Autumn garden jobs you need to do now
Autumn is the perfect time to get your garden ready for the colder months.
As the autumn leaves start to turn a beautiful golden color, the mornings start to get a little chillier and we start to think of ways to make our homes cozier for the colder months, we know that autumn has officially arrived.
It’s easy to think that the autumn and winter months are a time to take care of your garden, but there’s actually a lot you can do.
Now is the time to get out in the garden and harvest the last of the summer vegetables, prune the hedges and plant the autumn bulbs.
And if you have deciduous trees in your garden, it can be hard work raking up the fallen leaves.
We’ve put together a list of tasks you can do now to get your garden ready for autumn.
1. prune hedges
Winter is a great time to prune. This is because most plants are either dormant or towards the end of their flowering period, and many of last season’s legs are still growing.
However, pruning your hedges before winter will make them look more compact and bushy when viewed from ground level.
2. lawn maintenance
The best thing about autumn and winter is that you don’t have to mow your lawn as much as you do in spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it at all.
Check your lawn and make sure that the weeds you sprayed last month are dead.
Repeat the treatment if necessary. Aerate the lawn with a garden fork and spray lightly with lime. This will soften the soil that has fed the lawn over the years.
Rejuvenate tired lawns with autumn fertilization in preparation for the cold winter months.
Aerate your lawn in spring and autumn to promote water penetration and encourage root growth.
3. don’t rush to cut off dead seed.
You may be tempted to cut back summer grasses that have gone to seed, but leave them behind as they provide an abundance of food for the birds that visit your garden. The fruits of magnolias also attract parrots, which feed on their seeds.
4. divide evergreen perennials
Evergreen perennials are plants that retain their foliage throughout the winter.
Evergreen perennials can be easily divided by lifting them from the ground, dividing them at the base and replanting them in well-tended soil.
After repotting, the plant should be watered regularly as it will be stressed by the splitting of its roots.
5. growing new plants from cuttings
Propagating plants from cuttings is an inexpensive and easy way to grow new plants, especially those that will suit your own or a nearby garden.
Take 4-inch cuttings of broadleaf grasses such as rosemary and laurel, and native plants such as banksia, grevillea and coast rosemary.
Remove the lower leaves, dip the cuttings in hormone powder and place in a small container filled with topsoil. Keep out of strong wind and sun, and maintain a moderate level of humidity.
Perennials such as rosemary are more vigorous when grown from cuttings.
6. harvest summer vegetables
Now is the perfect time to harvest the last of the summer crops and start planting the autumn vegetables, fruit and herbs that will thrive in the cooler months.
Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions, parsnips, parsnips, sweet peas, radishes and turnips can all be planted in autumn.
7. clean fruit trees
After the autumn leaves have fallen, there is no better time to reopen the heart of your deciduous fruit trees by pruning.
It is important to prune the shoots to improve air circulation for the next fruit season and to prevent fungal diseases.
Spraying dead branches with liquid copper or lime sulphate will also help to prevent further disease.
The liquid amber tree is synonymous with autumn color in Australia.
8. clean up fallen leaves
Leaves that have fallen on your garden or lawn should be transferred to the compost regularly. If you don’t, your plants and lawn will suffocate and your garden will become a mess.
9. mulch everything
Mulch your garden beds to take advantage of the winter rains and to protect the surface roots of your plants from the winter weather.
Mulching is always a great idea as it improves the structure of the soil and helps retain moisture for the warmer months.
If you are planting seeds, remember that you cannot mulch them until they are established.
A 4-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil around the plants will last for about 12 months.
An initial layer of newspaper will also help to reduce evaporation and lock in moisture.