Autumn is simply the most striking and spectacular season of the year, as well as one of the busiest times in the garden calling for a plethora of activity to take place outside.
The soil is still warm which allows the roots of the plants to develop before the cold sets in, so now is the time to plant and transplant. Having said that, resist transplanting any deciduous plant until the dead of winter. I know that many of you have your own veggie garden, however for those that don’t, give it go! Find a spare patch in your existing garden that receives around 4 to 6 hours of sun a day and throw in some winter veggie seeds. Try your hand at some beetroot, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, peas, sugar snaps, radishes and some varieties of winter lettuce. Scatter them around the garden and reap the many rewards from harvesting your own produce. It is a wonderful and empowering activity for the kids and one that is more likely to get them to eat what is on their plate!
Treat the entire garden to a decent topping of organic fertiliser to revitalise the soil, adding essential elements and good bacteria. It is now also the time to feed the lawn. Grass growth has slowed down with the beginning of cooler nights, but again the roots are still active. By applying a slow release lawn food it will assist in developing a strong root system and a thicker greener, more lush grass.
For the most perfect welcome to Spring, order your spring bulbs now and store carefully in a paper bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge for 4 to 8 weeks prior to planting. Storing them in the fridge simulates a cold winter which forces beautiful blooms. Ensure you select a ‘high visual interest area’ for the location of the bulbs and plant in bundles of around 10 to 20 bulbs for maximum effect. Stake any recently planted trees. The roots haven’t had time to establish, so a windy or rainy March could see your hard work undone. Invest in a worm farm and place it on the utility side of your house in the shade. Fill it full of autumn leaves and vegetable scraps, and use the diluted ‘tea’ on all of your plants. Less waste, healthy soil and happy plants.
If you have been contemplating changes to the garden or wanting to implement some new elements that will improve the way you live, make the time and do it now. Any additions will then be completed before the weather warms up again, ready for you to enjoy.
A pool, fireplace, fire pit, entertaining area, pergola for shade, new sitting nooks within the garden that capture the morning or afternoon sun, or a full exterior renovation… it doesn’t matter how big or small the changes, if they improve the way you and your family live, it is worth the investment. Seek relevant experts to assist with the process, and of course gain council approval where necessary.