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Golden days: autumn plantings

Apr 3rd, 2011
Photograph by Getty Images
Apr 3rd, 2011

Enjoy the cool tingle of autumn and plant, transplant and nurture your garden to your heart’s content, writes Helen Young.

Timely tasks

April is ideal for planting new shrubs, trees and perennials. It’s also the best time to transplant evergreen shrubs and lift and divide agapanthus and kangaroo paws. Choose autumn trees while their leaf colours are displayed, and select roses and sasanqua camellias while they’re blooming. It’s also a great time to nourish plants with organic fertiliser and the last chance to feed the lawn. Keep planting spring bulbs and pull weeds before they set seed to save yourself a lot of work later on. Dead-head roses weekly to encourage further blooms, unless you want the rosehips or fruit to develop.

Anzac Day

Rosemary has signified remembrance since ancient times, and on April 25 we wear sprigs of it in memory of the sacrifices of our war veterans. Rosemary is a tough, water-wise plant that thrives in hot, dry summers – even in poor soil. Dozens of varieties offer flower colours such as pink, blue and white in addition to traditional mauve. There are cascading types ideal for spilling over a wall and upright forms to use as low hedges.

The productive garden

Clear away the last of the summer vegies as the space is needed for winter crops. Most of these like a slightly alkaline soil, so add a handful of dolomite per square metre or use mushroom compost, which is alkaline. Mix in plenty of compost and organic fertiliser and allow to settle. The cooler weather means it’s time to sow peas of all types, broad beans, leeks, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and spring onions.



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