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Grilling In The Open – The Ultimate How To Guide

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Grilling is an excellent pastime with friends and family out in your yard. There is a wide range of grills available to make your grilling fun – from modest charcoal grills that will cost you a few dollars to the built-in gas grills that will cost more than $10,000. However, once you learn the art of grilling, the grill you are using will not matter.

Once you have an easy to assemble grill, you need to follow the basic rules of grilling to grill like a professional. These rules include: 

  • The grill grate needs to stay clean, so the food will not stick
  • Ensure the grill heats up to the right temperature before you start grilling
  • Keep a close eye on the food you are grilling
  • Trim excess fat before grilling to prevent flare-ups
  • Get the best grill tools for the grilling
  • Do not oil the grill grate, instead, oil the food
  • Avoid adding marinades or sugary sauces to your food to prevent burning
  • Grill away from flammable fences, lighter fluids, or anything else that might catch fire
  • Spice your food an hour before grilling for the spices to sink in

Start Grilling = Get the Temperature Right

The first step in grilling like a pro is to assess the temperature of the grill. When a grill is hit enough, it cooks food fast. Foods such as cuts of meat, steaks, kebabs, burgers, and chops will cook quickly on a very hot grill. However, when the temperature of the grill is very high, it means you have to keep a close eye on the food you are grilling.

While the high temperature will help you cook food fast, not all foods need a hot and fast grill. Vegetables, fruits, fish, and chicken need lower temperature to grill well. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a smaller fire for these foods. If you are using an electric or gas grill, control the temperature to medium heat using the dials on the grill. When you are grilling in the open using a charcoal grill, you need to hold out your hand above the grill grate and feel how long it takes to start feeling the heat. If it takes five seconds before your hand starts feeling the heat you cannot tolerate, that grill is right for chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Turning Grilled Food

You obviously need your grilled food to cook evenly. As such, you need to turn the food frequently. Some people believe that when grilling food you need not turn it a lot. However, you can take advantage of the grill grate space to avoid flare-ups. Even when you turn your food frequently, expect flare-ups if you are grilling high-fat steak. 

Learn Indirect Grilling

Sometime when you are grilling large cuts of meat, the meat might burn on the outside but remain undercooked inside. In indirect cooking, the fire is on one side of the grill and the food on the opposite side. This way, the protein in the middle of large cuts will cook slowly before the outside burns. If you have a large gas grill, you can place your food in the middle of the grill grate and light the sides of the grill. If you have small charcoal, gas or electric grill, place your food on one side and light the other. You need to keep rotating your food for even cooking.

When grilling, keep the lid down to generate enough heat to cook the food evenly. 

Know When Food is Cooked

Knowing when grilled food is ready is as important as knowing the temperature to use for different foods. On medium heat, most meat cuts take between 10 and 14 minutes to cook. Fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables take less time, about 7 minutes. If you are experienced in grilling, you will instinctively know when food is ready. You will need a meat thermometer to test the readiness of grilled meat.

How To Grill Common Food

Beef and Mutton

Beef and mutton need to be cooked briefly over high heat (searing) to produce the tantalizing outer crust with grill marks. Again, to ensure that the interior of the meat is cooked well without charring the outer layer, cook the meat under low heat. Searing needs to be done for two minutes for one-inch-thick cuts of meat and four minutes for thicker cuts. The cooking time for beef and mutton should include searing time. The cooking time for beef and mutton should be between 10 and 14 minutes with the letter being well done and the former being medium done for 1-inch strips.

Grilling Pork

Pork steaks and chops are better cooked over direct heat. However, large chops and cuts can be cooked over indirect heat to allow the middle to cook well. For roasts, cook them over indirect heat with the fat side up. Cook roasts to medium for great results. If you are grilling tenderloin, cook as you would steak starting with searing. 

Grilling Poultry

Poultry cooks fast. All poultry parts should be cooked over direct heat. For whole birds, cook over indirect heat and keep rotating for even cooking. Before grilling, ensure the whole bird is defrosted fully. If you need to add sauce, add it the last ten minutes of cooking for whole birds. Grilling parts of poultry such as breasts should take not more than 12 minutes. 

Grilling Seafood

Seafood needs more attention than other foods since fish will dry within a few minutes and shellfish turn from tender to chewy in a few minutes. For fish and shellfish, especially if you are grilling parts, use medium hot grills. For whole fish, use a low temperature and keep rotating. Shrimps, calamari, and scallops need to cook fast on hot grills. Treat tuna steaks as you would beef steaks; sear the steaks first and then grill over medium heat.

Other Foods

Hamburgers, kebabs, fruits, vegetables, sausages, and other foods that come already cooked, should be cooked for a short period. Turn them frequently to give them the char and flavor they need without burning. Most of these foods will be ready in seven minutes or less. 

Written in association with J. Stevens




Top five Water Softeners for Backyard Wells

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

A backyard well is an excellent investment, but you soon realize the challenges that come with hard water. Hard water contains 60mg dissolved magnesium and calcium content, which causes scaling. It can also damage your plumbing fixtures and appliances such as washing machine, water heater, and dishwasher. You can do away with the challenges of hard water by installing a water softener. Water softeners have various designs, capacities, and working mechanisms. All you need it find one that is easy to use and maintain to enjoy the water from your backyard well. Here are top five water softeners you can consider.

  1. Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener

The flex 9100SXT is a heavy-duty water softener with enormous capacity that can serve a home, office, and industrial setup.It has two tanks, each having a size of 9600 grains. The system alternates the load between each tank to ensure continuous supply of water.The system will use the full capacity of one tank before turning on standby tank.The system works by ion-exchange mechanism using sodium salts to soften hard water. The system boasts efficiency, a flow rate of 20GPM and easy installation. The digital LCD has an inbuilt memory that saves your settings.You get a 10-year warranty and resin to last at least five years and save up to 25% on salt and water usage.

  1. Fleck 5600SXT 64000 Grain Water Softener

The Fleck 5600 64000 grains water softener is a bit costly but worthy due to its convenience and effectiveness. Fleck 5600STX is an ion-exchange type of water softener that comes with LCD displays for checking errors and status of the system. It has a digital meter so you can monitor your water usage. The assembly includes the tank, brine tank with safety control, control, head, bypass valve, and resin. You can choose a resin capacity ranging from 16000 to 64000-grain size. The system comes with a five-year warranty, and the brine tank has a ten-year warranty. It comes with the installation kit for easy installation and an LCD control panel that is easy to use. The installation can consume your time if you lack some plumbing experience.

  1. Spring Well Future soft Salt-free Water Softener

This water softener boasts a high rating in the industry. The system does not use salt to soften water. Instead, it uses the template-assisted crystallization (TAC) to remove the minerals that cause water hardness. TAC, a physical process, converts the minerals that cause hardening of water to hardness crystals. This prevents scaling by up to 99.6%. The conditioning process is ecofriendly because it neither wastes water nor discharges salt brine to the environment. The softener combines a whole house water filter that leverages on the catalytic properties of coconut shell carbon to sieve contaminants to provide you with clean water. The system is maintenance-free except for an annual filter change and comes with a lifetime warranty.

  1. Tier1 Digital Water softener

Tier1 water softener has a basic appearance yet effective and affordable. It requires a small space for installation, and you can install it outdoor provided temperatures do not reach freezing point. This water softener comes in two colors, black and blue. The system will remove calcium and magnesium content from water but will retain the useful minerals.The assembly includes a brine tank, mineral tank, and a bypass valve. The design features quick connections that allow easy and quick installation and ease of use. It has a grain capacity of 48000, which is ideal for water softening. The user-friendly LCD gives you security and control over cycles and the system. You can expect a two-hour disruption period during regeneration. To avert disruption, schedule the regeneration to late hours.

  1. Eddy Water Descaler

The eddy water descaler is an electronic water softener and an affordable alternative to regular water softeners. Conventional water softeners alter the chemical composition of your water by removing iron content. The eddy water descaler does not eradicate these minerals meaning your water retains all the healthy minerals. The electronic descaler produces electromagnetic waves that reduce the scaling effects of minerals in hard water.

Consequently, these minerals will not stick to your plumbing features. The descaler does not require addition of salt to your water, which makes it affordable to run. The product allows a maximum pipe diameter of 1.5”. The eddy water descaler comes with a lifetime repair and replacement warranty from the manufacturer. You will also receive a full refund within the initial twelve months if the product does not satisfy you. The water descaler is easy to install, and you do not need a plumber.  The Eddy water descaler is however not effective with iron and galvanized pipe materials. The product is not waterproof and therefore limited to indoor installation.


Written in association with J. Stevens




How To Protect Your Garden From Vandalism 2019 Guide

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

You must have spent countless hours to make your garden beautiful enough to suit your lifestyle. As such, the last thing you need is for someone to vandalize your garden and your equipment maliciously. Gardeners spend billions of dollars every year to maintain the greenery in their gardens. So, if someone vandalizes your garden, it is not the flowers and plants that will suffer, but your bank and your time will also experience a blow.

What do you need to protect?

Exotic and specialists flowers, trees, and plants need more protection. If you specialize in exotic flowers, a vandal might want to destroy the plants out of sheer jealousy. Pots, planters, hanging baskets, and plush garden furniture also need protection from vandals and thieves. Again, you need to protect fountains, water features, fish (especially Koi Carp), mowers, and other garden tools and equipment.

To keep your garden protected from vandals and thieves, consider:

Beefing Up Security around Your Perimeter

Without a secure perimeter, anyone passing by your home can vandalize your garden. Your boundary walls and your fences need beefing up to keep vandals and burglars away. 

Anti-Climb Products 

For starters, choose anti-climb products and fit them on walls, gates, and fences. This will ensure that vandals (who can be people or animals) cannot climb into your garden. You can consider wall and fence spikes, anti-climb paint, and roller barriers. However, it is essential to note that some locations do not allow some anti-climb products to be used. Talk to your local planning department to know which products to use.

Good Locks on Gates

You need a quality padlock or a chain hasp set to keep the gate locked. To ensure that your gate’s cross braces do not aid the vandal to climb, use a solid panel on the outside of your gate. This will ensure vandals do not get a foothold. 

Defensive Plants

Thorny shrubs will keep intruders away from your garden. If a vandal climbs over your garden, thorny shrubs such as Berberis and Pyracantha will ensure an uncomfortable landing for intruders. These plants need to be planted all round your perimeter. Talk to your local garden center to find out which plants are ideal for garden protection. 

Keep Your Home Lit and Install Cameras

It is not easy for vandals to come to your home at night if your home is well lit. Most animals that might vandalize your garden are nocturnal and they will stay away from a well-lit yard. Again, people will stay away from a well-lit garden in fear that they will be seen. There is no place for vandals to hide in your garden if every area is lit. Garden lights do not have to stay on all night. Instead of lighting up your garden all night long, buy lights that go on when motion is detected and position them strategically in different parts of your garden. This way, an intruder gets into your garden, and the lights go on.

Security cameras can be monitored whether in person or online. When you install cameras, you can monitor what happens in your garden when you are not around. If you note animals are the ones vandalizing your garden, you will find a way to exterminate them. People will fear any home that has security cameras in fear that they will be spotted and reported to the authorities.

Besides cameras, you need to have a sound alarm system for your garden. The alarm system in your home keeps valuables inside your house protected. However, if you feel your plants are worth a small fortune, you need to keep them protected too, by installing an alarm system.

Bring Down Hiding Places

Are there bushes around your garden where animal vandals can hide? If there are, you need to clear these bushes. Again, if there are structures in your garden that serve no purpose but can hide vandals, you need to remove them or keep them lit enough to scare away vandals. 

Protecting Your Equipment, Planters, and Ornaments

You need to keep your garden tools and equipment securely locked away. Your garden statuary and ornaments need to be secured to a land anchor. A land anchor is a chain or barbed device hammered into the ground and where a steel cable is attached to secure your planters and ornaments. 

If you have a store for your garden equipment, keep the windows obscured so intruders cannot see what is inside. Even better, you need to mark your property with a UV marker pen or identifiable color. Vandals who may decide to steal your property will be deterred by the presence of recognizable color or marking.


If your garden is vandalized more than once, you need to report to the police. To do that, you need to photograph your garden often to have photos of before and after vandalism. Again, you also need to join the neighborhood watch scheme – which exists in some neighborhood – where you watch out for each other’s property. When you are growing expensive exotic and specialist plants, you need to ensure that your home insurance can cover the loss of these plants to vandalism. Most insurance policies will not cover garden structures and plants, but you can find a plan that does.


Written in association with J. Stevens



Cultivating Coffee Beans By Yourself? Yes, It’s Actually Possible

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Growing coffee is a fascinating experience. Although coffee thrives well in the tropical climate, it is possible to cultivate coffee indoors in cold climates. You can grow few trees in your backyard or indoor pots and enjoy the aroma and chemistry of your coffee beans. The coffee plant is easy to grow and maintain. You can grow it as an ornamental plant because it stays green throughout the year. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow coffee from beans to harvesting.

  1. Pick the right cherries

The process begins by harvesting cherries for seed. It is best if you pick your beans to ascertain the viability of the seeds. Take only the ripe cherries from high producing coffee trees. Do not pick diseased or bruised cherries and pick cherries from disease-free plants. 

  1. Prepare the cherries for planting 

Once you have your cherries, pulp them using your hands, and wash them. Ferment the cherries under room temperature in a sizeable container until the pulp falls off. Wash the beans in fresh water and discard any seeds that float during the washing process. Dry the clean beans on a clean mesh in open dry air under shade. Do not dry them in direct sunlight. Bite into the seed to determine the appropriate moisture content – the outside should be dry while the inside should be somewhat soft and moist. Do not keep the cherries for long because they lose viability with time. If you cannot access fresh cherries from the trees, you can purchase green coffee beans. Ensure the beans are from a recent harvest.

  1. Germinate your coffee beans

Pre-germinate your seeds. Once you have your dry seeds, soak them in warm water for about 24 hours and drain the water. Plant the seeds in moist vermiculite or sand. Ensure you drain excess water off the germinating medium. You can also opt to germinate the coffee beans between damp coffee sacks. Keep the seeds moist by watering each day, but ensure you drain excess water. Coffee seeds can start germinating anywhere between two to six months depending on the age of the beans. Fresh beans start sprouting in two and a half months, while older seeds can take up to six months. Seeds that do not grow after six months are not viable seeds.

  1. Move the seedlings

Once the coffee seeds germinate, carefully transfer them from the germinating medium (vermiculite, sand, or coffee sacks) to a larger pot. Sow each seedling in a hole of size 2.5 cm deep in loamy soil with high humus content. You can add well decompose manure, bone meal, or dried blood to improve the nutrient status of the ground. Alternatively, you can use lightweight porous soil. Place the seeds in the hole with the flat side facing up and cover the seeds lightly with soil. Keep the soil loose, and mulch it with about half-inch layer of grass to conserve moisture. Remove the mulch when the seeds germinate fully. 

  1. Transplant to a permanent location

Once the seedling develops to resemble a coffee plant (about nine months), then transplant it in the yard or a permanent container. Plant your coffee seedlings outdoor if you live in a hot and humid climate. Select a relatively shaded planting site with deep, well-drained soil. You want the roots to grow efficiently. Coffee plants are delicate, and the growing site should provide shelter from strong winds. 

  1. Know what to do if you live in a cold area 

If you live in a cold region, then you cannot grow your coffee plant outdoors. You can only get a good crop by growing the coffee plants indoors in a large pot. Use a deep gallon, one with a capacity of about 70 to 95 liters. Select a site close to the window where the plant can receive maximum sunlight. You can also consider artificial lighting. Maintain an indoor temperature of between 15 and 27 Celsius degrees. Night temperatures should not fall below 7 Celsius degrees.

  1. Clear the site and improve the soil

If planting outdoors, clear all the weeds around the planting site. You can add organic well-decomposed manure. You can also mix the soil with basalt gravel dust. Coffee like slightly acidic (PH 6) soils with high nitrogen content.

  1. Plant the seedling

Make a hole, one that is big enough to accommodate the rooting system of the coffee plant. Carefully move the plant from the pot and gently place it in the new hole. Place some soil around the rooting area of the plant and make it firm. For indoor plants, plant one plant per container. Maintain a spacing of three meters between plants when planting outdoors. 

  1. Mulch the soil

Cover the soil with a layer of mulch to conserve soil moister and nutrients. A layer of grass or rotting leaves will do the job. You can also mulch outdoor plants. Alternatively, you can plant cover crops around the base of the tree. Leguminous cover crops are the best because they enrich the soil with nitrogen.

  1. Take care of your plants

Basic care for a coffee plant will entail watering. Water indoor plants twice a week but do not saturate the soil. You can reduce the amount of watering to once a week when the tree is established, and cropping becomes steady. Water your outdoor trees during the dry periods and do not water during the rainy period. Another care is fertilizer application. Apply citrus fertilizer six weeks after you plant the tree and do this after every six months. The warmer periods present the best time to add fertilizer. Although not necessary, pruning is essential if you wish to keep the coffee plant small. Start pruning when the coffee plant grows to a height of 20 inches. Cut off the growing tip to encourage lateral growth.

  1. Harvest the beans

It takes an average of nine years for the coffee plant to produce substantial fruits. However, your plant may begin flowering within three years and produce few coffee cherries. If the cherries grow to maturity and ripen, you can harvest them. However, if they fall off prematurely, the tree is not mature enough to produce.

Written in association with J. Stevens



The Top Steam Mops for Tile Floors

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe


Cleaning is good for your body since doing the cleaning yourself can be considered exercise as you exert effort and use your muscles in removing dirt and also in arranging the things around you. It is sometimes even tiresome when the place you are tidying up is huge or the dirt that you are trying to remove is a bit too much. Yet generally, cleaning is good for you. It is good for your health, your body, and your mind. 

Making sure that your surrounding is clean is essential to your health and having a dirty surrounding can mean that there are a lot of possibilities of getting sick. Not only that, but it can also be very inconvenient and stinky to stay or live in a dirty place. Your things and even your clothes will also get dirty which results in your mind being stressed with all the dirt and clutter all around you. Even when you are used to it already, having a clean place will somehow give you a certain peace. Click this link to learn about the health benefits of a clean home: https://www.ahchealthenews.com/2016/06/06/staying-fit-cleaning-house/.

In the home, different areas require different materials and tools to clean. Floors need to be swept, carpets need to be vacuumed, tables need to be wiped, and clothes need to be washed. Depending on what you are cleaning, cleaning materials are also needed. For example, when you are cleaning the toilet, you will need certain detergents to make sure that it is clean and the bacteria, virus, and fungi are also removed. You will also need fresh-scented cleaning materials to give the toilet a fresh and appealing scent. Sometimes, you might also need to use acids to remove stubborn dirt. 

Depending on what you are cleaning, the materials that you need will vary. If you are cleansing a certain type of wood, you can’t just use any liquid as those can destroy the wood. You will need special agents that are not destructive to wooded materials. You should also be careful in cleaning metals as acids are corrosive to them. Make sure to use acids only where they are supposed to so that nothing gets ruined. 

Thanks to technology nowadays, there are a lot of significantly innovative tools that you can use to make cleaning easier and more efficient. With these tools, you can clean faster and better than before while using less cleaning materials.  One of the most innovative devices created for cleaning is the steam mop for tile floors. 

Steam mop for tile floors are basically mops that also produce pressurized steam. The steam softens the dirt on the surface and you can easily mop it right then and there. The result of using a steam mop is excellent where you will be able to clean faster and better without having to use harmful chemicals that could damage your health and the health of those around you including your pets. Detergents are poisonous to pets so using a steam mop will lessen the chance of it.

The heat from this device that is released when you use it will also kill germs and viruses making this apparatus more effective in cleaning. Cleaning using soap and water will remove dirt but will leave the harmful bacteria behind. This device, however, will disinfect your home making it cleaner and better for you and your family. 

These devices are very effective and efficient and because of that, there are a lot of these out there. Here is a list of the best steam mop for tile floors: 


Bissell Symphony 1543A

This is even a more innovative device for those who love cleanliness. Instead of just being a mop, it is also a vacuum. After the steam is released to soften the dirt, the vacuum then sucks the grime to make sure that it is properly removed. This is very useful if you have a lot of pets where you can clean their mess anytime and easily. You won’t have to fetch a pale of water, mix it with some soap, then mop, and then dry.  You just have to take this device out of the closet, turn it on, let it heat up for 30 seconds, then start moving it around the area where there is a mess. It is so easy to use that you might start to enjoy cleaning. 

This machine also has a feature that allows you to empty its canister without having to touch it. This means that you won’t get messy yourself when you clean this device. You just have to press a button to empty what is inside to the trash. It’s that easy!


Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Multipurpose

If you want your floors and surfaces to be super clean and disinfected, then this device is the top choice for you. The steam that it emits can go as hot as 275 degrees Fahrenheit and kills germs, bacteria, and viruses for up to 99 percent. This machine is also very light-weight so it’s easy to use on any surface that you want to clean. Just make sure that these surfaces can handle water like granite countertops, and metal or stainless materials. 

Cleaning has never been so much fun. With the use of steam cleaners, the difficulty and hassle of it have been lessened significantly. You can now spend less time making sure that your home is spotless with the help of these machines plus you can protect your family from harmful bacteria and viruses that can potentially make any of them sick.





Four Reasons To Hire For Furniture Removals

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe


Moving away from home is one of those activities that either you look forward to or dread about before it even happens. The reason is quite important as to why you want to leave or stay in your current residence. You might want to leave because you don’t think that your current residence is not good for your family anymore. The neighborhood might have gotten worse or you just don’t like your neighbors. Magpies might be terrorizing your entire block or you just don’t feel safe anymore. There might be other reasons that might sound silly to others but entirely valid to you and your family. 


On the other hand, there might be better opportunities in other areas. Australia is developing more industries like mining, agriculture and information technology. Having a better job opportunity is already a great incentive to move out of your home with your family. It means an even better income, which makes it even easier for you to support your family. There are also other reasons like better housing or children going to a better school. It can be any of these reasons, as long as you think that you will be in a better place. There is nothing wrong with moving just for no reason at all, but you need to know that there are consequences. 


The reasons might really matter as you move out of the house. However, the “hows” of moving out is also equally important. The way that you need to move out will really matter because this will dictate the entire experience. For example, you are moving from city to city like Melbourne to Brisbane. Can you do it all on your own? Or, would you rather hire removalists from Melbourne to Brisbane


The DIY Way

Of course, you can do it all on your own. If you have a nice ute and some helpful friends and family members, then you can go for it. You can use this time as a bonding moment with all your family and friends. It can also be a fun experience as well because all of you are together. You can make it as a whole new adventure and it can be something to look forward to as you move out of your home. Also, you can organize a barbie in the end as your first housewarming activity. 


However, doing everything on your own can be the most tiring experience ever. It will add to your increasing stress levels as well as other problems that you might face. You may have a lot of furniture that you need to move out and it can be a complicated experience as well. Your friends and family may not know anything about packing and will just haphazardly move the things out without thinking about their fragility. Don’t get us wrong: their help is great at any given time. However, without the proper knowledge, it can be more harm than good. Why not hire furniture removals instead?



Removalists: The Way to Go

There are a lot of removalists in Melbourne and other places that can really help you out with your concerns. Here are some of the reasons why they are better than you doing it all on your own.

  • It is a faster and easier experience. 

Let’s face it; you don’t really want to do anything even though it is all of your stuff that needs to be transferred. After all, why make the effort when you can just let somebody else do it for you? It is easier, and you don’t even have to break a sweat. All you need to do is wait for all of them to be on your new house. It won’t even take long for your typical Melbourne movers to get everything done. Everything might take a day or two depending on the amount of items that need to be packed. In comparison, it might take you even more than that. 


  • You don’t need to worry about your stuff getting destroyed.

One of the advantages of hiring someone to move everything is their insurance policies. Most removalists will cover everything for your own peace of mind. If you do it on your own, once something goes missing or damaged then you might need to replace or forego everything. With the removers, they can replace it using insurance and it would be better for you. 


  • They have the proper tools for every kind of item.

Removalists do everything faster compared to doing it yourself because they have everything they need. They have the trucks that can store more items. Also, they have other equipment like forklifts and cranes depending on your needs. They are also trained to pack everything efficiently so that each space used up. As mentioned before, this makes everything faster and you didn’t even have to make too much effort. 


  • It will save you money in the long run.

Most people do DIY because they think that it would save them more money. However, there are a lot of costs that you cannot see because you are doing it alone. There’s the gas expense, food needs while travelling, as well as other charges. You might also need to replace some things because they got destroyed during transport. If you don’t have your own car or truck, you will also need to rent another one. Why not spend it all instead in hiring removalists? You can move out in peace with all the peace of mind you deserve.


Creating a new clover lawn.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe



Creating a new clover lawn. As climate change in the UK produces hotter spells in the summer and artificial lawn start to run into problems with family pets. Clover lawns are providing a solution to the family lawn problem especially if you have some aspiring young footballers and cricketers in your family. 

How to create a flower lawn. 

The first stage in creating a new clover lawn is to use Roundup weedkiller that will kill all the existing grass and weeds, etc. This should be carried out ideally 3 weeks before the preparation of the new lawn. The ideal time to establish a new lawn is in the autumn or early winter when the soil is still warm from the summer sun. This is a key, because once the clovers established, it will be very difficult to kill any existing weeds that come up, other than by spot treatments. However, once the clover establishes, it will crowd out any weeds that come through. 

The second stage after weed killing is to carry out a light rotovating of the area to become the lawn no deeper than 75 millimetres. The reason you do not want to go any deeper, is that by motivating too deeply it’s possible to bring up too many weed seeds into the surface of the final seedbed. 

The third stage is to create the general levels. After the initial renovating the soil can be moved around quite easily with a rake, garden spade or a shovel to create the basic required levels. 

The fourth stage is to start to get the final levels. This is done again by raking and by using your feet to tread the soil, so that you can feel the high spots and low areas as walk around the lawn area. 

With this second leveling stage, rake in two directions, you can remove any large stones that you come across over 30 millimetres. With regards to small stones at this stage, it’s not really worth removing stones that are less than 25 millimetres or 30 millimetres. 

The fifth stage is the seeding. Once you’ve achieved the levels, and created a reasonable seed bed seeding should take place by spreading the seed in two directions, sometimes it’s helpful to mark out the area with strings into meter square patches. Firstly, the grass seed should be applied to the recommended rate. And secondly, the clover seed should be applied again at the recommended rate. 

Seeding is being carried out in the autumn or early winter. A second sowing is recommended in the spring at the end of April, beginning of May, depending on the weather. Once the area has been initially seeded it’s a good idea again to either roll or to walk around the area to make sure the seed has good contact with the soil. 

If no rain is forecast for the next two or three days after sowing watering again will help the seed make contact with the soil and begin the germination process. 

The Sixth task. Once the grass and the clover is reached 25 millimetres and height after germinating the whole area should be gone over with a wire rake flicking out any larger stones that have come to the surface and removing these stones, walking over the area will also 

encourage tillering, this is where the stems from the grass and clover are broken which encourages more shoots to grow thickening up the general sward of the new lawn. 

The seventh task. If the area is quite stony. It’s a good idea to carry a light rolling with a garden roller, or use a construction compactor plate over the area when the area is dry to push any stones back into the surface of the soil. 

The final stage in establishing the clover lawn, is to carry out a general feeding with Growmore fertiliser approximately a handful per metre. This will be washed into the soil by the rain. It’s a granular fertiliser so there is no risk of burning the new leaves on the clover and grass plants. This will start to encourage the sward or the lawn plants to build up a nice level of growth and cover the surface, covering any stones and beginning to crowd out any weeds.


Garden Statues: Tips to Make Them Look Stunning in Your Yard

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

If you have a big house garden and you are not locating it with the fantastic statue pieces, then you are entirely making your garden unimpressive looking. Garden statues have become the central attraction for bringing extra charm in your house decor. But if you are planning to bring them home, then you need to figure out where you should be locating it. Making it install in the awkward corners of the house is not a suitable option. It will make your whole garden look messy and uneven. There are specific locations in the garden where you can install the garden statues beautifully, such as the middle of the garden or at the entrance point of the garden.


Here we have some tips for you through which you can learn how you can use stone garden statues in your home garden décor:


Choose The Best Focal Point

To make the use of garden statues, you need to choose the beautiful and best area of your house garden to install it. There is no need to locate the statue in such an area of the garden where no one can view it. You should take into account the specific directions where you want to locate the statue. It can be in the patio setting or at the entrance of the house or even near the terrace if you have. You should install it at such a point from where you can view it when you look out from your home interior window. Try to position them in some open spaces. You can make the use of some frames in your garden to highlight their beauty.

Choose the Beautiful Garden Statue 

Purchasing the garden status is not just your only aim. You should look for the one that is beautiful and suitably matches the theme of your garden statue as well. It is not so much essential to choose the trendy one. Follow this tip right now! Sometimes simple statues can add extra charm and beauty in the garden décor. Garden statues are divided into the designing categories of realistic as well as native or being traditional as well as abstract. If you like simple statue designs, go for it right now!

Pick Garden Status According to Garden Theme 

Never choose any garden statue until and unless you are not entirely aware of the theme of the garden. If your garden style is based on a Japanese theme, then try to stick with some lantern effect in it. You can mix it up with some Buddle style of the statue to maintain the entire theme of the garden. For any contemporary style of the home garden theme, you can look for abstract garden statues. For any traditional garden theme, our best recommendation would be to choose some formal garden statues.

Durable Choices of Material In Garden Statues 

The next most crucial element is about the material choices in the overall construction of the garden statues. You can find garden statues to be available in different materials such as limestone or concrete. Such materials are most often used in traditional or formal garden statues. For bringing flexibility in the whole statue design, bronze and metal material is used.

Well, our tips do not end up here! Keeping in mind the size consideration is also an essential element for you. If your garden area is small in size, then never opt for the giant in size garden size. Always choose the statue according to the size area of your garden. This will bring extra charm and beauty in the garden and will not look messy at all.


How to Ensure Your Lawn Gets the very Best Care

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Lawn care is important in maintaining a beautiful home surrounding, a serene working environment or just having that natural aesthetic environment that you desire. 

Simply put, a beautiful lawn is a healthy lawn.

The term lawn care generally refers to a process of continuously maintaining a managed grass space.

 A lot of planning and time goes into this maintenance process. It requires constant work and attention as we can see here

It can thus be said that a well maintained lawn is one that a lot of time, energy and labor, not to mention skill, has been invested into its maintenance. This is time, energy and labor that you may not have.

Now, even when you do have the time and energy to take care of it, chances are that you might lack the necessary skill set and the knowledge required for its proper maintenance. 

This kind of scenario will usually result in disappointment for the one who has spent his/her time on an unfruitful venture. It is for reasons such as this that you need professional lawn care services.

Why Are Lawn Care Services Important? 

A specialist at this, whether a service provider/company or an individual, would know the proper and best maintenance practices to employ for best results. Usually, the process will begin with a discussion with the clients to enable them make an informed choice on how to proceed with their maintenance plan.

Generally though, the basic maintenance practices will include: mowing of grass, planting of seeds, application of fertilizer, trimming of hedges and trees among other things. These are a just the very basics. But beyond these, they will also provide all the necessary treatments required for your lawn.  

 Also, lawn maintenance service providers are very knowledgeable on how to handle mix and apply a variety of chemicals to help stop weeds. These include fungicides, herbicides and insecticides which are mixed and applied through dusts vapors and sprays.

These and more are some of the services you can expect from professional lawn services.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Professional


Having established the importance of working with professional service providers, the next challenge is how to choose the right company for the job.

This is because, there are quite a number of companies out there and like in every area of life, some are quite good while some will not be worth your time. 

To ensure you choose the right company, there are a few tips you can follow. This will guide you selection process and hopefully lead you to the right company.


 For any one of company that provides any service, their reputation precedes them. A little inquiry from neighbors, friends and even coworkers can be very insightful and informative as to the quality of service they render.

Certification and License

Proper certification and licensing is one important indicator of a company that is professional and trained to work in this field. This is because, though an unlicensed company may be cheaper, their quality of service might leave a lot to be desired.

Search Online

Carry out an online search with a focus on companies close to you. There’s no point discussing with a company that does not understand the soil type, weather conditions and other factors that are at play in your location which may affect the outcome of the job they are coming to do.

For example, you can search for lawn care in Vancouver to see companies that offer this service only in the Vancouver area. This will save you a lot of time as you will only get companies that operate within the area.

Compare Quotes

Take some time to get quotes from different companies as this will help you decide which company can work within your budget and which not to consider at all.


Finally, ensure that the company is insured, this is to prevent you from being held responsible in the case of any accident that may occur during the course of the work.


When a lawn gets the care that it needs, it generally affects different aspects of life, especially the social and environmental aspects. You and your family will surely enjoy the full benefits of a refreshingly beautiful and well-cared for environment.


3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Tree Surgery Service

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Most homeowners out there are passionate gardeners as well as DIY-ers, which is a great thing. However, maintaining big trees and pruning them can be a potentially dangerous task. Keeping up with the large property and a lot of plants and trees can be a little daunting task for even an enthusiastic gardener. There are a number of hazards and concerns that need to be put into consideration before you even think of doing so, especially when trees are huge and old. 

So, what you should do? You should probably find and hire an arborist, otherwise known as a “tree surgeon.” A tree surgeon is an expert who is trained to take care and maintain trees and other woody plants. Hiring a professional tree surgery service is probably the best decision you’ll make for your backyard trees. If you are wondering why then below we’ve answered your question, be sure to read the article, till the end! 

Tools and Equipment

If you ever thought of cutting down trees and trimming them yourself, then it is not going to be a good idea because for doing so you would require professional tools and equipment, which you might not have. In this regard, tree surgery services come really handy as they are equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment required to trim or even cut down the trees with utmost care. 

They not only make sure that the trees are properly cut down; they also certify that they are cut fast. It will give you peace of mind that experts are cutting your trees properly. Obviously, if trees are cut properly, it will change the whole look of your garden.



Sometimes the trees start withering away, which can hamper your movement in your garden or yard. Many times they even interrupt the development of other trees, which is not something you want. For this, you might think that just a little maintenance doesn’t require professional assistance and you can keep your trees maintained yourself. Sure, you can do this with your plants, but when it comes to trees, things will get different. 

Think about it! Maintaining a tree involves climbing it and cutting large chunks of it. Do you think you can do this? I doubt that! It can be very dangerous, especially when you are doing it for the first time. In addition to slipping and falling from the tree, there is a risk of a tree falling on your property. Therefore, it is recommended to seek tree surgery services for gaining peace of mind. 



Proper tree maintenance requires practice and expertise that only comes with years of experience in the area. You might be a good gardener and must be taking care of your plants and trees. But tree surgery is not something to just water your plants and trimming them into shape. It demands wide awareness and knowledge of numerous tree species, insects, and diseases. 

If you don’t know exactly what to do when you prune a tree, then instead of doing something good, you’ll end up with much more harm. Conversely, experts with years of experience are trained to figure out which method of tree care will help your landscape and your plants and trees will grow much healthier.