Autumn gardening tips from Ginninderry’s resident green thumb, Matt Frawley

Despite cooler weather Autumn is a good time to work on the garden and get it ready for Spring.

Here are our Top Tips from Landscape Manager, Matt Frawley

  • Weed the garden now and do this regularly over the next couple of months so that you get on top of the weeds. Weeds like the cooler weather and will pop up over Autumn and Winter while other plants go dormant.
  • Plant the garden making sure that the plants you plant can take some frost or think about putting on some frost protection netting.
  • Another way to help plants survive against frost is to water with a seaweed solution like Seasol. If sprayed on the leaves it will take around a week for the plant to take it up or 3 weeks if applied to the root zone.
  • There are also frost sprays available on the market. If you use these apply them after you have applied a seaweed based solution. They work by applying a film over the plant and effectively stop the plant transpiring. Because of this they can also be used to protect against drought and excess heat.
  • You can plant your favourite plants now like Daphnes, Camellias and Azaleas, a range of natives and even citrus plants. It is also a good time to plant bulbs and annual plants. If you plant annuals now you should get flowers for Winter. Try pansies, violas, primulas and poppies as well as your favourite bulbs.
  • If you are interested in planting vegetables in your garden Autumn is a good time to consider green manures like broad beans, tic peas, barley, oats and rye. These plants are dug back into the soil at the end of Winter and will help improve soil structure, fix nitrogen in the soil and aid water retention.
  • You can also plant varities of onions, garlic and some lettuces like cos and oakleaf.
  • You can also install turf in your garden and front verge at this time and into Winter but remember only cool season grasses will survive at this time so no Couch, Kikuyu, Buffalo or Zoisya but rather try turfs that have been specially bred for Canberra like Canberra Blend and Penturf both available locally.
  • Remember to prepare your planting areas well. If a new garden get rid of all builders waste in particular wash out from concrete and paint. Also consider importing some new soil, organic mulches, using a clay breaker. If you do import soil or use a clay breaker make sure you cultivate the existing soil base which at Ginninderry is typically a clay.
  • Remember to mulch your gardens.
  • Remember to water just enough to keep the soil moist. Once a week is probably enough – if rain falls once a week that will do the job.

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