The jobs below are an autumn garden task list that will keep your garden flourishing.
- Make new plants from cuttings. Take 10cm cuttings from hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay. Remove the lower leaves, dip cuttings into hormone powder and pot in small containers of premium potting mix. Keep just moist and shelter from strong wind and sun.
- Trim hedges before the onset of winter to keep them compact and bushy from ground level.
- Check your lawn. Aerate the lawn with a garden fork and scatter lime lightly over it. This sweetens the soil after many years of lawn food application. Rejuvenate tired lawns with an autumn feeding to ready them for the onset of cool winter weather.
- Check for borer damage on all deciduous trees, paying attention to the trunk at soil level. It‘s easier to check when trees are dormant and bare.
- Don’t try to cultivate soil beneath large trees; you will only damage the roots. Make planting holes between the roots instead and insert plants with tiny root systems that establish themselves readily. Bromeliads and Clivias thrive under trees.
- Transfer the leaves that fall on your garden and lawn to the compost bin on a regular basis, otherwise they will smother your plants and grass.
- Don’t rush to prune spent seed heads. They provide a wealth of food for birds that visit the garden.
- If you have cymbidium orchids, they should be placed in full sunshine to encourage good flower spikes during winter and spring.
- Divide evergreen perennials. Lift them from the soil, divide at the root and re-plant into well-conditioned soil.