Shaping your very own haven

Your garden is your sanctuary. It’s a place for rest and play. But it’s also your where you can set your creativity free to shape and recreate your surroundings.
No matter if you’re going for a luxurious orangery or aiming for the healthiest lawn, we’ve got your back with tools and experience you can rely on.

 

Renovating the lawn

When the weedkiller doesn’t bite and the brown patches take over, it’s easy to start doubting if your garden will ever look the same. But there’s hope. You can always start over with a lawn renovation.Lawn Mower

How to do a soil test varies in different parts of the world, but commercial labs generally do it. The lab will provide you with a detailed mode of procedure that will be helpful when you move on with your renovation.

1. Decide when to renovate


Renovation season varies depending on where in the world you live, but it’s important to make sure that the ground is warm enough for the seeds to germinate and grow. That means that the ground temperature should be at least 10° Celsius.
“One rule is to wait until after the first cut of the season, when the lawn has turned green and you know that it has started to grow,” Karlsson comments.

2. Determine the reason for lawn failure


If you work out why your lawn has deteriorated, you can use that knowledge to make the right decisions during your renovation. For example, if the lawn has thinned out due to growing trees that shade the lawn and compete for water and nutrients, you should select shade-tolerant grass varieties. You might also want to prune some of the tree limbs, opening up for more sunlight and rainfall.

“You can get some information by just looking at the lawn, but I definitely recommend to do a proper soil test,” says Karlsson.

3. Remove weeds and thatch


Start the actual renovation by removing weeds – especially the perennial ones – manually or with a herbicide. This keeps other species from competing with your new grass. If you use herbicides, be sure to read the labels and follow the instructions. Most products will allow you to seed in seven days, but some weedkillers will keep your seeds from germinating for three to six weeks.

Check your thatch status by digging up a small plug of turf, several inches deep. If the spongy layer is more than three quarters of an inch thick when you compress it, it’s time to have your lawn dethatched. If your lawn is larger than 300 square meters, you would want to use a power rake or a vertical mower with a scarifier. For smaller lawns, a manual thatching rake will do.

4. Prepare the soil


Apart from using it for thatch removal, a vertical mowerRider with a scarifier can be used to prepare the seedbed for new seeds. Go over the entire lawn with the tines set to nick the soil surface to a depth of approximately 1/8 to 1/2 an inch and then rake the large clumps of debris from the site. Another way to prepare the soil is to do an extensive aerifying. If you choose this method, you need to go over the entire lawn 3-5 times to make it completely aerified. However, the very best result is achieved by doing both of the above: aerification followed by vertical mowing. This will strongly improve water supply to seeds and emerging seedlings.

“A soil that’s too dense or the ground is too hard are common problems for landowners. It makes it hard for water and oxygen to reach the roots of the grass plants, which leads to poor growth. An aerator creates ways into the soil for the air and water and a vertical mower with a scarifier splits the grass plants, leaving you with more plants and a thicker lawn.”

5. Water your lawn


Grass seeds and seedlings need water to germinate and root. Your ground doesn’t have to be soggy, but make sure the soil is at least moist. If the lawn feels dry and the chances of rain are low, start building a reserve of water in the soil by running the sprinkler for an hour or two a day several days prior to seeding.

“To keep your lawn evenly supported with water is very important. If you do that and the ground temperature is decent, you are well on your way”, Karlsson points out.

Husqvarna Garden Tractor with scarifier attachment

6. Use a fertiliser


Fertilisation will encourage establishment and growth of your new seeds and seedlings and should be done just prior to seeding. Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertiliser. If you’ve done a soil test you’ll know if your lawn also needs additional phosphorous and potassium.

soil

7. Seed


When your lawn is in relatively good condition, you can use the seed mix you used in the past. If you’ve done a soil test, you will have a good indication of which seeds to use.

You can spread the seeds by hand, but if you want to make sure that the seeds are spread evenly, the best thing to do is to use a spreader.

“Some spreaders can be connected to your scarifier. I would recommend a centrifugal spreader,” adds Karlsson.

8. Enjoy


“There is no need to wait a certain amount of time before you start enjoying your newly renovated lawn. When you’ve overseeded it, you can start using it right away, mowing it as you normally would,” says Karlsson.

Chiansaw

When forestry is second nature

From the Amazonas in South America to the Arabian montane woodlands, forests and humans have influenced each other for centuries. Your understanding of the ecosystem, your kinship with the terrain, is what makes you a successful forester. We have gathered all of our experience and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your partnership with nature.

After the storm

Families trapped in their homes. Trees coming straight at you while working. As a firefighter in frequently storm-hit Mississippi, Woodman Speights has plenty of experience of working with chainsaws in tough conditions. Like the dangerous task of storm cleanup – something that should only be done by trained professionals. “I’ve seen some serious damage,” he says.

Cleaning up an area hit by a storm represents one of the most hazardous tasks when working with chainsaws. Statistically, there are more injuries during the cleanup process than during the actual storm. Woodman Speights and his colleagues at the Starkville Fire Department are always ready to go to work with their chainsaws close at hand. During his latest storm-related mission, the cleanup work was crucial to get to the emergency situation – a family home hit by a large oak tree.

“We had a call about a large tree coming in through the roof of a house. But to get there we had to clear the streets from trees that had fallen all over the place.”

Woodman’s crew used their chainsaws to clear the way. A task that included several challenges such as electrical fires, fallen wires and debris.

“The most important thing is to stay calm. If you start doing things without thinking, you will get hurt. And this is a very bad situation to get hurt in,” Speights says.

Thanks to volunteers who helped remove cut-off limbs and debris, the first part of the clean up was done in 30 minutes and the firefighters could enter the house. That’s when they discovered that the crown of the huge tree had completely blocked the hallway, trapping the family in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

“We started by checking the limbs for tension, but there wasn’t any. So we cut off the branches, opening up a path for the family.”

“The most important thing is to stay calm. If you start doing things without thinking, you will get injured.”


What is your most important piece of advice to fellow chainsaw users when it comes to storm cleanup?

“Always remember that if there’s any doubt that you will be able to handle the situation – don’t do it. If you feel like you might not be properly equipped or experienced enough and if it’s not a complete emergency, you should leave it to a professional.”Forest

7 professional storm clean-up tips:

Before you start

  1. Look Make an inventory of the damage. Are there any fallen wires or debris in or near the trees? Is there tension in the wood that will affect its movement?
  2. Talk Make sure everyone involved in the clean up are professionals who know what they’re doing. People who have undergone appropriate training should do this work.
  3. Escape plan Always ensure you have an escape route before you start working.

1. Take the right equipment


You need to make sure that you take the proper safety apparel for operating a chainsaw. You also need to regularly check the safety features of the equipment so that they’re up to speed. Also, take a first aid kit and extra fuel and oil for your equipment.

And remember, the very best thing to take when working with chainsaws is a companion. Always avoid working alone.

“We usually have a commander who assigns the team specific tasks. Often there are also volunteers helping out. It’s important that everyone involved communicates properly before the work starts, since it can be hard to hear anything over the sound of the chainsaw and the ear protection,” says Speights.

2. Planning your work


When approaching the storm-hit area, always take time to assess the situation. Are there any fallen wires or debris in the crowns of the trees? Is there tension in the trees and are there any uprooted trees? You should not attack the area before you have had a good look at what you have ahead of you. It is also very important that you plan an escape route, in case anything happens.

“The only time you want to rush during a clean up is when you see a tree falling towards you. That’s when you need to be able to just drop your saw and hit the escape route,” says Speights.

3. Cutting where there’s tension


One frequently occurring challenge when it comes to storm clean up is tension in fallen trees. Tension can cause unexpected movement when cutting the tree, making the limbs pop out and hurt you, or hit your equipment, or cause the trunk to move and make you stuck.

Speights explains how he attacks a fallen tree with tension:

“We start by cutting all the small branches off to get a better view of the situation. Then we take off as much weight as possible before cutting the limbs with tension. We continue to make a small cut on the tension side, to relieve a bit of tension, and slowly and in a controlled way make three to four additional small cuts until the tension is completely relieved. The important thing is to take it slowly and step-by-step.”

Chiansaw

Husqvarna Chiansaw

This is dangerous work that should only be done by trained professionals.

For excessive tension: Opening on the pressure side

A variation where you only saw from the inside of the arc (pressure side). Make a cut like an open directional notch with a larger opening angle. Saw a little at a time on both sides until the tension starts to release. The tension is released slowly under good control and direction. Be careful with the nose of the guide bar to avoid kickback.

4. Bringing down a leaning tree


Start by taking down the leaning tree. The tree’s roots are probably under strain and its position is unstable. For this reason you must never walk in the tree’s felling area. Fell the tree with a safe corner straight back or, on a steep slope, with a V-cut or deep V-cut. The tree will then fall slowly, and will be kept attached to the stump during the fall without splitting or hitting anything.

5. Bringing down broken trees with hanging tops


Families trapped in their homes. Trees coming straight at you while working. As a firefighter in frequently storm-hit Mississippi, Woodman Speights has plenty of experience of working with chainsaws in tough conditions. Like the dangerous task of storm cleanup – something that should only be done by trained professionals. “I’ve seen some serious damage,” he says.
  1. Start by cutting off the top so that it is easier to turn.
  2. Turn the broken section down using a turning hook, turning strap or by pulling it loose with a machine.
  3. Now fell the high stump in the usual manner. But beware – the log usually falls quickly and may kick up at the butt end and roll erratically.

6. Handling uprooted fallen trees


Windfalls with large uprooted trees should never be cut at the butt end first if there is any risk that the root could kick over in your direction. If the entire tree must be processed with a chainsaw, it is best to start from the top. This releases any tension before you get to the roots. Start by limbing the tree so you can easily see if the trunk is under tension. Now measure the length of the first log from the top and cut the log there. Alternatively, cut as far as the “butt off” so the roots cannot kick up. Now use a tractor with a grapple loader or winch to tip back the uprooted tree with high stump.

Warning: When the trunk has been cut off, the uprooted tree must never be left standing. Failure to completely fell the tree could result in its falling on passers by, resulting in serious injury or death.

Cutting the root manually before machine harvesting must only be done when there is no risk of the uprooted tree turning over. You must also be in a safe position if the trunk kicks out.

When the trunk is cut at the root, it may move sideways at great force. Therefore, keep your retreat route behind you free. Stand with the uprooted tree on your left side and cut the trunk to your right, about 0.5 meters up the trunk. You now have protection for your legs if the trunk kicks out sideways when it is cut through.

7. Bringing down broken trees without hanging tops


Broken trees and high stumps are felled in the usual way, like a normal tree. But beware – the logs usually fall quickly and may kick up at the butt end and roll erratically.

Husqvarna Chiansaw

Chainsaw

Lawn care tips from Husqvarna – how to cultivate your soil

The soil in your garden is a living organism that needs air, water and nourishment. That’s why tilling – or soil cultivation – is imperative for a healthy garden. And that’s why we’ve put together a guide on the subject.

get your garden spring ready

With time, the soil underneath your lawn or in your flowerbeds will become less healthy. It may be compacted, which means the small pockets of air beneath the surface are squeezed together, making the soil lose its structure. When this happens, water and nutrients can no longer move through the soil, making it difficult for roots to grow and plants to flourish. This soil calls for cultivation or tilling, which is basically digging in the dirt and adding nutrition or soil amendments in the form of mulch or humus to aerate the soil. When digging, there are a number of techniques to try out:

Basic digging

The most elemental way of giving a bit of first aid to your dirt is to grab a shovel, dig away, turn over the soil and chop it up. Then, if necessary, add nutrients and humus to the soil before returning it.

Single digging

With single digging you efficiently cover the garden area to a uniform standard. Divide the area into strips and dig a small trench about 25-30 centimetres wide and a spade’s depth. Place the soil to the side, leaving the trench empty. Move to the next strip and lift the same amount of soil from this one and drop it in the first trench, breaking up clumps as you go along. Continue on with the digging and moving of soil until the whole garden has been worked. At the end, you fill the final trench with the soil you set aside from the first one.

Surface cultivation

If your soil is not compacted, it might just do with a shallow cultivation. Just use a tined-rake or hoe and try not to disturb the soil’s structure below a depth of about 5-8 centimetres.

The no-dig approach

A well-conditioned lawn is not necessarily in need of a dig. Mulching over the soil in layers of organic matter to a depth of 6-10 centimetres should be sufficient. At planting time, rake away the mulch prior to seed sowing.

When not to dig

If your soil is overly moist, you should refrain from digging to avoid damaging the soil structure.

Finally, remember that the keyword is always loose. Your plants need minerals, air, water and organic substances to thrive. The best way to achieve this is to work the earth, turn the soil and add humus.

Get your garden spring-ready

Spring is around the corner and it’s finally time to roll up the sleeves and put on the garden gloves. We’ve put together a list to help you lay the foundation for a great looking garden.

1. Clean up, blow away and rake


Once spring arrives it’s time to get going with the spring-cleaning. First of all, use a rake or a leaf blower to remove the layers of leaves that can lead to the grass moulding or decaying. The leaves and leftover organic material are an excellent addition to the compost.

2. Clear away weeds


Get rid of weeds as early as possible, before the sun gives them energy to grow. Cut away withered leaves from cultivated parts of the garden.

3. Loosen the soil


Soil loosening creates a better-looking flowerbed by making it possible for the oxygen to reach the roots of the plant. Hand tools make do for smaller beds, but if you’re working with larger areas you should use a rotary cultivator. It’s also possible to add a tiller attachment to some of the Husqvarna trimmers, which means one less tool in your garden shed.

4. Prune the trees


Fruit trees need pruning in order to stay healthy and bear fruit. Pruning should be done during the spring, but be careful not to do it too early as the incisions can dry out if the temperature drops below zero. Note that trees that carry stoned fruits, such as cherry, apricot, plum and peach, should not be pruned in the springtime.

5. Trim the hedges


Hedges with leaves should preferably be trimmed during the winter or early spring. Conifers are better trimmed during the growing period, once in early spring and once more in the middle of summer.grass trimmerLawn Mower

6. Mow the lawn


The lawn needs time to recover after winter, so don’t cut the grass too short the first couple of times. A grass-level of 5-9 centimetres makes for a fine, sustainable lawn, ready to be used.

7. Trim the lawn


If you want your lawn to look really good – don’t forget to trim the edges.

8. Do a power product inventory


Make sure your gardening equipment is ready for the new season. Charge what needs to be charged and sharpen what needs to be sharpened.

9. Provide for the birds


If you want to give the birds a home in your garden, now’s the time to put up a nesting box.

10. Clean the patio


Once the patio is clean, you’re ready to take out a chair and enjoy the first warm, sunny day with a nice cup of coffee.