13 Things About Weed Australia You May Not Have Known
Have you ever thought about how much it costs to maintain your garden? Most people never give it much thought - spending the odd day in the garden when they have time and impulse buying plants at the local nursery.
But if you're serious about saving money and adding value to one of you're most important assets it's worth thinking about the ongoing costs associated with garden maintenance and how this can be minimized. It's also worth spending time and money on your garden Weed Delivery Australia so your asset appreciates rather than depreciates.
For the average size garden you should budget on one full day of maintenance every two months. That's a total of 6 full days a year. Now if you like gardening, that's not a problem and it's probably something you enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from.
But with today's busy lifestyles, many of us are time poor and might have other priorities than spending time in the garden. So if you can't make the regular commitment of a day every two months you need to allow for this in your budget.
Costs vary, but on average you would pay $20 an hour for a qualified gardener or horticulturist, so this will cost you $160 every two months or $960 a year. Now this is just for general maintenance and doesn't include more regular jobs such as mowing or pruning. It also doesn't include costs such as fertilizing or adding to or improving your garden.
Some of the larger companies have recognized this opportunity and are now providing
professional garden maintenance services.
Darrell Canns, General Manager for Yates Garden Care says the market is huge and the garden maintenance business is 10 years behind the franchised lawn mowing industry.
Yates are now entering the market with a full range of professional services including basic lawn mowing, weeding, pruning and fertilizing, small landscaping jobs and tree surgery work.
They are developing a professional horticultural franchise to help put people in the industry. To make money a franchise owner will need to meet professional standards set by Yates, undergo training by the company and use the Yates brand name.
The service has already been successfully established in the eastern states and is being launched in Western Australia soon. Each franchisee will have about 30 or 40 regular customers.
The cost to garden owners is varied and depends on the size of the garden and the time of year. Darrell Canns says this may vary from $50 or $60 a month to $300 a week.
He believes the difference with other operators is that their people are qualified and the work is guaranteed. He also says they will quote on the total job rather than offer an hourly rate. An example of a fixed price for a specialized service is $400 to redig a garden bed, weed it, fertilize, replant and mulch.
There's an increasing pride in gardens and for people who don't have a lot of time this is a service that's appealing because you know what you get and you know how much it will cost.
Mr Canns believes consumers trust the Yates brand and the company has the ongoing expertise in gardening and horticulture.
The company is also working on a garden valuation service, where Yates will give a written valuation of the replacement cost of the garden and an ongoing maintenance cost. Canns says this will be used by real estate agents to compare properties and provide a tangible and independent figure on what a garden is worth.
So in terms of advice what should one do? Here are eight tips:
1. Budget to maintain your garden. Most people underestimate the value of their garden and many people make costly mistakes by neglecting their garden. Plants and trees may die through lack of water, putting in bad stock, not planting properly, and incorrect fertilizing or pruning. Compared to the value of the plants, the maintenance cost is small.
2. Think about the big picture of your garden. What do you want your garden to look like and what sort of theme.
3. Keep your garden simple. Often simple themes work best and feel more spacious. Set one theme and stick to it. Differentiate between decorative elements. Do they relate to the theme of the garden?
4. Avoid too much maintenance. Low maintenance gardens will cost less over the long term. Think about how much time and money you want to put into your garden in terms of maintenance.
5. Understand what you want. For example a garden for a holiday house would be totally different for your normal home.
6. Plan your garden. Work out what works best for different areas. For example shade versus sun and the purpose for which the garden will be used.
7. Avoid big trees in small spaces. Many people put in totally inappropriate trees and plants in areas that are just too small and at a later date it is very expensive to remove those trees.
8. Avoid buying plants on impulse. Roses are often the worst for this. They look great in the nursery in full bloom but can be a disaster. Plan before you buy.
So you've decided to buy a boat? Congratulations! Each year people all over the World decide to do the same thing. However, a lot of these people will be experienced boat-buyers. On the other hand, there are many potential buyers who find no shame in admitting that they couldn't find their way around a kayak armed with a million-watt searchlight on a sunny day. On a scale of one to ten, where are you?
A FEW GROUND RULES
Let's presuppose a couple of things:
1. The boat you want is an elderly wooden sailing boat and;
2. You fall into the last category, about 9 on the scale.
My advice is 'Spend money on a survey if you think you need to and spend money on a survey anyway.'
A professional survey is just that. You're paying someone with experience and knowledge (the key word) to do something you can't. You've got to pay for that.
BRING A LEARNED FRIEND
What if you really can't afford a survey or that it's just not practical? The next step is to bring along someone who does know something about the boat you want to buy. A yachtie friend or club member who owns a similar boat, for example. This reduces the chances of you (a novice) buying two and a half tons of soggy ply and twelve kilos of rusty nails masquerading as 'The buy of the Century'.
ARM YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GO
There's a bit that you can do to save yourself a wasted journey. A few questions on the phone could save you time and money. Get a pencil, make a list.
1. What was the date of the last known survey/insurance certificate? Beware of paper certificates... In this day of computers documents can be convincingly forged...Ask to see the originals wherever possible...Don't trust photocopies. Surveys and insurance documents have a limited life-span.
2. Is the boat out of the water? If so, where?...How long has she been out? A wooden hull can dry out rapidly in a week or two and the planks will shrink leaving huge cracks. Be careful of a boat that has been out for months unprotected from the sun.
3. Can the seller prove the boat is his to sell? If not, why not? A broker has a responsibility to guarantee title on all boats that he sells. It must be in a safe, seaworthy condition unless otherwise specified. Remember, It could be stolen. Check with your local Department of Consumer Affairs about 'Revs for Boats'...they can tell you, for a small fee, if there are outstanding debts and also the Police have lists of missing and stolen craft.
4. Try to have a little knowledge of the kind of construction the boat has. Buy, beg or borrow any books that can help you in your search... there are dozens of them. Bone up on the engine, gearbox and other gear that it may have on board.
5. Bring a torch.. handy for those dark corners!
6. Have a good idea what you will and won't pay.
WHEN YOU GET THERE
If things aren't as expected or you get evasive or very smooth answers about things which are obviously not right, ask a few pointed questions (politely, of course).....Why is there concrete poured in the bilges?.......Why is the battery flat? If you get no joy, perhaps this is the time to point out that you have other boats to see.
Oh yes, another delicate subject. When searching for rot, don't start hacking great lumps out of the paintwork with a pointy knife. The boat is not your property and you've not been invited on board to vandalise his boat at your leisure. You are likely to get chucked over the side and receive a damn great bill for repairs and damages... quite right too!!
Don't be too critical! People can be sensitive about their boat (even if it isn't up to much) Most wooden boats are not up to Lloyds A1 standards...nothing kills a deal more effectively than aggressive tyre kickers deliberately rubbishing the boat to knock down the price...Be subtle. A little compromise could get you a fair deal.
A FEW OTHER POINTS
If the boat is in the water, you won't be able to see the hull. That is pretty important. If you want to inspect it you'll have to pay for slipping fees unless otherwise agreed. If so, get it in writing!
The old argument rages on about 'glassing' or 'sheathing' wooden hulls. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I don't believe in it unless it's constructed like that from new! Now, I'll tell you why.
Traditional wooden boats weren't built to be glassed over. The way they are built dictates the way they move or 'work', especially sailing vessels. Glass 'em over and different strains work the boat and eventually the glass breaks away partly from the hull....next thing, rain or sea water seeps inside and the boat has a death sentence on it from there on in.
A FINAL THOUGHT
If you think the purpose of this article is to frighten you, you're right. Money is hard to come by but there are folks who'll take it off you any way they can. What I've written is to keep you, the boat buying punter, firmly in possession of your hard earned cash until you are convinced that you are doing the right thing. After all, how many boats will you buy in a lifetime? You can't really be an expert, especially on wooden boats. All is not doom and gloom, there are a great many honest boats and people out there and to buy a bargain for the right price can be a satisfying experience! Happy Hunting!
A CHECK LIST FOR A WOODEN YACHT
Cracks, splits and sprung butt ends suggest loose fastenings. Check for rot gently using a small knife or screwdriver, especially at the waterline.
Check for rotted caulking and for security. Re-caulking may be required.
Excess weed suggests poor maintenance as does smelly, diesel filled bilges inside the hull. Lack of antifoul can allow damage by marine growths especially ship-worm. Check carefully for signs of worm. They get in through pinholes, chew and chew until the planks become powder! If worm is suspected, get professional help!
4.PATCHES OR TINGLES
Copper, fibreglass or wood, they come in all shapes and sizes. They are there for a reason and your job is to find out why. They are temporary bodges really, what are they hiding? Plenty of patches mean plenty of room for discussion concerning a reduced price, there will be plenty of work to do, for sure.
5. PROPELLER AND SHAFT /BEARINGS
Check these all for electrolysis, splits and damage. Check the bearing for play by lifting it up and down. If water drips out then it's getting in, definitely. Is the shaft worn to excess or even bent?
How many? How good? If they are badly corroded they are doing their job. Have a good look on all other metal surfaces to see if a good corrosion job has been done on them too.
7. HULL FITTINGS
Metal or plastic, check them for security. Check filters for effectiveness, metal ones for corrosion. A favourite is to use household brass fitting to save money.... they fall apart as they dezinctify.
8. STEM, TRANSOM AND RUDDER
All of these component parts should be strong, secure and in fine condition. Check for worn pintles or rudder bearings and ensure they are not loose.
Check all rigging wire for rust, wear and worn fittings. Check ropes and sheets for mould and blocks for security and wear.
Sails cost a fortune! Unfurl and check for strained or ripped seams, tears, mildew and general aging. Canvas can rot and Nylon becomes brittle with age and sunlight.
11. MASTS AND SPARS
Inspect carefully for splits (shakes) and rot behind fittings.
Decks can leak and are often a major job. Check them out on a rainy day, if not hose 'em down!! Look for loose fittings, cracked 'paying' in between the planks and damage around strained or loose deck fittings.
13. BELOW DECKS
Look for tell tale stains, watermarks and poor paint work. Has she been under?... You'll see the 'tidemark' some where around the floor line if she has. Mildew, wet and dry rot and peeling woodwork can be traced with eyes and nose....
A tricky subject, too much for this article, but if in any doubt, bring a marine mechanic not a car one. Watch the owner's face when you casually suggest an oil analysis check
Once again, a subject for the experts. However, signs of problems can be cracked, burned and brittle wiring. Loose and floppy wiring shows lack of maintenance.
A vast and never ending subject, the care of wooden boats can fill volumes and takes many years of experience to learn. However, even the most knowledgeable amongst us would be the first to agree the golden rule is to: GET A SURVEY DONE!! As you will be paying, get a surveyor of your choice, don't get talked into having 'someone I know who's really good,' but then again that's another story!
Remember, with the blind leading the blind someone's going to fall in the ditch.....Will it be you?