Our Wellington

News | 9 April 2021

Getting your garden ready for autumn

Warm soil and cool air, the perfect conditions for your garden to grow, bloom and flourish this autumn.
We had a chat with one of our Botanic Garden ki Paekākā gardeners, Dale Such, to get his top tips on how to prepare your gardens for our autumn weather.

Green leaves turning to autumn yellow with a blue sky behind.

“At the Botanic Garden, we normally spend autumn catching up with growth from the summer – cleaning up our lawns, trimming hedges and climbers, and pruning trees. It is also a good time to cut back your roses so that they can begin to re-bloom.”

Generally, most weeds haven’t grown much around this time of year. Dale’s recommendation is to start mulching your garden at the start of autumn to help keep the moisture in the soil and cover the weed seeds. You don’t want those weeds to grow as it starts to get wet.

It’s important to keep your garden hydrated, especially after the dry summer weather, says Dale.

“We recommend using AquaTurf, an approved and safe wetting and re-wetting agent, which will help you not only conserve your overall water usage, but also keep your garden hydrated and encourage growth in trouble areas.”

Now is also the time to clean up any over-grown areas in your garden before it becomes too wet to remove weeds or overgrown perennials, says Dale. “Don’t be afraid to remove a few centimetres of soil with the over-grown plants, because any little piece you leave behind will grow back.”

Autumn brings the best growing conditions for those new plants you’ve always wanted to add to your garden. Use this time to prepare the soil by digging over and adding compost. It is also the best time for planting berries, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, onions and salad varieties.

And don’t forget your indoor plants! Here’s your reminder to give them a water, clean and trim. Autumn can bring mealy bugs and mites which can be easily removed with a little bit of diluted methylated spirits.

Dale’s final tip? "Sit back and enjoy the work you have done over the summer and watch everything bloom in the second flush.”

Send in your horticultural questions

If you have any questions about gardening, email treehouse@wcc.govt.nz and our eager team of gardeners will get back to you.