Autumn: get out in the garden, GO GO GO

The time is now people! Autumn is the best time of year to get your native plants in the ground. There is a good 7 months then of growing before the next brutal summer rolls around - giving your new garden a chance to get its roots established. In Autumn there is still some heat from summer hanging around, so the soil is nice and toasty warm. Then cool temperatures of winter means that the plants grow slowly but solidly due to the winter rains. It may not look like much is going on during this time, but all of the action is taking place underground. A burst of warmer weather again in spring, coupled with longer days stimulates them to grow strong and fast.

Regardless of when you plant though, be sure to plan well and prep the soil beforehand. If the plants are matched to the type of soil you have, then you shouldn't need to do much more than give everything a good water. Understand what sort of soil you have by reading our article on getting your garden ready.

Autumn is also a great time to do some maintenance in the garden. Tip prune woody shrubs like Banksias, Hakeas and Grevilleas - this is a gentle and easy method where you just pinch out the new growth at the end of branches and it encourages density (getting rid of that blergh native legginess)(these plants can be pruned more harshly in spring). You can be tougher on straggly plants and smaller trees like Eucalypts, Bottlebrush, Correas and Lilly Pillies. Cut back branches that are thinner than a finger - you can really cut back up to half of the plant and whilst it seems harsh, it will bounce back better than ever. Native grasses like Lomandras can also have the dead leaves removed and the whole clump cut close to the ground (10cm or so). Just be sure it isn't home to any wildlife like frogs that can often shelter in the plant. 


You have no time to waste - there is planting, pruning and maintenance to be done! Get out there this Autumn and reap the benefits of your efforts throughout the rest of the year.

Whilst you are in the garden don't forget to send us your sightings! Do a 20 min Birds in Backyards survey for our Autumn survey blitz.





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