The weeks after the Easter break herald the time to start your autumn gardening. When I see the Ivory Curl tree, Buckinghamia celsissima, flowering (below), I know that this marks the end of summer and the time to prepare for the cooler months ahead. On that note, this year, the Ivory curl trees around the Gold Coast, are putting on a fabulous display. It has been a good growing season with the trees covered in long creamy re-curved flowers, producing an amazing fragrance and being exceptionally popular wth the birds. Heliconias (pictured below) are also flowering profusely and are an integral part of any subtropical garden. Easy to grow and propagate.
Autumn Lawn Care
Lawn care needs to be at the top of your autumn garden planning to do list, as March and April, because of soil warmth, are the optimal time to fertilise your turf. Fertilizing while the lawn is actively growing, will encourage strong root growth and help it retain its green colour and maintain overall health and vigour throughout the winter months. You need to be especially vigilant this time of year for signs of lawn grub as they can devastate your lawn. If you notice any discolouration, or brown patches in your turf (below), it is time to get out your grub treatment to eradicate these pests.
Autumn Gardening Care
Autumn brings a jubilant display of colour and lushness to the garden, not to mention a bountiful harvest from the vegetable garden. The latter days of summer also encourages a profusion of pests. Grass hoppers and caterpillars are still on the roam, so keep an eye on your leafy greens. My basil is a good indicator, as chewed leaves warrant a closer inspection and a timely pest treatment of your herb and vegetable garden.
Pruning of trees and shrubs to remove dead, dying and diseased wood and spent flowers and the trimming of hedges is another must do autumn project. The latter is important, as a trim now will keep your hedges bushy and compact, before the onset of winter. When pruning always make sure you use clean, sharp tools, to avoid the risk of infection and to encourage a speedy healing process within the plant tissue.
Planting of trees, shrubs and perennials can be undertaken in autumn, as there is still enough warmth in the soil for them to establish. Remember, Fruit trees can be planted in Autumn, all you need is full sun and soil with good drainage. An addition of mulch this time of year, to your garden beds and around tree bases will help retain moisture, inhibit weed growth and freshen up your garden.
With the promise of cooler days ahead, sit down and start your Autumn garden planning, then get outside next week and tackle those must do gardening jobs.
Before you know it, Spring will be upon us!