Autumn is a busy time for gardeners before growth slows over winter. It the best time to transplant evergreen shrubs or young trees, the best time to divide clumping perennials, and the best time to plant new trees, shrubs, perennials as well as spring-flowering bulbs.
Plant evergreen trees and shrubs now so they establish before the heat returns next summer.
When you bring your new purchases home, remember that plants get a lot of care and attention in the nursery and have often been in a location in the nursery that is likely to be more protected than where you plan to plant it in the open garden.
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When planting, watering in with seasol will help reduce transplant shock, particularly if the plant was a little pot bound and the roots needed teasing out. A tree guard of hessian held in place by stakes around the plant can provide protection from winds and early frosts.
Continue preparing beds for spring-flowering bulbs to be planted from late March to the end of April by digging in some compost, leaf mould or well-rotted manure and adding blood and bone into the top 15cm of soil.
The recent rains have made for great weed-pulling conditions. Either compost them or toss them into a bucket filled with water to make a weed tea. After a few weeks mix about 1 part weed tea to 3 parts water and use it to water and fertilise seedlings and vegies.
Take a walk around in the cooler autumn weather and take note of plants that are currently in flower and which have been for some time. These are the hard-working plants that give enjoyment for weeks or even months at a time, so consider planting more of them. Plants that flower for long periods include Aster, Corepsis, Dahlias, Euryops, coneflower (Echinacea), Euphorbias, Gaura, Salvias, hardy Geraniums, Rudbeckia, Penstemon, catmint (Nepeta), Abelia and Abutilon (Chinese lantern).
Check for borers in trees and shrubs, especially wattles. Look for holes into the tree surrounded with dust and fine webbing. Use fine wire to poke into the hole to kill and/or remove the larvae, then squirt methylated spirits into the hole and plug with putty. Also check other susceptible trees such as silk trees (Albizia).
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is on Thursday, 22nd April at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome!