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Overview

Once the golden days of summer are over, it’s time to prepare your garden for cooler weather. Autumn is the final growth period for most plants, and it’s a great opportunity to give your garden a head-start for winter. We’re sharing advice on how to prepare your gutters, vegie patches, new trees, lawns and more.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment. Always store products out of the reach of children and pets.

Steps

1Clear out leaves

Start by clearing out the leaves from your gutters. This is an essential autumn project. As trees shed their leaves, it can create blockages in downpipes, which can lead to water damage in your home.

Grab a ladder, gloves, a small hand shovel and bucket. Use the shovel to scoop out any debris, leaves, and dirt from the gutter, and deposit them into the bucket. Rinse the gutter with a hose to remove any remaining dirt or debris, and check that the downspout is clear of any blockages.

Installing gutter guards is a great way to cut down on future maintenance and prevent excess leaves and debris from getting stuck in your gutters. If you live in a fire-prone area, make sure you opt for fire-resistant gutter guards.

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2Remove old crops and soil

Prepare your vegie garden for the next growing season by removing old crops. Begin by harvesting any remaining summer fruits, vegetables, or flowers. Next, use garden shears or scissors to cut the plants down; alternatively, pull them out from the roots. Finally, clear away any remaining debris and add compost, fertiliser or mulch to the soil to nourish it for the next growing season. You can discard old but healthy plants into your compost; any diseased plants should go into the household bin.
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3Plant new crops and plants

Add life and colour back into your vegie patch with gorgeous potted flowers such as pansies and lobelias. Plant new fruit and vegie crops in preparation for a winter harvest, choosing hardy winter plants like spinach, rocket, peas, potatoes, carrots, beetroots and broccoli.

During the colder months, plants have the chance to flourish below-ground, establishing a hardy root system that will keep them going strong for months, if not years, to come.

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4Create a shaded area

If you’ve been looking to plant some trees to liven up your garden and add some shade, autumn is the perfect time to do so. (Its climate is a lot gentler on newly planted trees.)

Consider the space you have and think long-term. Do you like evergreen trees that look lush all year round? Or do you prefer deciduous trees that will give you a variety of looks throughout the year?

For deciduous trees, we recommend Japanese maples, liquidambars and tulip trees for a toasty autumn palette. As they grow, they will take up ample space in your garden, creating comfortable shade and increasing your property’s value.

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5Give plants a good prune

Before winter arrives, give your trees, hedges and plants a good prune with a sharp pair of secateurs or pruning shears. This will remove any dead or diseased wood; it will also encourage flowering and fruit in spring and summer.
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6Revitalise your lawn

Target any weeds in your lawn with a weed killer that you can spray directly onto the weeds. Check the label for directions on when you can mow your lawn after applying the weed killer. Once that time has passed, trim the edges of your lawn before giving your entire lawn a good mow.

If your lawn has received a lot of foot traffic over the summer months and you have some dead patches of grass, tackle them by aerating the soil with a pitchfork. Loosen the soil, which allows nutrients and water to get deeper into the ground. Add a top dressing of sand or compost to replace nutrients in the soil and encourage growth. Lastly, finish it off with a good spray of fertiliser to revitalise your lawn and soil.

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7Water your lawn

Watering your lawn in autumn can help it maintain health and vitality throughout the season. Plan to water your lawn once or twice a week depending on weather conditions.

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Tip: Watering in early morning helps to prevent evaporation throughout the day. Watering deeply, but less frequently, encourages strong roots. Consider using a rain gauge to ensure you're providing your lawn with the appropriate amount of water.
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8Remove weeds

Tackle weeds in areas such as garden beds, surrounding hedges and any brickwork. Remove as many as you can before they set seed. Choose a weedkiller that targets both broadleaf and grass weeds.

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9Invest in an outdoor heater

Extend the use of your backyard area by equipping it with an outdoor heater. There’s a wide variety of outdoor heaters to choose from, suitable for every space and budget, and they will help keep you and your guests cosy and warm when the weather turns chilly.

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10Ready to get started?

Check out our guide on the best outdoor heaters for your space.
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.