The milder temperatures of Autumn make this a wonderful time to work in the garden – or amongst your balcony pots.
Here’s a list of jobs to be done over the next few weeks, and what you can plant for fresh food and bright colour over the coming months.
What to do
– Remove weeds and spread compost over the soil to insulate plant roots.
– Rake up autumn leaves and either add them to the compost bin, mulch them down and place them on the garden beds or throw them in a corner and leave them to break down into humus over the winter months.
– Trim hedges to encourage compact growth.
– Weed and mow lawns, then give them a final feed before winter sets in.
– Harvest and clear away old vegetable crops.
– Pull down unnecessary plant supports and store them away until next year.
– Make repairs. Fix or throw out old furniture, support structures, trellis, broken pots and tools.
– Clean out the pond or water feature.
What to plant
If you have space for a kitchen garden, plant spinach, kale, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. Asian greens, lettuce, rocket and peas can be grown in garden beds or containers, while herbs such as coriander, chives and parsley will thrive in any position so long as they get some sun regularly – even on a kitchen windowsill.
For winter colour, plant containers and hanging baskets with flowers like chrysanthemums, viola, pansies, lobelia, carnations, sweet peas, alyssum and calendula.
Australia has so many variations in season – not only between the cool southern to sub-tropical northern states, but even within regions. If you are not sure what you should be growing in your area, ask at your local nursery.
Autumn is also ideal for planning your Spring/Summer garden, and planting out bare-rooted rose bushes, shrubs or trees so they have time to settle in before the growing season kicks in.