Kāpiti Gardening with Gus Evans

Autumn is a really busy time for gardeners. We have all of the bulb selection to plant, daffodils, Hyacinth, tulips, freesias, anenomes, ranunculus – all arriving in the garden centres now plus there are a lot of Autumn perennials that we can be planting now for winter colour.

Cyclamen are also excellent to plant for winter and also all the beautiful flowering winter annuals like poppies, stock polyanthus, primulas, antirhinums, cinerarias nemesias, wallflower pansies all need to go in now and these will flower all the way through until labour weekend and then at labour weekend you would replant these with all the summer flowering annuals.

It is a busy time with our lawns. Autumn is a great time to be fertilizing the lawns before they go to sleep you need to be vigilant for beetles and grubs in the lawn as well as porina moths and all the common lawn diseases like brown patch, dollar spot fusarium rust and red thread. There are some really good slow release fertilisers that work well on your lawn. If the lawn has dried out in patches it is best to over sow and fertiliser water it in.

The birds will know where the grass grubs are so watch them and treat these with lawnguard to eliminate the lawn weeds. A daisy weeder is a good investment and fertilising discourages moss in your lawn as well over the winter months.

It is also a really busy planting season coming up and plantings are best to go in now in autumn and get established over the winter in case we have another hot dry summer. If you plant them now they will get through their first Summer with only a couple of good deep watering – this is all that would be required.

The vegetable gardening can be quite busy as well planting seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower for winter and spring eating.

Some people have been reporting wasp nests to us and we have discovered a really good chemical called Expra which kills on contact and eliminates the nest. Yates have also put out quite a good ultra insect control called Success which will control caterpillars, codling moth thrips and tomato potato psyllid and leaf roller – 200 mils will make up to 40 L of spray.

You don’t need to be a dedicated composter to reap benefits – call it cheating but applying used coffee grounds, eggshells, chopped up banana peels and other organic matter directly to your soil can offer plants nutrients as they decompose. For already growing beds scatter and bury the items within the first few inches of soil.

Next week I will be going to the Melbourne flower show and I will report all the latest findings that I see while I am there.