Gardening in Autumn

Now is a great time to start planning your garden and have it ready for the long hot summer of 2012 !!

There is a definite feeling of autumn in the air in Melbourne, Australia !!
I have always loved the first hint of autumn with the very particular smells that come with it. I enjoy wintery walks in layers and layers of jumpers and the prospect of reading a book next to a roaring fire.

Autumn is an important time in the garden because it is the period when you have to prepare for winter as well as tend to various plants and produce.

Any worn areas from excessive rough and tumble of your children over summer should be re-sown.
Mow the lawn using medium blades so the grass stays reasonably long.
Top dress the well maintained areas of lawn by adding a layer of compost.


Early autumn is the best time to plant out or transplant evergreen shrubs.

Check that all young trees are secure in the ground after heavy wind or gales. You should also ensure that climbing plants are secure following wind.
Debris from around trees should be cleared away, as any rotting or decay could affect the base.

Dead head the roses so they can continue to bloom throughout the month. Keep an eye out for diseases like black spot and pests like aphids.


Like roses, perennials need to be dead headed too. All dead stems should be cut to encourage further growth and keep them healthy for next year.

All debris from annuals that have finished flowering can be removed as they won’t be flowering again !!

Spring flowering bulbs should be planted now. Any indoor plant bulbs should be potted and placed indoors.

Usually fruit bushes and trees need to be planted mid-late autumn so you may want to prepare a patch of ground for this.
Harvest apples before they start to soften and harvest pears when the skins start to show brown dots. Pears will ripen best when off the tree. Dead wood from fruit trees should be removed and debris from around the bushes or trees to reduce the chance of disease or attacks from insects.

Winter lettuces and spinach should be sown in Autumn. Spring cabbages and brussel sprout s also need planting at this time. If you have planted beans then these will be ready for picking. Some vegetables may need to be sprayed against insects. Winter cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers are prone to attacks from caterpillars and whitefly at this time of year. If you still have tomatoes, remove a few of the leaves on the plants to encourage further production. Harvest garlic and onions when tops fall over. Dig up potatoes and leave them to air dry for a week. After a week place them in a cool, dark place for storage.

During Autumn you should sow thyme.
Fennel seed heads can be gathered and dried.
Dig up or take cuttings from other herbs to repot and keep indoors over winter.

Take what you will from this calendar, you won’t necessarily have to do everything on it or there may be additional tasks that are important for your particular garden that have not been mentioned here.

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