Autumn’s a pleasant season in the garden. There’s still growth and activity in the plant world, but the worst of the heat is over for the year.
Autumn vegetables and herbs
Sow seeds of broad beans, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips.
Sow parsley seeds. In cold areas keep the parsley pot in a sheltered spot so it doesn’t get damaged by the winter.
Soil in lawns can become compacted during the wet weather and this weakens the grass. Aerate lawns with a garden fork or by hiring a mechanical corer.
Patch holes with a fast-germinating grass blend such as Yates Lawnsmart All Season.
Watch for grass-munching lawn grubs and black beetles.
Autumn flowers and shrubs
Autumn is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. If you want to have the best display, get your hands on some of the bulb catalogues that growers send out at this time of year and plan your purchases. But if you’re less committed, buy packaged bulbs from large retailers. In warmer areas, the golden rules are ‘buy early, plant late’ and put tulips, hyacinths and daffodils into the fridge for a few weeks of pre-plant chilling.
Remove excess buds from camellias. Leave one or, at the most, two, buds in each cluster.
Sow seeds of sweet peas, poppies, pansies, violas, columbines (Aquilegia), paper daisies and dianthus.
Autumn pests and diseases
Watch for the new myrtle rust attacking many natives. It has bright yellow spores and causes twisting and curling of the foliage. Yates Zaleton will help control.
Autumn garden jobs
Autumn’s a good season for transplanting evergreen shrubs and small trees. Wait until winter to move deciduous varieties.
In early autumn there’s still time to take cuttings of shrubs and, thereby, produce some new plants for free. Speed up formation of new roots by dipping cuttings into Yates Cutting Powder or Clonex Gel before potting them. Clonex Gel’s formulation includes an added fungicide that helps stop cuttings from rotting.