April 7, 2016

Autumn is a prime time to plant and care for new trees and Watagan Park is the perfect place for it. Some of us are lucky to have a naturally glorious garden, when the energy of the warmer season creates beautiful flowers with little effort. But when it comes around to autumn, we all need to plan ahead and there’s no better time to plant than now.

Linda Ross from Homelife shares a tip and task list that will keep your garden flourishing all through autumn.

Autumn is the time to make new plants from cuttings. Take 10cm cuttings from hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay or natives such as banksias, grevillea and coastal rosemary. Remove the lower leaves, dip cuttings into hormone powder and pot in small containers of premium potting mix. Keep just moist and shelter from strong wind and sun.

Trim hedges before the onset of winter to keep them compact and bushy from ground level.

Check your lawn and make sure any weeds you sprayed last month are dying. Repeat the treatment if necessary. Aerate the lawn with a garden fork and scatter lime lightly over it. This sweetens the soil after many years of lawn food application. Rejuvenate tired lawns with an autumn feeding to ready them for the onset of cool winter weather.

Earthworms are a sign your soil is fertile. When you add organic matter such as leaves and cow manure to your garden soil, you will attract earthworms, so there is no need to add more worms to your garden. The worms you’ve attracted with organic matter will add nutrients from their castings, and make tunnels. Check for borer damage on all deciduous trees, paying attention to the trunk at soil level. It‘s easier to check when trees are dormant and bare.

Don’t try to cultivate soil beneath large trees; you will only damage the roots. Make planting holes between the roots instead and insert small plants with tiny root systems that establish themselves readily.

Transfer the leaves that fall on your garden and lawn to the compost bin on a regular basis, otherwise they will smother your plants and grass.

Don’t rush to prune spent seed heads. They provide a wealth of food for birds that visit the garden. Magnolia fruit attract parrots who feast on their seeds.

Autumn is rose season, and they look gorgeous at this time of year. Choose the ones you love and order them from your local nursery.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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