A word from Jarrad...

Batton down the hatches folks… SPRING is here and your gardens are about to burst with life and colour!!! (And we couldn’t be any happier!)
We’ve all survived another cold and wet winter, without too many hold ups, have dusted off the short-shorts and are raring to go for the silly season.
How good is this time of year when the mornings and evenings are so crisp, but the sun pokes its head out for a beautiful, sunny days work!
Thank you once again for all the amazing feedback we’ve had re this little newsletter, and we’re so glad we can be of use in more ways than just on the tools! Hopefully it’s a little more interesting than the mainstream letters that flood our inboxes every month!!!
We’ve decided to add a couple of new features to this edition of The Creeping Gardener, which I really hope you enjoy. Firstly, coming in to spring, Kris, our turf guru has put together some information about lawn renovations, which are absolutely imperative for having beautiful, lush lawns, and our most experienced and clued-up gardener, Matt, has shared a little piece on veggie gardens!
I hope this edition of The Creeping Gardener is of use to you, and as always, we welcome all feedback – whether it be good or not so!!
Happy spring all!!

Whats going on at AHLG...

The past month has been one of our busiest ever, with so many things going on with our residential, commercial and landscaping crews, not to mention in the warmth of the office too!

Our landscaping boys have made some great inroads at our Mount Lofty House project, and have also completed some brilliant little residential jobs too. Clint has his troops firing on all cylinders, in preparation for a huge spring!

We have another young fella with a heap of experience joining our team (today in fact!) and we are really excited about this! Jimmy will bring a load more enthusiasm, skill and work ethic to our team and we are all looking forward to seeing him get stuck in! He’s a great lad and we know he will fit in with our culture from word go!

Cam has stepped up big time to take control of our commercial ‘division’ and has had some great help from Ben and Ryan in particular, and with the watchful eye of Kris overseeing things. The boys have spent a lot of time tidying up a load of round-abouts and dead-end road garden beds for the City of Unley Council, who are extremely happy with their work!

Our residential teams have stepped up big time once again, and have battled through the wintry weather without any complaint, whilst maintaining their lofty standards! We’re always striving to take our service to the next level, and these guys always take on new challenges without any qualms! They’re all more than happy to see the sun pop its head out too!!

We are extremely excited to be having another new team member join our crew later this month… Simon joins our team with an abundance of experience in the industry, especially with turf and irrigation, which is exactly what he’ll be doing for us!

We have so many calls re irrigation installations, audits and repairs, that we thought it would be worth having a set crew to take on these tasks, as well as our lawn renovations, which are booking up extremely quickly!! Simon is another ripper bloke who we can’t wait to see in action!

Finally, we welcomed an in-house mechanic last month – Dave! He’ll start with just 1 day a week, and his time will be spent maintaining, sharpening and servicing all machinery and also any minor repairs, which will help keep all of our equipment out in the field! He’s off to a flier and again – he’s another great fella, who we are enjoying getting to know!

Exciting times ahead for the AHLG team….

Joke of the month...

Q. Why did the gardener quit?
A. Her celery wasn’t high enough.

Ok…that’s terrible….

Q. What kind of tree can you fit in your hand?
A. A palm tree!!

We’ll improve next month….promise!!

Meet the staff...

Matt Schrapel
AHLG Division:

Residential garden maintenance.

Time spent with AHLG:

About 3 months.

Previous occupation:

Head gardener at Fraser Park.

Marital status:


Hobbies (other than gardening, obviously):

Fishing, Sailing.

If you could swap jobs with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Malcolm Douglas. Travel around Australia seeing all the magic places most will never see.

Last book read:

Good Night, Copycub.

Favorite meal:

Duck Duck Goose.

Biggest pest at AHLG and why:

Too early to say ;) Leaning towards Jakson though.

Favorite job on the tools:

The Walker mower – a great little number!

Best thing about working at AHLG:

A great environment. A fun, open, energetic and creative environment.

A Guide to Lawn Renovations...

AHLG’s Turf Expert Kris Dawe guides you through lawn renovations.

With the much anticipated arrival of spring, comes the busy lawn renovation season. Below is a rundown on what is involved in a lawn renovation and how it could help your lawn this season!


Scarifying lawns is the process of removing an excess build-up of thatch. Thatch is the brown layer of old grass and organic matter just below the grass leaf but above the soil. Excess thatch is the reason for spongy lawns and the brown patchy appearance you get after mowing. Only the warm season grasses such as kikuyu & couch can be scarified because the lawn is repaired from regeneration from the runners. Scarifying allows better water & oxygen penetration to where it is needed in the root zone. It also reduces the risk of fungal disease and results in a much nicer lawn appearance once it has recovered – no more brown scalp marks after mowing! Our recommendation is for all couch & kikuyu lawns to be scarified at least once every 2 years but yearly for best results.


Lawn aeration is an important part of your lawn care program. Like scarifying, it allows oxygen and water into the soil so it can be used and absorbed by the root system. A lot of lawns can become compacted over time by the constant wear and foot traffic, or an excessive build-up of organic material can prevent the water from draining and become water logged which starves it from the oxygen it requires. Soils of older lawns can become root bound, choked with old and dead roots from many years prior, leaving nowhere for new roots to grow down and draw nutrients from the soil. For a lawn that has been suffering from any of these issues, lawn coring is a great way to get some life back into your lawn. Aeration is recommended annually for most turf situations and bi-annually for high profile turf.


Top dressing is the easiest way to level out undulations in a lawn. Sand is spread and raked into the lower furrows of the turf, it’s important to not go to deep with the sand coverage in one application otherwise it may suffocate the turf. Top dressing with organic loam is a great way to add nutrients to the soil as well as create a level surface. Top dressing is recommended when the turf is uneven and is often done after coring and scarifying.


Fertiliser is the last step in the process, we use a specialised blend after a renovation that contains a combination of fast and slow release fertiliser for a quick growth response and sustained turf health for the duration of the growing season. The added iron & manganese improves the lawn colour and added trace minerals ensures all nutritional requirements of the turf are met.

If you think your lawn needs a renovation this spring, get in touch with us this month to lock it in before the ideal time window closes!

Partner profile...


The team at Mount Barker Landscape Centre are our local suppliers of high-quality landscape supplies such as sands, soils, rubbles, gravels, mulches, building supplies and firewood. They always have plenty of stock on hand and can deliver on site 7 days a week. The experienced staff are always willing to share their knowledge & provide advice. Try them out during your next landscaping project!

What the f...acts...

Plants really do respond to sound.
Talking to plants to help them grow is an old wives tale, but studies have shown vibration (like music or the sound of your soothing voice) can affect plant growth.

Plus, the Myth Busters (in an admittedly, not-so-scientific study), compared a silent greenhouse to one where they piped in a voice soundtrack, and found that plants in the latter grew more.

**We are testing this out in our office at the moment, so stay tuned!

In (the garden) bed with Matt...

The warm weather is on its way, and as much as I like to snuggle up with a beverage of choice by my fire. I’m glad to see the back of the cold. 
So it’s time to get back out in the garden and really soak up the suns rays. 

It’s time to start preparing your frozen veggie beds and adding in some beneficial compost and fertiliser. 
I always like to get some chicken manure and mix that in with some seamungus to really get things brewing. Just remember to turn it all over really well and let it sit for a week before planting out, just to let the manure settle down.
If you’re in the Hills, you can pick bags of chicken manure up from the side of the road in Hahndorf across from the fruit and veg market.

Once you have decided what you will plant for this seasons crop it’s not time to sit back and sip a few GT’s well maybe a few... and for something different try “Garden GROWN Gin” with a sprig of thyme. Look for the green bottle! Every week, put a small dose of Seasol over your chosen crop just to boost things along and to keep the plant health right up there. Healthy, stronger plants mean better crops and fewer or no insect damage and bigger, tastier fruit and veg!

Our landscaping boys have recently built some great wicking beds, which are perfect for your veggies, so if you’re looking for something new, and convenient, give Clint a buzz on 0406 524 260 and he’ll come and see what you need! 

See you in the garden!
Matt Schrapel

Products we love and recommend...

Rapid Raiser

Rapid Raiser is a unique blend of organic materials designed as an all-purpose fertiliser. A highly concentrated natural product, Rapid Raiser also promotes faster, healthier, sustained growth for all plants. Rapid Raiser encourages the development of earthworm and microbial activity leading to healthy, well-structured soils. Rapid Raiser is composted and steam treated and is then pelletised for easier and cleaner handling. These processes stabilise the nutrients, maximise nutrient availability and ensure the product is free of any parasites, pathogens and weed seeds. Most importantly, the resultant product retains the microbiology necessary to provide a ‘living’ fertiliser. We use Rapid Raiser in garden beds through spring and autumn, it is a great cost-effective fertiliser that can kick start your gardens spring growth while improving the soil for the long term!

Plant of the month...


They have to be one of the happiest plants around, providing so much colour for the garden for very little effort and the colours are endless. 
They are best sown directly in the soil from spring to summer but just be warned - they are quite prolific so watch where you plant, and remove spent flowers if you don’t want them coming up everywhere. 
So have a look at what poppies tempt you and can get your hands on to try some this season, they’re sure to put a smile on your face.

Elm Leaf Beetle...

We now offer treatments for elm leaf beetle! These nasty little critters have been slowly moving their way through the hills since they were first discovered in Adelaide in 2011. They have the ability to completely defoliate a tree within a few weeks. As well as the unsightly damage that they cause, repeated infestations has a serious impact on the long-term health of the tree.

If you’re fed up with these pests making a mess of your elm trees give us a call and we can discuss a treatment plan. While treatment is possible year-round, spring is the ideal time to act before any major damage occurs.

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