Autumn is well and truly here. The generally mild weather makes it a great time of the year for gardening. The days are shortening with increasing speed. The leaves of deciduous trees are starting to show signs of changing colour. Some of the spectacular ones to watch for are liquidambar, claret ash, maples and the ginkgo. Enjoy the glorious autumn colours as many deciduous trees prepare for winter dormancy.

Winter Vegetables

With a bit of forward planning you could have a nice crop of winter vegetables to harvest during the cold months. Planting these vegetables now will get the vegetables as close to maturity as possible before winter really sets in.

Plant out silverbeet, spinach, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, broccoflower, spring onions, brussel sprouts, beetroot, celery, lettuce & and pak-choi. At this stage of the year with the lead up to winter shortening, seedlings are best planting choice.

However sugar snap peas, carrots, swede, turnip, raddish and broad bean seeds are best sown as seeds. Plant these seeds directly in the garden.

Months: March, April

Spring Bulbs

Time to purchase spring bulbs. Check out the range in store now; daffodils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, gladioli nanas, crocus, iris reticulata and more available be in quick for the best selection. Check out our planting guide here.

Months: February, March, April

Soil Maintenance

“The answer lies in the soil” is a well known phrase which is true to the success (or not) we have in the garden. With this in mind it is time to re-invigorate the soil in the vegetable garden. Summer vegetables can often pillage the soil of fertility and break down the structure. Therefore the addition of sheep pellets, compost & fertiliser is highly recommended and will help ensure continued good production from your plot.

Months: March, April

Lifting Tuberous Begonias

When finished flowering, tuberous begonias can be stored away for next growing season. Click here for more information

Months: March, April

Lifting Gladioli Corms

The best time to lift Gladioli is 6-8 weeks after they have finished flowering. Don’t wait for the leaves to die back.

If your gladioli suffered from rust, then spray your plants with ‘Grosafe Free Flow Copper’ before you lift the corms. Leave the plants a few days before you lift the corms.

Trim the leaves off the top of the corm, and remove any soil from the roots. Place the corms and cormlets in a paper bag and store in a warm, airy place for 2 weeks. When thoroughly dried, remove the dried roots. Finally remove a layer or two of the corm, revealing heathly corm underneath. Store your corms in a cool, airy place until spring.

Gladioli are normally planted in the spring and flower from early January to mid-February.

Months: April

Lawn Maintenance

This is probably the best time of year to start making changes to the design and shape of the garden. It is the ideal time to sow a new lawn as the soil moisture generally increases at this time with increasing rainfall. Also soil temperatures start to decrease which then slows seed germination and will result in a patchy lawn. It is also a great time to renovate & fertilise existing lawns in need of a spruce up. Check out our ‘How To Construct, Establish and Maintain Lawns’ guide here.

Months: April

Home made compost is easy with leaves

Collect up autumn leaves when they fall in the coming weeks as they make fantastic compost. Because sometime we need a little help with our compost, you could add ‘Worm Farm & Compost Conditioner’ to the compost heap. Not only will this product help neutralise the acidity created as the organic matter decomposes. This increases the speed of decomposition and promotes increased microbial activity and optimises the conditions for worms.

Months: March, April

Green Crops – Natural soil Maintenance

For areas that have been heavily cropped over summer, such as where corn has been growing it is often advantageous to plant a green crop. A green crop is the growing of a crop that will be dug back into the soil. It is a natural method of soil maintenance, when dug into the soil it will boost and replace lost nutrients. This will also encourage earthworms and other beneficial micro organisms to your garden. There are three main varieties of seed commonly used as green manure crops; blue lupins, barley and oats and mustard.

Green crops are good to also grow in areas that are not needed for winter production.

For more information about Green Crops click here.

Months: March, April

Fertilise Winter and Spring flowers

Time to fertilise winter and spring flowering and fruiting plants such as citrus, rhododendrons, camellias, daphne, azaleas and others to aid flower developments for spring. Come in store to find the right fertiliser you need.

Months: March, April, August, September

Best time to plant a tree

Autumn is the best time of year to be making plantings of tree and shrubs so that they can establish good root systems before the dry of next summer. They often make far bigger, better and stronger plants, more quickly than those planted in the spring. Why not plant some fruit trees? Home grown fruit tastes better and is alot fresher.

Months: March, April