Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree Emily Bronte
Autumn is a busy but pleasant time in the garden with cooler temperatures, crisp clear days and just enough rain to avoid doing battle with the (Guaranteed Kink Free – Yeah right!) hose. As a life long gardener I consider autumn to the very best time to get new lawns, trees, shrubs and roses established. Anything planted in autumn usually settles in quickly as the soil is warm and moist. This means that your new treasures will be better prepared to withstand winter's harshness and have a good root system established prior to hot dry conditions of the following summer. Autumn is also a good time to reassess the garden, what performed well in your patch or what required too much attention for poor results. Don't forget to look up from all your seasonal tasks to admire the autumnal tones of deciduous trees and shrubs - surely one of nature's loveliest gifts at the end of the gardening season.
Wairere's Top Autumn Chant It's time to ... Clip, Snip, Feed and Plant
- Trim hedges and shrubs that have finished flowering no later than early autumn (about March) so the new growth hardens off prior to winter. This is especially important for soft shrubs such as Lavender. Pruning is best done with clean sharp secateurs on a warm dry day.
- Give the whole garden and your container plants a light side dressing of sheep pellets or slow release fertilizer. This should also be done in early autumn. Pay particular attention to Citrus trees. They must be well fed at this time of the year in order to produce fruit that is juicy and full of flavour.
- Cut back and divide perennials - use a gardening fork rather than a spade to lift the perennial clump especially if dividing Bearded Iris, this prevents too much root damage occurring.
- When cleaning up in autumn discard any diseased material rather than composting. Good hygiene is your number one preventative measure against pest and diseases.
- Harvest seeds.
- Sow new lawns.
- Plant spring bulbs in containers or in the garden.
- Add some colour to your life and pot up some winter annuals, Primulas, Polyanthus, Poppies, Pansies, Violas and Calendulas will all flower in the winter months if given a good start in the autumn. Make sure you use a good quality potting mix for best results.
- Plant Strawberries either from new runners off your own plants or is it time to try a new variety? Never plant runners from a plant that is showing signs of disease. Find all the information you need to grow delicious Strawberries by going to Wairere's How To pages.
- In the vegetable garden it's time to plant Brassicas i.e. Cabbage, Cauliflower and Broccoli. Wairere Top Tip - members of this plant family like a little lime in the soil prior to planting.
- Watch for slugs and snails after autumn rain as these pests will quickly emerge from their summer hiding spots once the weather cools.
- Autumn is the best season to choose from the wonderful range of Camellias on offer at Wairere. If you are thinking of a new hedge why not consider a variety of Camellia sasanqua- these early flowering, easy to grow shrubs are tolerant of a wide range of planting positions and look good all year round.
- Get some carbon credits and plant an ornamental tree or three. Remember how hot you were in summer and think how wonderful it would be to sit under a beautiful shade tree and of course the tree you plant today will be enjoyed by generations to come.
- Prepare garden beds for new shrubs or roses. To make sure you don’t miss out on new and “must have” roses browse the Wairere web-site and place your order early, we’ll let you know as soon as the stock arrives and even courier it to your door if you’re too busy in the garden to come and collect them.
Life is a garden - go on and dig it!
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm