Gardening Tips for Autumn

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As we start a new season we can enjoy milder days working in the garden.

It’s a good time to assess the garden and see what didn’t do so well and look at replacing it, or improving the growing conditions so plants do not just survive, but thrive.

Some plants may have been newly planted and did not get time to put out a reasonable root system to capture water. Others just may not have had enough shade, water or sunshine to suit their needs.

Autumn is a great time for planting so start by assessing changes you want to make and prepare the soil thoroughly.

Sow coriander now as it is less likely to run to seed in cooler conditions. You can also sow seeds of rocket, spinach, radish, lettuce, Asian greens, silverbeet, parsley, chervil, sugar snap peas, snow peas, endive, radicchio and spring onions.

Summer flowering annuals will begin to deteriorate over the next few weeks, so start preparing the soil for planting cooler-season flowers: stocks, delphiniums, violas, pansies, Iceland poppies, foxgloves, primulas and polyanthus, cyclamen, larkspurs, cinerarias, aquilegias, cornflowers and wallflowers can all go in over autumn.

Add some well-rotted compost and dig it through, along with some well-rotted animal manure. Taking away residual debris helps to remove any pests.

Sowing seeds is an economical way to grow some flowers. Add some seed raising mix to a couple of centimetres deep and rake it level.

Alyssum, calendula, nigella, linaria, poppies, primula, sweet pea, Virginian stock, foxgloves, everlasting daisies and candytuft can all be sown direct where you want them to grow. Keep moist and thin once they get a few centimetres high or transplant them to other areas.

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