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Sydney’s cooler days and nights are creeping in and you’ve probably noticed your plant growth starting to slow. You may be relieved at not having so much constant gardening maintenance compared to the summer months – but autumn actually provides the perfect opportunity for getting your garden in tip-top shape for winter and well into spring.
The jobs below are our autumn gardening checklist that will keep your garden flourishing throughout winter and well into spring.
1. Make new plants from cuttings
Autumn is a great time to snip a few cuttings to make new plants – hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay or natives such as banksias and grevillea.
- snip 10cm cuttings
- remove the lower leaves
- dip cuttings into hormone powder
- pot in small containers of premium potting mix.
- keep moist and shelter from strong wind and sun
In order to keep your plants compact and bushy from ground level, pruning should be done before the onset of winter. Pruning in autumn is beneficial as it:
- removes dead or diseased wood
- promotes more flowering and fruit
- creates a shapely, attractive plant
- stimulates new growth
TIP: As a general rule, don’t cut more than a third off the plant.
3. Lawn Care
Rejuvenate tired lawns with an autumn feeding to prepare them for the onset of cool winter weather. Grass growth slows down with cold nights, but the roots are still growing well in the warm soil, which makes it’s the perfect time for repair.
- make sure any weeds you sprayed last month are dying
- repeat the weed treatment if necessary
- aerate the lawn with a garden fork and scatter lime lightly over it.
- use a slow release lawn food to develop a strong root system and thicker grass.
TIP: Use an easy to apply hose-on “weed and feed” product on the lawn.
4. Tidy Garden Beds
- Cut back any spent perennials
- Boost plants with beautiful seed heads
- Get rid of weeds by removing them from the root to have a head start on spring when weeds are most aggressive and harmful
- Control vine growth
5. Fertilise and mulch
Giving plants food in late autumn will mean they will be well nourished in spring after the winter cold. Spreading fertiliser will also help control weeds. Some plants have specific needs such as camellias and azaleas, natives, roses and citrus but most other plants can be fed with an all-purpose granular fertiliser.
- spread organic fertiliser and compost
- water any fertiliser in well so that the nutrients get to the plant’s roots.
6. Compost Leaves
Transfer the leaves that fall on your garden and lawn to the compost bin on a regular basis, otherwise, they will smother your plants and grass.
TIP: To help them break down quicker, run over them with the lawn mower first.
7. Divide evergreen perennials
Evergreen perennials will probably be showing new fresh growth at the base and as soon as last year’s spindles are removed, these will take off beautifully. Autumn is the perfect time to divide them:
- lift them from the soil
- divide at the root
- re-plant into well-conditioned soil
8. Clean gardening containers and tools
Pots and tools may have traces of soil that contain bacteria and disease-causing organisms.
- disinfect pots to remove all traces of soil that could contain bacteria and.
- clean and sharpen tools to prolong good performance
Have questions about our autumn gardening checklist?
If you would like to get a question answered or access our garden consultancy services, give us a call to arrange a free consultation.