7 Garden Maintenance Tips in Autumn

watering garden

As Autumn approaches in Melbourne, many householders are starting to prepare their gardens for the colder months and taking care of the little jobs that may have passed them by. The season plays an important role in how well your plants, trees and foliage will do during the winter time, so with 7 simple preparation tips, you can have a clean, lush and bumper garden before the cold weather kicks in.

1. Have a good clear out of your garden

racking leaves in garden

One of the best ways to prepare your garden for Autumn is to clean your garden of any leaves or tree branches that may have built up over the last few months. Autumn is a great time to start to clear out the main base of your garden, allowing you to see and tend to flowers of shrubs in the winter. If you have lots of items to remove, why not start your garden waste removal with the help of a skip bin hire company to handle the majority of the heavy lifting.

2. Maintain your lawn
mowing the lawn

Lawn and garden maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult, as with the right tools and the right approach you can enjoy a lush and green garden all year round. Instead of waiting until the grass is a little too long, why not get the mower out and keep it at the height you best prefer. That way the grass will be at full health and you will minimise the risk of seeing bald patches as the old grass is left covering the newer turf.

3. Clean up your borders

trimming hedges and bushes

Tidying up your borders is a great way to have your garden looking fresh and in top shape. Clear out any foliage that shouldn’t be there and inspect the soil accordingly. If you have any plants that you feel are poorly placed, autumn is the perfect time to get in there and replant them. If any perennials have faded slightly, cut them back to around 5cm to provide them the best health over the coming months.

4. Start your compost harvest


If you have any deciduous trees that are in or overhang your garden, don’t worry about all of the leaves that have fallen and start a leaf mould to add to your compost. The leaves make amazing quality compost in a year or two, so store away all you can and you will have your very own compost to recycle in your garden.

5. The best time to plant evergreen

planting evergreen

Autumn is the best time to plant evergreen varieties due to the soil being still warm and with ever so slightly cooler weather. This greenery makes up the backbone of any quality garden, providing the green backdrop that many gardeners aim for. Plant your evergreen varieties in a way that brings bulk to your shrub borders and adds colour and depth to your main focal point plants.

6. Lift out timid species before the frost
lift out fragile plants in autumn

Autumn is the time when you will need to lift out your most fragile plants such as Dahlias or Begonias and place them into storage in a cool and dry place. Use sand or compost to keep them healthy and ensure that you replant them when spring arrives the coming year. Ensure they are fully covered with just the crowns visible to keep them healthy and happy.

7. Take care of your gardening tools

take care of gardening tools

Autumn is a great time of the year to ensure your gardening equipment is well maintained and in good working order. If you need to purchase replacement tools, check out your local garden hardware store to see if they have anything new and exciting in stock. Oil and clean any motorised equipment you might have, and get yourself ready for the busier months to come!

If you feel that gardening in Autumn is a little too much to handle all by yourself, why not hire a garden waste removal company that allows you to clear out your garden of foliage, branches, cut grass and soil and create for yourself a fresh and bright new garden. Simply have the skip bin delivered at a time of your choosing, fill it up and call for removal for a weekends work, your garden can get a full makeover.



Frogs Love Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by the window

The autumn leaves of red and gold

—from the song Autumn Leaves

Recently we had a post about how “messy backyards” help wildlife. Since I wrote that post, I came across a wonderful article, “Leaf litter is an Environmental Windfall,” by Master Gardener Vera Strader. She explains why autumn leaves are a boon to wildlife and help enrich the soil.


Leaves provide shelter to insects such as earthworms, pillbugs, millipedes, which provides food for toads, frogs, and other small animals. Birds require protein from insects to feed their young. Leaf litter also fosters living soils with huge numbers of soil bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. Strader writes that, “leaves provide a down-like comforter for small animals.”

This past summer, I saw this process occur in my own backyard. I had to clip back all the grape vines on our building’s fire escape for safety reasons. I didn’t get around to getting rid of the pile of leaves and vines until a month or two later. I went to bag the material to throw it away and found dozens of earthworms under it. So I left the pile for the earthworms. Next spring these earthworms will go in my garden (and I’m sure will be a nice snack for some birds, too).

Strader offers practical tips for dealing with fallen leaves. Here are a few:

  • Blow or rake leaves to an unused part of the yard or compost the leaves. (Note: I recently received the Gardener’s Supply catalog, which has a simple wire box that can be used for composting leaves).
  • Keep litter and mulch away from plant stems and stalks to prevent crown rot.
  • On the lawn, use a mulching or rotary lawnmower to shred the leaves, then leave them on the grass to nourish it.
  • Dispose of leaf litter below diseased plants, such as roses, peonies, irises, etc
  • Avoid sending leaves to landfill. Yard waste consumes a huge amount of space and creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

As Strader writes, “Leave the leaves to save time and money, enrich soil, help sustain wildlife, and benefit water and air quality. Mother Nature will thank you.”

By the way, we’ve received some great photos of wildlife-friendly backyards. Just click on the gallery on the right of this post for the wildlife backyard gallery. Feel free to send in photos of your backyard and we’ll post them in our gallery.