There is so much to do in the lead up to Christmas your gardening most likely gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. The only time you’ll probably even consider doing a garden clean up is mid-Christmas morning when you go out to check if the BBQ gas bottle needs changing. Just when you notice the gas bottle doesn’t have a replacement ready you also realise the lawn needs mowing and the weeds are staging a hostile take over. Rather than wait for the inevitable cringe-worthy gathering at your place, why not set aside some time spruce your garden this weekend, all you need is three hours and your yard is festive ready. Plenty of time to enjoy your weekend, or take that gas bottle in for a changeover. There’s an added bonus here as well, for as little as three hours you can make a backyard space ready for summer, that means you can feel confident inviting friends over for a movie and drinks or to watch the cricket while you BBQ up a feast in front of the outdoor TV. Safety First: Wear the right clothes when you are working with power equipment • Long pants • Garden gloves • Boots • Protective goggles And protect from the sun with • Hat • Sunscreen And hydrate with water Make sure the light is good so you can easily see. This way you will avoid injuring yourself or damaging your home (so no dusk or evening workouts with the whipper snipper or mower). These five super easy steps will have your garden ship shape in no time. 1. Hire, buy or clean The right tools for the job are your number one priority in getting this work done in the easiest way possible. If you have these tools in your shed already clean them up, make sure they work properly and you have all the fuel and connectors you need to run them. Nothing is worse than setting aside a gardening morning then not being able to complete it because of an equipment oversight. If you don’t already own and want to keep your garden looking sharp all year around put these items on your Santa wish list, and maybe open them a little early. Otherwise, save money and stress by hiring them from your local supplier. You will need to book in advance to make sure your planned garden Three-Hours-of-Power goes smoothly. What you need 1. High-pressure hose 2. Broom 3. Lawn Mower 4. Line Trimmer 5. Hoe or trowel 6. Garden mulch 2. High-pressure water cleaner This one item is going to clean up about 80 per cent of your outdoor space. If you are using an electric water pressure cleaner you can also double up and use it inside too, great for bathrooms and laundry areas. Gas powered cleaners can only be used outdoors but they do offer more of a power hit than the electric ones. Just choose depending on your fitness level and area size you want to clean as gas units are bigger and heavier and require more maintenance, but… you might like to consider this as an option if you are hiring. Be sure to grab some detergent beforehand as well. Just keep in mind that if you are using rainwater to connect to the pressure cleaner natural soaps are not an option, you have to use synthetic detergent. Using detergent in the sprayer makes for a much faster, more thorough clean. Use on your: • Exterior house walls • Bricks • Tiles • Decking • Pavers • Outdoor furniture (remove cushions first) • Windows (remove fly screens and wash them standing against a wall) • Doors • Fences • Driveway • Garden walls • Concrete flooring • Stairs and walkways Plus (bonus) • Car • Mower For best results use a broom to sweep over first to gather cobwebs and light dust together to be blasted away, otherwise cobwebs can catch and dangle- not a great look. This is really important on windows, doors and outdoor furniture. 3. Lawn Mower If you want mowing your lawn to be quick and easy, do it regularly. The little bit of time spent every month or so will make the job a breeze every time. To keep your grass looking lush and green, keep the grass length high. Cutting is short will burn out your lawn and won’t save you any time in the long run. To keep efficiency high mow your lawn in rows, up and down. You might need to go around tricky items like birdbaths or clotheslines first. 4. Line Trimmer A line trimmer is kind of like the get out of jail for free card in Monopoly. Even if your garden isn’t looking it’s greatest, no one will notice if your edges are trimmed nicely, and let’s be honest, any excuse to wack-a-weed with a whipper snipper is all right with us. The line trimmer is for any places you can’t get close to with the mower: • Garden beds • Pathways • Fence lines • Washing lines • Tree trunks • Foundation walls • Decking 5. Mulch Covering your garden bed with mulch covers up the gaps, fills in holes and actually increases water retention and weed reduction in your garden. Spend half an hour pulling out the worst of the weeds, focus on the ones that pop up between your pavers. You’ll need a trowel or garden hoe to dig them out. Okay, garden done, feet up, enjoy the breeze and watch some TV in your clean outdoor space!