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Top Tips For Autumn Gardening

Autumn is a great season for spending time out in the garden getting your hands dirty. It's all about preparing your lawns and garden beds so they're ready for winter and set to bloom in spring.

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Clean Your Gutters and Drains

As the leaves start falling, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your gutters. Clean your gutters out so they don't overflow in early autumn showers, which can lead to water damage inside or outside your home.
If your drainpipe is blocked, stick your garden hose down the pipe and turn it on to flush it out.
Walk around your home and check that your drains aren’t covered with leaves or rubbish. If they are, you can have fun scooping it out. Adding 100mls of neat bleach helps unclog your drains.

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Perfect Time to Plant

Autumn is a good time for planting a range of fruit, vegetables and flowers. You can find out what to grow in your area with our garden calendar.
Get your vegie patch going by planting seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, silverbeet, broad beans, carrots and strawberries so that you can harvest them in spring.
Winter flowering annuals, such as pansies, sweet pea and marigold add colour to the garden but need to be planted now to maximise flowering time. It's also the right time to plant lavender, ferns and hydrangeas.

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Make Your Own Compost

You can put the fallen leaves to good use in your garden by composting them and returning their valuable nutrients to your soil. You can make compost with a combination of leaves, lawn clippings, fertiliser or manure, fruit and vegie scraps and water. It's important to keep it balanced so never add too much of one thing. Using a garden fork to turn your compost occasionally helps it to decompose.

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Mulch Your Garden Beds

Now is an ideal time for mulching, which will improve your soil quality, keep it moist, stop it eroding, and stop weeds from growing. There are a number of different mulch options you can choose to suit different garden beds. Before you put down mulch, remove any weeds. Your mulch should be 5-10cms thick.

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Look After Your Lawns

Autumn is a time when your lawns can start to recover from the hot summer. As the rains start, you'll find your lawn grows faster and needs more mowing. Make sure you raise the blades on your mower to cut it no shorter than 5cm, as long grass makes better use of low sunlight.
Now is also a good time to feed your lawn before the winter, when the grass grows slower. Apply a slow release fertiliser, to help develop a strong root system and thicker grass. Clear any fallen leaves from your grass because they can block the sunlight and create dry brown patches.

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Time to Start Pruning

Pruning is the best way to promote new growth and can encourage late autumn flowering. Prune back any old growth on plants by trimming at the base. Trimming your hedges allows in light and air in encourages new growth.

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Keep Your Tools Sharp

Maintaining your garden tools makes using them much easier and can extend their life. Sharpen and disinfect your pruners with a cleaning agent and apply oil. Lightly sand any tools with wooden handles and apply linseed oil to keep them smooth. If your tools have rusted, apply penetrating oil and scrub with steel wool to remove it. Oil the tools to prevent rust from returning.

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