What to do with the last of your herbs

Spectacular: Autumn colours can be dramatic. Take a look to see what might work in your garden.
Spectacular: Autumn colours can be dramatic. Take a look to see what might work in your garden.

Take the time to drive around the district and look at the trees showing autumn colour and appreciate how lucky we are to have the climate to produce such fabulous colour in our landscape.

Identify any you might like to grow in your own garden.

Preserving annual herbs

With many of the tender and/or annual herbs nearing the end of their season, now is a great time to preserve them for storing by drying or freezing.

Moisture-dense herbs like basil, chives, mint and tarragon preserve best by freezing. Chop them finely and put in ice cube trays half-filled with water and freeze. The leaves will float but after they have frozen, top up the trays with more water and freeze again. This will help keep the essential oils in the leaves. Store in plastic bags. Alternatively, you can freeze individual leaves flat on a tray. Once frozen individually they will not stick together and can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

Air-drying works best with herbs without a high moisture content like bay leaf, dill, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, summer savory and thyme.

Jobs for Autumn

Prepare new lawn areas for planting.  

Plant out spring and early-flowering plants; violas, poppies, pansies, bellis perennis, pinks, carnations, sweet William etc.

Divide clumps of day lilies, iris, shasta daisies, phlox and other clumping perennials and watch for slugs and snails.

Set up your compost heap with autumn leaves and lawn clippings, adding them in alternate layers of green and dry materials. Sprinkle the layers with blood and bone.

Start sowing peas and winter lettuce varieties.

Potatoes can be dug now or left in good soil with drainage until September-October.

There is still time to order roses, shrubs and fruit trees, but don’t leave it too much longer.

The Armidale Garden Club has its next meeting for 2017 scheduled for Thursday, May 25. Meetings are held at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall, off Rusden Street, next to the Presbyterian church at 7.30pm. If you would like any more information, please call 0412 589 414; otherwise just come along!