Finally, autumn is upon us and we can start to enjoy the cooler humidity-free days. Gardening in April is a joy … not too hot, not too cold, lots to plant … and there’s football on the radio to listen to.
- Plant sweet peas (it’s not too late), snow peas, sugar snap peas, climbing peas and bush peas. Plant as either seed or seedlings into soil that has had some dolomite added. Maybe try asparagus peas.
- Start to reduce the frequency you mow the lawn and start raising the blade height to allow the grass to keep a reasonable amount of leaf during the cooler months.
- Fertilise your roses, especially if you haven’t done it for a few years.
- It’s time to dig up, divide and replant your hippeastrum and lilium bulbs.
- Bougainvillea cuttings can be taken now and struck in a good propagation mix.
- Clean up the last of the summer vegetable crops. Use all the pruning, weeds and the remains of summer vegetables that have finished to start a compost heap.
- Most vegetables can go in now – especially the brassica family (Asian greens, broccoli, kale and collards, mustard, cabbage).
- Derris Dust cabbage plants and other brassica to deter cabbage moth and butterflies.
- If you didn’t do it after the big rain, you should fertilise the lawn with a complete fertiliser right away.
- Plant evergreen fruit trees, defer planting deciduous fruit trees until July-August.
- Plant new pawpaw trees, apply some boron to existing plants at a rate of 20 grams per tree and spray them with a copper spray if black spot is seen.
- Carefully cut off side shoots of bromeliads to create new plants. Plant these in the garden or in pots using a well-drained potting mix.
- Things are starting to slow down a little as the day length shortens, so that means cutting back on the feeding of house plants.
- As the sun gets lower, move indoor plants further away from windows and glass doors to prevent them from burning.
- A good time to re-pot potted plants and hanging baskets. Add an organic slow-release fertiliser to the potting mix.
- Fertilise low chill stone fruit with 20 grams of Organic Xtra per sq metre to the drip line of trees. Water needs to taper off now as trees begin to defoliate.
- Spray deciduous fruit trees with Bordeaux mixture and white oil as leaves fall to prevent fungal disease at flowering.
- Garlic can be planted until the end of April – planting after this date reduces the size of the bulbs.
- Pick persimmons when they have reached and held their brightest orange colour but are still firm; soften completely indoors before eating.
- Try not to be tempted by displays in supermarkets of tulips and hyacinths, as they are very unlikely to do well.
Plant beetroot, broccoli, radish, cabbage, leafy lettuce, carrot, celery, cauliflower, Asian greens, garlic, leeks, spring onion, potatoes, sweet potato, turnip, kohl rabi, capsicum, chilli, silver beet, beans and tomato.
Plant alyssum, petunia, marigold, carnation, sweet pea, gaillardia, everlasting daisy, Livingstone daisy, sunflower, verbena, pansy, viola, primula, snapdragon, nemesia, Iceland poppy, dianthus, cleome and salvia.