An ideal time of year for both planting and lawn care, autumn brings a welcome temperature drop and much-needed injection of moisture following summer. The sun begins to recede and the days shorten, but the soil remains warm, providing optimal conditions to get plants in the ground, rejuvenate the garden and enjoy the outdoors with family.
Horticulturalist and Northcote Pottery brand ambassador, Melissa King shares her tips for bringing your garden to life.
The autumn planting menu
The cool season veggie patch is in full swing, and there's plenty on the planting menu; cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, onions and kale (just to name a few) are ready to go in the ground, so be sure to keep the water up to young, growing seedlings. Check local water restrictions for ways to keep gardens hydrated. If hose watering is allowed, the Nylex Flextreme garden hose is super lightweight and flexible, so it can be easily manoeuvered around trees and obstacles, and won't kink under pressure. A multi-function spray gun adjusted to a soft shower setting is the perfect combination for young growing seedlings.
Happy house plants
Take dusty houseplants outside for a brief spell, giving them a good shower on a gentle shower spray setting to unclog plant pores and get the foliage looking shiny and healthy. Allow the plants to drain properly, then bring them back inside so they are warm again.
With more moisture comes more weeds, so now's a good time to give your garden a weed sweep. These pesky plants are easier to pull out after an autumn rain, and it's best to do this while they are still young, particularly before they flower and set seed. Get your hands on the right tool for the job, such as a Cyclone 5 in 1 multi-tool. It has a long trowel and a sharp edge to help dislodge stubborn roots. Alternatively, hit weeds before they set seed and make light work of weed control with a shoulder sprayer - the wand with adjustable nozzle makes it easier to target the weeds and leave your plants alone.
Flock to the flame
Guaranteed to be the heart of your garden, a fire pit is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of mulled wine with friends, roast marshmallows with the kids, or boil the billy and have a campfire cuppa. Creating a fire pit area is also a great way to extend the hours you spend in your garden.
The Hive fire pit is a great contemporary centrepiece for your outdoor room, and comes with a safety lid for family entertaining. Its design means it can be easily converted into a table when not in use.
Bring the birds back
Nothing brings more colour and movement to a garden than bird life. Nectar-rich flowers are favourites for honey eating birds. Also try growing a colourful assortment of flowering beauties. You'll not only attract insects, but insect-eating birds. Plants with thorns or prickly foliage provide a good hiding place for smaller birds. They can find refuge in the spiny canopy keeping them safe from cats and other predators, and often use prickly plants to build their nests. Remember to throw in a few plants with edible seeds or berries, to keep seed-eating birds happy.
You might also like to treat your feathered friends to some wild bird feed. The decorative Northcote Pottery Silvin bird feeder is weather resistant, easy to hang and made from timeless terracotta. Water is also an important consideration for drinking and bathing. When including a bird bath or bowl in your garden, remember to position bowls off the ground and top up the water regularly.