Gardening / Getting the yard spick ‘n’ span

Store garden tools where you can find them.

AS we head towards warmer weather and the prospect of spending more time outdoors, now’s the right time for spring cleaning in the garden.

Cedric Bryant.

I’ve just taken a large boot load of unwanted garden products to the Green Shed. This included excess pots, a fork and spade needing new handles and one surplus garden sprayer, all taking up room in the shed. Mower maintenance is time well spent. I suggest completely flushing out the fuel tank and the oil tank, if it’s a four stroke. Maybe a new spark plug is in order and, finally, give it a good clean.

Then there are the hand tools; rakes, spades and forks. If they have wooden handles, it’s a good idea to sand them and apply a liberal coat of linseed oil.

Try walking the whole garden while looking for broken or lifting pavers, possibly caused by tree roots.

And what about that neglected garden furniture; time to give it a new coat of paint? Or better still, replace it, especially if it’s timber furniture that’s been in the open. We’ve had a WA Jarrah seat for years. I was told Jarrah never rots; so what happened when a family member recently sat on it? Crash, it collapsed! It took a full weekend to replace timber and give it two coats of paint. Don’t you just love the colour?

NATURALLY, part of any garden clean-up is dealing with weeds and moss on paths, a real slip hazard.

Roundup, the trade name for glyphosate, developed by Monsanto, has been making headlines recently. The company has been ordered to pay compensation of several hundred million dollars to a man in the US who was found to have been affected by using this chemical.

Quoting from The Diggers Club, which only recommends certified organic products: “The World Health Organization recently reported that glyphosate and in particular the Monsanto-formulated Roundup, also sold as Zero, was probably carcinogenic to humans in addition to causing cancer in animals. This is Australia’s most used weed killer by gardeners, farmers and councils.

“Recent research connects glyphosate to cancer and malformation of embryos in chickens and frogs. Also possible destruction of beneficial gut bacteria, which may cause the rise in autism, kidney and liver diseases. It has been banned in The Netherlands, Mexico, Russia and Sri Lanka and removed from garden centres in Germany, France and Brazil”.

Don’t you just love the colour of the rebuilt seat?

I understand some councils in Australia have stopped the use of glyphosate and are using alternative methods of weed control including steam and gas guns.

Slasher is a safer alternative for the home gardener. Produced by Eco Crop Protectants, Slasher is a registered organic herbicide that rapidly kills weeds, moss, algae and lichens. Use it on gardens, paths and driveways.

It is a non-selective weedkiller, so care should be taken near favourite or valuable plants.

The active ingredient is made from non-GM plant oils, has no lasting spray residuals, is 100 per cent biodegradable within a few days and is totally glyphosate free. It is registered as organic for use in organic farms and gardens, and available at most garden centres and DIY stores.

 

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Cedric Bryant
Trained horticulturist and garden designer with over 30 years experience in the industry.

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