Autumn in Melbourne is the most important month to be active in the garden.
Now is the time to set the foundations of what we want our gardens to look like next spring and summer and how our gardens will cope with our harsh winter.
To prepare your garden against winter and allow it to best perform when the warmer months come, do the following:
Improve the condition of your soil in Autumn
Organic matter is the key for most soils, keeping it warm throughout the winter to strengthen your plants, vegetable patch and trees and giving them the best chance of survival and to allow them to continuing to grow. You may add gypsum to heavy clay soils.
Work your garden beds over about 40cms deep, incorporating compost and fertilizer. The worms in your soil will help you.
Plant in Autumn
I know you would rather stay in the warmth of the indoors but Autumn really is the best time to plant, giving the plant or tree six months (at least) to establish before the warmer weather hits.
Once the warm weather comes, your plants and trees will be ready.
Always plant with a seaweed based plant tonic – This helps plants overcome transplant shock and accidental root disturbances.
Be prepared to water the new plants until the regular rain begins.
If frost causes damage to new plants in your garden, shelter them over the first winter or if this is not possible, spray them with anti-transpirant.
Feed in Autumn
Organic matter improves soil structure and water holding capacity.
Organic-based fertilizers feed our soil and plants (healthy plants= plants without pests or diseases).
Organic matter and fertilizers should both be used for soil and plant health.
Indigenous plants are naturally stronger in our climate, requiring less attention.
Lawns should be fed now too because healthy lawns throughout winter remain greener right throughout the year.
Feed your garden on a cool day and make sure to water well before and after feeding.