Autumn is a treasured planting season offering ideal temperature and more instances of rain. It is cool enough for gardeners to work in the garden and yet warm enough for plants to get established before winter.
Keep weeds out and feed citrus plants.
Prepare your lawn for winter.
Watch out for garden slugs.
Harvest the remaining summer crops.
Prepare garden beds, add fresh compost, potting mix and some fertiliser.
Let’s look into more things to do in the garden in April.
Beetroot, silverbeet, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc) and celery are good to plant at this time of the year. Beetroot is a versatile choice, highly nutritious and also delicious. It can be used in many beautiful dishes or enjoyed on its own. You may also want to try growing peas, generally loved by many and also a good source of nutrients.
Many gardeners use the staggered planting technique to ensure that they have a continuous crop throughout winter. Plant vegetable seedlings every 10-14 days so they mature and yield fruits at different times.
If you have limited garden bed space, consider planting slower-growing vegetable varieties like Red Cabbage next to fast-growing ones like lettuces. This maximises the valuable garden spaces and allows the gardener to harvest the lettuce leaves as they grow while waiting for the other vegetables to mature.
Some gardeners also consider thinning their carrots in autumn. To thin, start removing those that are growing too close to each other. Carrots need to be spaced about 2 cm apart to grow. Pick out the ones that are the size of baby carrots. These are quite sweet and good for roasting or raw snacks. Make sure to firm the soil around the remaining carrot plants. This practice helps reduce carrot flies along with planting carrots next to spring onions and garlic chives.
Autumn planting is considered to improve a gardener’s chances of having more colourful blossoms in spring. The soil is still warm for the flower seedlings to get established. It’s a good time to plant pansy, viola, wallflower, stock, alyssum, dianthus and sweet peas. Mix and match perennials and annuals.
Ideas for flower tubs, pots:
Pots of different sizes with mixed pansies and violas
Large pots - place taller plants like stock or carnation in the middle and surround it with shorter plants like pansies
Idea for hanging flower baskets: Lobelias (mixed and cascading)
If you have a herb garden, consider moving the basil indoors or inside the greenhouse to protect them from cold snaps. April is the time to plant rocket, thyme and oregano; and, to prune your sage and rosemary.
Autumn is natives season. It’s time to plant trees and hedges in order for their roots to settle in and get established before winter kicks in. Akeake and Pittosporum (also Griselinia for warmer regions) are often used to create hedges. Awapuni Nurseries offers several fast-growing varieties if you are interested in creating a hedge for your property. In choosing the right plant variety for your hedge, consider the primary purpose of the hedge: shelter, privacy, fencing, decorative border, peace and quiet, etc. Create a map of the area you'd like to cover. Pick a sunny spot as most trees grow best under full sun. If the area you’re considering is partially shaded, choose the right plants that will grow under those conditions.
Early autumn is a good time to trim established hedges.