With my northern NSW property subjected to record rainfalls throughout the 2022 Spring, just like many Australian gardeners, I found myself presented with an unexpected and unusual set of challenges to not only restore my garden in time for Summer, but to also keep it safe from disease and infection.

The combination of record rains, humidity and the forecast for a very hot Summer created the potential for fungal diseases to thrive and take hold across the garden, requiring me to take urgent action to save and protect some of my garden’s most stunning features.

1. Restoring your canopy, vines and hedges
The excessive Spring rainfall promoted quicker than usual growth for hedges, shrubs and vines across the garden. With this thicker growth, the opportunity for air and light to freely circulate and reach all parts of the plant is compromised. This in turn leads to increased potential for fungal diseases to take hold.

The solution is straightforward, especially when paired with the STIHL range of battery trimmers.

Employing my STIHL HLA 56 long-reach battery hedge trimmer and STIHL HLA 86 telescopic battery hedge trimmer, trimming back hedges, shrubs, and my pride of place Wisteria shade canopy was quick, easy and effective thanks to reliable high-performance power, precision, manoeuvrability and balance as delivered by these German engineered marvels. And with an impressive reach of 2.1 metres and 3.3 metres respectively, I was able to undertake all the cutting from the safety of the ground. No ladders, no scaffolds, no worries!

Getting my ornamental shrubs and hedges back into shape was also a breeze, thanks to the impressively lightweight and compact HSA 26 Battery Shrub Shears. With two easily interchanged cutting blades and unrivalled precision and manoeuvrability, the HSA 26 save time and effort, while delivering striking results.

2. Restoring and protecting lawns
With the over-abundance of moisture, humidity and heat most gardeners are currently experiencing, lawns are also now highly susceptible to fungal diseases.

Acting quickly, and remaining diligent, is key to both restoring your lawn to lush perfection and protecting it.

Firstly, up the number of times you mow each week. With my self-propelled STIHL RMA 510 V, mowing is easy, precise and effective every time. Starting at the touch of a button and with little to no noise, I find it easier to find times that work for my lawn, family, neighbours and myself – whether that’s in the cool of the Summer morning or evening.

The more often you mow, the less chance there is for thatch to take hold in your lawn, which in turn prevents the onset of fungal diseases. My summer lawn restoration is based around 2-3 mowing sessions each week. Then once the lawn is back under control, I return to my usual relaxing once a week mowing regime.

Cutting height is also key to restoring your lawn. With temperatures rising, we need to start our mowing regime with our cutting height set higher. This assists the blade strength of the grass to be more robust, providing more shade and protection for new growth. Once again, the STIHL RMA 510 V is a mower’s dream, with an easily adjustable cutting height lever easily accessible for use by one hand. As the weeks’ progress you can progressively lower your mowing height – but remember, it’s better to have your lawn a little longer in Summer to keep it safe from extreme days of heat.

Another feature of the RMA 510 V that comes into its own when grass is longer is the innovative mulching option. Especially practical for when there’s too much grass to collect in the catcher, by simply placing the mulching plug into the back of the RMA 510 V and activating the side chute, mulch is effortlessly ejected through the side of the mower.

3. Pressure cleaning and restoring your garden from debris
As for most gardens across the country, Spring’s relentless rains and storms left my garden looking drab, dismal and dirty. Once the surface water had cleared, it seemed that a mixture of leaf debris, dirt and soil had completely covered every surface throughout the yard – including the garden furniture.

What at first looked like an impossible task became rewardingly easy with the new STIHL RE 125 X high-pressure cleaner. Lightweight, easily manoeuvrable, and comfortable to use, the flexibility of two nozzles and addition of the STIHL Universal Cleaner CU 100 detergent transformed my outdoor entertaining space from grime to shine in no time.

Delivering high-performance power that makes short work of even the most stubborn dirt, from my sandstone pavers to my outdoor wooden table, the dramatic ‘before and after’ result was intensely satisfying and has me very excited to once again welcome back family and friends to share in relaxing summer get-togethers.

Not only simply pleasing from a garden-proud point of view, this quick and effective garden clean up also helps minimise the chance for nasties to take hold within dirty and grimy areas.

Although it has been a testing Spring, and there are many challenges still facing gardeners in the coming months, acting quickly across these three areas will have your garden back in shape in no time, and ready for a Summer of relaxing enjoyment and entertainment.