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Autumn is here! and with it comes the best time of year for planting here in Perth. We’ve also had a lot more rain than usual this summer so we’re off the mark a little earlier. In the hills we have even seen our winter creeks running on and off through February and March (there isn’t usually a sign of water in ours until May, sometimes June).
Early season planting gives your plants longer to establish deep roots into the cooler soil – before the next hot season. This will give them a good start to life, help them become more resilient to drought, pests and disease, and support stronger growth when the sunnier weather kicks in.
What to do in the Garden during Autumn
- Its an ideal time to be landscaping or at least planning those changes that you have been dreaming of all summer.
- Visit your local nursery and plan areas of garden that are aching for change
- Apply a liquid wetting agent to areas that have become dry and water repellant over summer – this will allow the winter rains to soak into the soil rather than run over the top
- Add a thick layer of compost to your soil – you can use compost as a mulch at this time of year as its cooling down – the rain will soak all of the goodies down into the soil
- Prepare bare areas ready for planting by digging in compost or soil conditioner
- If you use fertilizers, apply your slow release fertilisers and water in well (though quality compost and composted manures will do the same trick)
- Spike your lawn deeply with a pitchfork (or mechanical aerator) and spread granular compost to let it soak in over winter – really…then watch your lawn grow!
- Apply gypsum to clay soils to help break them up (for the hills folks)
- Trim hedges and summer flowering shrubs (once they have finished flowering) – you may be seeing new growth appearing which makes it a great time to be trimming – before the shorter days begin (again, never trim on a hot day)
- Deadheading includes roses – and if you fertilise now you may get a final flush of flowers.
- Remove any annuals that are looking untidy and past their time
- Spray for mildew and black spot on roses
- Apply 1st copper spray to nectarines and peaches once they’ve lost their leaves – this will help prevent peach leaf curl
- Spray pest oil on citrus affected by leaf miner
With the cooler weather and still lots of sun, its the perfect time to plant, repot pot plants, plant your veggie patch, lay or seed new lawns
- Some of your summer veggies will start to struggle now so pull them up and plant your winter vegetables – seeds can go into seed trays or seedlings can be planted (keep protected) for an early harvest
- Wait for winter before you plant any bare rooted plants and roses
- Enjoy the mild weather, the fresh new breeze and potter!