Preparing your patch this autumn
Beautiful autumn is here with its rustic tones, heartier meals and cosy woollen layers. Did you know it’s also the perfect time to prepare your garden for what lies ahead?
Just like us, your plants need some extra protection from the elements, according to Bonny Hills Garden Centre horticulturalist Michael Wols who prepared this checklist to help you ensure your garden thrives during the cooler months.
Autumn is a great time to tidy up the garden. With beautiful mild weather, it’s an excellent opportunity to trim back all that summer growth and fertilise, ensuring your plants are ready for the winter chill.
The best time to do both is when there’s good moisture in the soil after, or during, rain. Always remember to fertilise and water your plants after pruning as these are both essential for the development of strong, healthy new growth, and don’t forget the lawn; it will also greatly benefit from fertilising now, keeping it green and lush.
Autumn is also the time to re-mulch the garden. Plants will maintain their health and vigour much better through the winter if there is adequate mulch to keep the soil, and the plant roots, nice and warm. For even better results, lightly fork in some cow manure or compost into the topsoil prior to applying the mulch.
Autumn is a great time to potter about in the vegie garden. All the Brassica seeds and seedlings, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts, are ready for planting in. Then there are the usual candidates that will continue on throughout the year, including lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, carrots, and beetroot. Tomatoes are getting late in the season, but if you can’t go without, try Rouge de Marmande which is far more accepting of the cooler temperatures. Herbs are also excellent performers at this time of year, with the exception of basil which prefers warmer conditions.
In early May, we’ll receive our first shipment of seed potatoes at Bonny Hills Garden Centre. These are potato grow bags which are great if you’re a little tight for space. These can even be positioned on a balcony provided there is sufficient sunlight. I personally can’t wait to give these a try this year. I’ll be growing sebago and Dutch cream. Yum! We will also have rhubarb crowns, and Australian garlic arriving at the same time.
In the general garden, our camellias are budding up, gearing up to explode with colour. We even have some nice camellia standards, weeping camellia standards, espalier camellias, and ground cover camellias. Camellias are an excellent choice for almost any position in the garden, whether it be sun or shade. Camellia sasanqua will even fill that difficult position on the southern side of a fence which can endure both the blistering summer heat and entire shade during the cooler months.
Fuchsias are also coming in if you’re looking for a splash of colour. Otherwise, you could try clerodendrum nutans if you have a semi-shaded position. These have beautiful pendulous sprays of white flowers commencing in the autumn and they are particularly easy to look after.
Here to help
Be sure to get out and about in your garden this autumn. If you have any questions, we are always happy to answer them at Bonny Hills Garden Centre. We have five qualified horticulturists at the ready and our team will happily guide you around the nursery. We’ll also assist you to your car with your purchases. The Garden Café is also an excellent place to take a breather and draw inspiration for your next garden venture.
You can find us here.