Relax and Enjoy Summer When You Are Fire Ready

January 19, 2015

TOP TIPS

  • Cleanup so you are  prepared for fires.
  • Contact the CFA Community Safety Branch on 5329 5510.
  • Design your landscape to be fire wise.
  • Consider your plant choices if you live in high fire risk areas
  • Choose mulch carefully.
  • Clean up piles of leaves and twigs in gutters and gardens.
  • Check hoses and pumps and if you have a water tank get it fire ready.

This summer has been reat with only a few really wiltingly hot days so far.  The summer storms have been keeping a green tinge on lawns around the place but the fire potential is very high in the bush and grasslands surrounding our towns.  Lightning yesterday was spectacular to watch but also started several fires around the region so its time to make sure your garden and home are clear and ready for the fire season.

If you did a big cleanup earlier in spring it should be an easier task but the warm weather and rain has given everything in your garden a chance to grow.  I was away for a short time but the lawns out the front and back need a big mow and areas along the fence line that adjoins the paddock next door needs clearing.  While its not my paddock its good insurance and provides an extra buffer zone from an approaching fire front.

If you are just back from the beach maybe you would have seen the newer varieties of lawn which grow nice and lush in summer.  We have used them for a few years now in Ballarat and surrounds and they grow well.  Their only downside is they go dormant over winter but I don’t mind as normally im inside out of the cold.

Live Lawns are best.  They, provides oxygen and cools the area around our house.  Give me a call if you want to know more.  This little patch of green was designed as another fire buffer.

Where ever you live it pays to be alert to the dangers of fire.  If you haven’t cleaned up around your place already, then this weekend is a great time.  Do what we did and get up earlier in the morning before it gets too hot!

If you have a water tank its a fabulous resources for fighting fires.  Make time to check you have all the connections, fittings and “O”Rings you need to connect pumps and hoses before you need them.

As homeowners and gardeners there are heaps of things we can do to make our gardens less prone to danger from fire

Firstly it’s worth getting in touch with the CFA.  Whether you are a recent arrival or longtime resident of the goldfields region, these guys can help you make a fire plan for your family and your property.  They can provide information or visit as part of their Community Fireguard program.  Contact the CFA Community Safety Branch on 5329 5510.  The website www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

As I said previously the second most important thing is to keep your place clean and tidy. Clean up piles of leaves and twigs from garden beds, sheds, paths and pergolas.  Check your gutters as well.  If you cleared your gutters last month do them again!  Evergreen trees lose their leaves all year and especially when the weather heats up.

Plants with more water or salts in their foliage are harder to bum, but no plant is fireproof!  Agapanthus, geraniums, daylilies, sedums and other succulents are wise choices to help retard the spread of fire along the ground.

Lots of our native plants are well adapted to living with fire but they are highly flammable. Grevilleas, proteas, eucalypts, banksias and hakeas all burn really well. Keep them well away from buildings. These plants are rich in oils, which will fuel a fire.  Other plants, which bum well, are those with loose bark such as paper barks. If you have areas of broom and gorse around your place get rid of them. Diosmas bum well too, as do conifers.

Whilst you are cleaning up make sure any flammable materials like wood heaps, fertiliser, mower fuel, sprays and similar things are stored in a shed away from your house.

Plan paved areas, pools, paths, drives and ponds close to your house so you can take full advantage of them and also to provide a buffer from fire. Gravel mulches in higher risk areas can help too.  Veggie gardens, beds of annuals and fruit orchards (so long as the grass is mown short) provide little or no fuel also so plan these in areas where fires are most likely to approach from. Lawn around the house will provide some protection, it’s may not be green but at least it’s short.

Work with and help your neighbors by sharing tools.   Of course if you need a hand you know what to do.  That’s right just give us a call.

At TOP hEDGE our Horticulturists and Green Gardeners know all this and mulch more ways to make you garden thrive in our conditions, so if you love your garden but never have enough time give us a call on 5330 1071 or email via website www.tophedge.com.au