Category Archives: Green Valley Blog

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Leather jackets lead to re-turf

This week one of my jobs was to repair the damage done by leather jackets.

leatherjacketThe larvae of the crane fly (daddy long legs) can cause some serious damage to lawns if not dealt with quickly, as I found this week.

deadlawnleatherThe little critters were working their way up the lawn, and although the lawn was getting help from the local starling population, the lawn was losing. It was time for a re-turf.

returflawnleatherGreen valley will now be maintaining this garden and lawn, and keeping the nasty little grass munchers in check 🙂

 

End of season musings

Well as the end of the mowing season draws near, I look back on the last 6 months of mowing with a smile.

I have met some lovely new people this year, and will look forward to catching up with everyone again in the spring.

stripes on lawn
Stripes

One of the highlights of the season was this lawn (above) which was unkempt and full of weeds and lumps caused by weed grasses. Just through a regular mow, and some grass seed, it turned into a lawn to be proud of.

I am also loving my mower the Viking MB650VR (above), which is a great machine for all conditions. Shame it’s a bit too heavy to lift up steps, or I would use it all the time.

It’s been a busy few weeks

Well it has been a busy few weeks, and I have neglected to post to my blog. So here’s a catch up.

Clients have been calling as every thing’s been growing fast with the rain and warmth this spring. Picked up 11 new clients since I last posted, hence the ‘not posting’ due to being busy.

Mostly the jobs have been mowing, which is my favourite job anyway, so things are good. I got a new client which is a weekly full maintenance visit (2 hours) which has improved matters quite a bit.

I have invested in a new mower, (Viking MB 650 VR) which is doing a great job at cutting down the time it takes to mow a lawn, making me more efficient, and creating more profit to invest in more time saving equipment. It leaves a pretty nice striped finish too.

I did a bit of landscaping this week, which involved moving 4 tonnes of pebbles from the front of a house, round the back with a wheelbarrow. If I never see another pebble again, it will be too soon!

pebblesandbackache

The results look good though, but I took a hit to my profits on the job due to underestimating the amount of pebbles needed. Live and learn eh?

I have given myself the day off tomorrow to go and make some progress on my allotment, which I’ll try to make a video out of, so stay tuned!

Relax – and enjoy your gardens.

Graham

Mechanics, first cuts and extreme lawns.

Well, what a week. I started off the week still working from my car, but the knowledge that my van would be fixed on Tuesday kept me going.

My first customer wasn’t home, so I moved on to my next at Chancet wood a little earlier than planned. It’s a nice lawn and I enjoy mowing it, so it was a good start to the day.

chancet-wood

After I had a appointment to quote for some garden maintenance, and then it was off to swimming lessons with the girls. A light work day really, but I had booked it that way due to having no van.

mechanic

Tuesday morning arrived, and I limped the van down to the garage nice and early, so they could get a head start on it. The rest of the day was mine, as I had no work booked in, so I decided to do my own garden. Just after that I realised my garden tools were in the van, quickly making that a bad idea 😛

Half way through the day I popped down to the garage to see how it was going, to be told that they hadn’t booked enough time for the job, as it seemed they would have to remove all the dashboard and heater system to get to the broken part (nightmare) and had other jobs on that day too. I told them to go ahead and get it done asap while having a massive anxiety attack about how much it was going to cost, when labour was £40 +vat ph.

So I sit around worrying for the rest of the day, while people keep calling me for quotes, but no call from the garage. It gets to 4.55 and I decide to give them a call, but there is no answer. Now I’m panicking. I have jobs booked in tomorrow! So I drive down to the garage, and find it shut! AAaaaaahhhh, my van is locked inside and I have clients to look after! I spend the night worrying, and sleep terribly, waking up at 5am to my mind racing. I got up and tried to take my mind off the van, while 7.30 when the garage was due to open, at which point I drove down there, fully expecting to have to load the car up with tools again, and leave the van there.

I get the the garage and notice my van is outside… My first thought is that the had to move it out to fit other jobs in, or they had given up on it.

The mechanic comes out as I get out of my car. Does he look annoyed? stressed? bemused? No it’s actually relief I think, as he proceeds to explain that they came in early to finish it off, and it’s done! Yey! He says it was one of those really annoying jobs, and doesn’t know what vauxhall was thinking when the designed it that way, and he’s really glad the job is over with. That makes two of us!

I don’t think I have ever been happier to part with £300, and it was nice to have my tool shed on wheels back. I was back in business 🙂

CONTACTUS_BILLING_pic

Wednesday started with my neighbours lawns which I care for and then two other mows straight after, and then a couple of quotes for new mows in beighton and the manor. All in all it was a good day.

Thursday morning. What is that smell? Why is it raining inside my van? I learnt an important lesson about leaving rotting grass waste inside the van today. They were happily composting in the back, while stinking up the van and causing masses of condensation. So the first job for today was to get it dumped, and drive with the windows open 🙂

teletubby-land

The rest of the day was taken up by my biggest mow (3 hours) a quote for the neighbour that has an even bigger garden, I thought he would be better off buying a goat, but did the quote anyway. Then off to a new client on abbeydale road south, which turned out to be a very pleasant mow, and nice people.

abbeydale-mow-02abbeydale-mow-01

Friday was a return to Mondays first client, who was home now. I realised the garden was far too tall for mowing, and resorted to using my big strimmer to level it all. I must have looked like ‘the green man’ when I was done. I think I had most of the garden splattered all over me.

Then it was off to my most ‘interesting’ lawn so far. It is basically a grass covered slope, that is almost too steep to stand on. I got it sorted out with the strimmer and mowed the bits I could reach safely.

super-steep-lawnThe owner informed me that he had another property that needs mowing too. Lets just hope it’s not like this 🙂

Time for the weekend off now, and a trip to graves park with the family.

Have a good’un!

Graham

Lovely day for mowing today

Chancet wood SheffieldToday’s jobs were just a small mow in Chancet Wood, and a couple of quotes in Millhouses and Dore.

Then it was off to the gearbox specialist to see about having the speedo replaced in the van, which sounds like a bigger job than was anticipated. I swear soon there will be more new bits than old bits on the van.

Such is life. Onwards and upwards!

Graham 🙂

Welcome to my new clients.

Even with the van issues this week, it’s been really great meeting new clients. Here are a couple of nice lawns I’m now looking after. Was a lovely day for mowing, and lovely people 🙂

Happy gardening!

Graham

Busy week, dead van!

clutch system

Well it’s been a busy week, with great weather, but I have been reduced to using my car for the last few days of work. Been a bit like old times, although it has reduced the kind of work I could do.

On Wednesday morning, I jumped in the van to set off to a job I had that morning. When I stepped on the clutch to set off, the clutch pedal bracket snapped off, leaving me stranded. Nightmare!!

Waiting until Tuesday now to get the van back working again, but I would just like to thank my customers for being understanding when I had to move appointments around etc, and a big big thank you to my mum, for loaning me the money to get the repair done. You are a life (and business) saver mum!

Oh well, I can’t focus on the negatives! Wednesday was a nightmare, but yesterday and today have been good gardening days.

Tomorrow is forecast to be lovely, so get out in your garden and enjoy!

Graham

 

Looking forward to another sunny week

ladybirdWell another week is about to begin. This week includes 2 clearances a few mows, a couple of quotes and a maintenance visit.

I love the smell of napalm cut grass in the morning! (quoting Apocolypse now)

Have an awesome week everyone!

Graham 🙂

Well, things are hotting up!

sunshineWell the sun has come out, and the phone has been ringing. Welcome to my new clients, it’s been great meeting you all.

What a busy few days! I can tell I have had the winter off, I have aches in places I forgot have muscles. I’ll soon be in shape to look after all these lovely gardens though.

Looking forward to a great summer!

Graham

How to care for your lawn

Nice striped lawn
Nice striped lawn

There is more to lawn care than many people realise. If you just don’t want things to overgrow, then a regular mow (weekly in summer) and watering in dry spells is usually enough. But if you want a great lawn, it takes a bit more care and attention.

Trackmaster (garden machinery supplier) has produced a great pdf guide which you can view here: Lawncare guide

It has just about everything you need to know.

Enjoy 🙂

Graham – Green Valley Garden Services