Autumn is just the perfect time for working in the garden. The sun has simmered down, and the cold winds of winter are many weeks away. Now is the time to primp and prepare your garden for winter, and have it ready to shoot back nicely in spring.

Lawns will be looking a little tired after the scorching summer we’ve just endured and if, like my lawn, yours is looking patchy and full of weeds, here’s what it needs. Check for any dying patches-Autumn is when the lawn grubs and army worms love to attack. Keep some treatments handy, so that you can strike out at them before they devastate  your beautiful Buffalo lawn. We recommend using Searles Lawn Grub Killer for control. Up next, aerate your lawn, fertilise with lawn food, and add some dolomite, this promotes strong root growth, and will ensure that your lawn is in tip top shape before next spring and summer.

Autumn is a great time to divide all your bulbs, like Day lilies, Agapanthus and Bearded Iris. Also plants like Liriope grass and society garlic can be split now, too.

Trim any hardwood branches on trees, under-prune branches to create canopies and remove dead or diseased branches, generally reshaping trees for a more symmetrical look. Inspect their trunks and at ground-level for borers or collar rot. (You’ll find a fact sheet about borers on our web page,

Clean out ponds and filters, checking all wiring and plumbing.

Gather all your clippings and any shed autumn leaves for a new compost pile. Add some dolomite, manure and vege scraps and turn fortnightly. Add water, should it dry out.

Prepare your vege beds for all your brassicas, ( Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower etc. ). Have some vege net on hand, and cover them immediately to deter the white cabbage moth getting in and ruining your winter crop. Your Brassica plants don’t need pollinating, so get them covered quick-smart. Have the pH checked on all of your garden beds, and add the relevant treatments as you dig them over. Most veges need a neutral reading of 6-7.5.

Cuttings can be taken now also; for example- Lavender, Rosemary, Bay tree, natives and perennials.

Get those hedges pruned nice and neat now; this gives them time to reshape and be ready to thicken up for summer. Remove any diseased branches, and inspect for borers or other diseases; treat accordingly. Ring us for advice, it’s free!

Inspect all citrus trees now too. Remove any leaves with indications of leaf miner. (Be sure to put the diseased leaves in the garbage and not the compost bin, where they can continue to hatch.) Spray weekly with pest oil should any more infest the tree. Usually the cold of winter will slow them down after that.

Get some orchid fertiliser or potash into your orchids, and get ready to move them into a more sunny position during winter, ready to flower in spring. Divide and re-pot now if needed.

Bromeliads can be split now and transplanted or potted up.

Dust off all those indoor plants, re-pot them with fresh potting mix and slow release fertiliser. Trim any unsightly limbs or damaged leaves.

Now is a perfect time to top up the mulch on your garden beds too. Much easier to carry out now, than in the heat of a Manning Valley summer!

Should you need to relocate a shrub, now is the time. It’s much cooler now, but not too cold, allowing your plant to be moved and not to over-stress. Remember to dig up as many roots as you can, trim up to one third of its foliage away on top, and move it to well- prepared soil with plenty of water poured into the planting hole. If it does come out hot again, it helps to shade the plant until it can recover and begin growing again. Make sure the soil is really moist before digging it up, so as to contain as many of the roots as possible. Water in well with liquid fertilizer, and then again weekly, until you see new growth.

A little rose pruning can be done now also. Taking a third off now will reduce how much you need to prune off in winter. It also helps you ‘see’ the final shape of the bush before the hard prune. Purchase your lime sulphur spray now, so it’s ready and waiting for the winter prune as well.

Last, but not least, remember to leave some seeds and fruits on your trees, shrubs and grasses for the birds, through winter. They still need that nourishment until springtime.

Once you’ve got some of these jobs knocked over, you can snuggle up inside by the fire in winter, and wait for spring to arrive. Most of your work will have been done and dusted.

Here’s hoping we get a little more rain soon too, to save us doing at least one job, and remember Wingham Nursery is just a phone call away on, 6553 4570, a click away at, or you can find many other fact sheets and bits and pieces to help you, on our web page at:

Tanya Sawyer

Wingham Nursery & Florist

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