Getting Your Garden Ready For Autumn
Autumn is a surprisingly important time in the garden – and a little effort over the next few months will mean a rewarding spring season with lush green lawns, vibrant shrubs, healthy trees and beautiful flowers.
It’s also a really good time to do a bit of planning and redesigning in your garden. How did your garden handle the heat and the dry weather? Do you need to rethink your plant choices? What about some extra shade in your backyard? Would you consider a new veggie patch? Do any of your pots, shrubs or trees need shaping or replanting? Autumn is the perfect time to make changes and lay the foundations for a stunning spring.
Here are some top tips for getting your garden ready in autumn:
Improve the health of your soil
Just like us, your plants need optimum nutrition to thrive. Early autumn is a great time to focus on your soil’s health and get it ready for the seasons that follow. Grab a fork and turn the soil over well, breaking up any hard lumps and getting rid of stones or other debris. You also want to get rid of any weeds so they don’t take hold during the wet season. Then you should enrich the soil with a soil improver or organic matter like compost.
Give your lawn some love
In autumn, you should feed your lawn with a slow-release fertiliser which will help strengthen the root system and sustain the colour and coverage for longer. You should also aerate the lawn and set your mower blades a little higher to enable the longer grass to absorb more sunlight. If you’ve got weeds in your lawn, use a herbicide while the weather is still warm to give your lawn a chance to recover before it goes virtually dormant in winter.
Much more mulch
Mulching is another autumn task that will pay dividends later. Mulching helps your soil to retain moisture and will discourage weeds from popping up.
Divide and rule your garden beds
March, April and May are great months for lifting and dividing clumps of perennials and filling in any gaps in your garden beds. If you are replanting, make sure your soil is conditioned properly with some slow-release fertiliser. You can also transplant most evergreens and deciduous plants during autumn, but take care with natives as they really don’t like their roots being disturbed.
Now’s the time to plant bulbs for a glorious springtime show. Daffodils, tulips, lilies, irises, ranunculus, freesias… there’s a huge variety to choose from and they’re surprisingly easy to grow. Just make sure the soil is well drained and properly prepared with good quality compost and fertiliser and plant them according to the instructions on the packet.
Plant flowering annuals to brighten up the cold
Why not use this time to plant up some winter flowering annuals to brighten up your garden during the cold and wet season? Look out for seedlings in your local garden centre or sow seeds directly into the ground and keep them well watered and weed-free. Pansies and primulas are popular favourites and you can mix these up with other annuals like cineraria and calendula.
Prune for perfection
Autumn is the ideal time to prune and trim shrubs and plants which have become a bit unruly and misshapen over the summer. Pruning stimulates new growth but take care not to trim your late-flowering plants such as wisteria otherwise you’ll miss out on all those beautiful blooms!
Trees can also benefit from an autumn prune to set the foundation for healthy new growth in spring and to establish a better shape and structure to support the tree’s overall health and aesthetics. A professional arborist is your best bet as they have the equipment, the knowledge and the expertise for what can be a very tricky job. Dickie’s Trees are well-established arborists in Perth with over 30 years’ experience and a passion for their profession and you can find them on 08 9240 6304 or on their website www.dickiestrees.com.au.