Autumn Gardening Checklist

  • Improve your garden soil before planting by incorporating organic matter such as aged animal manures or good compost like ‘Active 8’. (Especially in vegie gardens for great results right through winter)
  • In areas where soil is very poor, it may be easier to build a raised garden bed. Small kits are available from $35, or you can build larger beds from Sleepers.
  • It’s always a good time to mulch your garden beds, trees and shrubs. Use sugar cane on vegetable and flower beds, and more economical Cypress or bark mulches around trees and shrubs. Don’t be skimpy. Mulch out past the drip line on trees and shrubs for best results. Ask us for a fact sheet on Mulching.
  • Fertilise fruit trees and flowering shrubs now, to promote best flowering and fruiting in Spring. I recommend a complete and organic fertiliser like ‘Organic Life’.
  • ‘The best time to plant a shade tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is NOW!’ Our hot summers are more enjoyable under a beautiful shade tree. Or perhaps you would like a wind-break for protection from the Winter westerlies. Autumn plantings have the most time to establish before the heat of next summer.
  • The best time to plant a fruit tree was 3 years ago and it would be fruiting well by now! Don’t wait any longer, plant a mango tree and you’ll have two for one – a shade tree and a fruit tree
  • Watch out for Leaf Miner and/or Scale insects on citrus trees. Spray regularly about every six weeks with a pest oil for ongoing protection.
  • Fertilise and if necessary top dress your lawn while the weather is still warm. It’s also a great time to aerate your lawn. This helps the water and fertiliser to penetrate, and helps lawn roots go deeper for a healthier and more robust grass cover. Don’t mow too low, a slightly longer lawn helps suppress weeds and provides shade for the roots in hot weather.
  • And most importantly, enjoy your garden and the change of season. A fifteen minute walk around a healthy growing garden will do more for your mental wellbeing than a year of visits to a psychologist. (Just my opinion)

Martin Burton is an old school nurseryman with a lifetime of experience and passion for plants. He is available for great gardening advice on Mondays and Thursdays at Oasis Nursery.