7 Autumn Gardening Tips to Spruce up Your Garden Here in Australia
With the calendar rolling into March, it’s official, Summer has ended for another year.
As the days get shorter, cooler, and wetter at this time of year, there are a few different techniques that you need to do to help your garden along.
You might be asking yourself questions like “what can I plant in Autumn in Australia” or “how do I prepare my garden for Autumn?”.
To find answers to these and similar questions, keep on reading.
Start by Tidying Up Your Borders and Edges
Summer is a time when plants often overgrow – especially around edges that you want neatly trimmed.
Tidying up borders at the end of Summer is a great time to do this job, it helps your lawn get set and your plants and shrubs grow in the way you want them to – especially as Autumn and Winter are not traditional growing months.
Find the right plants and vegetables to plant this Autumn
What are the best vegetables to plant in Autumn? I hear you ask. There are plenty of options, and here are some:
- Pak Choi/ Bok Choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
Autumn in Sydney is a great time to plant leafy, iron rich veggies like spinach and rocket, and for green legumes like beans and peas. These grow well in cooler temperatures and with a bit more water.
The best flowers to plant in Autumn are:
- Other perennials.
Autumn is a great time for a number of perennial plants, and plants that are not natives. It’s a bit of a misnomer that gardens in Autumn and Winter lack in colour – in reality, the colours thrown up in Autumn are often far richer and bolder than Summer. Daisies, Crocus and Begonias for example will help your garden look like a rainbow! To get your garden full of flowering bulbs in Spring, you will need to plant them in Autumn!
Create a compost heap
If you haven’t already, this should be added to your essential checklist for Autumn gardening right away.
Autumn is a time when you’ll have a lot of leaves falling and instead of simply piling them up or throwing them out – use them for your compost. Compost is a great way to recycle organic waste and plant matter to reuse as a fertiliser.
It can be a really cathartic exercise, as well as an essential part of maintaining a healthy and thriving garden space. Get your axe swinging, snap those branches, and throw it all on the compost heap to put back into your garden at a later date.
Don’t be shy with your pruning either, the more you cut back now, the greater encouragement there is for the plant to grow in the spring. It also helps the plant to survive the colder winter months when there are fewer leaves or branches for it to sustain itself. Remember, however, not to throw any infected plants on to the compost heap as this could spread through the garden. This is better to burn in a bonfire if it’s OK to do so, or take down the local organic matter tip.
Plant Citrus Trees – or give special attention to your existing Citrus trees
Give your citrus fruit trees some late summer attention. Feed them now with a plant food that’s specially formulated for citrus. These formulas usually contain the full range of trace elements your plants need. Water generously before and after application, spreading the fertiliser around the dripline area (the zone beneath the outer branches). Do your pest checks, too – spray bronze orange bugs with an insecticide such as Confidor, and treat aphids and scale insects with a horticultural oil.
Citrus trees thrive through Autumn and either get a good start to their life or produce some great fruits for your enjoyment.
Do your pest control
It was said to do this for having a Summer ready garden, but it’s equally, if not more important to do it as part of your autumn garden preparation. Pests tend to thrive over Summer as there’s a better climate and more food and nutrients for them.
This is one of the reasons why it’s needed at the start of Summer, to keep them away. But it’s quite inevitable that some will be around your garden come the end of Summer. Just redouble your efforts and renew your pest control measures leading into Autumn.
Plant new plants and trees!
Autumn is the most ideal time to plant new trees or shrubs provided that your soil is reasonably moist. Autumn garden planting has the benefit of allowing plants to have many months to establish before the hot weather arrives in summer.
This is useful in Sydney as the summer can often dry the plants out or make them wilt under the unforgiving sun! Make sure the planting spot isn’t on top of underground services such as sewerage drains or power cables as much as you possibly can.
To really see the best results with your plants, it’s important to prepare the soil properly. If you have ever asked: “should I fertilise my garden in Autumn?” well the straightforward answer is yes, you’ll need to regularly add organic matter as a fertiliser.
This might be manure (ensure it’s fully composted so that you don’t burn the roots), pelletised fertiliser or compost from your heap, as mentioned previously. This will add nutrients back into your soil and feed your soil microorganisms. It’s these microorganisms that do the hard work and will ensure that your soil structure has a good balance of water retention and drainage, and let plants thrive.
You can also start planning for a stunning display of bulbs in spring with mass plantings of some of the previously mentioned flowers. Choose a spot with light, well-drained soil or plant in pots that can be moved out of sight after flowering.
With this in mind, your garden will be more than ready to go this Autumn!