GAR­DEN­ING WITH DEBBI

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - WITH DEBBI GIB­SON, HORTICULTURALIST

AS the days are get­ting longer and warmer, it’s the per­fect time to tackle some spring chores and clean up and pre­pare for out­door liv­ing.

Noth­ing is more plea­sur­able than sit­ting out­side en­joy­ing the gar­den and sun­shine, es­pe­cially after the long, cold win­ter.

Not only are the days get­ting longer but so is the grass. So to get the best out of your lawn mower, give it a spring ser­vice so it can han­dle the busy grass cut­ting months ahead.

Wash un­der­neath to re­move any build-up of cut grass and in­spect the blades.

Sharp blades give a much neater cut, so it’s good prac­tice to change them an­nu­ally. Clean the air fil­ter and check the tyres. If the mower has not been used for a while and has fuel still in it, the fuel may be stale, so drain it out and fill with fresh fuel.

Fi­nally, check that all nuts, ca­bles and hoses are tight.

Re­vi­talise wa­ter fea­tures by emp­ty­ing them and scrub­bing clean to re­move any al­gae or de­cay­ing leaf mat­ter.

Don’t use harsh clean­ers on bird baths or ponds as this may linger and af­fect the qual­ity of the wa­ter. House­hold de­ter­gent and el­bow grease works the best and is much safer.

And to make sit­ting in the gar­den more com­fort­able, give out­door ta­bles and chairs a spruce up.

Grab a broom and sweep off any cob­webs and spi­ders. Wash the ta­bles and chairs with warm wa­ter. Plas­tic or resin fur­ni­ture can be­come stained so try spray­ing with house­hold bleach, leave for a few min­utes, then scrub and rinse off. Wear gloves and don’t do this on the lawn. Wooden out­door fur­ni­ture can be­come weath­ered and grey in colour.

Re­store and pro­tect it by sand­ing smooth with sand paper and coat­ing with gar­den fur­ni­ture oil.

This should be done once a year to keep fur­ni­ture look­ing great and ex­tend the life of the tim­ber.

Then find a sunny place to sit and re­lax and ad­mire the beauty of your spring gar­den.

Happy gar­den­ing.

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