Say goodbye to long-grass

Meet Gerry from Longgrass Mowing...

After arriving in Darwin in October 1989 after a long, hot road trip up the west coast, Gerry VanWees from Longgrass Mowing, started his first job as a Ringer on Bonrook Station.

He then moved on to completing a carpentry apprenticeship working for many years building in Arnhem Land. It was here that he developed a passion for the landscape and environment of the Top End. Eventually settling on 33 acres at Darwin River, he soon learnt what was required to manage and maintain a rural property and a passion for gardening was born!

“Longgrass Mowing was created early 2013 when I sensed there was an opening for a professional, local company in this industry. I enjoy working for myself, working outdoors and the variety of work that is associated with running a small gardening business”.

Discover more about Gerry’s passion for gardening:

What do you specialise in?

We specialise in all forms of garden maintenance including repair and maintenance of irrigation systems which is an essential component of a well-managed garden. Testing and diagnosis of irrigation systems is an enjoyable element of my work as I like problem solving.

What is your favourite plant and why? 

My favourite plant at the moment is Radermachera Summerscent. This is a hardy tropical plant from Asia that can handle full sun, has a nice soft white flower, easy to prune and is great for hedging and screening. Also, it’s hard to ignore the humble Croton that comes in such a variety of forms and colours. Also a hardy plant that's great to use because of the ‘wow factor’ in the colour.

What is your best tip for a water efficient garden in the dry season? 

The best tip for saving water in the dry season is to improve the overall health of your garden by creating and improving the nutrients in your soil by fertilising twice a year with a good organic fertiliser. The key ingredients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  A strong healthy garden requires less water!

What is your best tip for a water efficient garden in the build up?  

In the build-up, it’s important to get some mulch happening in your garden. Organic mulches are the best. Benefits includes cooler soil temperature, help retain moisture beneath the surface, keep the weeds down and when it breaks down it helps to improve the soil quality. It even looks good!

What is your best tip for the garden in the wet season? 

The wet is the ‘green season’! This is the best time to get into the garden and plant out any new plants you have been thinking about. This is the time of year your garden gets to benefit from our seasonal rainfall and you will get maximum growth in your vegetation.

Anything extra you would like to add about gardens that you think could benefit the community?

The best advice I can give the community on gardening in the Top End is to check out the Living Water Smart website which clearly explains the benefits of watering 3 times a week or less instead of having a daily watering cycle.

We have actually seen an improvement in the gardens we work on as the "more water less often" principle creates deeper root growth as well as saves our clients on water costs.

Click here to find out more about our registered irrigation suppliers.

Living Water Smart's Garden Tune Up provides a free garden irrigation audit at your home or business by one of our registered irrigation experts. The irrigator will reprogram your irrigation controller to provide your garden with the water it needs, when it needs it. It also includes up to $50 of on-the-spot irrigation repairs.