AUTUMN is one of the most pleasant times of the year for gardening. The foliage is changing colour, the days are not too hot and hopefully rain is starting to come in.
It is an ideal time for new plantings with warm soil allowing for optimum root growth ahead of winter.
With leaves falling your gutters can become clogged with leaves and silt and lead to an array of problems including water pooling on your roof, leaks and damage to your eaves, windows and foundations.
Using gloved hands, scoop the muck out and into a bucket or bin. Once clear, bring in the hose to clear out anything you have missed.
Make autumn the time in which you also carry out maintenance on your tools. Sharpen and disinfect pruners with a cleaning agent and apply oil.
Dead-head roses to promote new growth, trim herbaceous perennials if they have finished flowering, and cut back pelargoniums and fuchsias by at least half.
All your bulbs should be in by Anzac Day, although if you have your tulip bulbs in the fridge they can wait until early May.
Head to your vege patch and plant strawberries, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Coriander, parsley and garlic are also good to plant now.
Give your lawn, fruit trees and gardens their last feed for a while to help them get through winter, but be careful not to overload the soil.
If you don’t have a compost bin, autumn is the best time to start one. There is plenty of nutrients and organic material around to start one, and you’ll reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.
To have top notch compost you need around two-thirds carbon materials (brown) and one-third nitrogen (green) materials. The carbon provides aeration for the composting process and eliminates foul smells and helps to create a light compost. Carbon materials include leaves, twines, straw, dried garden waste and even newspaper.
Green materials can be anything from kitchen scraps, food and vegetable peels and coffee grounds to grass clippings.
The main thing to remember is to keep your compost moist, cover it to retain the heat and moisture and turn it every few weeks.