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It’s a busy time of year in the garden as we prepare for the wet and cool winter conditions. Some plant varieties will go dormant during the chilly season, while others will require protection so that they thrive come spring.
A little preparation in the garden can go a long way. If you haven’t engaged a maintenance team to care for your garden, here are a few things you can do to help get it winter-ready.
Pay attention to your lawn
As winter is a testing time for lawns, preparation in autumn is key to ensuring it remains healthy and looking great all year round. Now’s the ideal time to feed your lawn with a slow-release fertiliser before the temperatures drop.
If you’re located in the southern parts of Australia and experience more rain, it may pay to aerate your lawn to improve drainage. For those in the north to north-east of the country, ensure your lawn remains hydrated even during the cooler months.
Raising the height of your lawnmower may also offer greater protection if your garden is prone to frost or largely shaded.
Plant your evergreens
For those looking to plant out your garden, May is ideal for most evergreen trees, shrubs and ground covers to go in. The soil conditions tend to still be warm and together with the rain, this allows for the plants to establish a healthy root system for rapid spring growth.
You can also start preparing for the winter planting of perennials, deciduous fruit, roses and ornamentals. Seek advice before you plant tropical varieties as these tend to be avoided during this time of year.
Replenish your mulch
Mulch will help protect your plants from the cold temperatures and help hinder the spread of weeds which typically run rampant at this time of year. Replenishing the mulch throughout your garden will keep the soil warm and all the growing roots to draw in ample nutrients.
Protect frost-sensitive plants
Plants that are sensitive to frost will require protection as we get closer to the winter season. Potted plants can be moved undercover or indoors if required. However, you may need to cover plants in the garden with cloth or plastic to provide them with adequate protection. This is best removed in the morning to prevent the plants from overheating during the day.
Take note to reduce watering of any potted plants and ensure adequate drainage as the autumn and winter rainfall increases.
Prepare your veggie patch
Autumn is a period of change over in the veggie patch and the work you do now will ensure you have a healthy and abundant winter harvest. Before you plant your winter varieties, prepare your patch by removing any finished plants and weeds, and conditioning the soil with quality manure.
Give your garden bed a good water a couple of days before you plant and add a generous layer of mulch or pea straw to conserve the moisture.
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