Autumn is probably our favourite time of year in the garden. The really hot days are gone and so are most of the destructive gully winds, leaving us with cool nights followed by mild sunny days. Thus, the perfect time of the year for establishing new plantings in your gardens. The soil is still warm, so anything planted now will settle in nicely and get established before winter and then when spring does arrive, away they go!
Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli and of course Brussels sprouts should all be planted now. Make sure to dig lots of manure into your soil before planting as these are ‘hungry vegetables’, cow manure is excellent for this. One thing to keep an eye on with this family of plants is the white cabbage moth who love to lay their eggs under the leaves and the small green caterpillars have an enormous appetite when they hatch, are hard to see, and will make short work of your new plants. You can control them quite simply by dusting your plants with Vegetable Dust, starting from the day you plant. Just remember to reapply the dust every two weeks or so, more often if it rains.
Another great thing about Autumn is the opportunity to make compost. Leaves are starting to fall from deciduous trees so why not turn them into compost for your garden rather than put them into your green bin. A compost bin doesn’t take up too much room and will reward you with beautiful rich homemade compost for your garden. If you have two compost bins you can use one batch whilst creating another, so you have an ongoing regular supply. You can make your own compost bin from materials such as netting or mesh, about 1 x 1 x 1 metre is a good size or purchase one of the many different styles of plastic, ready to use products. There are bins that sit directly onto the soil or the tumbler versions, use whichever fits into your space better.
As of yet, we are not seeing much general weed growth, however, be prepared though because as soon as we get reasonable rainfall they will be everywhere. If you apply a good layer of mulch now it will help to discourage seed germination. Keep an eye on your watering too, there hasn’t been much soaking rain for a while and it doesn’t take long for the soil to dry out. Citrus plants in particular will need a good deep soak once a week to ensure that your fruit is juicy and a good size.
Speaking of citrus, new season stock comes into stores in April. You can choose from all the old favourites such as Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Mandarins, or perhaps try your hand with a Finger Lime or a Blood Orange. Citrus fruit needs at least 5-6 hours of good sunshine to perform well, but don’t despair if you can’t find a spot in the ground, they also grow wonderfully well in pots! Persimmon, Pomegranate, Avocado and Olives all also due this month so pop in to see us and get your fruit orchard going!
If you are unsure about anything to do with your garden both inside or out, just ask one of our qualified garden staff for help, we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Visit your local store now or give us a call on 1300 165 165.