Winter is coming…
Top tips for autumn garden preparation
Now we’re in the depths of autumn it’s important to look after your place for the people (and birds) that live there. Yes, it’s time to keep an eagle eye on your property, and to get your ducks in a row, before the chickens come home to roost…
Get your garden ready
In New Zealand preparing your garden for winter is a great family exercise. While the days are shorter they are generally still and warm enough to get about comfortably in. Now is the time to get your mulching down for some decent ground cover ready for any frost and snow.
Contrary to what some might believe planting isn’t just a spring activity. With the temperature not reaching freezing yet and rain common, autumn is a great season for planting trees and species like harakeke and coprosma. Be sure to have a read of our native planting guide for more handy hints.
Sow your spring bulbs now too, with daffodils, alliums, snowdrops all snug under the ground and ready to go when the cold weather thaws. There are also plenty of cold season vegetables to plant, including carrots, cabbage, spinach, kale and radish.
Container-grown plants can also be planted now if they’re hardy enough to withstand the coming chill. The added benefit now is these plants needing less water during autumn and winter.
Get wild bird feeding
This is the time of year when New Zealand’s native birds need all the extra energy they can store in order to prepare for the coming cold. Keep the seed feeders topped up to ensure they know there’s a regular, reliable food source.
While there’s plenty of fruit on the trees at this time of year it’s always good to attract birds to your place with additional treats of your own. Leave any older fruit or uneaten bits from inside out either near or in your feeder. This will draw in the nearby tūi, bellbirds and silvereyes. If there are any local kaka and hihi they too might stop by for a snack.
As autumn winds down it is time to really step up to help out the local birdlife. During this period healthy food is becoming scarcer. So leave out some energy cakes, or some logs or truffles. Birds in this time require extra fat and protein, and this wild bird feed is certainly helpful here.
Get up to speed with the house too
When you’re out in the garden it pays to take a gander at the house exterior too. Give the outside heat pump outlet a check too to ensure there’s nothing growing up against it.
With autumn in full swing, leaves and other debris can clog drainpipes and gutters so be sure to check these. Also make sure windows and doors close correctly to keep drafts down over winter. There’s no point throwing money away on power bills when a quick fix is available!