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Grass maintenance

Below is a list of frequently asked questions to provide some information about managing and maintaining grass lengths in the City of Whittlesea. 

Grass and garden maintenance is generally the responsibility of the landowner, with the exception of nature strips which are the responsibility of the resident.

Sometimes understanding who owns the land can be complex. If it’s a nature strip it’s the owner of the adjoining property, if it’s a local park or a local road it is the local council. If it’s alongside a main road, that may be VicRoads or another government agency. If it’s a privately-owned block of land, it’s the owner of the land.

If you have concerns about the status of grass or gardens, our customer service team (contact details) can let you know who’s responsible for that area. If it’s council, we’ll investigate and get it actioned.

We take pride in the maintenance and presentation of our parks and gardens and some areas are currently not being maintained to the standard we all expect. Whilst the wet weather has played a part in this, there is a broader maintenance issue and we are currently taking action to address this. Our contractors have now put on additional crews and staff are working longer hours including on weekends to catch-up. We are also revising the mowing frequency and schedules.

In years, like 2021, with an especially wet spring, long grass is an extra challenge. La Nina is a weather phenomenon that results in above average rainfall and as a result fast grass growth. In October, the Bureau of Meteorology recorded 123mm of rain in Epping. This is the highest monthly average over the last 10 years and we could be on track for one of the wettest years in recent times.

When the ground is saturated it makes it hard for our machinery to access some areas without getting bogged and causing damage to the ground and grass.  We need to ensure the site has dried out before we can continue our maintenance program.

Our crews and contractors are working hard to clean up the damage created by the wild weather, thunderstorms and wind on Friday 29 October. We received more than 1,900 clean -up requests mostly related to tree damage. We assess every request and prioritise those that are deemed a safety risk or pose a hazard. We have brought in additional crews to assist with the clean-up but there is still much to be done and we estimate it will take another 3-4 weeks to complete the clean-up. While our tree crews are prioritising storm damage clean-up, other low priority, routine maintenance tasks have been put on hold.

Council aims to service its grass and garden bed assets every three or four weeks. However, due to the weather delays, we are approximately five days behind our schedule. In some instances, we are on schedule, while in others we are a little further behind.

Detailing along paths, around fences, bollards and other obstacles is scheduled to occur within 24 hours of the grass being cut, along with a site tidy up where grass clippings are spread evenly across the cut turf to ensure a neat and tidy appearance. This may be delayed when there is heavy rain fall.

Maintenance crews are separated into a mowing crew and a clean-up crew as they use different equipment. The clean-up crew is responsible for detailing work and tidying up clippings. This crew aims to follow the mowing crew within 24 hours, however this may be delayed if there is heavy rainfall.

Garden beds are maintained on a separate three or four weekly cycle by a different crew to the mowing crew. The equipment and expertise required to maintain the garden beds differ to that required for mowing.

Council uses a slashing machine to cut spring/summer grass on roadsides. This is part of fire preparation work and is done in rural and urban fringe areas three times during this season.

The first slash will be done as close to the start of the fire danger period (usually late spring or early summer) as possible. It is normal that grass is longer in the lead up to the first slashing. Then it will be slashed during summer as the grass grows again to manage fire risk.

You can call our customer service team on 9217 2170 – they’ll make a report for you.

Or you can lodge a report online here

Please make sure to include your details if you would like to be updated on the progress of your report.