Episode #16 – My Autumn Todo List

In temperate zones in the southern hemisphere, we have just transitioned into autumn. It’s cooling off, the colours in nature are starting to change and the garden starts to get a really great vibe.  I love this time of year. 

Apart from the cooling conditions and the abundance from the summer harvests still being picked it’s a great time for some regrouping and preparation as well all getting those cool weather plants in. 

 

There are 7 things I do over autumn that help my garden stay productive and prepare for winter and the following spring. 

 

Tidy up   

  • Pick up leaves, chop and drop or chop and compost anything that is spent especially beans, peas and legumes off at ground level, this leaves the nitrogen-fixing roots in the soil to feed the next crop.
  • Pull anything out that is diseased and destroy or remove it. Compost only if you are hot composting.
  • Fix trellising, supports and fencing.

Prune

  • Young citrus to shape and promote new vigorous growth in spring
  • Blackberries, gooseberries and currants. All require a little different technique so make sure you educate yourself on your specific berries needs. 

 

Composting

  • This is the time of year to build up your compost stores ready for spring. 
  • Collect your grass clippings, end of season annual plants and prunings along with anything compostable.
  • If you’ve had a particularly wet summer like us the grass would’ve needed mowing every 5 minutes, or so it seems, all those grass clippings make great compost.
  • Chop up branches into small pieces, ideally use a mulcher to help get uniformity in size, this helps the compost break down faster.
  • Choose your compost method. Listen to episode 9 from 13th January and download the getting started with compost guide link below.


Weeding

  • Pull out any weeds at the roots or cover with wet newspaper or cardboard then add mulch or compost on top.
  • Remove any seed heads and dispose of them or hot compost.
  • The more weeds you remove or retard now the less you will have to deal with in spring.

 

Frost Protection

  • Protect shallow-rooted tender plants with extra layers of heavy mulch and have fleece or other frost protection solutions ready to go for trunks and branches.

 

Cover Crops

  • Green manure crops such as a one or a combination of lucerne, oats clover, lupins, mustard, fenugreek, pea, beans and buckwheat can significantly improve soil fertility and structure. These take about 6 weeks to mature and have very long roots that go deep and bring nutrients back up to the shallow soil.  
  • Some say cut down before flowering, others say wait until they go to seed. I like letting them flower because the bees are still active and they are looking for pollen, plus I have seen no difference in either way.
  • If you use a tilling method of gardening then dig in the crop and repeat in 2 weeks.
  • If you are a no-dig gardener like me then use a chop and drop method. If you want you can take it further do the same as dealing with weeds. Cover with wet cardboard or newspaper and mulch or compost. This will help it break down and return more nutrients into the soil and the bed will be ready faster. 

 

Plant out and divide

  • Plant early season garlic.
  • Plant brassica seedlings.
  • Silverbeet and English spinach.
  • Broad beans, green beans and peas.
  • Coriander, tarragon, thyme, parsley, oregano and marjoram.
  • Divide evergreens like lemongrass, chives, arrowroot, ginger, globe and Jerusalem artichoke and strawberries. However, I like to let my strawberries run and once established, cut the umbilical cord and transplant the new plant if needed. 


This is a great time of year to share with your neighbours or like-minded gardeners. Trade a pumpkin for a divided ginger or trade a weekend of help with a fellow gardener. It’s a special time to be in the garden.

 

This episode is sponsored by my soon to be released Self-Sufficiency Made Simple Composting Masterclass. This masterclass will help you go from wasting food and money to creating your own gold star garden soil system without mess, cost or hard work. The masterclass will show you how to choose, create and get started with your own simple system, all in your backyard.

More information

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This Episode Sponsored by

This episode is sponsored by my soon to be released Self-Sufficiency Made Simple Composting Masterclass. This masterclass will help you go from wasting food and money to creating your own gold star garden soil system without mess, cost or hard work. The masterclass will show you how to choose, create and get started with your own simple system, all in your backyard.

Register your interest via email jo@sohfarmlet.com.au

 

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Keeping chickens is so much easier than you think!

Download my simple beginners 'chicklist' to get you started.

Keeping chickens is so much easier than you think!

Download my simple beginners 'chicklist' to get you started.

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