With all of life’s obligations it’s easy to forget the big and small maintenance jobs required outside of the house. With our landscaping and gardening calendar you can stay on top of projects and outdoor maintenance year round, giving you much less to do when the time for summer entertaining comes around. If you don’t have the time to do it all yourself a Zones landscaping specialist can provide you with all of the support you need, whether it be garden maintenance or just an overall outdoor refresher.
- Maintain your fruit trees
Many of your fruits and vegetables will now be ready for harvesting. Trimming your fruit trees back will support the new year’s growth. Ensuring trees are well hydrated and have nutrients will go a long way toward producing a tasty harvest this year and in the years to follow.
- Plant fruits, vegetables and herbs
There are plenty of fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be planted in January. Blueberries, basil and baby beetroot can all be planted in warmer weather. Keep them healthy with good quality plant food and ensure basil has partial access to shade. For more inspiration on what edibles can be planted in January, check out Yates’ article on delicious herbs, veges & more.
- Prune your roses
The January heat can affect the presentation of your roses and the stems may start to thin. Yates recommends trimming around 30% of growth, removing dead stems and applying some Yates Thrive Rose & Flower Liquid Plant Food. Your roses should be back to flourishing within 6-7 weeks. Don’t forget to wear appropriate gear to protect against thorns!
- Look after your lawn
If you are a busy family with kids, chances are your lawn gets put through a lot in the summer months. To keep it looking its best use herbicides for weed control, pierce holes in the soil to keep it from becoming too dense and keep the soil well hydrated and fed. Yates suggests using their Waterwise Hose On Soil Wetter and Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food. For optimal lawn care get in touch with a Zones maintenance specialist.
- Before the winter rain hits, consider the benefits of adding a rainwater harvesting system
Rainwater harvesting systems are a great option for anyone who is environmentally and financially conscious. They are becoming increasingly popular because they can be a great source for watering your garden and, when treated, can be used as drinking water. Common harvesting systems include a traditional water tank and bladder type solutions. For more information get in contact with a Zones rainwater system specialist.
- Install outdoor lights
With daylight savings ending soon it’s a good idea to make sure paths and stairways are well lit. Lighting up any hazard areas around your home should always be a priority, allowing your family and guests to easily see any areas where they might trip or fall. Get in touch with an expert if you would like to develop a lighting plan. You can learn more about choosing the right outdoor lighting for your home here, or check out Mitre 10’s great range of outdoor lighting options.
- Lawn care
To keep your lawn thriving all year round, it’s worth giving it some attention leading into the colder months. Yates recommends feeding lawns with Dynamic Lifter Organic Lawn Food to keep the soil healthy. Yates also recommend adding fast-germinating lawn seeds and controlling weeds with their Weed ‘n’ Feed Liquid Hose-on.
- Plant trees/shrubs/hedges
Autumn provides great temperatures for planting trees, shrubs and hedges. Soil retains water well at this time of year and gardener’s don’t need to worry about working in the summer heat. Begin by promoting the health of your soil (a Zones Landscaping Specialist or expert from Mitre 10 can advise you on the best product for your project) and selecting plants that aren’t sensitive to the cold.
- Get an outdoor fireplace installed
To make the most of winter, consider having an outdoor fireplace installed. It’s a great way to bring people together, whether it be family or a social gathering. You can choose whether you want the pit to be built in or portable. There are also the options of it being multi-functional and perhaps being used as a barbeque. To make sure you are not skipping over any regulations, get in touch with a specialist before going ahead with your project. For more inspiration check out How to create fire pits and fireplaces to last and enjoy.
- Install an outdoor heater
If flames aren’t your thing an outdoor heater could be the right solution. They are a must for outdoor rooms and spaces. Most outdoor heaters offer easy portability, safety features and have adjustable temperatures. Mitre 10 offers some great outdoor heating options, you can check them out here.
- Create an outdoor spa area
Spa pools are wonderful to come home to at the end of a long winter day. Spa pools cost around $5,000 and upwards but for a full installation and landscaping you could be looking at $30,000 or more. You can choose in-ground or above-ground spas and have the option of having them installed outside in the open air or within an outdoor room. For more information on the costs involved in creating a spa area read: How much does a spa cost in New Zealand?
- Protect your plants from frost
While it’s tempting to prune plants that suffer from winter damage, resist the urge. The damaged area can sometimes act as a protective layer for the rest of the plant. If you have plants that are new or sensitive to the cold you can support them by building a shelter. For something more sturdy, consider having a greenhouse installed. For more on this, see the Modern Greenhouse Guide.
- Show your compost some love
May is a popular time for composting and not without good reason. Autumn leaves provide a great carbon source for composting and offer insulation over winter. Mix in some nitrogen rich greens such as vegetable scraps or grass clippings, and liquids for added moisture. Ensure your compost sits in a spot that will receive a decent amount of sun over the winter and it should function well in the months to come.
- Consider installing an artificial turf
If you are a parent chances are you are used to the muddy clothes and mashed up lawn that comes with the combination of children and winter. Artificial grass can provide some much needed relief. It also means less time pulling weeds and mowing the lawn. The only maintenance you need to worry about with an artificial lawn is an occasional clean up with a leaf blower or rake. For more information on installation artificial turf, visit the Teamturf website or check out our article: What’s better, artificial grass or real grass?
- Install a swimming pool
Barrier Reef Pools recommend beginning to plan pool installation projects at least 6 months before the intended installation date to allow plenty of time to carry out your pool’s landscape. Weather permitting, Barrier Reef pools can be installed anytime during the year. The installation process is quick and easy. “Barrier Reef pools can take a minimum of 5 days ‘til you are swimming. As Barrier Reef pools are pre-moulded fiberglass pools there is no pool building done onsite”, says Barrier Reef Pools representative Jocelyn McGillivray.
- Protect your plants from storms
Knowing how to protect your plants from a storm could save you the time, energy and money. Apply a layer of mulch on your plants’ soil to protect them from the cold and have some form of shelter available - whether it be placing heavy upside down plant pots over smaller plants or hiring a maintenance specialist to build a larger, windproof shelter.
- Start planning a garden
“There’s always something to be done when you’re a gardener, even in winter”, says Yates marketing manager Fiona Arthur. “Winter is a great time to start planning. Try starting with a basic plan, making a list of the veggies, flowers and other plants you want in your garden and wander around your neighbourhood to check what grows well in your neck of the woods.”
- Winter pool maintenance
Keeping your swimming pool healthy over the winter makes for easy maintenance over summer. Barrier Reef Pools recommend running your pool filtration system for 2-3 hours a day over winter as well as removing the cover to avoid chemical build up. They also recommend keeping you skimmer basket clean to avoid blockages and carrying out regular water balance checks. For more advice on winter pool care check out Top Tips - Outdoor Pool Maintenance or get in touch with with a Zones maintenance specialist.
- Start planning a deck area
“When planning your new deck area, the planning needs to begin in winter”, says Shane Harris from Outdure, an environmentally conscious company specialising in outdoor spaces. According to Shane, beginning your planning in winter “ ensure(s) that the materials required, and trades to construct your new deck area, are available. As summer is the peak season for building decks, both materials and trades come under pressure due to seasonal work loads.” And when it comes to deck maintenance? “Composite decking is a true low maintenance decking solution”, says Shane.
- Get your trees trimmed
Take a walk around your garden, keeping note of how your trees are looking. Could some do with a trim to let more sunlight in? Are any overgrown and getting in the way of the house and driveway? Once you have an idea of what needs to be trimmed, do your research and see if you need permission to trim any of the trees on your property. A Zones maintenance specialist can ensure the work is carried out to a high standard.
- Start a compost
As the weather begins warming up for spring, consider adding a compost into your garden. You will need a container, sticks and materials, browns (dead leaves, straw etc.), greens (grass clippings, vegetable scraps etc.) and a garden fork to start off with. Once your compost is set up you can add food scraps (apart from meat and dairy), weeds and paper to it.
- Plant native plants & trees
Native plants are a great way to attract native birds to your garden and inject an Aotearoa theme into your space. Experts recommend using flax plants such as silver spear, and grasses such as Carex or Tussock, to fill in any gaps in your garden. If you are looking to attract native birds to your garden, Kowhai trees are a lively choice and will attract tuis. Hebe Napuka and Pohutukawa are great for adding colour to the garden. For more inspiration on creating a native garden sanctuary see: Creating a Sanctuary for Native Plants.
- Get your outdoor area ready for summer
Make the most out of the upcoming summer by getting organised before it arrives. Freshen up your outdoor area by maintaining, restoring or buying new furniture. Make your space sun friendly by installing an opening louvre roof system or awning, or become the ultimate host with an outdoor pizza oven or kitchen. If you would like to discuss the possibilities of creating your dream outdoor space a Zones Landscaping specialist can give you a free consultation.
- Clean your gutter from winter
With the winter weather hopefully starting to settle down, it’s a good time to clean out your gutters. Doing so can protect your home against roof damage and interior leaks. If you would like assistance in keeping your gutter clean, Zones offer landscape maintenance services. Visit the Zones maintenance page to find out more.
- Plant seedlings
“Spring is the perfect time to sow most seeds from scratch, plant seedlings and new plants, and to make sure you’re feeding adequately”, advises Fiona Arthur from Yates. “Plants need more than just water, and a plant food such as Yates Thrive Natural Fish Blood & Bone provides potent balanced nutrition. Especially to heavy feeders that quickly exhaust the soil’s nutrients, such as roses, citrus & fruit trees, green leafy veggies and many flowering annuals.”
- Feed your plants
“Many of us forget just how much food our plants need”, says Fiona Arthur from Yates. “Green leafy veggies and herbs need a liquid fertiliser feed once every 1-2 weeks through Spring & Summer, try Yates Thrive Veggie & Herb plant food. Citrus are super hungry plants and they need feeding when they’re both flowering and fruiting – try Thrive Citrus plant food which is enriched with potassium for larger, more abundant fruit.”
- Buy a BBQ
A simple way to bring a social event outside is to add a barbeque to your outdoor setting - and nothing says Kiwi summer like a barbeque. There are a variety of options out there, whether you just want something simple and affordable or are on the lookout for something a bit more extravagant. Mitre 10 has choices for every price range - check out their options here.
- Get your house exterior cleaned
Winter can result in a build up of outdoor grime and fly away foliage, so it’s a good idea to get it cleaned once the weather starts warming up. It’s easy enough to carry out a simple home exterior clean yourself using a scrubbing brush, a garden hose or a pressure cleaner. For a more in depth clean consult a specialist.
Get a retaining wall installed for summer gardening
There are many visually pleasing options available when it comes to retaining walls. The specific purpose of the wall, and the soil conditions, will influence what style you go with. Options include gravity walls, piles, stone clad, timber and more. The cost of your retaining wall can range from $100 - $280 per square meter, depending on the materials you choose. Take a look at the costs involved in building a retaining wall here: How much does a retaining wall cost?
- Get your swimming pool ready for summer
Barrier Reef Pools recommend using an Electric Robotic Cleaner to keep pool cleaning simple. Check your pool’s water balance regularly and run its filtration system for at least 8 hours per day as summer approaches. Ensure you are also sweeping and vacuuming your pool regularly. Consider using a pool cover to minimise heat and chemical evaporation.
- Mulch your garden
Mulching is a great way to support your garden leading into summer. It protects the soil, keeping it cool and retaining water, while also deterring weeds. Yates suggests using pine bark, wood chips, compost, peat moss, stones or gravel as mulch. Spread your materials over soil to keep your garden hydrated and protected over summer.
- Install a pond or fountain in your garden
Ponds and fountains can be attractive garden features and add a cooling effect to your space during hot summers. They make for a refreshing addition as well as a source for bird watching. Take a look at Mitre 10’s options if you are interested in a water feature or get in touch with a Zones landscaping specialist if you would like to find out more about having a pond, or more elaborate water feature, installed.
- Water blast your driveway
After the dampness of winter it’s worth water blasting your driveway to remove any build up of stains, algae, mould or moss. If you want to go the DIY route, Mitre 10 offers a range of water blasters - ask a team member which one will work best for your driveway. They also have driveway cleaning products available such as the 30 seconds deck and driveway cleaner. If you would prefer to play it safe and bring in some help, get in touch with a Zones maintenance specialist.
- Develop good watering habits for summer
Get in the habit of watering your plants in the morning. This will give them time to dry during the day and prevent fungal diseases. Large, infrequent amounts of watering will train mature plants for easy survival. Ensure seedlings and young plants are watered on a more frequent schedule. If you’re planning on taking a holiday consider installing an irrigation system to keep plants healthy over the summer.
- Get your citronella candles and plants ready
With summer comes mosquitos but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the warm evenings. Citronella plants are a natural way to repel mosquitoes, as is lavender, lemongrass, garlic and marigolds. There are also a huge selection of citronella candles and torches available that can provide both mosquito protection and atmosphere to your outdoor space.
- Protect your plants against insects
“Summer is insect season! Your best form of defence is to keep a close eye on your precious plants”, advises Fiona Arthur from Yates. “Try squashing insects by hand or blasting with the hose. If they get out of hand a great multi-purpose organic spray is Yates Nature’s Way Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental insect gun. It has a combination of canola oil & pyrethrum and deals with aphids, ants, scale and whitefly – the top 4 pests this time of year.”
Get in touch
If you need a bit of help maintaining your outdoor space, don’t fret! Zones Landscaping offers specialist services in landscaping maintenance, from outdoor cleaning and pool maintenance to garden care. Get in touch for a free, no obligations consultation at a time that suits you.
The costs in this article reflect the prices at the time of publication. Learn more here about the importance of planning your project ahead to minimise industry disruptions.