The best time of the year, as far as planting goes, is autumn. The heat has lost its sting, but this year, the ground is also moist and ready to go as far as new plants are concerned. If you have been thinking about a new look for your place, want to plant a hedge or screen, get in a tree, or start a simple vegie patch, never has there been a timelier month to get growing.
So how do you get ready? Depends what you are working on, but here are some ideas.
- Planning on seeding a lawn or laying some turf? Or want to improve a dead zone in your grass? Loosen your soil to improve the drainage. Either grab a pitchfork and work it backwards and forwards, hire yourself an aerating machine for the weekend or, at the very least, use a steel-tyned rake to scuff up the topsoil. Then you’ll be ready to roll….
- Planting a tree? Dig the hole twice as deep as the pot and at least twice as wide, then add some water storing crystals, slow-release fertiliser and some gypsum or compost – especially if you’ve got clay soil. Then plant your tree avoiding stakes, or if you have to support your tree, use three stakes and a flexible tie in a figure-eight. Firm down around them after planting, mulch, then water well. For more info check out our 101 tree
- Putting in a hedge? Digging a trench can often be the simplest way, and also ensures you loosen a significant amount of the soil so that roots can quickly make themselves at home in their new surrounds. Follow the instructions for the trees re: soil preparation. For more information on hedges, check out our hedging yourself in
- Wanting to grow your own? Raising your garden or mounding your soil will help massively with the success of your vegie garden. VegePods are great for this, but you can also just add loads of manure to your existing soil and ‘go to ground’, providing you don’t have fill or any other contaminants in the soil it can be the best and cheapest method. For some instant gratification, check out our Fast Freshblog on what to grow now.
by Meredith Kirton