This is the time of year to begin planting for your winter and spring displays. Start planting your late winter to early spring-flowering annuals, such as Alyssum, Pansies, Violas, poppies, Zinnias, Marigolds, cornflowers, Cosmos, Petunias and Nasturtiums. Lift and divide spring-flowering perennials now and give them a little boost with Seasol to reduce transplant shock.
Prepare your vegie patch and plant your cool weather vegetables, including:
- Root vegetables such as turnip, carrots, swede and carrots
- Broad beans
Strawberries are now ready to lift, divide and plant for next year’s crop. Give them a tidy up by removing dead leaves or those that look yellow or spotty. This helps prevent spreading any disease onto next year’s harvest.
Clean up your garden after the summer extremes have passed. Give the garden a light prune, particularly flowering plants that have finished their display. Aim to bring the plants back into shape, remove straggly, wilted or dead sections and remove spent flowers to rejuvenate the plants and encourage further strong growth and flowering.
Top-dress your lawn while the weather is still warm. This helps to create a healthy lawn going into winter that not only retains moisture, but also prevents weeds spoiling the look.
Give your vegetable garden a boost by adding compost that has been developing over the summer. This will ready it for the next season’s crops, as well as make room in your compost bin for the falling autumn leaves to be added in.
Fertilise indoor plants with an appropriate liquid feed to keep them looking good into the cooler seasons.
Autumn is a great time of year to visit your favourite nursery and see what new plants are soon to be available. Camellias thrive in NSW and the best time to buy your favourite variety is when they are in flower so you can see exactly what colour they are. Have a chat to staff to help you work out which one is best for your location; sasanqua camellias generally do better in exposed locations than japonicas. Check out some the great new varieties while you are there.
Apples, kiwi fruit, pears and persimmon are in season now.
Pumpkin and turnip are ripe for delicious roasted vegetable accompaniments to hearty cool-season meals.
Autumn is mushroom foraging time, but please be careful if you go out and about looking for edible fungi. There are many poisonous varieties that may trick you, so go armed with adequate knowledge and a buddy who has some experience. If you are not sure – leave it alone. In NSW forests you may find saffron milk cap, slippery jack and wood mushrooms.
While not something all gardens will have, pecans are in season in autumn so now is the best time to source your nearest grower.