As the weather cools, hopefully bringing the right balance of rain to your region, the soil still remains warm which makes Autumn such an ideal season for planting. We show how investing in some simple soil preparation will ensure your garden beds or vegetable patch gain the most success from your Autumn planting.
Spring may be the season we typically associate with planting, however with the drier climate our temperate zones are experiencing it makes sense to plant as much as possible in Autumn. It allows seedlings time to develop a strong healthy root systems over the cooler Winter months ensuring they are hardy and ready to thrive by early Spring.
“You get out what you put in” was the advice a good friend shared when reflecting on how she prepares her garden beds prior to Autumn. It’s a time for clearing up after the Summer season and laying foundations for the cooler months ahead. The more time you invest in preparation now, the more your Autumn planting will benefit as a result. Here’s our top tips to help you get started …
Cleanup and Compost
End of Summer is a great time to clean up and compost any end of season plants or perennials. Spent plants can be pulled up and chopped into small size pieces that will enable them to break down easily in your compost bin or pile. Leaves and organic matter raked up from garden beds and paths also make ideal compost matter.
Like most things in life composting is all about balance. Achieve the right carbon/nitrogen ratio and keep your compost pile or bin aerated and you will gain a fabulous nutrient rich mix to enhance your soil. It may sound complex but by following a few simple principles you will be producing your own fabulous (and free!) compost for your garden.
Prepare Your Soil
Invest some time removing weeds and clearing debris from your garden beds or vegetable patch. Its best to avoid putting perennial running weeds like couch grass or bulbous weeds like onion weed into your compost bin as they can survive even in hot compost bins and may resprout in your garden beds later.
Manually aerate the soil by inserting a garden fork or spade, loosen it, turn the soil over and break up any hardened clumps. Loosening soil is a great way to encourage strong root growth and also helps with water penetration.
Feed Your Soil
All soils used for growing plants will benefit from additional organic matter. Load up your wheelbarrow with compost, manure or leaf matter and add to your garden beds or vegetable patch. Take some time to mix and work it through the top layer of soil. If you’ve already been using mulch to protect your plants over summer and it’s still in good condition you can simply push it aside and reuse it once you’ve worked on the soil. Or if your mulch is breaking down and no longer providing protection simply work it through the soil.
Adding fertilisers and soil conditioners are another great way of enhancing soil quality before planting, you can select the best type for your garden based on your planting plans and garden soil type.
Make the Most of Mulch
There’s so much to love about mulch and the many ways it benefits your garden. It looks fantastic, saves on watering, improves soil quality and reduces weeds. There are many types of mulch to choose from both organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include pea and lucerne straw and bark mulches which gradually break down adding organic matter to benefit your soil. Inorganic mulch includes gravel or river stone pebbles which don’t break down but are used for their decorative appeal.
Take care when moving large amounts of mulch and work within your abilities. The BucketBarrow URBAN88 KIT makes it easy to manage your load within its integrated and removable buckets and scoop so you can move and place materials easily and accurately around your garden.
Get Ready to Dig In
Autumn crops and plantings need a slightly cooler climate so best to wait till the weather cools a little in your region before doing your planting. It’s a good opportunity to decide what will be best to plant in your climate region and gain a picture of how to care for your chosen seeds and seedlings.
Enjoy the transition to the new Autumn season in your garden and have fun planning what to plant from our huge range of bulbs, seeds and specialty plants with delivery to your door.