How to Prepare your lawn and Garden for Winter

For most people, Winter means putting away their gardening tools in the shed and letting nature run its course. But little do they know, doing winter and autumn care is essential to maintaining a healthy garden and lawn year round. Taking the necessary steps now will not only help protect your plants from harsh elements, but also ensure a smooth transition into the spring season when new growth begins.

Be it rain, hail or shine, our team at Jim’s Mowing NZ are experts when it comes to lawn and garden care. We’ll break down our top tips to ensure your property is ready to withstand the winter season.

Preparing your lawn & gardening for the winter

Every season comes with its own unique challenges and benefits. As winter sees the growth of your garden and lawn slow down, as well as exposes them to more intensive cold periods, you need to begin preparing in the autumn. Here is how to ensure your garden is prepared for the winter.

Get your soil ready for spring

The lead up to winter is an ideal time to nourish your soil and enhance its fertility. Consider adding beneficial soil amendments like manure, compost, or organic fertilisers to your garden and lawn. By incorporating these nutrients during autumn, they have ample time to break down, enrich the soil, and foster biological activity in time for spring. Additionally, this can help address any soil compaction issues that may have occurred due to heavy summer rains.

Aerating the lawn is an effective solution to fix soil that has grown compact due to summer rains. Our lawn aeration experts at Jim’s Mowing NZ suggest that, aerating your soil by manually creating holes using a pitchfork or through shoes with spiked soles to walk across the lawn. An alternative way is to spread gypsum over the lawn, which aids in reducing compaction.

Minimise mowing

As your lawn will grow slower over the colder seasons, it’s the perfect opportunity to let your grass grow a little taller. Allowing your lawn to grow to a longer height not only minimises the work for you, but also has multiple benefits! Keeping your grass too short may expose your soil to the harsh winter cold and frost, damaging a lot of its natural nutrients. The longer blades encourage deeper root development, making your lawn better equipped to handle dry spells. So, during the cooler months, give your mower a break and raise those cutting heights. Not only will your grass enjoy some extra sunshine for photosynthesis, but you’ll also keep those pesky weeds at bay. It’s a win-win for your lawn!

Tidy and clean up

When it comes to getting your garden ready for winter, the first order of business is some good old-fashioned tidying up. It’s time to bid farewell to the remnants of the previous seasons and make way for a fresh start. Say your goodbyes to those tired plants, spent annuals, and veggies that have done their duty. You can either send them off to the compost pile for some recycling magic or bid them a final farewell in your general waste bin.

Don’t forget to get your gutters cleaned up for the upcoming winter rains, having a clean drainage can help avoid mulch overflow, water damage to your roof, walls and foundation. Our gutter cleaning service will ensure your gutters are free of debris and functioning properly.

Not only will this tidy-up session give your garden a neat and polished look, but it’ll also ensure that pesky pests and diseases have fewer hiding spots. Also don’t forget about those fallen leaves and branches scattered about. It can be easy to leave them as is, but they are unsightly and will rot if not disposed of properly. You can use a professional rubbish removal service to dispose of any green waste after your clean-up, or even compost it yourself. Make sure to give those leaves a proper shredding. You can then use the shredded leaves to enrich your compost or create a protective layer over your garden beds. This will help keep your garden warm over the colder months.

Prune your plants

Pruning is an essential task during the Autumn season, as it helps maintain the health and shape of your plants. Leave it to the experts at Jim’s Mowing NZ to identify, remove and prune any dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs, removing any risks to you or your garden. Pruning also encourages proper airflow and prevents the spread of diseases.

Protect any vulnerable plants

For delicate or frost-sensitive plants, consider providing protection. Wrap susceptible shrubs in burlap or frost cloth to shield them from freezing temperatures and harsh winds. Mulch around the base of trees and shrubs to insulate their roots and prevent frost heaving. Remember to remove any protective coverings in early spring to allow for new growth.

For potted tropical and subtropical plants, transitioning them indoors will provide a conducive environment for their growth. However, keep in mind to reduce the amount of water you provide to these plants as their watering needs do decrease in indoor settings.

If you reside in an area prone to heavy winter rains, it’s essential to make necessary preparations to ensure adequate drainage for your plants. This will prevent water-logging and potential damage caused by excess moisture.

For gardening during the winter season, consider adding flowering plants like violas and pansies to bring some colour to your garden. These resilient plants thrive even in cold weather, offering a delightful visual display and cheerfulness to your outdoor space.

While some perennials are tough enough to survive the winter on their own, others may benefit from extra protection. Start by cutting back the spent foliage of herbaceous perennials to a few inches above the ground. This helps prevent diseases and eliminates hiding places for pests.

For added insulation, consider adding a layer of mulch around the base of your perennials. This will help regulate soil temperature and reduce the likelihood of frost damage. Be careful not to pile mulch directly against the stems of plants, as this can create a favourable environment for rot and disease.

Take care of your tools and maintenance equipment

The colder period offers an ideal opportunity to attend to the maintenance and care of your gardening tools to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your implements. Properly packing your lawn mower and tools is a crucial step, but before doing so, it is important to thoroughly clean and dry them. You can also sharpen the blades of your lawn mower to ensure it is ready for a clean cut come springtime.


Begin by washing the tools to remove any accumulated dirt and debris.If rust has developed, employ sandpaper or a wire brush to effectively eliminate it. For gardening hoses and shovels, sharpening them with a basic mill file will enhance their cutting efficiency. Pruners can be sharpened using a whetstone.

To provide an extra layer of protection, gently rub the surfaces of your tools with an oiled rag coated in light machine oil. This simple step helps create a barrier that seals the metal from oxygen, preventing rust formation and extending the lifespan of your tools for another year.

By dedicating some time to these maintenance practices during the winter months, you ensure that your gardening tools remain in optimal condition, ready to assist you when the next gardening season arrives.

Leave it to the experts!

Would you rather leave your winter lawn and garden prep to the experts? We don’t blame you! Contact Jim’s Mowing today and let our experienced professionals handle all your lawn care and gardening needs this winter season.

Hedge Trimming for Beginners

Pruning or trimming your hedges is an important aspect of gardening and general property maintenance. It allows hedges to grow and stay in shape, providing a manicured appearance. Many seasoned gardeners are aware of the need to regularly trim their hedges, what equipment they should, and the best time to start trimming. Beginners, on the other hand, may struggle.

Trimming your hedges without basic knowledge and skills means you could end up doing more harm than good to your hedges. Much like a bad haircut, a bad trimming job can stunt the growth and way your hedge grows. As we are professional hedge trimmers, we know how to successfully trim a hedge. Read on to learn how best to trim your hedge as a beginner and the fundamentals of having healthy and established hedges.

The basics of hedge trimming

Before you grab the cutting shears or electric hedge trimmer, you need to know the basics of hedge trimming such as why we trim hedges, when to do it and which hedges it’s best suited to.

What is hedge trimming?

Hedge trimming is the process of cutting or removing dead and overgrown branches, usually performed with shears or a hedge trimmer. It is done to allow new growth and to make hedges look tidy and neat.

When is the best time to trim?

Effective trimming does not only mean doing a good job, but also about knowing when is the best time to trim. Usually late winter to early spring is the best time to trim, however some hedges may need to be trimmed more often.

Should you trim new hedges?

Yes, new hedges require more attention during their formative years (the first two years). Regular formative trimming will ensure thick and healthy growth, which is important in establishing an attractive hedge.

Should you trim established hedges?

Most established hedges will require trimming about twice a year. It should be done once at the beginning of spring when there is new growth to remove stray branches and dead woods and allow sunlight to penetrate the inner branches. The next one is done at the beginning of summer to maintain its shape.

What tools should I use for hedge trimming?

When it comes to hedge trimming, there are multiple different tools you can use. Hand shears are usually the most popular amongst home gardeners and beginners as they are quiet, affordable and safer to use. Hedge trimmers, which can be petrol, electric and battery powered, are better if you are cutting a larger area and are more experienced with trimming.

You’ll also need safety equipment such as earmuffs, a respirator or mask, and gloves. It can be handy to have a rake and garbage bag on hand to manage any debris.

Best hedge trimming practices

Although trimming your hedge may be relatively straight forward, here are some recommended tips and tricks to follow to ensure that your trimming is successful!

1) Gather your tools

The first step to trimming your hedges is to ensure that your cutting tools are sharp, charged and ready to go. Blunt blades or cutting teeth can lead to tearing and give your hedge an uneven appearance. You also want to ensure that your tools are clean and ready to go, whether that means having a long enough extension cord, charged batteries or a sufficient level or petrol. Get into the habit of cleaning your tools after every hedge.

2) Begin with the dead or diseased branches

Now it’s time to get trimming! You want to start with the dead and diseased branches on your hedge first. This is because removing these branches will encourage new growth and enable light to enter the inner ears. After removing these branches, you will also be able to see the shape of the hedge easily and cut according to the healthy growth.

3) Cut branches clean

Cutting the branches clean refers to cutting close to the nodes of the branches or the trunk. This is because diseases can easily penetrate the stubs and can prevent an uneven appearance.

4) Regularly observe post-trim

After you’ve trimmed your hedges, it doesn’t mean the work is over! It’s best to check the condition of your hedge regularly as well as fertilising and applying mulch to encourage growth. Maintaining hedges may seem like a lot of work, especially during their formative stage. But once they are established, they require less attention. It just takes the right tools, patience, and careful planning to keep them healthy and attractive.

Learn more about hedge trimming

You can understand more hedge trimming by asking the experts! At Jim’s Mowing NZ, we offer a comprehensive hedge trimming service so your hedges are healthy, growing and look fantastic! We can provide you with professional advice which is specific to your hedges and garden. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Choose the Best Lawn Mower

If you’re in the market for the best lawn mower in New Zealand, you may feel slightly overwhelmed by choice. As there is no shortage of mowing products promising to transform the health and appearance of your lawn, choosing which lawn mower to purchase can take some time and research.

We at Jim’s Mowing NZ know a thing or two about lawn mowing, so we’ve written this informative guide to choosing the best lawn mower. Read on to find out which mower is right for you and your lawn!

The types of lawn mowers

Whilst there are as many different lawn mowers as one can imagine, not all mowers are made equal! You can understand what makes each mower different and which one may be right for you, by learning about the different types and categories of mowers. Mowers can be categorised depending on whether they are a ride-on or push mower, battery, electric or petrol powered, and are corded or cordless.

Ride-on & push mowers

A push and self-propelled mower tends to be what most people picture when they picture a lawn mower. These mowers are usually manual, however there are manual motorised varieties available, and involve the operator walking behind the mower steering or pushing it. A ride-on mower is significantly larger than a standard push or self-propelled mower, and involves the operator sitting on the mower. These ride-on mowers tend to be used for larger properties such as commercial lawns or even farmland.

Electric, battery, and petrol powered mowers

Petrol powered mowers are considered the most powerful mowers and are started by pulling the start cord quickly and with a firm hand. Battery powered mowers use a separate battery which can be charged within the home and don’t require a manual start. Electric mowers are powered by a cord which plugs into a powerpoint.

Corded & cordless mowers

Corded mowers plug directly into a powerpoint. These electric powered mowers can be lightweight and on the cheaper side, however you will need access to a powersource and an extension cord. Electric mowers without a cord (other cordless mowers will be petrol powered) are battery powered so you will need to charge the battery separately.

Choosing the right mower for you

Now you have a basic idea of the different mowers on the market, here is what you need to consider when choosing the right mower for you.

Size and slope of your lawn

The size and slope of your lawn is a huge determinant of what type of mower you should choose. A smaller and flatter lawn will only require a basic pusher mower, and can even use a corded mower to easily get the job done. If you need to mow a larger area, it’s better to use a ride-on mower as it will save you a lot of time and energy. In the case of a steep lawn, you will want to use a mower with some more power so we recommend choosing a petrol mower.

Frequency of mowing

If you are mowing your lawn sporadically, you may want to consider choosing a mower which requires less maintenance. Using a corded electric mower may be a better choice as aside from wiping down the deck and sharpening your mower blades, there is little upkeep required. If you need to mow regularly, a battery powered mower can be a pain as you will need to continually charge the batteries and purchase an additional battery so you can mow when you need to. In the battery vs petrol powered mower debate, a petrol mower will likely be a good choice, but keep in mind that you will need to change the oil and clean the filter to maintain your mower.


Price is a significant factor in many people’s choice of mowers. Ride-on mowers tend to be more expensive than the basic push mower model. Electric mowers with a cord is cheaper than a petrol model, a battery powered mower will likely sit in between the two price-wise. Battery mowers often sell their batteries separately and you may need to purchase multiple batteries over the mower’s lifetime, so keep this additional cost in mind when choosing your mower.

Ease of use

How easy it is to use your mower shouldn’t be overlooked. A ride-on mower is the most comfortable to use, as you can sit down and don’t need to manually push it around. This is great for when you are mowing a large property and if you have less energy due to age or ability. A corded mower can be less user friendly as you will require a large extension cord, however being so lightweight can make it easier to navigate even with a cord opposed to a heavy petrol mower.

Consider using a mowing service

You can take the stress out of choosing the right mower by using a professional mowing service. Jim’s Mowing NZ exceptional lawn mowing service means you don’t need to worry about spending thousands of dollars on a professional lawn mower. Instead, our team will use top of the line equipment to ensure your lawn is looking the best it can!

Have more questions about lawn mowers?

If you have any more questions about choosing the best mower for your needs or just lawn mowing in general, get in touch with our friendly team! We’re always happy to discuss your lawn and garden needs and provide you with expert advice. You can call Jim’s Mowing NZ on 0800 454 654 or receive a free quote for your lawn care via our online form!