Whether added to seed-starting mixes, container plants, garden beds, or lawns we all know that compost is great for the garden. Here are some compost ideas that will make your garden thrive:
Grass Cuttings – If you don’t want to leave these on the lawn where they ultimately disappear and feed the grass then mix them into a leaf mould heap or use them as a soil mulch.
Autumn Leaves – You can simply add these to your compost heap or make a leaf mould. To make a leaf mould you can either stuff wet leaves into a loosely tied plastic sack or an open wire mesh container and leave for a year or two. It will then be ready to use as an excellent soil amendment.
Perennial Weeds – These can be mixed with Grass Cuttings and left in a plastic sack for a couple of months until the weeds have disintegrated. Weeds are rich in plant foods so once they have dissolved into your grass cuttings you can add them to your compost heap.
Hedge Clippings/Prunings – These can be chopped or shredded and mixed with and added to compost heaps or composted separately. If you compost them separately then over time it will turn into excellent coarse mulch for your perennial beds.
Paper – Newspaper, cardboard, paper towels and other paper items which may have become stained with food scraps and are not suitable for recycling can actually be composted. This is an environmentally-friendly approach to composting.
Animal Manure – Horse, cattle and poultry manure mixed with wood shavings is good for composting. Animal droppings from small pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs also make good composting materials.
Composting takes patience and adequate garden space to do well but if you are diligent about creating compost and follow some of the above tips then your garden will thrive for years to come.
Anybody can call themselves a tree surgeon and if you pick up your local newspaper you will more than likely see an advert for somebody offering to top and lop your trees – which is always a bad sign!
When choosing a tree surgeon it’s always worth doing a bit of homework first to make sure they are experienced and qualified to do the job. Here are some things to look out for:
What kind of qualifications do they have? It is imperative that they have NPTC certificates for chainsaw use and any bona fide tree surgeon should be able to prove this to you.
What insurance do they have? The recommended insurance is £5 million Employers and Public Liability cover so make sure that they are covered to do your job.
Do they work to a recognised standard? They should be working to British Standard 3998:2010. This is important if they are working on a protected tree and failure to comply with this standard could result in the prosecution of the tree surgeon or tree owner.
A good tree surgeon should always remove the debris after a job so make sure that they do this.
A good tree surgeon will know if you require planning permission for the tree work so if you are unsure, then ask.
We would always advise you to get a written quotation for the job and if they are unwilling to do this then it’s a tell-tale sign that they are not proper tree surgeons.
At Gardenbusters we have a team of highly trained and experienced tree surgeons who can help you with all aspects of tree work. For help and assistance please call us now.
Overgrown lawns, persistent weeds and out of control shrubs are issues faced by many garden owners. However, there are certain garden maintenance jobs that if you tackle little and often will keep things under control and save you from bigger gardening tasks in the future. Here are a few examples:
Weeding – the bane of a gardener’s life during summer it’s always best to tackle weeds head on before they start getting out of control. This means promptly pulling them out or spraying thoroughly with a weed killer as soon as they appear and before they set seed. Bare patches of soil are the areas that are most prone to weeds so if you can do some planting and lay down some seedlings then weeds will become less of a problem.
Pruning – regular pruning of your plants will stop them from getting out of control and save a big job later on. By trimming off the tips of new growth you won’t be left with huge amounts of foliage to get rid of. The trimmings can even be left on the ground to turn into mulch.
Mulching – mulching after planting is always a good idea. It will help to stop weed growth and will prevent the soil from drying out. The great thing about mulch is that it insulates the ground in winter and keeps the soil cool in summer so it’s win win.
Mowing – once again, little and often is best when it comes to mowing. During spring and summer you should aim to only remove the blade tips of your grass and this will keep your lawn healthy and dense. You can even leave the cuttings if you want to because they will add organic matter to your lawn.
And there you have it. If you can get into the routine of doing the above then your gardening life will become much easier.
For more information about gardening or if you would like some help with the ongoing maintenance of your garden then please give Gardenbusters a call now. We’d be happy to help.
If you are in the process of clearing your garden and starting to panic about all the rubbish and garden waste that is being created and what to do with it then please read on. Here is a quick guide to clearing your garden effectively and efficiently, saving on time and costs:
Separate your greens – in the process of clearing your garden you’re likely to have a mix of green waste and other waste. Your green waste includes weeds, grass and leaves all of which are recyclable. Your other waste might be soil, bricks, old and broken garden furniture, plant pots, and plastic bags. It makes sense to separate your green waste because apart from making life easier for the people you have hired to collect the waste, it also makes it cheaper. Green waste costs less to dispose of so if you can create 2 distinct piles and inform the waste removal company you’ve hired then you’ll save some money.
Reduce bulk – once again, to save on costs it makes sense to reduce the amount of bulk in your waste as much as possible. This means bagging up leaves and grass cuttings and cutting bigger branches down into smaller, more manageable sizes. This will reduce the cost of waste removal because bulk and volume plays a part in the pricing.
Make life easy – the easier you can make things for the garden waste removal company the better. Charges will be based on volume and time to clear so bag up the waste as much as possible and try to pile them up as near to where their van is going to be as possible so that they can load the waste quickly.
Have you considered composting?
Rather than getting rid of your green garden waste then create a compost heap. You will need the space to do this and some know-how about how to go about it but if you can do this then you’ll save money and give yourself excellent planting compost for the future so it’s definitely worth considering.
There are always plenty of maintenance jobs to do in the garden and winter is no exception to that. Let’s take a quick look at some of the jobs you can be doing over the next couple of months:
1. General repairs to fences, sheds and garden buildings 2. Cleaning foot paths of algae and moss 3. Pruning fruit trees, shrubs, roses 4. Spraying fruit trees and roses to get rid of black spot spores 5. Protect any plants or pots which might be vulnerable to frost 6. Get rid of damaged/diseased foliage around shrubs and trees 7. Mulch around your fruit trees and shrubs 8. Repair and sharpen garden tools 9. Look after the birds in your garden by providing fresh water, birds seeds, fat balls etc 10.Insulate outdoor taps
In the winter it can seem that all growth in your garden has stopped. However, there’s still a lot going on under the soil such as trees and shrubs, perennials, and bulbs growing roots and drawing on the soil nutrients and moisture around them. Worms and other insects in the soil will also be processing the organic material in the ground and providing necessary aeration.
What can put a big halt to this is a substantial frost or heavy snow. To protect against this you should spread new mulch to protect both your plants and soil from extreme temperatures. By keeping your soil and plants at an even temperature during the winter months you are giving them the best chance to yield and thrive during spring and summer.
There are plenty of jobs around the garden you can be doing during winter and we’ve barely scratched the surface with the above. Garden maintenance is something that requires time, commitment and patience so if you could do with a helping hand or need some friendly advice on how best to maintain your garden during the harsh winter months then please give us a call on 08000 35 1133.
If a large tree is causing a problem in your garden or if you have a tree that is already dead and needs removing then there are quite a few things to consider before starting the project. The size of the tree and the accessibility to the tree is clearly going to be a major consideration. If the tree is close to electricity cables or water pipes then great care has to be taken. In situations like this the removal process may have to take place in various stages to ensure safety and that no damage is caused.
There are also important considerations if the tree overhangs a road or public highway. In situations like this then the tree surgeon may have to implement traffic control measures or even road closures to facilitate the work. In order to do this then consent needs to be gained from the local authority and the additional costs met by the tree owner.
In addition to the removal of the tree there is also the issue of stump removal. Stump removal is a separate process and requires different equipment. Using stump grinding machines is a good way of removing the stump. Stump grinding machines have cutter wheels which are specifically made to grind a stump into tiny pieces and typically, a stump grinder can grind a stump 6 inches below the ground, removing all visible trace that the stump was ever there.
Only deal with reputable tree removal companies
Any reputable tree surgery company should offer a removal service ensuring that any chopped wood is taken off your premises and disposed of appropriately. We advise you to always be wary of rogue traders who offer incredibly cheap tree removal services. These traders are unlikely to have the public liability insurance or the training needed to carry out the job safely and effectively.
We would also advise that homeowners should not tackle tree removal themselves or hire a handyman. The work can be very dangerous and you need to make sure that there are appropriate indemnity insurances in place.
At Gardenbusters we have many years experience in tree removal and possess all the relevant insurances to carry out the work professionally and to a high standard. Contact us now for more information.
Rather than bagging up all those autumn leaves here are a few practical tips about how you can make use of those fallen leaves and benefit your garden at the same time:
Use them for compost – leaves are great for adding to your compost material. They provide a rich high-carbon material which adds to the quality. Ideally chopped or shredded, you can add your leaves to grass clippings, fruit and veg scraps, plant debris etc and with the occasional turning of the pile it will turn into useful compost for future planting.
Mow over them – this couldn’t be simpler. Set the wheels on your mower to their highest setting and mow over the leaves on your lawn. This will break them down and provide your soil with good nutrients. Doing this once a week will mean less lawn feeds later and it will actually improve the look of your lawn in the long run.
Turn them into leaf mould – if you use some of your leaves with layers of garden soil and compost and leave it for 12 months it will turn into leaf mould which is a fantastic soil amendment which is perfect for vegetable and flower gardens as wells as potting plants.
Make some mulch – if you can shred your leaves then you can use them as mulch for vegetable gardens, flower beds, around trees and shrubs and for container gardens. The mulch will help the soil retain moisture and keep it cool. This helps to keep weed growth down and adds important nutrients to the soil.
So there you have it. Put down that rake, maybe invest in a leaf shredder, and put your leaves to practical use. It makes a lot more sense than bagging them up and leaving them to the refuse collectors!
For more gardening tips and assistance with your gardening tasks please get in touch. We would be happy to help.
You’d be surprised how much gardening work there is to do during winter. Just because the grass has stopped growing doesn’t mean you can put your feet up. Far from it, there’s a big list of things you can be getting on with. For example:
General garden clearance – removing leaves, branches, twigs, debris etc from your paths, beds and lawn. Making sure that your planting beds are not covered by any wet and sodden debris which may be affecting underlying plants. Getting rid of unwanted shrubs and clearing space in the garden for spring.
Tool maintenance – sharpen the blades on your cutting tools, service the lawnmower, clean and oil your garden tools.
Lawn – new turf for your lawn can be laid from January/February onwards and check your lawn for any drainage problems. Lawns can be scarified, aerated and fed with an organic spring feed in late winter/early spring. Reshape and repair lawn edges for the start of spring
Pruning – this is a great time for pruning roses, deciduous hedges, shrubs and fruit trees.
Planting – plant out winter bedding. Hedges and roses can be planted during winter. Trees such as beech, ash and walnut can also be planted. You can also sow peas and broad beans in pots as long as you keep them under cover.
Greenhouses – if you own a greenhouse, check that it is sufficiently heated and insulated to cope with the winter months.
Vegetables – If you grow vegetables winter is a good time to harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and remaining root crops.
These are just some of the tasks that will keep you busy during the winter months and there are many more.
If you need any assistance with garden maintenance during winter so that your garden can look its best for the start of spring then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Summer is almost over and attention now turns to preparing for autumn and winter. Now is the perfect time to give your trees some much needed TLC to prepare them for the months ahead.
There is a misconception during autumn that trees are going through a dormant and shutting down phase. In fact the opposite is true. During autumn trees are getting ready to grow and are starting to gather the food reserves they need to keep them thriving. Much of this activity takes place below ground so you can’t physically see it.
In order to help trees thrive during the autumn and winter so that they can bloom in spring there are some practical measures you can take to help them. These include:
Laying mulch – spread a layer of organic wood chip mulch around the base of the tree. Around 4 to 6 inches should suffice. This will help to protect the soil around the tree and keep the nutrients that the trees need to thrive.
Prune – remove any dead wood, damaged twigs and branches to promote new growth.
Water – if there is little rainfall in autumn then watering your trees will help them grow, especially if they have been recently planted or newly established,
Fertilise – only do this if the soil in your garden is devoid of nutrients. If you know this to be the case then your trees will benefit from occasional fertilising.
Planting – Autumn is an excellent time for planting new trees. Growing conditions are perfect and excellent root growth can be achieved by planting trees in the autumn months.
Recycle leaves – fallen leaves can be mulched and added to compost, providing nutrients for the soil. This is a much better option than leaving them for the garden waste refuse collection.
If you are unsure how to prune your trees and need advice on how to take care of them so that they can thrive for the future then give Garden Busters a call. We have many years experience in tree care and garden maintenance and would be happy to help.
Ivy can look fantastic climbing up the side of a house
I just wanted to thank you for the excellent work that Jason Buck did today, cutting back shrubs and clearing piles of leaves. It was a huge job and he must have worked incredibly hard. I’m delighted with the result and look forward to contacting you again soon!
I am very pleased with the job that has been carried out by Gardenbusters.The site was left very tidy and the team even turned up in the rain to carry out the work.I will be using Gardenbusters again!Thanks
We had three young men come and cut our hedges and tidy up the gardens on Tuesday. We would like you to pass on our thanks, as they did a fantastic job!
Thank you so much for funding the very smart new gates at Woodbourne.They really do improve the appearance and safety of the club.We are so very grateful for all of the help you have given us.Sue BarnardSecretary, Management Committee
Thank youWoodbourne Sports and Social Club
‘I am very pleased with the work carried out last week by Gardenbusters. The workers were all so polite, kind and helpful and they did an excellent job. I cannot thank you enough!’
Mrs Gardiner, Stratford-Upon-Avon Sept 2014
The Garden Maintenance Provided by Gardenbusters is Top Notch! The best part about the services of Gardenbusters for me, is the level of knowledge they possess and the professionalism with which they carry out the work. It is not something you see every day. The people who come for the garden maintenance know their job. Everything is taken care of and they even educate us for future care. We have always used the services of Gardenbusters for our properties in Birmingham, Coventry & Solihull. We …
Top Notch Service! Peter Scott
We are always impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail…I have no hesitation in recommending the Busters Group to anyone.
Pestbusters provides a wide range of pest control services including vermin control, rat control, insect control, bird control and rodent control.
Total Property Clearance specialise in the clearance of domestic and commercial properties, removing waste and unwanted items from properties across Birmingham and the West Midlands.