Autumn in your garden is like a spring in your step!

Autumn colours are one of nature’s marvels.  Yellow and orange are the colours of sunshine and life, full of vibrance, highlighting the beginning of a new season. And red, well red is eye-catching and courageous, making Autumn brilliant, exciting and cheerful.

With this colourful time in your garden come days that are cooling down, softer sunlight and unpredictable weather.

It is important to remember that your gardening should not stop in the autumn months. Autumn is the time to prepare your garden for winter and prepping it for the following spring.

Start a compost heap this Autumn

Compost is organic gold, and with all the colourful leaves, grass clippings, dead flowers and plants, there will be enough organic matter to start with. (Remember not to throw weeds or diseased plants on your compost heap).

Divide perennials

Autumn is the best time to divide overgrown, summer-flowering perennials like wild garlic, Agapanthus, Dietes and daylilies so new roots can get a chance to establish themselves before the winter really starts. Remember to prepare soil in advance with compost and put some bone meal (good root starter) in each hole, and water well.


By giving a layer of compost in the Autumn, you ensure that plants have all the nutrients they need for winter. Compost will also help to aerate the soil; it will improve drainage and encourage earthworms and micro-organisms in your garden.

Pruning and Watering

Cut back all summer flowering perennials like Salvia, lavender bushes, Fuchsias and daisy bushes. Cut back all dead growth, twigs and branches.

Remember to set irrigation in your garden on less watering and reduce the amount of water you give to your house plants.

Lawn care

Keep lawn weed-free and feed with a phosphorous rich fertilizer to promote a healthy root system before the winter weather arrives. Remove fallen leaves from your lawn regularly as they deprive the lawn of light, causing it to die off and create brown patches.

Planting for spring

Seedlings and bulbs can be planted in early Autumn. Some bulbs like Watsonia’s and Chasmanthe can be planted as early as March. If it is still too hot in your area to plant spring bulbs, buy them while they are available and keep them in a cool, dry place.  New plantings will establish good root growth before slowing down in winter.

Check for the unwelcome guest in your garden

Watch out for weeds that will germinate after the first winter rains and with the cooler weather. Snails, caterpillars and aphids love the cooler nights and warm days. Keep a lookout for them, spray them off your plants with water, or ask at your local nursery for a recommended organic spray.

The best part is that next spring, your efforts will be rewarded with a garden that comes alive and will look better than ever!

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