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Tree Lopping Vs Pruning

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The terms ‘lopping’ and ‘pruning’ are often used interchangeably by most people to refer to the act of cutting off bits and parts of trees. However, these two words actually have very different meanings when it comes to tree maintenance. It is, therefore, to understand what each term means if you are planning to hire an arborist or landscaper to take care of the trees on your property.

Usually, a professional arborist will explain the services they intend to offer before beginning the work. Nevertheless, making an assumption that this will happen every time often leads to disappointment. You should ensure that you understand what you are asking to be done before you seek professional assistance.

What is Tree Lopping?

professional tree lopper

Lopping refers to the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs, or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. The most often cited reason for lopping trees is to reduce its size.

Property owners sometimes feel that a tree has grown too big for their properties, and may and that poses a safety threat in case it falls. However, lopping is actually an ineffective way of maintaining trees and could prove costly in the long run.

Most professional arborists discourage lopping as a tree maintenance practice due to the following reasons:

  • Trees that have been lopped are actually a serious safety hazard. The epicormic shoots which emerge from the stubs of lopped trees are normally loosely attached. They are therefore prone to breaking off and may cause serious injury to people and damage to property.
  • Lopping often removes between 50 to 100 percent of a tree’s foliage. Since leaves are the food factories of trees, removing such a substantial amount of foliage from a tree can deprive it of nutrition thereby causing starvation.
  • Trees that have had their canopies lopped off are also adversely affected by harsh sunshine because they are exposed. With no foliage to protect its bark from the sun, a lopped tree will likely dry up and die eventually.
  • The act of lopping also makes a tree very vulnerable to diseases and pests. A stressed and unhealthy tree lacks sufficient chemical energy to protect itself from diseases, insects and pests.

Due to these adverse effects of lopping on trees, the practice is illegal in Sydney. This means that if you decide to lop the trees on your property and any damage occurs due to branch failure, you can be charged with negligence in a court of law. It is therefore wise to consult with the professional arbours who can advise you on the best solutions with the local council approval.

Why is Pruning is Preferred over Lopping?

pruning tree branch

Whereas lopping involves the removal of massive branches from trees, pruning usually entails selectively removing small healthy branches from trees so that new branches can grow in their place.

The process of pruning also gets rid of old, withered and broken branches, which also need to be removed. These types of branches are probably only denying the tree essential nutrients which it needs to grow big and healthy.

Pruning is highly recommended as a tree maintenance practice due to the following benefits:

  • It allows the tree to grow healthy and strong. Most pruned branches tend to grow new shoots with more foliage which provide the tree with essential nutrients.
  • The practice of pruning removes excess weight from the tree by removing branches which are old or broken and serve no purpose.
  • It helps control diseases since the affected parts of the tree are pruned off to prevent spreading to other parts.
  • It improves the overall appearance of the tree by eliminating weak branches.
  • Pruning also promotes sun exposure and air circulation which ultimately helps the tree to grow healthy.

Standard procedure and safety practices during pruning are stipulated by law. You, therefore, need to enlist the services of a qualified professional arbour since they understand all the legal processes involved in tree maintenance. You could potentially save yourself a lot of trouble just by having expert advice on tree pruning.

One final thing you need to keep in mind is that waste management is also a vital part of tree maintenance. You will likely end up with lots of leaves and dead branches from pruning the trees on your property.

If you are wondering how to maintain the trees around your property, then look no further than NS Landscapes. We are a team of professionals, with years of experience, working and maintaining on various landscape projects.

For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0412 614 133.

Benefits & Reasons for Retaining Walls

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Retaining walls are excellent in retaining soils in hilly or off-kilter terrain. However, these hardscaping features perform several other important functions and there are many worth-while reasons why you should put up a retaining wall. First and foremost, retaining walls are protective structures that prevent rock or soil movement in a slopy area. There are several types of retaining walls such as the cantilever walls, the gravity walls, the anchored walls, etc.

Here are the other reasons for putting up a retaining wall.

1) Minimise Soil Erosion

This is the basic functional purpose of a retaining wall. If your house is on sloping land, or there is a mound/small hill next to it, a retaining wall will help stabilise the area. Once it rains heavily, the erosion in any slopy area can be deadly. Most areas without shrubs or trees need retaining walls since every passing storm or gust of wind can pull up the soil. Erosion is largely responsible for damaging landscaping and buildings during strong winds or storms.

2) Expanded Landscaping

It is usually difficult to attractively landscape hilly or slopping properties with ridges and didges. Thankfully, a retaining wall can expand your yard’s usable space by levelling the land and tracing the ground. On top of that, these structures provide extra space for hardscapes, patios, spas, gardens, and plants. Retaining walls are extremely useful for increasing your home’s usable space, and consequently its functionality and look.

3) Prevent Flooding

During extreme weather, flooding is a real threat whether you have drainage solutions or not. A retaining wall prevents flooding by diverting flowing water away from your house. It thus helps to avert the risk of serious property damage due to flooding. The pressure exacted by water during flooding can easily cause the destruction of structures in your home.

4) Prevent Sinkholes

During heavy rains, standing water seeping through the earth slowly dissolves the stone beneath to create sinkholes. A small hole created by seeping water can grow rapidly and cause irreparable damage. Furthermore, sinkholes are serious safety hazards. Retaining walls prevent sinkholes by ensuring the flow of water. Also, these structures hold your land firmly in place preventing the rapid growth of small sinkholes.

5) Add Visual Interest

Unlike the olden days, the retaining walls of today are anything but drab. There is an array of materials you can use to construct a retaining wall. Different materials come in different shades and finishes. Some of the most common materials for training walls brick, concrete, and stone. Retaining wall can spotlight your landscape’s features when placed properly.

edge wall

Benefits of retaining walls

If you consider the reasons mentioned above, it is easy to derive the benefits of retaining walls. However, it goes deeper than that since there are different kinds of retaining walls. Apart from the obvious benefits that include aesthetics, erosion control, and flood prevention, here are other retaining wall benefits you ought to know:

  • Increasing property value – If you’re looking to sell your home or building, retaining walls can help to increase the value thanks to enhanced aesthetics and functionality.
  • Ease of installation – It is easier to install a retaining wall compared to other soil erosion prevention methods.
  • Save money during construction – A concrete building under construction is at a higher risk of distraction due to soil erosion or flooding. It is because it takes time for the concrete to settle, making the structure firm. During construction, a retaining wall will help avert possible disasters that can lead to huge losses on site.
  • A variety of applications – You can install retaining walls in very many areas including commercial buildings, recreation facilities/ parks, highway roadways/ bridges, private and residential developments, plus industrial areas. Retaining walls are also usable as fences, screen walls, and sound walls.
  • Durability and low maintenance – Once you construct a retaining wall, you don’t have to incur any extra costs to keep it up as it will stand firmly by itself. Also, you don’t need to undertake any maintenance after installing a retaining wall. Most of these walls consist of natural materials that withstand extreme weather conditions.

Retaining walls utilised properly are extremely beneficial especially if the area is hilly or slopy. You can use retaining walls to increase the security and appearance of your property. Remember, it is a relatively low-cost installation that comes with so many other advantages. NS Landscapes are your qualified Sydney Landscapers that are experienced in dealing with all things landscapes. Whether it will be your gardening, retaining wall or your pavement, we provide a tailored service that simply cannot be matched.

Call us today on 0412 614 133 for a free quote for your landscaping today!

Concrete Sleepers or Timber Retaining Walls?

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If you need a retaining wall but not sure what should you select? Should you go for timber or concrete? No one will provide you with an exact answer to this question considering that everyone has different tastes and preferences. Therefore, you will have to consider the two forms of retaining walls and select what matches the needs of your home. To make a better choice, consider the following comparison.

Concrete sleeper retaining walls

The concrete retaining walls are not just bland concrete blocks that do nothing to improve the look of your home. The modern market is offering moulded concrete retaining walls that are stylish, and which will enhance the look of your home. You can furnish the concrete retaining walls if you want. They take textured or smooth appearance and form will create a striking appearance in your garden.

multilevel wall

Timber retaining walls

Timber retaining walls are the most popular possibly due to their appearance. The retaining walls can last for a long time, but only if the user treats them properly. Even though pine retaining walls have stood as the most popular for a long time, you can still go for the hardwood and timber sleepers walls. The retaining walls can be complex or simple. They can feature standing pieces and cap or come as a simple design without ornamentation apart from the natural look of the used timber.

Even though timber might not last for a long time as concrete does, it comes with a natural appearance that will perfectly fit your back or front yard. If professionally treated and installed, timber will last for very many years and will enhance the appearance of your yards. When it comes to longevity, most timber sleepers will last for 15-20 years and you will have to replace them after that.

plywood wall

Choosing between concrete sleepers and timber retaining walls

The first thing to consider when selecting the retaining wall is the visual appeal. And before you choose between wood and timber, you will have to consider the longevity of each. Timber is beautiful, but you should be ready to replace it after 15-20 years. Moreover, some timber sleepers might hold back more soil than others might do.

Concrete retaining walls will outlast any kind of timber retaining walls. The freshly moulded concrete bricks will not need any mortar and a professional builder will install them within a short time. Concrete sleepers retaining walls are considered decorative and are not a good choice for the tall walls, particularly those that hold back a lot of soil. Nevertheless, the sleepers will work great on any wall and offer natural stone appearance. If your goal is to hold back a lot of soil over a higher height, you can install them in steps. Use the steps for plants – they will look better than the tall retaining walls.

At the end of the day, you will be the person to make a decision. Both concrete and timber retaining walls will enhance the appearance of your home; therefore consider the available designs before you select any.

Installation of the retaining walls

Do not try to complete the retaining wall project the DIY way. However, if you would still want to proceed, you can build a wall that is below one meter without the local council’s permission. In some areas, the limit is 600-800 mm. Depending on your location, if the height is beyond the maximum allowed height, you will need the services of a structural engineer for the designing part. Some other applicable regulations include:

  • No water should be directed towards the neighbouring properties
  • A retaining wall should be at least one meter from the sewer or easement or the water main
  • The wall has to be more than 50 meters from the natural water bodies
  • The wall cannot be less than 90 cm from the boundary

The regulations might vary from one local council to the other. Therefore, before you start building a retaining wall, contact them to know what you can do or cannot do. For the construction approval, you will have to lodge the application letter, engage a structural engineer, architect or drafter to draw the plan and hire a building certifier to check the work periodically and ensure that it is built to specifications.

A properly built retaining wall will last for many years. If poorly built, the retaining wall can collapse at any time and cause property damages or severe injuries. Do not try to build a retaining wall the DIY way if it is beyond the allowed height.

Contact the landscaping professionals from NS Landscapes to provide you with the ultimate retaining walls that are tailor-made to suit your home perfectly.

Everything About Vertical Gardens

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Vertical gardens are strategies people use to grow certain plants on vertically suspended panels using certain structures. They either attach these structures to a wall or leave them freestanding.

People have always used vertical gardens since the early civilisations. A lot of modern wall gardens are very long lasting and provide some sense of nature into our modern businesses.

Actually, people use vertical gardens in their offices. They are great options for potted plants. Though you can place potted plants in almost any place, they need a lot of maintenance and occupy a large space. Though, in some scenarios, you may only need a single big panel to maintain your vertical garden.

How Did Vertical Gardens Come About?

Vertical gardens or living gardens are not new inventions. Actually, they are ancient ideas that have been around for years. In ancient times, for instance, people used living walls in architectural designs. Over the years, many people use vertical gardens for their offices or homes. Here are some facts about how vertical gardens came about so that you can know the origin of this concept.

1) Vertical gardens were used by Babylonians

There are 7 wonders of earliest architectural history. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is one of them. The ancient people used plants such as running vines, stationary plants, and trees for their hanging gardens. All these plants combined formed the most beautiful sights in the world.

Further, in the 1920s designers started using plants more often in their projects. By 1980s and 1990s, people invented equipment’s to assist them to grow their vertical gardens. They used vertical gardens in different places such as in outdoor, indoor structures, building entrances, and almost anywhere with an open space.

2) Evolution from natural vertical gardens to artificial ones

Some people are currently switching from the use of natural vertical gardens to artificial ones. They argue that fake wall gardens are easy to maintain and they are very appealing to the eyes. Artificial plant makers use modern strategies to make these plants appear as natural as they could be. In fact, some people barely notice that these wall gardens are artificial.

colour vertical garden

Why Should You Garden Vertically?

You might not realise it, but vertical gardens are very beneficial to humans and the environment. Here are some reasons to garden vertically:

1) Maximises limited space

It goes without saying that gardening vertically maximises space.

2) Boosts visual appeal

Vertical gardens let you add colour, structure, character, and variety to your garden. You can plant at eye level to form “eye candy” such as hanging window boxes and baskets.

3) Nurtures healthier plants

With vertical gardens, you can lift plants off the ground. This boosts air circulation. As a result, your plants will grow healthy as they will be free from disease problems, animals and pests.

4) Boosts accessibility

You can raise your garden at an accessible height. More so, harvesting, fertilising, pruning and watering are easy with vertical gardens.

5) Grows lots of plants on a small space

Gardening vertically lets you grow different types of plants in large quantities. Climbers such as melons, passion fruits, cucumbers, and tomatoes do very well in vertical gardens.

Vertical gardens are great for softening start or hard landscape and building surfaces. They can be integrated into your landscape work with very little maintenance and care. They help in defining a space like an edge, boundary, entrance, and framework. As in, there are many reasons you should use vertical gardens. If you are in need of an installation of a vertical garden, please contact NS Landscapes for a free consultation!

13 Easy to Grow Vegetables in Australia

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We can all agree that we can’t get enough of vegetables. We add them to our soups, salads and main dishes. What if I told you there is a way of getting fresh veggies without going to the grocery store? This is by simply growing your own vegetables. And you don’t need technical skills to plant these nutritious and money-saving vegetables. With the right seeds, you can grow them in containers or in your backyard. Here are 12 easiest vegetables to grow in Australia, regardless of your age or skill level. Whether or not you need fertilisers when growing vegetables, check out this article for everything you need to know about fertilisers.

1) Spinach

Besides being a nutritious vegetable to add to your soups, omelettes, and salad, spinach is remarkably rich in iron. Even better, it grows really fast. When the leaves are large and healthy enough, you can pick them and new ones will grow.

close up of spinach leaves in white bowl

2) Lettuce

There is nothing that can beat fresh veggies like one from your own garden. Lettuce is a great addition to your salad. You can try different varieties such as head lettuces, microgreens, arugula, and leaf lettuces. The plant is easy to grow and requires minimal maintenance.

lettuce

3) Carrots

Growing whole carrots in the ground are pretty easy. Just avoid planting them in rocky soil. Instead, grow them in well-drained, deep soil. Preferably you should plant carrots in a raised bed.

carrots

4) Squash

Squash yields extremely well and you can feed an entire family with just a few of them. To plant Squash, ensure the area is not prone to wind. If so, protect the plant. Harvest the plant when it is around 8 to 10 inches long.

butternut squash with seeds

5) Green beans

Green bean is another vegetable you can easily grow in Australia. Whole beans and string beans are great for sowing in a home garden. In addition, there are the self-supporting bush kind and the vine type of snap peas. Planting the two types is easy because you just need the seeds, well-drained soil and proper sunlight.

Green beans on white background.

6) Cucumbers

Just as green beans, cucumbers need proper sunlight. In addition, cucumbers require support for climbing and warm temperatures for them to flourish. Just ensure that you water them frequently and your cucumbers will grow like a weed.

slices of green cucumber

7) Radishes

Radishes are great salad addition and as side dishes. As much as some people might not like radishes – maybe because they hardly know how to grow them – they always fall in love when they grasp the procedure of growing them. In 20 days, your radishes will be of full-size to harvest.

Garden radish

8) Zucchini

Similar to cucumbers and beans, zucchini is a prolific plant – regardless of whether you grow it straight in soil or in containers. Nonetheless, zucchini grows easily and quickly from seeds. They only require warm soil and enough moisture.

Fresh green zucchini. Zucchini background
9) Snow peas

Australia has cooler weather, which is ideal for planting snow peas. Since the seeds for snow peas are large, handling them is therefore easy. In like manner, you can eat the snow peas right from the vine. They are relatively problem-free and grow very fast.

Snow pea

10) Silverbeet

Silverbeet is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in Australia. It occupies small space but its rewards are great. It is nutritious with crimson-coloured or gorgeous yellow stems. For healthy leaves, feed the plant with enough water and fertiliser.

sliverbeet grow in vegetable garden

11) Spring onions

Gone are the days when people used to throw away leftover – limp spring onions. Nowadays, you can plant them on your garden – just trim the tops. Alternatively, you can purchase a punnet, plant it and you’ll always have enough supply of spring onions.

spring onions

12) Basil

As an aromatic herb, basil is an important additive for cooking. You can grow it in the ground or in pots. Equally, you can place the pot indoors as long as the area has sunlight.

basil

13) Bell peppers

Ideally, bell peppers and tomatoes are greatly available at home improvement stores and nurseries. You can add them to your salads and soups for that vibrant colour.

Closeup of various bell peppers

It is clear that there are a lot of vegetables to grow in Australia. Ensure that you have the basic garden maintenance and your plants will grow beautifully. You can experiment several of them and save money on grocery. If your garden is in rough shape, the experts in landscaping from NS Landscapes can help you build a beautiful garden to get started.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with all your gardening and landscaping needs in Sydney! We are just one phone call away on 0412 614 133!

Basic Lawn Care and Maintenance

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For a green and healthy lawn, there is a need for a regular year-round care as well as maintenance. If not, there is a likelihood of your grass becoming overgrown and susceptible to some of the common lawn diseases or become a habitat to outdoor pests. That is why we at NS Landscaping, have always specialised in taking care of various lawns at any given time of the year. We are the experts when it comes to landscaping and gardening.

But how do you take care of your lawn in order to keep it fresh and looking wonderful throughout the year? Here is the basic lawn care that will keep your lawn healthy at any time of the year.

1) Lawn watering

Rainwater alone is not enough to keep your lawn green and well maintained across the year. That is the main reason you may need an alternative to rainwater and underground sprinkler systems are a great choice for you. But that is not all. You need to factor the type of soil, the location and the grass type in order to come up with a proper lawn watering schedule that will be effective at various times of the year.

Sprinkler in action watering grass

2) Grass fertilisation

While most of the yards will still do better with a single application of fertiliser for a whole year, different types of grass need different fertilisers. Therefore, we recommend applying fertiliser 2 to 4 times throughout the year for your lawn to experience a lush green growth.

[Find out everything you need to know about fertilisers]

Person fertilizing soil in container

3) Mowing the lawn

Lawn mowing is usually a weekly task but it all depends on the time of the year or season. In spring or summer, you can mow your yard weekly while during winter and fall, you can perform this task depending on how fast the grass grows in your lawn. But you must never forget the golden rule of good grass cutting which is not to go beyond a third of the entire grass blade at any given time.

Mowing the grass

4) Recycling grass

When it comes to home lawn care, you need to know the importance of mulching the clipped grass. Besides maintaining moisture in the soil beneath, recycling grass has been found to be a good source of providing 3% nitrogen to the growing grass. Therefore, this is a better way to sure that your lawn has a steady supply of vital nutrients to the grass in order to keep it healthy and fresh all the time.

rustic field

5) Weeding the lawn

You can opt for weeding as a way to eradicate unwanted plants in your lawn or simply pull them (weeds) if there are not many. Hand weeding is very effective to ensure that the entire weed including the roots, runners and other parts are completely removed. Otherwise, you can use recommended herbicides in spring or fall to prevent the weed seeds from germinating.

senior woman working in garden or at summer farm

6) Lawn aerating

Aerating the soil in your lawn is an important step in ensuring that there is no soil compaction especially in places with heavy soils. Aeration is done by punching small holes into the yard to allow easier penetration of moisture and the air. As a result, the grass or any other plant in the lawn will have a better root development.

Despite having known the basic steps you to take care of your lawn, don’t hesitate to talk to NS Landscapes for more professional advice or lawn care services. We are always committed to serving our customers to our highest ability.

Call 0412 614 133 to speak to one of our friendly and attentive staffs about how we can help your gardening needs!

Trending Patio Designs in Australia for 2019

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As a homeowner, you need to find the best patio design for your upcoming house. At NS Landscaping, we specialise in both designing and constructing all types of outdoor living or entertaining areas depending on your specifications. We are certified designers and landscapers with more than a decade of experience in providing quality work in Sydney and surrounding areas.

When it comes to patio designs, we try as much as we can to keep our standards high in our services. We believe that a patio is a great place you and your family can possibly enjoy the great outdoors while saving you a lot of money and time on landscaping. If you are in Australia, the following trending patio designs are of great interest especially if you are a new homeowner.

Contemporary backyard patio designs

A contemporary patio, just like any other type of patio, allows you to spend quality time outside your house with a lot of comfort from your home. It can be placed in front of your house, around the house, on one side or at the backyard. It all depends on the availability of space and your budget.

Luxury garden furniture

Contemporary patios come in different designs for you to choose from. It is not surprising to come across a patio design with porcelain and breeze blocks featuring a wall outside. Also, some homeowners prefer the beach-style backyard patio which comprises of the tweed without the cover.

Another design that is currently trending in Australia is the midsize contemporary patio which comes with an outdoor kitchen as well as a natural stone paver. But most of the contemporary patio designs in this regard have at least a roof extension as a common factor.

Exterior covered patio with fireplace and furniture.

What matters the most is your choice of a perfect patio design in relation to your budget and location as well. Whichever the case, we are always ready to undertake your project and help you realize your dream.

Tropical patio designs in Australia

Tropical patio designs are also common in Australia and they provide you with a great opportunity to enjoy your outdoors and all the things that come with it. Tropical patios will offer you a breathtaking view depending on where you choose to have them around your house. This means that the location you choose plays a crucial role in giving you everything you may need while taking your free time outside.

However, you can settle for a small backyard patio designed from concrete. Perhaps you could go for a loveseat and pergola, complete with a shady resting located right behind your garage. Tropical patio designs are diverse to suit different types of homes and locations. Whatever your choice is, we can help you achieve your goal in a more budget-friendly way and shortest time possible.

Chairs By Fireplace In Patio

Consider the inclusion of perennial plants around your patio to bring it to life and adding character to it with wonderful colours. Perennial plants generally live longer than 2 years and are low in maintenance.

The need for a patio is one step ahead into seeking the best way you can enjoy your free time within your home. You can choose either contemporary patio design or tropical patio design. At NS Landscaping, we’ll take care of everything involved in designing, planning and constructing an outdoor patio to provide you with your dream patio.

Get your free quote now over the phone with our excellent staff members on 0412 614 133.

Everything You Need to Know About Fertilisers

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Studies have proven that a significant number of homeowners often find it hard to choose the best type of fertiliser that suits their garden. Even though this is quite understandable owing to the broad range of fertilisers out there, it should not always be the case.

With potentially endless choices to choose from, how do you know the best type of fertiliser to pick? It is imperative to note that before you set your foot in a fertiliser shop, look for experts to test your soil accordingly. Contact your local garden company such as NS Landscaping for information.

Such a professional move will help determine the best type of fertiliser that suits your soil characteristics. To be more precise, the test results will always give you an idea regarding what nutrients the soil in your garden could be lacking. Of course, you’ll have to purchase a fertiliser which can potentially add value to your garden.

While both mulching and compost manure are decent ways to enhance the quality of your garden’s nutrient value, they may not be able to provide adequate or sufficient nutrients that plants need to thrive and stay healthy. The main cause of poor or stunted plant growth is a lack of sufficient nutrients.

Many of the natural soils in our gardens tend to be sandy hence relatively lighter. In simple terms, they lack sufficient amount of clay and humus, which are both great nutrient-holding agents. This implies that the nutrients are leached out of the soil by water at fairly faster rates, whether through artificial watering or natural rainfall.

To supplement these missing nutrients, you as a gardener must provide the soil with artificial fertilisers. In fact, it is the only way to keep plants in your garden healthy and fruitful.

All gardening experts would agree that if you know the major plant nutrients, it will be very easy for you to determine the best type of fertiliser as part of your gardening care. From your basic agricultural knowledge, you should know that the most essential and vital chemicals ideal for effective plant growth is potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. In this regard, any fertiliser which features all these three vital components is good for optimal plant growth and development.

fertilisers

So what type of functions do these components perform?

Phosphorus – This is an important component of any fertiliser, and is charged with the responsibility of stimulating both the germination and early root formation. It also influences the rate of potassium uptake in plants. Sufficient supply is essential for the growth of young plants, especially trees and shrubs. Equally, it should be noted that plants are better able to overcome the threats posed by diseases if there is plenty of phosphorus.

Potassium – This enhances healthy plant growth, and equally makes plants resistant to drought and extreme temperatures. It is also essential to plants for photosynthesis, an all-important process through which plants make their food for growth. Its deficiency in the soil will manifest through poorly coloured leaves and fruits and perhaps a lack of flavour.

Nitrogen – This is arguably the most important nutrient for plants. It is needed for plant growth, boosts the leaf colour of all plants. It also increases the protein value of fruits and vegetables. On most occasions, the lack of sufficient nitrogen in your soil will show clearly by the yellowing of leaves as well as through the stunted growth of all plants.

As you may have seen, it is always important and beneficial to purchase a fertiliser that incorporates all the three chemicals in its properties.

Child planting strawberry seedling in to a fertile soil

Synthetic vs organic fertiliser – Which one is the best?

Of course, plants will basically utilise the nutrients offered by both synthetic and organic fertilisers and won’t differentiate between the two. Even though both types support optimal growth in plants, there are certain differences. First and foremost, organic fertilisers do not always break down fast enough to distribute the nutrients needed by plants.

On the other hand, synthetic fertilisers are highly soluble and are immediately broken down for plant use. What’s more, they are relatively easy to transport around the garden, store and are equally lighter to spread around. Even though organic fertilisers are the first choice for the environmentally friendly gardener because the soil and plants both benefit, sometimes artificial fertilisers they are your best option. Fertilisers are a convenient, quick and reliable way to add sufficient nutrients to the soil in your garden.

What are slow-release fertilisers?

These are relatively smaller pellets that feature a hard coating. They release their nutrients at slow rates, as they break down in the presence of soil and water. It is imperative to note that most fertilisers of this type are tailored for specific plant groups. This implies that you’ll have to consult your local gardening expert for the best one that fits your needs. NS Landscaping provides a wide range of services for your garden and landscape throughout Sydney.

5 Benefits of Perennial Plants for your Garden

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A blossoming backyard is the delight of any homeowner. One way of creating a gorgeous and sustainable garden is by including perennial plants. Whether you are a beginner or experienced gardener, perennials come with several benefits beyond the normal eye aesthetics. Spring is the right time to think about planting these native herbs. Regardless of where you live, perennials grow well in different climates and soil types. These beautiful plants are rich in colour and once you plant them, you just forget about seasonal planting as they grow every year.

Here are some reasons why you should include perennial plants in your garden:

1) Drought Resistant

The root systems of perennials dig deep down into the soil profile to draw moisture up. They bring water from down the soil to upper soil levels for other shallow-rooted plants to benefit.

Perennials also prevent soil from drying and being susceptible to wind erosion. They are a perfect choice if you live in a hot and dry area. Their natural defence coupled with extreme survival tactics enable them to survive severe drought conditions without necessarily demanding for irrigation.

Therefore, choosing these plants reduces the need for water to irrigate your garden every dry season. If you’re planning to grow grasses or other plants that aren’t so immune to drought, then native perennials is a nice alternative to consider for your lawn.

Ornamental allium flower

2) Low maintenance

Low maintenance is the most desirable benefit of perennials. These plants can thrive through the entire growing season without pesticides, fertilisers or other special growing conditions. Unlike other garden plants, they are more retardant to pests.

The low maintenance also means you save time, money and energy needed to manicure your garden. Additionally, since these plants grow from the same rootstock, as a permaculture gardener you don’t have to spend more time and energy clearing your garden, sowing new seeds, decomposing and doing soil mulching. With these plants, you can be sure of the crop quality to expect in your next growing season.

Maintenance isn’t much of a problem as it was before. You can now hire a gardener to fully maintain your lovely yard to keep it lively all year long.

Red flowers against the background of grass

3) They form a cohesive cover

Perennials not only access water lodged deep in the soil but also preserve soil moisture by forming a cohesive cover. They ensure that no space is left and exposed to direct heat from the sun. Besides, they don’t lose their foliage in winter but retain their cover. They also preserve soil structure by cushioning against rain and wind erosion.

Green fern leaves background, top view

4) They attract pollinators

Pollinators rely on native plants for habitat, food and reproduction. The introduction of non-native annuals has threatened pollinator populations. However, by growing perennials, you not only improve the curb appeal of your garden but also offer sustenance to natural pollinators. This is what they need to survive.

bouquet of chrysanthemum flowers

5) You enjoy a variety

Unlike annual plants that grow and bloom during the same growing period, perennials have different blooming times. You can plan your perennial planting method and know the type of plants that will be available in various seasons. It means you can extend the productive season of your plants and get access to a variety of produce. Moreover, these plants have varying shades, colours, textures and sizes giving you plenty of options.

Blooming tulips flowerbed in flower garden

For more information or detail on perennial plants, you can contact the experts, NS Landscaping. We’ll be happy to assist you with your gardening needs and help select the right perennial plants for your lovely garden. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0412 614 133 or visit our website at https://nslandscapes.com.au and take a look at our different landscape services in Sydney.

Natural Grass vs Artificial Grass

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So your lawn is looking brown and needs a fresh patch of grass for a refreshing look. It can really enhance your newly built retaining wall. Are you considering natural grass vs artificial grass? Well, for a better decision making, let’s examine the pros and cons of each grass for your lawn.

Although the two types look the same, they have some differences in functionality. Artificial grass has gained reputation because it is cost-effective and eco-friendly as well.

Unlike natural grass, artificial grass doesn’t require watering expenses or maintenance.

Natural grass, on the other hand, has its benefits and that’s why people still prefer it over artificial one.

Before digging into the pros and cons of each, let’s discuss some of the questions you should ask yourself before making a decision.

  • How much money are you willing to spend to purchase and maintain your lawn?
  • How much time can I afford – weekly – to attend to and care for my lawn?
  • How will you use your lawn space?
  • Will it be used by animals or children? If so, how often?
  • Does my lawn have enough shade, light and airflow?

Your decision to the type of grass largely depends on your answer to those questions. However, it is also important that you take a look at the pros and cons of each before finalising your decision.

Natural Grass

Green grass field in nature

Pros

1) Natural grass looks great if properly maintained

The secret to a great look of your natural lawn is proper maintenance. For sure, you cannot keep your eyes off a good looking real lawn. Your lawn will also feel and look homier. If you can’t manage to maintain your natural grass, NS Landscaping is here for you.

2) Improves air quality

Here at NS Landscaping, we view natural grass as a way to improve air quality. It aids in trapping carbon dioxide whilst producing oxygen. As a result, soil breaks down any pollutant in the air.

Cons

1) High upkeep cost

Though artificial grass also requires upkeep, the one for natural grass is a little bit higher. If neglected, natural lawns can lose their value.

2) Easily damaged by weather and environment

Different from artificial grass, weather and environment easily damage the great look of natural grass. During winter or summer, for example, grass can die or turn brown. Failure to take great care, the grass can decrease your home’s value, produce fungus and attract pests.

Artificial Grass

small grass leaves green texture

Pros

1) Long-lasting savings

Once installed, you don’t have to maintain artificial grass every month. Better still, you eliminate the need for watering, mowing or fertiliser. As in, you won’t waste your time or money on frequent maintenance like natural grass.

2) Unparalleled life expectancy

Natural grass cannot withstand harsh environment like artificial one. This means the look for artificial grass will not turn to yellow or brown. Instead, the blades will retain their attractiveness suppleness and softness all through.

Cons

1) High initial cost

Though artificial grass doesn’t require high monthly maintenance, its initial purchase cost is high. You have to pay for the installation, sod, the grass itself and consultation. The price depends on the space size.

2) Retains more heat than natural grass

Artificial grass gets very hot as it absorbs lots of heat. At least natural grass retains water, which helps it reduce heat and retain moisture. So, you should spray your synthetic grass with water to alleviate the heat.

Whether it is natural grass or artificial, the choice is yours. What do you prioritise the most in the short-term and long-term? If you are still unsure, let us help you! We can point you in the right decision after listening and discussing to you about your situation. At NS Landscaping, we know what is best for our clients and work with any landscape to create a beautiful area.

For a free consultation and quote, simply call us on 0412 614 133. We can help you with your custom landscape designs and installations. Our experts can help guide you to a perfect garden yard.