Spring time blues

Spring budsI’m borrowing a line from Gerard Manley Hopkins here:

“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring – When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush…”

And don’t they get away after only a few millimetres of rain? We could do with a lot more rain at this stage, but there seems to be just enough to get the weeds growing.

It’s a busy time as everyone seems to decide at once that they want things cleaned up for the warmer months ahead (and the clock is ticking down to Christmas) – everything from garden clean-ups to small renovations.

The key to making the spring clean not quite so big a job for me or you, is to do things more regularly. A tough gig when you’re busy and not always fun, but it certainly saves time and money when the weather warms up.

Anyone in trades will probably be finding that the work becomes more constant from here on in as everyone wants their job done today…or at the latest, tomorrow. Patience is a virtue, or so my mother told me, but it doesn’t always wear so well when talking with potential clients.

So, if you’re looking to do a spring clean at your place – be it oiling the deck, a fresh coat of paint, a garden tidy up or changing batteries in your smoke detectors –  think about what you can do and then give me a ring about the rest. Get a list happening of all the things you want done and prioritise it. And if I can’t do it, I’m always happy to give you some idea of who might.

In the meantime, enjoy the warmer days and have a word to that person of influence about sending down some decent rain before summer gets here.

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The birds are a twittering

Willy Wagtail eggs in nesWe’ve certainly had a warm start to spring and everywhere you look there are signs we’re in for a long, hot summer. The only thing holding back lawns at the moment is the lack of rain, but deciduous trees are either flowering or leafing up and spring flowers are coming up everywhere.

While the weather at this time of year can be a little unpredictable, it’s still a good time to start getting ready for the summer ahead. Some things you might want to have a think about for the coming months include:

  • Check your gutters – gutters that overflow back into the roof space are a common cause of damage in homes;
  • Check fly screens – most are easy to replace and stop that bug invasion that happens when the weather warms up;
  • Check your evaporative cooler* before you really need to turn it on – over winter bearings can seize up and the float valves stick shut;
  • Check filters on the internal unit of your reverse cycle air conditioner* – read the manual; it’s usually not a difficult job;
  • Fertilise your lawn and spray out weeds – use a selective broadleaf herbicide. Kamba M gives good control of most broadleaf weeds if use as directed. Spread your fertiliser at least two weeks after spraying for weeds. Tip: It all works better if your lawn is well watered before you start.

*Please take care if you’re climbing on your roof. If you’re not sure about working at heights, seek help.

For some more ideas of what you could be doing this spring to get ready for the long summer days ahead, check out an earlier post – Spring clean your way to a carefree summer!

If you have problems with any of these basic maintenance jobs, give me a call! I’m more than happy to give a quote. Don’t forget though, it’s a busy time of year for blokes like me and a little bit of notice is always appreciated.

Rain rain go away (for now)

Cameron the Handyman on the jobWith only weeks left of summer, I’m wondering where summer disappeared to. Hasn’t it been a wet one?

Thankfully, my job sees me working inside as well as outside. However, those outside jobs I have been doing bring to mind how important it is to get your drainage working well during wet periods like this summer.

The rain we’ve had has often been storm rain, falling heavily in a short space of time. Your gutters and down pipes have probably been tested. The amount of water flowing off hard surfaces can cause quite a bit of damage if it can’t get away quickly enough or gets banked up at some point. This is when basic house and garden maintenance becomes critical.

At our place, we’ve been trying to find enough dry days (in between jobs) to renovate an outdoor entertaining area. However, we had a garden bed next to this space that flooded every time we had heavy rain, floating bark chip on to the verandah. It was important to get this fixed before laying any concrete or making other changes to the layout of the space. We cleared the garden bed, lay down some ag drainage pipe, packed it out with rubble, covered with geotextile fabric, then replaced the soil before planting out the bed again with drought-hardy, flood-tolerant native reeds.

Sounds like a bit of work, but worth it in the long run. I’m looking forward to enjoying this outdoor space…next summer! The Bureau of Meteorology forecast to the end of April isn’t showing a likelihood of big rain in early autumn, but I’m not sure we were quite expecting the amount of rain we’ve had so far. So, if you have some drainage issues at your place – gutters that need cleaning, down pipes that are blocked or a garden bed that needs some extra drainage, give me a call.

Spring clean your way to a carefree summer!

Well, if it is not going to rain then the sun may as well shine and it’s certainly doing that at the moment. The wattle is out and in some cases nearly spent, and the deciduous trees are budding, which, along with the warmer days is a good sign spring has sprung. You may have been thinking about the annual spring clean as council’s kerbside clean up gets underway. It’s not just the clutter and dust in our sheds and homes that needs attending too though.

Spring is a great time to clean your solar panels and gutters so that you are not only ready to capture the best of the sunny months ahead, but in the case of cleaning gutters, you’ll be ready for when the rain comes tumbling down! Think of some of the other jobs that might need looking at while there’s someone on your roof – it’s not a spot that gets regular attention.

Some other jobs worth considering at this time of year are putting in rainwater tanks, if you haven’t already got one, and cleaning up the garden for the odd spring/summer celebration to come…or just a quiet BBQ!

Want a quote? Give me a call on 0429 879 262 and I’ll arrange a time to have a look – obligation free of course!