risk losing the hedge or getting a lot of dieback. 

You might start off with cutting the top back 1/2 metre in the first stage, wait a month, then come back and cut a bit deeper .

At this point, only lightly prune the front of the hedge 5-8 cm leaving lots of new growth.

 

If you have any questions about hedge pruning either for me or for Tony why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Which Tools For The Mature Gardener?

August 31st, 2018

TOOL TIME

Tools for the Advanced and Mature Gardener

 

Over the years, gardeners accumulate quite a number of tools that they regard as essential and wouldn’t be without.

Last week we talked about what you might need if you were a beginner or slightly more advanced gardener.

Cutabove_Tools_A07.jpg

Cut Above Tools

So now we’re going for tools with more oomph and powered by more than your muscle power.

The reason is that it’s the experienced and the mature gardener that’s getting a look in.

Let’s find out what the experts recommend.

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

PLAY: Toolbox part 2-18th July 2018

What do you think, do you agree with Tony’s advanced gardener’s tool kit or would you have chosen something else? 

Gear%2BActoin%2BLoppers.JPG

 

If you haven’t already, it’s probably time to buy a pair of ratchet secateurs (sek-a terrs) to add to your toolbox. Ratchet secateurs are great for pruning shrubs.

Mature gardeners might want gear action loppers

If you have any questions either for me or Tony, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener High Reach Cleaning in Tool Time 2017

November 17th, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Cleaning Made Easy

Do you Spring clean or have you put that task off for a little while?

You might think cleaning is a bit of a stretch for a gardening show, but the house is in the garden and it needs to be clean too.

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Not to mention garden furniture and ornaments that could probably do with a clean.

You might be temped to get up on a chair or a ladder, but why become another statistic of falls in the home or garden?

Let's face it our reflexes may not be as good as they used to be?

Getting up on ladders to prune is bad enough but for cleaning it’s even worse, because you tend to wave your arms about a bit more vigorously

Let’s find out how to do it safely.…. 

I'm talking withTony Mattson from www.cutabovetools.com.au

 

The safest way to clean up high is to use a lightweight extension pole with your feet planted firmly on the ground. 

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Look for lightweight aluminium extension poles that extend from 2-6m, costing around $100.

This should reach the eaves on a two-storey house if the house is on level ground.

Taller than that you need a carbon fibre pole which is around $AUS400

Something to remember

If you are using a ladder you should always have 3 points of contact at any one time. 

Shoulders should be near the top of an extension ladder, but no higher.

If you’re carrying something then you’re in trouble.

 

If you have any questions about high reach cleaning either for me or Tony, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

Real World Gardener Which Floristry Tools in Tool Time

October 27th, 2017

TOOL TIME

Floristry Tools for the Home Gardener.

Do you love cutting flowers from your garden to bring inside?

Sure, why not especially if you have a flower garden.

 

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But wait, are secateurs what we’re supposed to use to cut these flowers or is there something better?

Let’s find out all about which tools you could be using for your cut flowers….

I'm talking with Tony Mattson, general manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au

PLAY : Floristry tools_18th October_2017

 

When it comes to florist cutting tools, there are a number of different tools for different jobs. 

Scissors are good for occasionally cutting flowers, but if you've got a few then you'll be better off with Snips.

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Silver series 90mm snips from Cut Above Tools

Snips are good because you're only using your hand to close the snips onto the flower stem.

The spring in the snips returns them to the open position so you're not straining your hand as much.

Usually the blades of good quality snips are stronger than scissors too so your'e less likely to put them out of alignment if the stem is a little bit tougher than you expected.

Don't forget the role of secateurs in cutting those harder stems of Proteas, Waratahs, Camellias and Viburnums.

Using the right tool for the job is crucial to getting high quality arrangements.

The quality of these tools determines how much of the stem is left on your flower, how many thorns are left on a rose, and how neat your final packaging is cut.

If you have any questions about floristry tools, then why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

Real World Gardener High Reach Pruning part 2 in Tool Time 2017

September 21st, 2017

TOOL TIME

High Reach Pruning part 2

Now’s a good time of the year to do a bit of pruning, wherever you live in Australia.

Last week we talked to Tony Mattson, general Manager of Cut Above Tools on how to prune up high.

There was so much to say that we created a part two of high reach pruning.

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Kifsgate, England photo M Cannon

So how do we prune this safely, and if possible, without getting up on a ladder?

Let’s find out….

I'm talking with Tony Mattson General Manager of www.cutabovetools.com.au 

 

Heavy-Duty-Gear-Action-Pruner-GF-5602V.j

Heavy Duty Gear Action Pruner can be attached to a 5m or 6m pole

 

 

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Tony says using a straight ladder isn't too bad in that you can wedge the top two rungs into tree branches.

A better solution is to use platform ladders because it gives you space to walk along the platform and trim say a hedge before needing it to be moved.
Pol pruners are good for stems up to 35-40 mm in diameter.

For bigger stems thant 40 mm in diameter, you should be using a pruner with mechnical assistance.

Ratchet pruners and pole pruners with gears are the way to go.

 

Here are some things that you don't want when you’re selecting high reach pruning tools or pole pruners.

 

•Blades on pruners that separate when you try to cut a tough branch.

•Poles that bend too much.

•Telescopic poles that start to twist around each other as the friction lock wears out.

•Also, ropes on the outside of the pole are more likely to get tangled in small branches than chains.

Chains inside the pole are better; they will never get tangled up.I

If you have any questions about high reach pruning why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

 

VEGETABLE HEROES

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