Tips for Autumn

Tips for Autumn

Summer has been, and we say hello to autumn when the leaves start to turn a lovely yellow, red and orange. The mornings have a slight chill to them, the days are cooling down, and the weather becomes unpredictable. But autumn is a beautiful and busy time in any garden.

We’ve put together a list of tasks to do now to get your garden autumn-ready.

Lawn maintenance

Keep mowing your lawn once a week on a high setting and water when dry.

Check your lawn for weeds, especially the well-known winter grass.

Fertilise with fertiliser with an equal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratio. This will help develop a robust root system.

Celebrate a healthy soil

Autumn is a fabulous time to add some compost to your soil’s surface that will help protect plant roots against the winter weather.

It improves soil structure and helps retain moisture in the warmer months ahead.

It also gives a good headstart for the winter seedlings, winter bulbs and vegetables once they are planted.

Fallen autumn leaves

Be sure to collect the leaves in your garden and on your lawn regularly; otherwise, they will smother your plants and lawn. Then, add the leaves to your compost heap.


Divide perennials

Evergreen, summer-flowering perennials like Agapanthus, daylilies, Iris and Cannas overgrown can be divided by lifting them from the soil and dividing at the roots re-planting them in compost-enriched soil. Water them regularly as they will suffer some stress from being separated.

Plan your vegetable garden

Start planning your vegetable garden for the winter crops to ensure a bumper vegetable harvest during the cold winter months. There are lots of vegetables that can be planted during autumn. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peas are well-known winter seedlings. Carrots, beetroot and lettuce can also be planted as these vegetables can

be grown throughout the year. Keep an eye on the seedlings for cutworm and aphids, especially on the Brassica family. Do not forget to plant herbs like coriander, parsley and organum. Plant your garden mint in pots as they tend to take over.

Seedlings – Some colour to the grey winter

Plant your sweet peas seeds now in a sunny position in your garden. Remember to water regularly once you have sown the seed. African daisies, fairy Primula’s, Cineraria’s, poppies, Pansies, Nemesia’s, stocks, Calendula’s and bokbaai vygies are only a few annuals that can be planted in autumn. Remember to add some bonemeal and compost when planting your seedlings. Water well and check regularly for snails.


Plant winter and spring-flowering bulbs now. Daffodils, Anemones, Freesias and Ixias are some of the easiest bulbs to grow. Remember to plant Tulip bulbs only in May as soon as the soil is colder. Prepare the soil by mixing in compost and bonemeal before planting. Water deeply every fourth day till the rainy season sets in. 


Keep an eye on your plants because of the unpredictable weather. The plants are also under attack from various pests. Cold nights and warm days are a big favourite of aphids, red spiders, and the hawk moth’s caterpillar on arum lilies. (Contact us for advice on how to treat these pests.)


General autumn tasks

-Clean your cutters regularly

-Reduce watering as the months get cooler

-Pull weeds up regularly before they go to seed

Azaleas, Gardenias and Camellias will start forming flowering buds now; keep them moist to avoid bud drops before they open in spring.

Autumn is a perfect time to plant deciduous fruit trees like apricots, apples and peaches. The advantage of growing in autumn is that these plants will be established in spring.

Trim hedges regular to keep them compact and bushy from ground level.

Autumn is a colourful and exitIng time in any garden and is also the time to give your garden a thorough tidy before the cold and wet weather sets in.

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