The best gardens to see this Christmas
 
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The decorations are out, the heatwave is growing stronger, and days are getting longer. All signs of a looming Kiwi Christmas. Are you spending more time in the garden leading up to the big day? Whether you’re just tidying up the garden, or decorating with lights - Crewcut couldn’t be happier to make your lawns and gardens look their best.

Many of us get into the Christmas lights spectacular - which is such a cool way to redesign your garden just in time for Christmas. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best lawns and gardens to check out this time of the year. 

 

Auckland

Franklin Road

Of course this goes without mentioning - an Auckland Christmas tradition. Everyone's lawns are neatly mowed with decorations adorning every front door and garden. Carollers sing a festive tune and cotton candy hides the smiles of young children. 

 

Karaka Light Show - 20 Cornwall Place

Each year the Karaka light show draws in crowds because of the grand light decorations. Truly not to be missed!
 

 

 

Canterbury

11 Tullamore Place

Boasting to have plenty of Christmas decorations inside and out! Maybe a Santa’s grotto is waiting for you and your family in the backyard! Check them out, 7-11pm, from December 19-23.

 

190 Hoon Hay Road

Such a magnificent use of the front and back garden - with beautiful Christmas lights and inflatable Santas. Be sure to check this one out!

 

7 Woodglen Drive, Woodend

This place has really utilised full capacity of their front yard, creating a beautiful space. Even has a realistic Santa clause too!

 

 

Wellington

37 Sumner Terrace, Porirua

If you're into pyrotechnics, you'll absolutely love this! With a full light display, you'll be standing on the front lawn, entertained for ages. 

 

30 Caesers Place, Churton Park

Fairy lights, fairy lights, and more fairy lights! This property has gone all out with decorating the grass with multi-coloured lights. Such a simple and effective take on the Christmas lights celebrations. 

 

For a more comprehensive directory of all the light shows around the country, be sure to check out https://www.lightupchristmas.co.nz/xmas-lights.php

 
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The secret magic of composting
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If you’ve considered compositing as the wizardry of gardening hippies - we do hope you’d reconsider. As part of our composting mini-series, we're here to prove that composting should be a part of your regular garden and waste management. There are so many great benefits it's a wonder why more people haven't moved to the 'Composting Convoy'. 

On average, New Zealanders send about 2.5 million tonnes of waste to the landfills - or about one tonne per household. However, according to Auckland Council Waste Assessment, the normal household could compost half of the waste they create. While some waste can't be composted such as packaging, plastic and glass (which you should aim to recycle anyway) - a lot of waste you can.

Compostable items include:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Branches and twigs


One of the great parts of composting is you can add your grass clippings to the mix when you get your lawns mowed. Your regular Crewcut operator would be more than happy to add the clippings to your compost bin as part of their service

So you may be asking: 'apart from looking like an enviro-warrior how exactly does this benefit me?'. Oh mon frere, you have plenty to learn about the magic of composting:

  • Enrich soil to produce healthier plants in the garden
    The leftover you get from compost (in either a solid mulch form or concentrated tea) is so good for your soil. It is absolutely jam-packed with nutrients which aide in plant growth and root health.
     
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    As mentioned previously, 2.5 million tonnes of waste get sent to landfills. A vast amount of this waste is compostable, however it's now sitting in landfills not decomposing properly. All the methane produced in these landfills are toxic and are then sent into the atmosphere - not an ideal situation. 
     
  • Reduces the cost for rubbish collection
    By reducing how much waste goes in your council bins or bags, you may be able to put out your rubbish less often. This is a big win, and you'll encourage yourself to save even more as you get better at composting. 

 

If you live in Auckland you can even get a discount on your very first composting bin! Just follow the link, complete the quiz or attend a composting event and you'll receive your discount and free shipping on a selection of compost bins. 

Composting is becoming more and more popular as people realise the benefits. In the next article we’ll show you what kind of composter you are, and how to start your own compost bin. 

Is a hedge better than a fence?
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If you've ever watched 'The Block' or a home and garden show, you'll know how important it is to enclose your property with either a fence or hedge. Aside from the aesthetics, they have plenty of practical positives as well. However, there has been hot debate on which is better - fence or hedge. So who comes out on top?

Privacy and security

Because many hedges can grow to pretty decent heights (some can get to 2 metres!), you can be assured that your privacy will be maintained. This means a reduced risk of mischievous, thieving eyes peering into your backyard and home. Alternatively it means you can saunter in your stubbies around your garden in peace. 

Muffles sound out better

Hedges work brilliantly as a sound blocker. If you have noisy neighbours or are close to a busy road - you should definitely consider having a hedge. A dense hedge can reduce the decibels of noise by up to 50 percent. Most fences on the other hand, do very little for noise control. If you are interested in noise control with fences, you will need to consider brick or thick wood. 

Windbreak

While fences take the brunt of wind gusts, sometimes it can prove too much and causes the fence to topple over. However, a hedge will slow down a lot of the wind while allowing some to pass through.

Wildlife

Hedges are great for our wildlife! Birds stay in them, flying insects and bees carry nectar from the plants, and a neighbouring hedgehog will call it home. If you have young children - they will really appreciate all the extra wildlife the hedge will bring to the garden.

Interesting background

While a fence can look a bit boring, hedges can add a textured and interesting background to any garden. Some hedges even grow interesting flowers - a two in one surprise!

Cost

Fences often have plenty of upkeep and can get worn down very quickly. A well maintained hedge on the other hand will continue to look nice for as long as it's looked after. All it needs is sunlight, water, and 1-2 sessions of hedge trimming a year. Crewcut offers affordable hedge trimming year round, and nationwide! 


Adds value

Plenty of real estate agents agree that a well-maintained and trimmed hedge adds plenty of value to your property. This is particularly pertinent when it comes close to sale time of the property.

 

So have you been sold on hedges? If you need more help and advice on how to best look after your hedge, make sure to ask you local Crewcut operator. As we come into the sunny months, time spent in the backyard will be much more enjoyed with a nice hedge surrounding it. 

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Hey Aucklanders - money does grow in your backyard!
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As the age old saying goes: "Money doesn't grow on trees", however, you can grow your money - in your backyard. With the average house in Auckland selling for 1 million (as of May 2017), you could add even more to the house value by having a well maintained garden and lawn. While renovating other areas of the house are sure to make their improvements on the sale price - nothing sells more than the green, green grass and foliage you have outside. In fact, it can raise the value of the property by 16%, which is today's market is around $100,000+!

Potential home owners love to see outdoor areas they can raise their children in, relax in, or just have room for a fun-loving dog to run in. The extra space is a luxury as houses grow closer and closer together. If you have a lawn, take advantage of it with some regular lawn mowing and extra TLC. Crewcut's Auckland lawn mowing team covers all parts of the city and beyond - so if you need your lawns mowed, we're ready.

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The perfect gift for a Kiwi Father's Day
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Father’s day is coming up, do you know what you might be getting?

New underwear? Perhaps a box of chocolates? Or maybe another ‘best dad ever’ mug? While these are ‘mighty fine gifts’, we know you’d prefer something a bit more satisfying.

When the gardening needs doing, or the lawn needs to be mowed, are you often left with the job? While Kiwi dads are built on the ‘can-do’ attitude, sometimes this mantra gets taken advantage of by others in the family. Dads out there, we hear you.

This year, you should be able to sit back with a beer (or cup of tea) in hand and get a company like Crewcut to mow the lawns for you. Enjoy the time with your family instead and leave your backyard to the experts. We think that’s the ultimate Father’s day gift.

So send this to your kids or partner as a subtle memo that ‘hey, I don’t want socks this year’. Ask them instead to treat you with the gift that keeps on giving - the gift of never having to mow your lawns again. You deserve it, because as a Kiwi father, you’re a cut above the rest.

To arrange a free lawn quote, contact us on 0800 800 286

 
How to stop your dog destroying the garden
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It’s a real shame when your freshly cut lawn, or beautiful flower garden is subject to the wrath of your (sometimes) crazy dog. Holes, petal-less flowers and plenty of muddy patches are just a few of the signs that your pooch needs garden-etiquette training. Our Crewcut operators see it all, and have come up with some fool-proof ways to keep your garden in top shape whilst having a dog there.

Keep your dog company in the garden

If your dog is out in the garden for an extended period of time, they’re likely to get bored. When this happens, the dog might turn his paws to the ground and get some digging underway. Being with them means they have someone to play with - and also means they’ll be on better behaviour.

Fence off the problem areas

This is key if you have a little garden patch or flowers. The one way to deter your dog from going into these ares and ‘causing a muck’ would be to have a visual aid showing these areas are ‘doggy no-nos’. A little chicken wire fence or a properly installed mini picket-fence should keep them out of these areas. 

Take your dog for longer walks or runs

Dogs are physical creatures. They need plenty of exercise, every day. When the playful pooch feels it’s not getting out all it’s energy, it might turn to other measures that aren’t too friendly to your backyard. Even if it just involves throwing the ball, they will use up more of their energy which means you’ll use less energy keeping your lawn tidy.

Are they stimulated enough?

Just like children, dogs too need plenty of toys to keep them stimulated. Give them toys they can use both inside and outside, but be sure not to leave then out too long or the toys will get dirty and slimy (from curious snails).

There are plenty of other ways to keep your canine from destroying the backyard. Have you read "How to keep cats out of your garden?" What are some of the other ways you keep your dog well behaved in the garden?

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How to get your kids outside in the holidays
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How do you keep the children entertained throughout the school holiday? Especially in winter! At a time of the year when everyone generally stays indoors - we’re saying, get them outside! The best way to boost their immunity, understanding of nature and self awareness is to get them immersed in conditions they might not normally experience.

1. Visit the Auckland Botanic Gardens

There’s an abundance of activities to do here during the school holidays, including nature challenges, kids vs. wild, Matariki mobiles and much more! And if you can't make it to the programs, children love walking around the gardens and learning about all the various plants and flowers that make this garden so full of life. Winter growth is very unique which makes it the perfect time to visit the gardens. 

2. Wilder kids.

If you’re in Wellington, your kids are going to love the Wilder Kids programme. Aimed at 5-12 year olds, your children will have a fun outdoorsy day learning about nature, creepy crawlies and how to protect everything in New Zealand’s big backyard. The programme runs every school holidays, and while winter limits outdoor time, your kids will still be learning heaps.

3. Conscious kids

Similar to the Wilder Kids programme is the Conscious kids winter group which runs in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. This happens during the second week of the holidays and is open to all ages. It’s a 100% nature based program that aims to get Kiwi kids outside and exploring whilst learning problem solving skills and environmental awareness. 

4. Mud pie delight

Of course we can’t all afford to put our kids into holiday programs, so why not utilise the mud in the back yard? Kids absolutely LOVE mud pies. Can we get any more Kiwi than loving a good pie? All you’ll need is a decently sized bucket with smooth dirt and decorative imagination. They’ll get messy and you might too (just don’t wear anything too fancy).

We at Crewcut love the outdoors, and kids especially do too. Why you should get kids in the garden highlights more reasons why the great outdoors is the best classroom your child can have. Let them enjoy the outdoors these school holidays so they can appreciate everything mother nature has to offer.

Grow your own Avocados
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Who doesn’t love a good avocado these days. Smeared on a bagel with a drizzle of olive oil and crumbles of feta. Mmmmmm. But who loves paying $5 for one? Not us.
So why don’t you try growing your own avocado tree and never run out of one of the most popular green delicacies? Many of our franchisees enjoy running their own avocado orchards when they’re not behind the mower. (YouTube link here) 

So here we have created your easy, how-to-guide for growing your own avo tree.

  1. When you next eat an avocado, keep a hold of the big seed inside. Wash it and then pierce it with 3 toothpicks evenly around the seed. 
  2. Fill a glass with water. Next place the avocado on top of the glass so that half of the seed is in water, and the other half above water (this is where those toothpicks work well).
  3. Now place this glass in a warm area that’s out of direct sunlight.
  4. The next stage is waiting. Generally roots and a stem start showing in about 2-6 weeks. When the stem reaches 6-7 inches long, cut it back to 3 inches.
  5. When the steam gains leaves again and the roots are fairly thick, you should be able to plant in rich soil, with half the seed exposed. 
  6. Make sure to continue watering, but don’t let it drown! Keep it in some sunlight and the plant should be forever happy.
  7. When the stem grows to 12 inches, cut it back to half this height as this will encourage new shoots to grow. 

When the avocado sapling is a bit big for the pot, it will be able to go into the ground. Place it in good sunlight - avocados love sunbathing as an adult just like us.  You won’t need to dig too deep a hole as the avocado plant is shallow-rooted. 

All things aside, it does take a few years to see any of those green delights. If you grow from a seed, it can take anywhere from 5-13 years before the plant is able to produce avocados. It might seem like a long haul, but once they reach 5 years old, they can produce around 200-300 avocados….that’s about $1000-$1500 in today’s market! 

And if you don’t end up wanting the avocados after all? They make a great side-of-the-road sale, especially in summer!

Avocados are definitely in fashion, and they will be for a long time to come. So get the shovel out and start making your own avocado plantation!