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Mow your verge

By Gungahlin Al - 21 October 2009 67

Gungahlin Community Council is starting to get a number of complaints about overgrown grass on roadside verges in suburban areas.

After several years of not much rain, it seems that many of us have forgotten a few things about grass. So for those with short memories, here are the key points:

1/ When it rains now and then during warmer weather, that green stuff out there (known as “grass”, but sometimes mislabelled “lawn”) tends to grow longer.

2/ When it grows longer, YOU have to mow it – importantly this includes the verge area in front of your place between your property boundary and the kerb (and around the side if you live on a corner). “They” don’t mow it for you.

3/ If you live in a new estate, the developer may have done the mowing over the last couple of years. But once the development is finished and a “maintenance period” elapses, the public areas go “off maintenance”, and “they” will no longer mow it . TAMS will then mow the parks and stuff, but you have to mow your bit of verge.

4/ Living in a townhouse and not having a mower is NOT an excuse for letting it grow a metre high. Point 2 above applies to you too. (I saw a guy trimming his verge grass with a hedge trimmer on Sunday…! Scores B for initiative and A for comedy.)

Tips for townhouses residents:

1/ Talk to your neighbours – one of them may have a mower and be willing to do the whole building frontage if you all tip a bit of dosh their way (or even just a “thank you”?)

2/ If no-one has a mower, how about pooling some funds to hire a garden contractor every couple of weeks during spring/summer and every 6 weeks over winter?

3/ If no-one else will come to the party, plant it out in front of your place at least. Please avoid making yet more expanses of crushed granite. It’s ugly and hot and causes more stormwater run-off.

Steps for planting out your verge, for townhouse dwellers and renters with no idea about gardening:

1/ Scalp it with a mower back to the dirt (hire one just this once).

2/ Wait a week then spray it out with glyphosate (Roundup). Wait 2 weeks and spray it out again.

3/ Wait another 2 weeks then visit Magnet Mart for the following items.

4/ Scatter gypsum around (it helpsbreak up the clay so water and roots can penetrate. Dig it up a bit – great exercise for townhouse dwellers.

5/ Bash in some timber or plastic garden edge strips across the verge at your boundaries to keep the neighbours’ untended grass out. Magnet Mart will lend you a trailer to carry the timber edging home.  Use the borrowed trailer to get some “coarse forest litter” mulch from Corhill Brothers for the princely sum of $23 per cubic metre (a 7×4 high-sided trailer will take a full metre load in one trip) and spread it around. All you need for this is a cheap rake. Make it deep so weeds won’t grow through it. Maybe drop some large-format concrete pavers in to cross the verge?

6/ Put some low ground covering native plants in. If you’ve bought a brand new place, the ACT Government gives you $250 worth via the Yarralumla Nursery. Otherwise, Magnet Mart have a great range of low-water natives. Landscapers’ tip is to cluster several of the same species together. Some species to consider: Dianella revoluta or tasmanica; Lomandra tanika or longifolia, or further away from the street hystrix; Grevillea bronze rambler or gaudi chaudi; Grevillea Mt Tamboritha; Myoporum parvifolium. Further back from the street and away from corners, a couple of low-growing shrubs like Leptospermum; Callistemon; Acacia; Banksia. Remember plants grow larger, so don’t plant anything within a metre of the footpath or kerb. Keep the mulch back from the stems of the plants.

7/ Water occasionally. Enjoy no longer worrying about mowing.

What’s Your opinion?


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67 Responses to
Mow your verge
H1NG0 8:56 am 22 Oct 09

When I lived in a townhouse, TAMS mowed the front verge. Now that I own my own house, I do it myself whenever I mow the lawn which has been quite a lot lately. Its common sense, don’t have a whinge and pore over government websites, just mow the bloody verge. Your neighbours will love you for it. I even spray mine for weeds.

The biggest problem near me is that TAMS seem to be totally neglecting their land and letting it go wild. Ngunnawal Hill is a jungle and the paths that lead on to Gold Creek are a disgrace. Gungahlin Al, maybe you should consider giving TAMS a blast about the state of their parks around here.

Have some pride in where you live people. Its not that hard.

busgirl 8:41 am 22 Oct 09

Pandy said :

Where JC on the lease (mine is in the bank)? Very clearly that link says that the verge is not yours but that it is merely accepted that you look after it which is a very loose definition. There is no way I am going to water one of the council trees if they decide (as they did) plant one in the front of the house.

…so… you would let an innocent tree die just because it was the council who planted it and not you…wow…it’s not the tree’s fault you know…

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:28 am 22 Oct 09

Hilarious. I spend an hour or so every second weekend mowing my several hundred metres of lawn. The council also regularly mows the playing field near my house, but the reserve across the street gets a bit overgrown sometimes.

One of the things I love about where I live is the extensive grassy areas, both public and private.

Pandy 8:05 am 22 Oct 09

Where JC on the lease (mine is in the bank)? Very clearly that link says that the verge is not yours but that it is merely accepted that you look after it which is a very loose definition. There is no way I am going to water one of the council trees if they decide (as they did) plant one in the front of the house.

Pandy 7:53 am 22 Oct 09

GA, The following posted this morning on the Gungahlin community association website, that repeats most of what you wrote above is just propogating falsehoods and makes you seem like a busy body:

But the government doesn’t mow the frontages of residences – including those of townhouse blocks. You need to mow it…….but you need to mow your bit of verge.

JC 7:15 am 22 Oct 09

proofpositive said :

You may consider yourself the unelected mayor of Gungahlin, but you do not have the ability to create your own special local “by-laws” and you need to get your facts right when giving advice. You are under no obligation by law to maintain your nature strip and if you put anything other than grass on it you need an approval.

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/12667/naturestripspdf.pdf

Bzzt, have you ever read your land lease? Mine quite clearly says that I, as the lease holder am expected to maintain the nature strip adjoining my lease. Indeed the document you have linked to says much the same. Sure the law doesn’t force you, but the land lease may well. So in a way Al is right.

busgirl 6:49 am 22 Oct 09

Regardless of the rules, what’s wrong with people just wanting to take pride in where they live? Gardening is not hard you bunch of lazy bums. Try getting out of the house and getting some sun on your skin and dirt under your fingernails.

Gungahlin Al 6:28 am 22 Oct 09

Ho hum. What? We need an irony flag for posts do we? Humourless bunch…

Pandy said :

GA has nothing bettter to do than to peer over the his neighbours fence. What next?

Read the title.

Thanks for the leaflet link PP. Of course approval is needed, and I had intended adding that in a comment, but the post didn’t go up until some hours after I put it through. I wouldn’t have thought that would be a major issue as long as one doesn’t intend blocking sightlines and access.

As a good example of how much better this sort of approach is over the ‘expanse of granite’ approach, the verges for the entire (now closed) display village in Harrison were landscaped this way.

As for mowing your own verge being not required, it is not done by the local governments *anywhere* in Australia. But if you think the government should do it for the whole city, then perhaps tell us what other services you are prepared to give up to pay for it? You may not be aware but TAMS is right now ‘consulting’ community groups about what services it can reduce to make their budget stack up. They are already talking about reducing the times parks are mowed, public toilets are cleaned and sports fields are watered.

el 11:41 pm 21 Oct 09

WTF is this crap? You sound like a typical body corporate nazi.

What makes you think anyone has to listen to a “Community Council” in the first place? Get over yourself and pull your head in.

This is direct from ACT Urban Services:

Please be aware that you must not

* Develop your nature strip (other than growing
grass) without written approval from the City
Rangers Office.

I-filed 11:22 pm 21 Oct 09

You don’t have to mow it folks. It’s the government’s responsibility. We citizens do it out of a mix of community-mindedness and self-interest, but it is not compulsory.

Pandy 11:08 pm 21 Oct 09

GA has nothing bettter to do than to peer over the his neighbours fence. What next?

proofpositive 10:35 pm 21 Oct 09

You may consider yourself the unelected mayor of Gungahlin, but you do not have the ability to create your own special local “by-laws” and you need to get your facts right when giving advice. You are under no obligation by law to maintain your nature strip and if you put anything other than grass on it you need an approval.

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/12667/naturestripspdf.pdf

Fiona 9:32 pm 21 Oct 09

I have a mower. But ownly wisps of grass that I “trim” by pulling up or cutting with my pruning shears. ahh, gardening.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:21 pm 21 Oct 09

Gungahlin Community Council is starting to get a number of complaints about overgrown grass on roadside verges in suburban areas.

Translation: Gungahlin Al has complained to the council about grass ruining his urban utopia.

Chop71 9:21 pm 21 Oct 09

…. and the good news for Gungahlin residents is that with your tiny tiny blocks you only have a little bit of grass to mow 😉

or you can cement it in and paint it green.

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