Put in the hard work now to prepare your garden for the winter ahead, with these expert tips from Centenary Landscaping Supplies….

Just like the springtime, autumn is an extremely important time of year for your garden. The time, care and effort you put into your garden and lawn now will leave you in good stead for the colder months ahead and give you the best chance to keep it healthy through the winter until next spring.

Jobs to do before winter:

Weeds

  • Watch out for weeds like bindi, clover and flat weeds as they tend to invade lawns as the weather cools.
  • The recent rains will mean that your garden and lawns are ready to go crazy as soon as the sun returns. The transfer of weed seeds via overland water will mean that not only your plants will shoot, but so will the weeds. Weeding by hand while they are small and manageable (and the soil is soft) is the best plan. Otherwise, wait for a break in the weather and treat with selective weed killers.

Pests

  • Brown spots in your lawn might indicate lawn grub infestations. You may not have been able to mow your lawn much over the last week or two… or three! So grub damage may be hidden under the new, green tips of your lawn. As soon as you mow for the first time large brown areas appear. Treat for grub, and when the sun returns your lawn will quickly repair.
  • Watch for infestations of hibiscus beetle that can cause premature bud drop. Pick up and dispose of any fallen buds, as they are likely to contain beetle.
  • Check your plants for scale, sooty mould, mealy and lantana bugs.
  • Inspect bulb plants for caterpillars and drench with molasses.
  • Check your frangipani for rust disease. Some smaller plants can be treated with Plantvax or even Mancozeb, but you may experience mixed results. Not to worry, leaves will drop soon and the problem will disappear!

Pruning and Planting

  • Take geranium, azalea, camellia and gardenia cuttings, plus native plants.
  • Trim plants that have become too rampant over the drenching summer.
  • Tip prune your poinsettias, azaleas, geraniums and gardenias to encourage growth.
  • Prune any mango trees still in need of trimming.
  • Cut back your salvia now for strong autumn growth and flowers.
  • Lift, divide and replant heliconia, ornamental gingers and related plants.
  • Plant your new bulbs when the heavy rain ends.

Fertilise

  • We have just started a new season, so now is the best time to apply compost and fertiliser to the entire garden. Extra nutrients will keep new growth and buds forming on hibiscus and roses.
  • Use a complete mix including trace elements on fruit trees and renew mulch.
  • Repot any indoor plants, patio pots or hanging baskets that need attention and fertilise all pots with a dry or pelleted product.
  • Use a low nitrogen product on lawns to strengthen grass, rather then promote excess growth.

For more info on caring for your garden, head to centenarylandscaping.com.au.