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Posted 27th January 2016 by Garden Guru:

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!

 

When I see bare earth garden beds I cringe for the plants! Not only is that beautiful top layer of soil exposed to erosion and direct heat from the sun, but weeds are given free run. It really doesn’t matter what material is used to cover the soil as long as it allows water through, allows the soil to “breathe” (worms to poke their heads out at night time) and is preferably organic. Some people use pebbles as mulch – this can work for water retention and weed suppression; however, organic mulch will break down providing added nutrient for the soil. For this reason, shredded bark and tree mulch are really popular. Also, they look great. Any mulch with a reddish hue will really contrast and bring out the green colour in the foliage (see the photo for example). Here are some of the pros and cons of the popular bulk mulches:

1”Hoop: this mulch is often specified on large landscape jobs because it used to be the only good option for embankments – it holds well on a gradient. It also lasts a long time, looks great and keeps its’ colour well. Unfortunately high demand has driven the price up, and as it is a by-product, supply can be sporadic for much of the year.  

Cypress Bark: the best alternative to 1” Hoop for embankments, this relatively new mulch is the course shredded bark of the Cypress tree, so has added natural termite resistance. On a landscape job, it looks very similar to 1” Hoop, and lasts similarly, but it doesn’t have the supply issues. 

The other Cypress mulches are: Cypress Chip which has very good termite resistance is among the longest lasting of mulches and is an economical choice, and Red Cypress Mulch which is a blend of the ground-up bark and chip pieces, a beautiful premium, ever popular mulch.

Tea Tree: Also said to be termite resistant, this mulch has a great smell and is a nice brown colour.

Pine Barks: Available as softfall, 1” or 2-4”, pine barks provide a very long lasting, formal appearance.

Forest Mulch: A fully recycled product, forest mulch is mulched trees of any kind. Unlike other mulches, the type of trees used to create forest mulch varies and is often unknown and mixed. This can be great as it provides different and varied nutrient once it has broken down. It also keeps the price much cheaper than all other mulches. The appearance of forest mulch is very rustic, like leaf litter or a forest floor appearance.  

Whichever mulch you choose, the investment (mostly time in spreading!) will definitely be worth it in protecting and slowly enhancing your soil, saving your plants from having to compete with weeds (and your back from having to pull them out), and retaining moisture.   

Posted 24th December 2015 by Merchman:

As you can see we have all been too busy to blog since last year, what a year it has been! Lots of great projects accomplished in Brisbane this year, we are so very glad to have been part of them with you. From the weekend warriors returfing their backyards ready for this great summer we are enjoying, to the last minute commercial jobs: ready in time for Christmas please, in the city, on a rooftop… no worries!  All this racing around has encouraged us to make some really positive changes, you might have noticed already, we have re-branded our trucks and even traded up a few to newer higher capacity models. We have a truck now with specific racking for easy steel mesh and bar deliveries. We have introduced new products such as red cypress bark mulch, 20mm urban mix pebbles and synthetic turf options. We are now stocking the entire range of growing media by Rocky Point Mulching – these products have quickly gained popularity and have a little bit of a cult following just quietly! Check out their facebook for the grow-test results.  Our resident Landscape Girl Emily, gave birth to a mini Landscape Girl in October – so like I said we’ve all been very busy, big changes…

We are looking forward to continuing this trend of improving our service to you in 2016: there’s going to be some huge changes in the landscape yard (mammoth racking to start!) which will involve a large product clearance (keep an eye out on what we are clearing for bargains)… even the website will be getting a face lift… but that is a story for after Christmas! Please feel free to leave us feedback on anything you’ve seen that we can improve upon, any time in the year! For now, from all of us here at Steve Jones Hardware and Landscaping, have a great Christmas and New Year!      

 

Posted 20th September 2014 by Captain Hardware:

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

With the beautiful weather at the moment, it would be a real shame for the kids to waste their school holidays in front of the Wii/Playstation/Computer/Mobile/Tablet! If your kids are anything like mine, it can be a real struggle to get them away from these devices, but when they do they have a great time. Some ideas to get the kids out of the house and enjoying their holidays – because you know, “yolo”.

1. Get them into the pool! So I know its been winter, and your pool chemical levels might be out of wack and there might be a massive pile of leaves at the bottom, but it's only going to get worse as the weather warms up, so get on top of that ASAP if you can. We have superfine ultrapure pool salt that can help make this job easier. Unlike some other pool salt, being ultra pure, it won't mess with your chemical/nutrient levels. Offer the kids some extra pocket money to help you clean out the leaves, 2 birds with one stone! Don't have a pool? Hijack a mate's! Just be sure to bring some snags/beer/pool salt to compensate for the invasion, and your own towels.

2. Build/Renovate a cubby house. So much fun, so much nostalgia. We have all the gear you'll need from the timber and fixings to the post mix. And don't forget to add some Softfall underneath if it is a tree-cubby.

3. Make a fairy garden. Drill holes into timber and glue in coloured marbles (fairy windows) for the light to shine through. Add some coloured pebbles or glow in the dark chips to wet concrete to make cute stepping stones. Kids love making their mark in wet cement – just make sure they use gloves! Add some rock daisies and voila!

4. Make a checker/chess board with 2 different coloured pavers. We have some bargain pavers at the moment, so its a great time to give this project a shot. It can also double as a hopscotch or handball area.

5. Top up the sandpit. Bring the kids with you when you collect the sand, they love to see the front-end loaders loading in the landscape yard. Then they can play landscape yard in the sandpit with toy mini-diggers afterwards.

6. If all this sounds like far too much work, or if your kids are too young, grab a ball and play on the lawn. Sometimes simple fun is the best type. We have selective weed killers for Bindii or other prickles, so no excuses!

We would love to see photos of your DIY holiday adventures. What gets your kids active?  

 

 

Posted 6th September 2014 by Merchman:

NEW PRODUCTS FOR SPRING

A quick update of some interesting new products in store:

We now have coloured decorative 1-3mm pebbles available in 10 bright colours; great for cactus pot topping or a unique concrete feature.

Ready for your Spring garden clean we have Rake Barrow Mates, a wheelbarrow insert to make moving leaves, branches and debris to green-bin the with your barrow easier.

We now have Silcopel waterproofing sealer for concrete paving and retaining walls. It prevents mould and mildew growing in concrete. We have a small area sealed in store at Everton hills, so you can see how great it works.

Balmoral blocks are once again available! These DIY link wall blocks represent the best value retaining wall option available this month on special at just $73.98m2. Easy to stack once the first course is down, these forgiving blocks are great for both straight and curved walls.

Hope this inspires you to get out and enjoy your yards & this beautiful weather, Spring clean & Happy Fathers Day!

 

 

Posted 23rd August 2014 by Garden Guru:


 LAWNS LOVING THIS RAIN! 

 

Winter has been tough on a lot of Brisbane lawns this year. Even my lawn has dry patches and yellowing, and while I've enjoyed the break from mowing over these cooler months – I think it is time to get the lawn back to Garden Guru standards! Spring is just around the corner and we are lucky to have this beautiful rain this weekend, a great time to get out and fertilise. Most lawn fertilisers require “wetting in” and it is especially important for stressed lawns.

 

 

So which fertiliser to choose? There are a few considerations.

 

Organic or Chemical?

Chemical fertilisers can be specifically formulated and cover the full spectrum of nutrients required. They are, however, really strong. Stressed lawns can respond poorly to chemicals if they are not adequately watered on application. A really good chemical fertiliser, such as CK88 would be the perfect choice for the type of damage winter has caused our lawns this year – but if you don't have time to ensure it is really well watered in over the next couple of days, it can backfire.

 

Alternatively, organic fertilisers won't burn your lawn as readily, and while initial wetting in is recommended, it is not as important. Organic fertilisers, such as Organic Booster, also provide slower release of nutrients, more consistent with the needs of the grass. The trade off? Organic fertilisers tend to have an unpleasant odour that will last for at least 2 weeks post-application. If you don't mind the smell, you can save time (from watering), stress (knowing it wont burn your grass) and money with the organic choice.

 

Still on the fence? You can get the best of both worlds with an organic based fertiliser than uses chemicals to balance the nutrient deficit, such as Eco88. Or with a specific granular fertilisers such as Sir Walter Fertiliser, Sir Launcher, and Scotts Lawn Fertiliser which provide practically odourless lawn support for a little more outlay. Still be prepared to water it initially, or make use of the rainy weather this weekend!

 

We are offering both CK88 and Eco88 in 25kg bags on special this weekend for $39.95 (save $10.00 per bag, unil 2:30pm Sunday 24th August 2014). Happy gardening.

 

Posted 8th August 2014 by LandscapeGirl:

 

RETAINING WALL OPTIONS

So its still lovely cool weather and while we can look forward to all wrestling with the gardens come spring and summer, now is a great time to focus on more structural improvements, that we might not get a chance to address once the weather warms up again. Retaining walls are a great way to add formal structure to a landscape and to maximise usable space. Adding or improving retaining walls can be a big job, but the cooler weather will certainly help, and its definitely worth the effort! There's a huge range of different types of retaining wall options, including timber sleepers and concrete sleepers (which require holes to be dug for posts to be set in concrete), DIY stack blocks (which once you have the first course in and level, just stack like Lego), natural stone options (which may require machines to install but look fantastic), to the more serious, crane-installed super-structural blocks that can radically transform a landscape practically overnight. No matter which option you chose, a level base is the best bet for success (depending on the retaining wall you choose, this can be made from road base, concrete, or in some cases compacted earth), and correct drainage behind (ideally biddum, 100mm socked ag pipe and 20mm drainage gravel); a string line and level will be needed, and a can-do mindset! Bear in mind some council restrictions may apply, especially near your boundary or over 1m height (these vary in Brisbane and Moreton regions). We have how to guides here and here. In the meantime, some pictures for inspiration.   

 

 

 

Posted 17th July 17 2014 by DrDispatch:

 

NEW CRANE TRUCK!

We are very excited to announce the addition of a new crane truck to our truck fleet: for delivery of blocks, pavers, bricks and bulk-a-bags! Currently operating Monday to Friday, the new crane will allow on-time, same or next-day delivery South-East Queensland-wide. Like the rest of the Steve Jones fleet, the crane truck will be driven by an exceptional truck driver and will be tracked at all times with GPS. The crane is able to carry 8 pallets or 12 tonnes, with 8m reach. Checkout the specs & load limits of all our trucks here. We look forward to offering you more control and flexibility on pallet-loaded deliveries, handled from start to finish by Steve Jones' experienced staff!