Autumn is a great season for spending time out in the garden getting your hands dirty. It’s all about preparing your lawns and garden beds so they’re ready for winter and set to bloom in spring.
Here are our tips on what you should be doing in your garden now:
Mulch your garden beds
Now is an ideal time for mulching, which will improve your soil quality, keep it moist, stop it eroding and stop weeds from growing.
Autumn is the perfect time for your lawns to recover from the summer heat. It is important to remember not to cut your lawn too short during this time of year (no shorter than 5cm). It is also a good idea to feed your lawn with a slow release fertiliser to help thicken the grass. You might also want to add lawn seed – using lawn seed over any kikuyu, couch or buffalo lawn will mean that you will end up with a lush green cover over winter.
Plant some herbs
Now is the perfect time to plant some fast growing herbs – parsley, coriander, chives and dill will all grow well from seed sown now.
Get your veggie patch going by planting seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, silverbeet, broad beans, carrots and strawberries so that you can harvest them in spring.
Add some colour
Plant out some winter annuals to brighten up the coming months – old fashioned beauties such as calendulas, violas and primulas flower over long periods. Pansies, sweet pea and marigold add colour to the garden but need to be planted now to maximise flowering time. It’s also the right time to plant lavender, ferns and hydrangeas.
This month you will need to prune your summer flowering perennials such as buddlejas, penstemons, salvias and daisy bushes. Firstly cut off any dead plant material and remove old flowers. Trimming your hedges allows in light and air and encourages new growth.
During May you need to start pruning any fruit trees (except for apricots) but make sure you don’t inadvertently cut off next years fruiting spurs. Clean up around your fruit trees and remove dead leaves and mummified fruit that may harbour diseases or pests over winter.
Remember to sharpen your secateurs and clippers. If they are blunt, chipped or rusted, then why not invest in a new pair – sharp tools will promote a faster healing process and better protect your plants.