Just because summer is over it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your garden flourishing for many more months to come – quite the opposite! Now is the ideal time to get out into the garden without the sweltering heat, so you can really enjoy being outside. To help give those secateurs a workout we’ve put together a simple guide to making the most of your garden as you prepare it for the cooler months ahead.
- At the start of autumn begin deadheading your roses to encourage new growth. Prune back to a five-leaflet leaf, cutting at an angle, or alternatively faded flowers can be snapped off at the base of the bloom.
- Now is a good time to remove any dead or dying branches from trees to help stimulate new growth. At Hoselink we have a range of sturdy cutting tools from secateurs, loppers and hedge shears (now’s the time to tidy up hedges before the onset of winter) to a range of pruners and a handy pruning saw ideal for tackling small branches and sap-laden plants.
- There is plenty of opportunity to get scissor-happy this month too, as bushes, evergreen shrubs and herbaceous perennials will need cutting back after flowering finishes to avoid decay over winter.
- Autumn is the ideal time to plant bulbs ready to burst into bloom come spring. There’s a myriad of colourful flowers to choose from, whether you want clusters of sunny yellow daffodils or the elegant cup-shaped blooms of tulips springing forth from your flower beds. Sowing them now in an open, sunny position offers them a fighting chance of establishing and growing in time for a vibrant spring display.
- New trees can also be planted now, ideal for filling gaps in the garden or for bringing delicious produce to the kitchen table during harvest if you opt for a fruit tree or two. With plenty of sun, ample room to grow and well-drained soil, the Australian climate will do much of the hard work for you to ensure a successful crop. Trees including peach, apricot and citrus are self-fertile, which means they will produce fruit even when planted alone, so these are a good choice if you’re not looking to set up a mini orchard. If you do want to grow a larger selection of fruit trees, the likes of cherry, apple and plum trees need a cross-pollinator to fruit, so two or more of the same variety are best planted together in the winter months.
Look after your lawn
- Pamper your lawn before the harsher winter weather takes hold by regularly clearing grass and beds of any fallen leaves – have you seen Hoselink’s compact extendable rake? You can always make use of gathered leaves by adding them to a compost heap.
- Towards the end of autumn, in May, you should give your lawn a final mow, being careful not to cut it too short.
- Autumn is also a good time to treat any weeds and to fertilise your lawn – ensure you choose a fertiliser specifically designed for autumn use to help your lawn stay healthy through the winter months.
- You can plant new grass seed now if your lawn needs a boost.
Care for your hose
- Here at Hoselink we recommend releasing water pressure from your garden hose and watering accessories and storing them in a dry, sheltered spot, such as a garden shed or garage, over winter if you live in an area prone to frost. This helps to prevent frozen water damage, ensuring a healthy, happy hose when you come to use it again in spring.
Tidy up garden beds
- It’s time to step back and think ahead for a new year of planting. Any spent summer flowers should now be removed from beds and the soil prepared for the next season.
- Plants that have outgrown pots should be transplanted to new larger pots with some fresh potting mix.
- Raspberry canes need to be cut back and strawberry patches weeded and tidied.
- If you have citrus trees, spread some mulch around the base to protect its shallow roots, ensuring the mulch does not touch the trunk.
Feed the garden
- Autumn is the best time to lay on a feast for your garden. Watering with a fertiliser is a great way to ensure roots get plenty of nutrients, so we recommend using Hoselink’s fertiliser spray mixer. Plant food will also help to give the garden a boost before the winter chill sets in.
Maintain your tools
- When you’ve finished your autumn pruning it’s a good idea to service your garden tools. Sharpen and oil secateurs and lopper blades, wash garden gloves and clean your sprinklers and spray guns ready for spring.
Create a compost heap
- Fallen autumn leaves provide the perfect base for a healthy compost heap that will offer an excellent source of nutrients for your garden beds or veggie patch. Free and easy to make, set aside a designated space or container in your garden to get started – recycling pallets to create a makeshift compost container is ideal. Blend a mixture of fruit and vegetable scraps, grass cuttings and weeds with dried leaves, shredded newspaper, small branches and straw. Your compost heap will need turning over with a garden fork regularly to get essential air into it. Avoid adding the likes of meat and dairy products, diseased plants, animal manure or large branches to your heap.
Plan winter projects
- As the gardening season starts to wind down and you’ve finished all your autumn jobs, why not plan ahead and focus on new projects? Whether you want to lay a garden path, put in a rain water tank, build a raised bed or simply plan your first veggie patch, there is plenty to keep you busy as you wait for the next season.