Winter is coming. As our climate starts to cool there are a range of things we as Australians can do to help prepare our gardens for the colder seasons whilst saving money. As the colours begin to drain from the foliage around the country, it’s a great time to get ahead of the curve to save yourself time and money before next spring.
Any seasoned gardener will know that it doesn’t all stop come the end of summer, as there is plenty to do in Autumn to ensure your garden is ready to settle down for winter. All garden-proud Australians who love to save money and still have a fantastic looking garden all year round, should definitely find the following tips very useful.
If you have a greenhouse in your garden then its best to think ahead as the days begin to shorten and light becomes more valuable. Removing any shade paint will increase the light entering the house and improve your value for money spent on watering and growing plants within.
Autumn poses a great opportunity to reposition plants to divide overcrowded perennials because the soil is still relatively warm. If you have a part of the garden you dedicate to a compost heap, throw all your cuttings and trimmings onto it to save on costs of purchasing compost in spring. If you don’t have a compost heap it’s a good idea to cover your newly tidied areas in a thick layer of the stuff to replace nutrients in the soil. This will reduce your costs and need to apply fertilisers during spring / summer.
If you have any issues with your lawn, autumn is the time to sort it. Moss can be a common problem so you may need to use moss killer. In areas where you receive water pooling, a great way to increase drainage and prevent further moss growth is to use a garden fork and create holes every 10cm across the entire area. To then encourage growth and save on fertiliser, lay down a fine layer of sand and some winter grass feed.
Leaf mould is a free way to add structure and natural organic matter to your soil. Shredding leaves will speed up the decomposition process. If you have the space in your garden it’s a great idea to construct a wire mesh to collect your leaves in, however if you don’t, putting them in bin liners with holes punched through can also achieve the same results. Don’t forget to add a little water ever now and then, and once the contents have reached a crumbly texture you have free compost to spread across flowerbeds, putting nutrients from your garden back into your garden.
Compost Bin Clear Out
You can never have enough compost, so it’s a great time to clear out your compost bin, spread it across your newly tidied areas and refill the bin with your fresh trimmings. You invest money in your garden through watering and tools so why not get money back by reinvesting the excess foliage in the form of compost back into your land for next year.
Evergreens are a key backbone to any garden, providing green structure all year round. If you are fed up of planting or re-planting flowers for winter and summer, a sensible investment to fill any gaps within your garden is to buy plants such as Sarcococca and Daphne. These will add glossy green and fragrant flowers throughout winter whilst the rest of your garden is dormant.
If you have a pond, decomposing leaves can turn its water into a foul and disgusting eye sore. This, as a result, will block pumps and filters that can be very costly to repair or replace. Save yourself money on expensive pump replacements by buying a fine meshed net to place over the top of the pond and pin it down with stones to prevent leaves damaging your water feature.
Garden tools are costly items and if you have invested good amounts of money into nice equipment, its well worth your time looking after your investment. Before you send tools to the back of the shed for winter, ensure you prevent rust damage by properly cleaning and drying spades, forks and other tools. Preserve the metals by lightly oiling them also to repel water. If you have wooden handles, clean and protect them with linseed oil and as for shears and secateurs, consider doing the same plus sharpening them is always recommended.