THINGS TO DO IN AUTUMN

March
 

  • Trim wisteria side shoots to 20-30cm from main stem now or after autumn flowering (if indeed your vine flowers in autumn – many don’t). Do NOT prune in winter!
  • Plant garlic bought from your organic grocer or local farmer's market. Avoid eating or planting fumigated Chinese garlic as it is toxic and usually will not sprout.

  • Plant broccoli, broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, silverbeet, Asian greens, lettuce, peas, parsley, beans (late March).
  • LAWNS: Check for army worm (a type of caterpillar) & weeds. Ask your lawn contr-actor to wash down their mower at their last job to avoid infesting your lawn with weed seeds. Or mow it yourself. Feed naturally with River Safe or Shades of Green Lawn Fertiliser, or raked soil improver. Spike lawn with a pitchfork to aerate.

  • Check for non wetting soil where mulch has thinned & retic may have missed. Use Eco Wetta or liquid Eco-hydrate. Apply to lawns, if necessary, after aerating with pitchfork.

  • Trim roses by 1/3 & check for black spot (EcoRose is excellent). Cut shasta daisies & kangaroo paw stems to ground. Prune summer flowering salvias, buddlejas, geraniums & gardenias by 1/2. Divide daylilies, kangaroo paws, aggies, iris, pennisetum & liriope.

  • Feed shrubs and citrus with organic slow release fertiliser: Grow Safe Home Gardener fertiliser  OR Baileys pure blood & bone (add 10% sulphate of potash) + compost + mulch.  Always water well before fertilising to prevent root burn.

  • Check vegies for white cabbage moth. Pick off green grubs and feed to chooks or spray Dipel or Success (note spraying will knock out the 'good' butterflies as well).

  • Spray citrus with Eco oil if you have citrus leaf miner (curly silverish leaves) or invest in a CLM trap which lasts 3 months. Cut off affected foliage if you don't want to spray/trap and just live with the deformed leaves - they don't affect fruit formation unless the tree is absolutely infested.

  • Put spring bulbs needing that elusive chill factor in egg cartons in crisper of the fridge now for 4-6 weeks ie daffodils, tulips, dutch iris, hyacinths.

  • Sow sweet peas mid March. To speed up germination, soak in hot water for 4hrs. Make sure soil is not acidic. If so, add dolomite to raise pH. Don't water seeds again until they sprout. Give ¼ tsp bicarb– 4L water monthly when 20cm for better blooms. Protect from snails. 
   April
  • Clear gutters leading to rainwater tanks now to capture as much rain as possible. Consider running excess water into a pond.
  • Prune hedge plants like lillypilly, murraya, box, westringia, rosemary and photinia.
  • Plant out your verge with vegies or local natives.  Check council regulations first.
  • Plant lots of coriander now as they will bolt to seed in hot weather. Grow in sun or semi-shade & freeze excess. Passionfruit can also be frozen in icecube trays.
  • Plant the bulbs you put in the fridge plus bluebells, jonquils, hippeastrums, etc. There are some unusual varieties available at Perth Garden Festival. Early May is the latest month to plant.
  • Plant any Mediterranean/temperate non-tropical shrubs and trees.
  • Plant potatoes, beetroot, leeks, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, broad beans. Broad beans are very generous plants and require little work.
  • Prune French lavender, hebes, grevilleas, abelia & herbs which have flowered.
  • Check out Perth Garden Festival (April 11-14). Garden Deva is creating a beautiful eco quirky show garden - don't miss it!
  • Consider buying an under eaves rainwater tank to take advantage of the coming rains… Add a first flush diverter and a filter and you’ll never want to go back to filtered tap water again. 

 

    May
 
  • Join Diggers Club. It is a treasure trove of seeds, info and plants (sent via Australia Post). 
  • May is a good month to transplant shrubs. Wait till spring to move tropical plants.
  • Consider planting a deciduous tree (you will find them bare rooted in June in some boutique nurseries – it is much less expensive)
  • Annuals to plant: lobelia, primula, poppies, calendulas, cinerarias, violas, pansies, alyssum
  •  Clear autumn leaves from gutter (FUN!) 
  • Reduce watering of houseplants but remember to water plants under eaves.
  • LAWNS: Increase microbial activity - apply Shades of Green Lawn fertiliser or Maxicrop Lawn Rejuvenator. Microbes are essential for lawn health & also eat thatch. Lower mower height to allow more sun in to warm the soil and reduce fungal attacks/ waterlogging.

  • Rake up autumn leaves from the ground and your gutter. Put in the compost or mix in with mulch.
  • Lightly prune bottlebrushes after flowering
  • Plant broccoli, kale, silverbeet and beans.
  • Feed annuals & vegies fortnightly with natural liquid feed like worm juice, Ecovital or Gogojuice.

 

 

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