9 Autumn Gardening Tasks

Prepare your garden, flower beds and plants for the weather change with this autumn checklist.

Take advantage of the mild autumn weather and tackle some landscaping tasks that need to be finished before winter arrives. By completing these tasks now, you will be able to jump right in when spring comes. 

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Get the whole family involved and devote an entire weekend to this list. Kids will love the chance to play in the dirt and you'll appreciate the help. 

Homeowners who can't -- or prefer not to -- do all the autumn garden chores themselves, have multiple options for hiring assistance. Ask your neighbours, co-workers and family members if they know anyone who could help. Teenagers and university students are eager workers who can use the extra money. 


1. Clean, weed and fertilise 

Clean out and weed all your garden areas. Turn the soil while it's still easy to work and you'll save yourself a lot of backbreaking labour come spring. Finish by covering the weed-free beds with a layer of organic fertiliser such as chicken or steer manure. 


2. Mulch, mulch, mulch 

Once the garden beds have been fertilised, cover them with fallen leaves or straw. Put a mulch layer around trees and shrubs to protect them from cold weather. 


3. Plant spring-blooming bulbs 

Spend a few hours planting a mixture of bulbs (in both pots and in the ground) now, so you can enjoy an array of colour and beauty in the early spring. 


4. Transplant shrubs and perennials 

Trees and shrubs that have outgrown their areas, or need to be moved for other reasons, may be safely transplanted this time of the year. 


5. Spread the wealth 

Bulbs can be divided, opening the opportunity to control their size and location. Use the excess plants to fill other areas in the garden. 


6. Trim away 

Cut back and shape shrubs, trees and plants, such as hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons. 


7. Preserve herbs 

Process and transplant the last of the summer herbs. It's a good time to dry the herbs and freeze them or make herb vinegars and oils. 


8. Pre-winterise plants and trees 

Bring winter-over and other tender plants inside. Tie limbs of upright evergreens and plants to prevent them from breaking in high winds. 


9. Service and clean tools 

Nothing is worse than trying to do a job with rusted or poorly working equipment or tools. Take the time to clean, sharpen and oil garden tools, as well as clean and service lawnmowers and weed eaters. 

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