May 1 - 7 2016: Issue 261

Garden Preparation to Stop Winter RainLawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes

Nice Mother's Day idea at Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Mona Vale - make a mini-garden in one tub, a mix of herbs and flowers and fruit! 

Getting Ready for Winter Rains in your Garden: Late Autumn jobs to Stop Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion

Do you have a problem with the edges of your driveways and where the grass meets them – as in, when people drive off the driveway and make a nice muddy arc of your lawn meeting that concrete – a problem that keeps recurring?

Or do you have a slope in your lawn where water will run when it rains until a slippery slide of a slope that may cause a few problems when trying to negotiate that place the rain prefers to flow through?

If you have escaped all these problem areas then you may have a nice flat lawn alongside your paths and driveway….until these areas become pools in downpours or the children scuff, the chickens scratch and the family dog rolls over and over and over, creating a nice bare patch.

These problems have been around for a while but there are now a few products and ways that can help you stop that nice green verge turning into a dark collar because people can’t drive on the driveway or save your lawn areas more susceptible to going bare during the cold wetter months – the best time to do a little preparation will be before it gets too cool, especially if you choose to place new turf down, scatter new grass seed, or dig a few trenches to stop that rain runoff becoming a mid-winter creek through your garden.

Reinforcement mesh or Ground reinforcement grids can be dug in alongside the driveway where tyres have flattened or destroyed grass and these will stop damage to the lawn. You can then plant grass seed in these or place them into the turf itself and this will prevent your lawn from being damaged in these areas.

Ground reinforcement grid dug in this week at our place 

Driveway edge ready for grass seed

If you have an area around the garden where rain flow means you have more bare earth than lawn, particularly in areas with less sun at this time of year to promote new growth, the solution may be to install reinforcement mesh there too. Runoff that isn’t reaching stormwater drains will cause flooding and this can cause problems to your home too where water pools against the walls of structures. 

Looking at which way the rain flows over or through the earth on your property, causing erosion and damage to surfaces will present solutions. If it’s being caused by too many non-porous surfaces consider replacing these concrete paths or asphalt driveways with porous materials such as pavers for driveways or bricks for paths.

Installing more porous materials in these areas can also prevent moss build up which needs to be scrubbed with harmful chemicals - using a Pressure cleaner to remove slime buildup during high rainfall seasons.

Karcher K5.800 High Pressure Cleaner - $550.00 until May 31

If the area that is continually bare due to runoff and lack of winter sun is a sloping run of ground, you may be better off reducing the lawn area and putting in native plants – these will grow in such conditions, especially if you choose those hardy varieties suited to our coastal environment and protect them with a good layer of mulch – this will also help rain and water to percolate into the earth and refuel the water table. 

Extending this idea to put in a garden bed of water-loving plants at the base of this slope will also help eliminate the problem from spreading to areas further down the garden or causing runoff into the roads or street. These are termed ‘rain gardens’.

If the area is a severe slope you can dig in berms and vegetated swales. A berm is a slightly raised area, and a swale is ditch with a mild slope. Berms are used to slow runoff on steep slopes, and swales are planted with grass or other plants to direct water to a rain garden. Swales can also direct water toward a storm drain or street: since they significantly reduce the amount of runoff, very little water that enters a vegetated swale will actually make it to the street or drain. As you dig the swale, pile the excavated soil on the downhill side of the swale. This will create what is called a berm, which helps stabilize the swale.

Constructed swale or bioswale built in a residential area to manage stormwater runoff.

You could also consider making your seasonal creek a…creek! 

If the problem persists turn it into a positive – dig out the channel a little more, even shaping a little meandering towards where you want water to flow, lay the creek-bed with some lovely coloured mixture of stones, plant out some water loving plants beside it and turn what is a natural drain into another feature in your garden. These can look attractive even in dry weather and when you do have rain, the sounds, the birds and frogs this will attract will make what was a minus and plus.

In Australia the stormwater system is separate from the sewer system. Unlike sewage, stormwater is generally not treated before being discharged to waterways and the sea. 

Poorly managed stormwater causes problems on and off home sites through erosion and the transportation of nutrients, chemical pollutants, litter and sediments to waterways. Well-managed stormwater can replace water out of the tap for uses where high quality water is not required, such as garden watering.

The installation of a rainwater tank can be used to harvest rain from your roof and drains. Nobody’s water bill is going to come down in one of the driest continents on earth, but this is one way you could turn pennies into pound cakes by year’s end.

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Fencing and Landscape at Narrabeen can provide you with products and advice, while their online store shows the range of easy to install permeable pavers available to reduce your water caused erosion problems.

Azek Paver Permeable Redwood: AZEK Pavers are breaking the traditional mentality that landscape pavers must be made from concrete or clay. Made from up to 95% recycled materials, patented AZEK Pavers are the most technologically advanced and socially responsible paver alternatives in the industry. - See more at:

Spoil mum this year and make that walk to the washing line all the more pleasant by putting in a new, and much safer, path!

Finally, from the Australian Government’s website:

A homeowner can take simple steps to manage stormwater and reduce its environmental impact.

• Avoid cut and fill on your block when preparing the building foundations. Attempt to maintain the existing topography and drainage pattern.

• Retain vegetation, particularly deep-rooted trees. They lower the watertable, bind the soil, filter nutrients, decrease runoff velocities, capture sediment and reduce the potential for dryland salinity.

• Reduce erosion potential on site during building works by minimising the time that land is left in an exposed, unstable condition. Employ sediment traps and divert ‘clean’ stormwater around the disturbed site (see the appendix Sediment control).

• Minimise the area of impervious surfaces such as paved areas, roofs and concrete driveways.

• Grade impervious surfaces, such as driveways, during construction to drain to vegetated areas

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Bali Timber Bench: $299.00 - Chair dimensions: 91(H) x 140.5(W) x 56(D)cm.

Chair weight capacity: 150kg. Natural FSC Eucalyptus timber frame. Red polyester seat cushion. Not all stores carry stock of this product, but will order it in for you. Please allow up to 14 days for stock to arrive at your selected store. 

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Harper and Taylor Hampton Lantern: $49.00 - 55(H) x 17.5(W) x 17.5(D)cm.  Stainless steel and glass construction. Candle not included.

Mother's Day Gift Idea: Sherbrooke Timber Storage Box: $249.00 - Dimensions: 53.5(H) x 119.5(W) x 52.4(D)cm. Weight capacity: 80kg. Natural FSC eucalyptus timber. Soft close hinged lid. Not all stores carry stock of this product, but will order it in for you. Please allow up to 14 days for stock to arrive at your selected store. 

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333

 vegepod made into a fail-safe herb garden - at Johnson Brothers Hardware Mitre 10 Mona Vale

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in a€“ Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegetables  Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  DIY Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  The Salt Air Factor: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II  Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

Copyright JBH Mitre 10, 2016. All Rights Reserved .