Ok so it doesn’t really get that cold here on the Sunshine Coast but the weather does change from our usually wet, warm summer to our cooler, dry winter. A little bit of preparation now for the period ahead can really help you keep your garden in tip top shape and make your gardening life over the Winter period a whole lot easier!
Probably the number one most important things to do now would be to mulch your gardens. This will help to maintain the moisture that is in the ground now and help keep the soil in good shape by not allowing it to dry out. Dry soil = poor water penetration. It also helps protect the plants roots from temperature fluctuations. Another bonus of mulching is less weeds!
Also on the topic of Soil- Autumn/Winter is the perfect time to attend to your soil by adding organic materials. This can be mushroom compost, great for all plants (I especially like it on my vege patch), blood and bone and cow manure these will all help with the mineral content in the soil. There are also some really good prepared organic fertilisers on the market we like Organic Plus with meat bone, fish meals, rock phosphate, trace elements and an added wetting agent.
It’s at this time of year that we give our garden a really good clean out getting rid of all the dead fronds by pruning etc. This is helpful to prevent the spread of disease and also encourages new growth and generally makes our garden a whole lot tidier. In colder climates its not recommended to prune as this stimulates new growth which may not be able to tolerate the frosts. We don’t need to worry about this on the Sunshine Coast. If you don’t already have a compost consider getting one to put all your dead matter into which will be ready in time for your Spring planting.
It’s not a big growth period around this time so I would probably hold off on planting any new plants or turf at this stage. Generally our Winter can be really dry and is set to be this year so I suggest saving any new additions for your gardens until spring time.
It’s also a great time now to scout around with the weed kill, killing of all the unwanted weeds that have sprouted where you don’t want them. Doing this along with the mulching is going to ensure you keep your weeds at bay.