Landscaping and garden maintenance are the two top things you can do to minimise the risk of your commercial property catching on fire if it’s located in a bushfire-prone area. Other risk factors include wind speed and the types of plants on your property. 

Working with the gardening professionals to handle the landscape planning from the outset could be the best decision. With landscaping strategies, they can help reduce the risk of bushfires and keep your property safe all year round.

Here at Mathiou Services, our experienced team is trained in commercial gardening and landscaping, including those in bushfire-prone areas. Based on our experience, here are the guides you should consider before creating your garden:

1. Planning Garden Designs

Whether modifying or designing a new garden, you need to consider the garden beds, trees and other flammable object placement. It is important to ensure that the area around your property is free of plants or objects that could catch a direct flame. 

More than that, you need to keep these principles in mind:

  • Create empty spaces
    Free up some spaces in your garden to stop potential flame from spreading. You can make a pathway, put distance between plants, make a small hill, mow your lawn or cut bushes around your garden.
  • Keep flammable objects away

Keep your flammable objects away or put them in non-flammable storage. These include sheds, outdoor furniture, plastic garden tools, gloves, hose, barbeques, gas bottles, organic mulch and woodpiles. If you have plastic pots, it’s better to move them during summer or replace them with non-flammable materials such as ceramic, concrete or metal.

2. Choosing the Right Plants

It is a fact that all plants will burn under extreme conditions. However, some plants are less likely to catch direct flame than others. Choosing the plants with wet characteristics and positioning them apart from the other plants could reduce the risk of bushfire in your commercial garden.

Here are some tips to help you consider which plants are safe for your garden:

  • Avoid trees with loose stringy or ribbon bark.
  • Avoid shrubs that climb onto your property walls.
  • Avoid plants with high amounts of resins, waxes or oils.
  • Choose plants that have a high foliage moisture content.
  • Choose plants with open and loose branching as well as leaves that are thinly spread.
  • Choose trees that can grow their leaves 2 metres above the ground.
  • Choose plants with coarse textures.
  • Choose sparsely dense plants.
  • Choose plants with wide, flat and thick leaves or soft and fleshy leaves; they have fire wise similarities. 
  • Choose plants with bark that is attached tightly to the trunk.

3. Implementing Garden Maintenance

Always do the maintenance, especially during summer. Keep the garden clean from dry leaves, bark, branches and shrubs. Replace the plants that are dead or dried out. If you’re hiring garden and landscaping services, include weed removal in the contract, as weeds contribute to a high load of flame fuel.

Moreover, cut off branches that are less than 2 metres high from the ground. This will reduce the risk of the trees catching direct flame from the ground. Make sure that your grass grows not more than 5 cm. The taller your grass, the higher the risk of ignition from radiant heat. 

4. Using Turf

Healthy turf—watered and mowed—is not prone to burst into flames during a bushfire. The turf types best for bushfire-prone areas are Buffalo, Couch and Kikuyu. 

Proper turf installation is crucial. It could help turf form a thriving root system and make it more likely to retain moisture even in summer. Plus, turf maintenance is easy. You only need to water it regularly to keep it green and healthy. You may also have to remove the dry leaves, falling branches and mulch around the turf.

Now you know how to landscape and do garden maintenance to avoid bushfires, your next question might be who to hire for professional services. But before you type “gardening services near me” on Google, contact Mathiou Services at 1300 363 423. 

At Mathiou Services, we provide commercial gardening & landscaping across Australia. Let us know how we can help you with your garden planning and maintenance.