Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Below are some quetsion and answers that you might find useful and helpful. I am always available to try and help solve any gardening problem you might have, so give me a call on: 07539 266360 and I will try my best.
Q: How is the cost for garden work calculated?
A: I work to an hourly based service. You will pay only for the amount of time I spend at your property.
Q: What if the I finish the job earlier than I expected?
A: The cost will be reduced to match the time I have spent on site.
Q: If you need more time than expected, can you stay and just finish the job?
A: Extending the time I need to finish the job is usually possible, but it will depend on the schedule of work I have booked. In case I cannot finish, a follow-up visit/visits will be arranged.
Q: Do you offer planting services?
A: Yes, I can and do plant flowers, shrubs and bushes. But in order to fully meet your full expectations, it may be best if you can supply the exact plants and planting materials. If you cannot do that please give me a few days notice with a full list of the plants, exact colours, numbers, etc.
Q: Can I book your Gardening Maintenance services on a regular basis?
A: Yes, you can. I am flexible and can arrange visits weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.
Q: Can you do something else for me, like attaching a Fence Panel or paint a Garden Shed?
A: If provided with the right materials and equipment for the job, painting a small area is an option. For any repairs, I will let you know when I see your project.
Q: Can you Dig Over or Rotavate my Garden?
A: In case it is a flowerbed or a small area - yes, I can do that for you. If it is a large section or the whole garden though, I would suggest hiring a rotovator, which I will use on your behalf.
Q: What does Garden Maintenance include?
A: It includes hedge trimming, lawn mowing, flower planting, small tree trimming, weeding and leaf clearance.
Q: Do I need to provide anything - bags, machines or something else?
A: No, I will bring everything, including all the equipment and bags, just need access to your property.
Q: How can I schedule a Service with you?
A: There a couple of ways! You can either call me or use our Contact Us eForm and "request a quote" form.
Q: Is garden/green waste disposal included in the price?
A: I will usually use your "Green" bin, and when that is full I can arrange to empty it for an additional small fee.
Q: How do I deal with a Mossy Lawn?
A: When you have moss growing in the lawn there is usually an underlying cause and the moss is just a symptom of the problem. The cause could be that the site is too shady, the soil itself may not have sufficient drainage or maybe the grass is starved of nutrients; weak, vulnerable and in need of food. Whatever the cause, if you don’t deal with the underlying problem the chances are that the moss will return even after you have removed it all. So, if you have moss in your lawn here are some points to consider:
• Do a soil test, if your soil is heavy clay it will require annual addition of sharp sand to improve drainage
• Aerate your lawn every autumn, using a machine or hand-tool that removes a plug, refilling the holes with sharp sand. Don’t use a fork to aerate the lawn, this just adds to soil compaction
• Scarify your lawn every Autumn. Use a decent lawn rake rather than a machine because machines don’t tend get all of the moss. Raking a lawn with a rake is also an excellent way to keep fit! You can also lightly rake the lawn in Spring, removing further thatch and moss
• If moss is a problem on shady patches of the lawn there are shade tolerant grass seed varieties that may be more successful in such conditions
• Keep your lawn healthy by feeding it regularly with a fertiliser high in Nitrogen. Well-fed, healthy lawns will compete strongly against moss
• If there is a serious drainage problem, it may be worth consulting a turf drainage specialist about a installation of a drainage system
Q: What can you expect from Steve Collins Gardening?
A: The services I offer emcompass all parts of what most people call Gardening, including full maintenance & revitalising work. Re structuring within bundaries to give you a fresh looking garden with new or additions to existing planst or shrubs. I do all the planting myself, based on my own experience of working with many different "gardens and plants" over the years. Saying that, I am more than happy to work with you on your own project ideas. As regards to following up, after the garden is "planted and finished", I will go through all that we have planted and make sure you are happy to look after them. I will then make an apointment with you to come back (about 6 months later) to check on your gardens development and the health of the plants.
Q: Is my garden too big or too small for a Design?
A: Absolutely not ... I have designed gardens as small as 3 x 5 metres. The point of having garden design is to make the most of the space you have available and ensure that your house and its garden work well together. This way I achieve what I set out to do, YOU enjoying your garden.
Q: What if I just want part of my Garden Redesigned?
A: If you just want part of your garden to be updated then that is no problem at all. Planting schemes can vary in size from a small cottage garden border, right up to large formal borders.
Q: How often do I need to Water the Garden?
A: This obviously depends on the UK weather! You don`t need to water as much (or at all!) during the winter – which again is another good reason to plant in the dormant season. However, shrubs and trees should be watered for approximately 9-12 months and perennials for about 6 weeks after planting. The most critical time for newley planted hedges is when they first come into bud in the spring. Lawns also need to be "watered in" for the first 6 weeks. In mid spring you should also look to water on a daily basis, even if the weather is cloudy, the wind will often take away any moisture from the plant.
Q: Can you Supply Plants?
A: Yes. I can and do supply (and plant) many high-quality plants, shrubs and bushes for clients every year.
Q: Do you Guarantee your Plants?
A: I cannot offer a formal guarantee because obviously the success of plants depends on how well they are looked after once they’re in the ground. However, in general I will aim to replace plants that I have sourced and planted, if they die within the first 6 months subject to them having been planted in optimal conditions (usually between October and April), have been properly watered in for the first 6 months and have not been subject to very adverse weather. I always come back 6 months after your garden has been planted to check on the health and development of the plants and also to make sure you are happy with the picture we have created. Gardens can always be tweaked again in the autumn.
Q: Where do you Buy your Plants from?
A: I try to source as many plants as possible from local nurseries. We are very lucky in that we have some excellent nurseries based in Rutland. This has an added advantage that the plants I buy are used to our conditions. Although we are not necessarily the sunniest part of Britain, we are one of the driest and sometimes windiest. The key to successful planting is making sure the plants are happy in their environment. This is probably why I have a very high success rate with my planting. As I use a number of local nurseries for the plants, this means I have access to an extensive range of plants which are grown and managed in optimum conditions.
Q: When is the best time to plant up a garden?
A: The best time to plant up a garden is between the start of October and the end of March. Over this period, bare root plants are available, and these provide two key advantages over plants in pots. Firstly, they tend to do much better once put into a garden; and secondly, they are cheaper than pot plants. The thing that can cause problems over this period is severe winter weather. Planting in very cold weather or when the ground is waterlogged should be avoided if at all possible. In the summer, hot and dry weather creates its own complications due to the need for lots of watering while the plant establishes itself. In general terms, so long as you avoid extreme weather and put healthy plants into well prepared soil, then they should be fine.
Q: Why do you plant during the winter?
A: From a horticulture perspective, winter is the best time to plant. Plants are dormant at this time of year which means the roots are not actively growing and looking for food or water. In a sleepy / dormant state they’re far more adept at withstanding hard conditions. Planting in late spring is always difficult. The plants are starting to grow but often the weather is dry and windy which makes it very stressful for the plant. In addition, you cannot buy bare rooted plants after the end of March. Container plants are always more expensive than bare root so the budget for the garden is a lot higher outside the winter months. Trees and shrubs can be planted throughout the year as they’re supplied in containers - as long as there’s no extreme weather and you’re happy to water them on a regular (often daily) basis.
Q: When is a Good Time to Plant Trees?
A: Mid to late November is the best time to move all kinds of plants in the garden and is the time when trees are best supplied by professional nurseries. Whether supplied as a bare root or pot grown specimen, ensuring that your new trees are planted during their dormant phase in early winter will ensure that by the spring the roots have had time to settle and develop suitably. Beware of moving plants or trees at other times when the demand for water for growth in the summer will make them susceptible to parching if their roots are disturbed.
For further information about any of the services I have to offer, please Contact Us now ... I am only an E-mail or a telephone call away!