The hot summer days are now fading away and cooler darker morning and evening are slowly beginning.
Time to harvest the last of the summer fruits and vegetables. Lots of autumn jobs to undertake. After the last of the summer vegies have been harvested it’s time to add organic matter to the soil. Compost, blood and bone, organic pellets will improve soils, remember to rotate the new autumn crops. Where legumes ( plants with pods ) pea’s / beans were grown in summer plant leafy greens like lettuce and spinach in autumn. The leafy greens will use the nitrogen that the legumes released into the soil during the summer growing period which helps to produce foliage. Add organic liquid fertiliser when planting new seedlings.
In the citrus garden the fruit trees will have lots of green fruit which will start to ripen in May. Continue to apply organic fertiliser every 4 to 6 weeks till the first harvest. Add around the citrus trees chicken pellets, blood and bone with liquid fertiliser. If there is mulch or Lucerne around trees lift up or rake to the edge of tree drip line then place down fertiliser, water in and place back mulch / lucerne around tree.
In the orchard it’s time to prune the spring fruiting trees. Generally prune trees into a V or vase shaped tree removing any cross branches that are growing across the centre of the tree. Keeping the centre of the tree free of branches allows for better air flow and allows sunlight into the centre of the tree. Add organic fertiliser and mulch to the base and around the drip lines of the trees.
As the deciduous leaves start to fall rake up and add to compost. Leaves, grass clippings and garden waste can be added to outdoor composts and should be turned with a garden fork each week. Food can only be added to enclosed composts and worm farms. Composts provide a great source of fertile soil and worm farms will provide liquid compost. If you live in a unit or town house a worm farm will suit as it is a contained clean compost.
Autumn is a good time to apply organic fertiliser to all garden beds and lawns. If you live in a cool climate zone plant out garlic now straight into the earth. Also consider planting a plum tree, there are some low chill varieties. If you live in a temperate zone place garlic in the fridge for a couple of weeks, this will give it the chill it requires and then plant out into the garden. Garlic will take about 6 months, when the leaves begin to die back that’s an indication that its ready for harvest.
For additional information on autumn plantings