Autumn is a wonderful time of the year for gardening, being kinder to gardens and gardeners alike. The air temperature is milder, but the soil is still warm enough for root growth and plants to establish, so it’s an ideal season to sow and grow a fantastic range of ornamental and edible plants. Mild autumn afternoons are also perfect for relaxing on a lush green lawn, so pop some simple lawn care tasks in your gardening diary too.

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Lawn Feeding

Lawns need feeding during autumn to promote recovery from a long hot summer and additional wear and tear from weeks of backyard fun and games. Autumn feeding also helps the lawn prepare for the cooler months ahead and encourages the grass to stay greener for longer. Organic based lawn foods have the additional benefit of supplying the soil with valuable organic matter, promoting improved soil health and structure.

Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food contains a special blend of rich, composted Dynamic Lifter and fast acting ingredients, providing dual benefits to the lawn. The fast acting nutrients, including nitrogen, promote quick lawn greening and potassium encourages healthy growth which is hardier during winter. The organic ingredients provide gentle, slow release organic nutrients and promote soil health. Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food is suitable for all lawn types, including buffalo, and being a super-concentrated formulation, a 7kg bag will feed 250m2 of lawn.  

Moist and cool weather during autumn can lead to lawn diseases such as brown patch and winter fusarium, which appear as circular brown, discoloured or dying patches of grass. To help reduce the incidence of lawn diseases, water lawns in the morning so the grass has a chance to dry off during the day. Wet grass foliage overnight can promote disease. For the control of Lawn diseases (Dollar spot, Brown patch, Fusarium and Helminthosporium only), try Yates Mancozeb Plus Garden Fungicide & Miticide.

Autumn lawn tip: if broadleaf weeds such as clover, dandelions, thistles and bindii start to emerge in the lawn during late autumn, early control will limit their establishment and spread. A quick and easy solution is to use a hose-on pack of Yates Weed’n’Feed, or Yates BuffaloPRO on buffalo lawns, over the lawn. They control the most common broadleaf weeds as well as providing the lawn with a quick burst of greening nutrients.

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Mother’s Day orchids

A growing gift for Mother’s Day can bring smiles and lovely memories for years to come, and with moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.) in beautiful flower during autumn, they make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Team an orchid with a decorative pot, a bag of Yates Speciality Potting Mix Orchids and a bag of Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Orchids so Mum has all her orchid needs covered. Moth orchids do best in a well-lit position indoors that is protected from direct light and will thrive in a bright, humid bathroom.


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Know your soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the soil is. A pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Most plants prefer soil pH to be around neutral, between 6.5 and 7.5. pH has a significant effect on plant health and the availability of nutrients. For example, at an alkaline soil pH of 8, iron is difficult for plants to access and leaves start to yellow, with the veins remaining green. Testing your soil pH, in various locations around the garden, provides important information about whether the soil pH needs to be fixed. Alkaline soil can be treated with Yates Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur (to lower the pH) and acidic soil can be treated with Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime & Dolomite (to raise the pH). They’re easy to apply over the soil with a watering can.


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Specialist citrus care

Healthy, well fed citrus trees can provide us with buckets of delicious and juicy fruit. In addition to the three main nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, that citrus require, they also need trace elements for total health. A common trace element deficiency in citrus trees is magnesium. Lack of magnesium shows up as a dark green V shape at the base of older leaves, with the leaf tips becoming increasingly pale. Magnesium deficiency can lead to trees dropping their leaves and overall tree health and productivity will suffer. Yates Leaf Greener Magnesium Chelate is a fast acting, concentrated form of liquid magnesium that is sprayed onto citrus leaves to correct magnesium deficiency.


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Stop the rot

Poorly drained soil or prolonged wet weather can lead to the development of root and collar rot diseases. These diseases affect the ability of plants to effectively absorb moisture and plants can, confusingly, appear wilted. Citrus and avocado trees and many Australian native plants can be particularly susceptible. Yates Anti Rot Phosacid Systemic Fungicide can be applied as a foliar spray during autumn, and the fungicide travels down through the plant and into the stems and roots to target root and collar rot diseases. Using Yates Anti Rot Phosacid Systemic Fungicide as a protective spray during damp conditions will give more effective control than waiting for symptoms to appear.


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As the citrus harvest season begins, keep your trees protected and promote the best quality fruit with our top autumn citrus care tips.