As soon as the clocks go back you know summer is over for real. But on the upside, it kicks off a really productive time in garden. They don’t call Autumn nature’s planting time for nothing!
Here are some garden jobs to kick of the brand-new season and get you outside.
JOBS YOU COULD DO THIS WEEKEND
- Pull out the mangy looking veg that are past their use-by date and add some lovely fresh compost, blood and bone and sheep’s pellets, all ready for a new crop of winter veges. You can plant broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage and Chinese cabbages, beetroot, silverbeet and members of the onion family like leeks, onions and spring onions. You can plant carrots in the north, but South Island gardeners need to wait until Aug/Sept.
- If you aren’t ready to rip out your summer crops you can start your winter crops off as seeds now so they’re ready to plant out later. And you can still plant the faster growing lettuce varieties and keep the salads going.
- Give your lemon tree a feed. Now is a good time to feed all citrus as long as there’s no frost danger.
- Start planning – new season’s fruit and ornamental trees are arriving in garden centres, and autumn is the best time to get them planted. Pick the perfect spot now and go shopping!
- Slugs and snails are busy breeding – protect your seedlings with slug bait.
- Refresh your tired looking pots with some new season’s potted colour. Lots are cold tolerant and look great for months, like pansies, polyanthus and violas.
- You can do a bit of hedge trimming, climber cutback and deadheading now too, which gives the garden a good tidy up. Just a light trim though, as you don’t want to encourage too much new growth that might get knocked back by frost.
- Shop for new plants – buy healthy looking ones and be careful of bargain bin plants. They may have been sitting around getting stressed in their pots all summer and struggle to recover. Also, check they aren’t root bound or diseased.