Preparing your garden for Autumn

April in many respects is one of the most important months of the year for many keen gardeners around South Africa. The summer season has come to an end and it is time to start planning ahead for the longer nights, colder wetter weather and winter frosts beginning to bite the ground.

Having said that, the prospect of preparing your garden for autumn is a tremendously exciting one, so we have put together autumn gardening tips for getting your garden ready for a change in the season.

Tips for preparing your garden for autumn

Like most things in life, it’s better to get ahead of the game and start as early as you can – and the same is true of preparing your garden for the autumn season. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time and get yourself and your garden organised.

1. Dig up those annual flowers

Annuals are great for a single season, but tend to struggle in the winter months and can be a real liability to maintain during autumn. Get the most out of your annuals by uprooting them just before the seasons turn and adding them to your compost pile.

2. Add fertiliser to your lawn

All plants and lawns need good quality fertiliser or nutrients in order to maintain healthy growth. The majority of plants tend to absorb their nutrients through their roots, but you can give nature a helping hand by adding a good quality 7:1:3 lawn fertiliser before your garden faces the autumn/winter season.

3. Cover your ponds and swimming pool

By covering your pond and swimming pool with a net, you’re preventing the majority of autumn’s falling leaves from polluting the water. Forget it and you’ll be fishing out soggy leaves all autumn long.

4. De-weed your garden

Weeds are a pain for most gardeners in SA and if you don’t get them under control prior to the beginning of winter you could face a massive de-weeding job on your hands come spring-time. Whether they’re populating your garden’s flowerbeds or lining the cracks between your patio pavement, make sure you attack those weed by removing them from the root. An effective weed killer will do the trick!

5. Plant winter flowers, herbs and vegetables

Ensure a continuous harvest and beautiful winter colour by sowing your favourites of the following now:

Vegetables:  Beetrootbeanscabbagered cabbagekalecelerylettuceonionspeas and spinach.

Herbs:  Parsleycoriander and rocket.

Flowers:  OsteospermumAlyssumAntirrhinumDianthusGazaniaPansyPrimulaPetuniaPoppyViolaCamellias, etc. All of these will flower right through spring as well!

6. Protect your plants

The first frost of the year can arrive without any warning and can kill your favourite foliage. If you have any plants you know are susceptible to cold weather, cover them with frost covers (ensuring not to bind them too tightly) and tree-guarding wraps.

7. Organic compost & mulching

Give your garden beds a few centimeters of compost all over and finish off the process by adding a layer of mulch – Autumn is the perfect time to collect fallen leaves and use it as mulch. This effective strategy ensures your lot is given appropriate protection from pests in addition to plenty of nutrients.

Autumn is one of the most important times of the year for gardening – it’s the time to get the garden tidied up ready for the chilly months and to do all those little jobs to make sure plants and garden features remain in good condition.

These tips will make Autumn gardening FUN and easy to do!

Visit us at your favourite Plantland store to get all your Autumn gardening tools, plants and more!