Spread a layer of compost as a nutrient-rich mulch around all your existing plants. Try not to dig it in as this will just encourage weeds to germinate. Also prepare some planting holes for new trees, roses and shrubs you wish to plant – early autumn planting gives most permanent plants the best chance to establish in still-temperate weather, as it provides less stress on your new plants.
Pull out all your spent annuals and old perennials and tidy up your beds and borders. Prepare the soil to a spade’s depth for seasonal annuals and bulbs: loosen the soil and mix in well-rotted manure along with a good-quality compost both of these you can find from our kainosis range and add a little bonemeal to the mixture.
Lift and divide all overgrown agapanthus, wild iris (Dietes), penstemon, campanula and asters. Cut them back to about a third foliage wise, lift them out, split them up and re-plant into freshly composted soil.
You can also look at Sowing Namaqualand daisies, sweet peas, poppies, primula, foxgloves, hollyhock, larkspur. Don’t be scared to sow the flowers that you love – it is easy and success is guaranteed if you just follow the instructions on the seed packets closely.
Sow seeds for new lawn grass, especially in colder areas where ‘Shade Over’ and ‘All Seasons Evergreen’ grow well. At the end of the month, strengthen your lawns using a high-potassium fertiliser.
If you had a disappointing summer harvest in the veggie garden it might be due to poor soil. After digging up spent veggies, sow green manure crops in beds that will be left empty in winter: mustard, buckwheat, clover, linseed, lupins, lucerne or borage are great candidates. When these flower, dig them into the soil. They improve the soil structure and increase the fertility of it for a next round of summer crops.
Prepare the soil for planting strawberries. dig loads of compost and well-rotted kraal manure into the top 30cm of the soil. Add a dressing of bonemeal, this will enhance your produce.
Feed your tropical fruit trees while the soil around them is moist. A great organic feed like flower power or gwano pellets from protek.
Check your nerines, clivias, amaryllis and fire lilies for lily borer caterpillars. If the surface of the leaves of these plants has turned brown or developed blisters, you’ll know these pests are in residence. A great organic pesticide for these pests are organized plus or Margaret Roberts biological caterpillar insecticide.
Give your roses a generous feed to build and strengthen the stems. In colder areas this will be their last feed of the season. Deadhead regularly and spray for fungal problems where necessary.
Adjust watering systems to accommodate the cooler temperatures and shorter days.