2 Apr 2014

Autumn Gardening Tips

Posted by Leo

Autumn Gardening Tips

Avoid pruning any shrubs or trees that are going to flower or fruit in late autumn, winter or early spring. Camellias, Azaleas and citrus trees are a few that will be just about to flower or are already bearing fruit, so pruning is not an option until after they have finished flowering or, in the case of fruit trees, yielded their crop.

As for planting new trees and shrubs, there is an old saying that “Autumn is the time for planting” so, if you are wanting to do some new planting, now is the time.
The lower temperatures and shorter days means that new plants can gradually settle into their new home before facing the rigours of a hot, wet Summer.
Most trees and shrubs will be grateful for an application of fertiliser at this time. The theory behind this is that it sends them into winter well nourished, so that come spring they are perfectly poised to make new growth and produce flowers and fruit.
Visit our website or pop into the store to see our large range of fertilisers.
Now also is the time to sow seeds of annuals, including Iceland poppies and cineraria, as well as being the ideal time to sweeten the sweet pea beds with dolomite so you can plant seeds or seedlings in another month’s time. And you had better get cracking and build a trellis for them to climb.
If you want to grow spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, ranunculus and freesias, buy them as soon as possible and place in the crisper bin of the refrigerator for four or five weeks before planting out.

In the Vegie garden
It is in the vegetable garden where you can really get involved as the list of vegetables that can go in over the next few weeks reads like an online seed store catalogue.
Because most of the vegetables that we grow originated in Europe, they appreciate the cooler, less humid weather so that means you can plant beans, even broad beans, carrots, the much under-rated kohl rabi, peas, capsicums, tomatoes, celery, cabbage and broccoli.
Autumn is also good time to plant carrots, parsnips and brussels spouts.
If you’ve been growing pumpkins, cucumbers or zucchinis and they produced only male flowers, you might just as well pull them out and replant another crop because they will be unlikely to change their flowering habit now.
Similarly, if you had tomatoes that didn’t produce much and are now seriously wilting, they may as well go to the tip and be replaced, but do replant in a different part of the garden.

Now is the right time to fertilise your plants.
If the tree or shrub is being grown for its leaves and not for flowers, a complete lawn fertiliser would be all right but, if there are flowers involved, a citrus and fruit tree fertiliser may be the go. Far better to buy a plant-specific fertiliser, then you’ll be sure that you have the right one.
To fertilise azaleas in Autumn use a flower and fruit fertiliser plus a mulch of Cow Manure. They need the extra energy for good flowers
In the flower garden it isn’t too late to dig up and divide perennials such as agapanthus and daylilies, while a bed of petunias that has finished flowering can be cut back to about 30mm above the ground and given a good watering with a soluble flower fertiliser.
More often than not they will reshoot and you’ll get a second flowering.

Autumn To-Do List

  • Remove non-productive pumpkin, cucumber or zucchini plants.
  • Call time on those wilting tomato plants.
  • Fertilise trees and shrubs to ensure they are nourished before winter.
  • Dig up and divide perennials.
  • Sow the seeds of annuals.
  • Get your spring flowering bulbs (tulips, ranunculus and freesias) and store in the fridge for a month before planting.
  • Trim the leggy growth on pelargoniums and geraniums.
  • Avoid pruning shrubs or trees that are going to flower or fruit in late autumn, winter or early spring.
  • Avoid fertilising azaleas as new leaf growth will hide the flowers.

Get into it!
BC Sands has a large range of fertilisers, soils, landscaping materials, gardening tools and everything else you need for Autumn prepping your garden.


26 Atkinson Road Taren Point and Ross Smith Avenue Mascot
(Next to the Blu Emu Carpark near the Airport).

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