Autumn Planing

Autumn is a great time to plant almost anything, from tiny seedlings to large trees. It’s also an ideal time to choose plants for their autumn foliage colours. Soil temperatures are still warm enough to encourage root growth, and milder temperatures reduce water stress. Young plants planted into gardens in autumn have a good chance to settle in well, making optimum growth under and above ground before they have to cope with summers’ heat. Often spring arrives with a blast of early high temperatures, which stresses young plants if their roots are not well established.

Flowers, Trees & Shrubs

In temperate and cool zones, autumn growth can be quite phenomenal, especially if mild temperatures are accompanied by good autumn rains. Roots become well established and foliage grows and hardens off before winter – stronger plants are more able to cope with extremes of temperature and dryness. Milder temperatures are kinder on gardeners too, after all…holes won’t dig themselves!

Prepare Planting Holes

Whether you are moving plants, getting ready for the arrival of winter roses or deciduous trees and fruits, or taking advantage of the milder weather to plant a new garden, soil preparation is the key to success. Prior to planting, improve your site soil by adding organics, such as a good sprinkling of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food and dig it all in well.

Transplanting Trees & Shrubs

During the cooler months, it's an ideal time to transplant trees, shrubs and perennial plants. The plants suffer less water loss and transplant shock is minimised as growth slows over autumn and winter. Many evergreens and most deciduous plants can be moved with a reasonably good chance of success, providing it’s done carefully and at the right time of year. The exception is most native plants which dislike root disturbance, and respond by turning up their toes!

Use a sharp spade to dig around and then under to sever the roots. Try to take a sizeable root ball, including soil, so there are plenty of feeder roots still attached. Use heavy builder’s plastic or shade-cloth to slide the plant out of its old position and into the new. Prepare the new planting hole by mixing in a few handfuls of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food to help enrich and improve the soil. Water the plant in well with diluted Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic to help reduce transplant shock. 

Flowers Of The Month

Cheery chrysanthemums are a classic Mother’s Day flower and a symbol of happiness and longevity in Japan. Potted chrysanthemums are a great gift, whilst garden chrysanthemums fill beds with colourful blooms. Indoors, choose a well-lit position for potted chrysanthemum and water every few days, but don’t leave them standing in saucers of water. Liquid feed using Yates Thrive Indoor Liquid Plant Food every two weeks, then after 4-6 weeks, as the display finishes, trim back spent stems at the base and plant outside in a sunny position with well-drained soil. Water well through summer, tip prune for compact bushy growth and liquid feed every 4-6 weeks and enjoy the show again next autumn.

The drying heads of hydrangea flowers (pictured) are an autumn reminder to begin monthly applications of Yates Hydrangea Blueing Liquid Aluminium Sulphate or Yates Hydrangea Pinking Liquid Lime Dolomite if you want to alter or intensify the flower colours in summer. Dry flower heads can remain on the plants until winter, or pruned back to just above two fat leaf buds.

Winter & Spring Flowers

Sow seeds of delightful winter and spring flowers to brighten up the garden. Many flowers can be sown directly where you want them to grow in the garden, including hardy and versatile sweet Alyssum Carpet of Snow, pretty blue Forget Me Not Little Bluebird and Iceland Poppy Artists Glory – which are also great for picking. For best results barely cover the small seeds with a fine layer of Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix and keep moist.

May is still a good month for sowing peas, so pop in some Sweet Pea Blue Reflections in spring they produce a bounty of scented blooms for picking. It’s not too late to sow pretty Pansy Imperial Antique or Wildflowers of the World in seed trays ready for planting out once seedlings have germinated. Add some colourful Calendula Pacific Beauty to the vegie patch where their bright yellow and orange flowers add winter and spring colour, and also attract bees and other beneficial insects.

Snails and slugs can come out of hiding in autumn and devour precious young seedlings overnight. Protect plants using Yates Blitzem Slug Snail Pellets, which attract and kill snails and slugs. Begin liquid feeding every two to three weeks after seeds have germinated using Yates Thrive Fish Blood Bone Plant Food Concentrate, which encourages healthy leaf growth and lots of beautiful flowers.

Potted Citrus

Citrus are handsome ornamental trees – with glossy green foliage, scented white blossoms and colourful fruit – a fabulous choice to display in large pots. Here are our top tips for keeping potted citrus trees healthy and productive.

  • Choose a spot which gets plenty of sun – at least 6 hours daily.
  • Pot size: 400mm to 500mm sized pots are ideal. Select decorative plastic, timber half barrels, cement or stone pots and ensure there’s plenty of drainage holes in the base and fill with premium quality potting mix.
  • Regular watering of potted citrus is important. When planting, water in with a diluted solution of Yates Thrive Natural Seaweed Tonic to help reduce transplant shock. This can also be reapplied in monthly during the growing season and before and after periods of stress (e.g. extreme temperatures).
  • Little and often is the key to feeding potted citrus, so liquid fertiliser is the ideal way to deliver nutrients regularly. Yates Thrive Fish Blood Bone Plant Food Concentrate is a complete food, containing a balance of nutrients for healthy green foliage and juicy more abundant fruit. The liquid is taken up by both the roots and the foliage so you see results sooner.
  • Potting citrus will restrict their growth, but there are dwarf citrus available, which don't compromise on fruit size or quantity. Typically labelled Dwarf, they’re in plentiful supply during autumn and winter. They do well in sunny well-drained gardens too!

Kaffir Lime is a delightful citrus tree to grow in a pot. It’s grown primarily for its highly aromatic leaves – just one or two added to your curry or stir fry brings an authentic Asian flavour to home-cooked meals. Regular feeding with Yates Thrive Fish Blood Bone Plant Food Concentrate encourages soft new growth. The hard green knobby fruits are great for zesting but filled with seeds so if you like lime juice, grow a delicious Tahitian Lime as well.

Scale insects – check citrus trees for scale insects. They are small dome-shaped structures on stems, leaves and fruit. Colours and types of scale insects vary – white, red, brown and pink, and can appear smooth or even like cotton wool. A waxy or hard coating develops on adult scale insects and they rarely move. Sooty mould and ants are commonly seen with scale infestations. Control scale insects by spraying with ready to use Yates Natures Way Organic Citrus, Vegie Ornamental Spray Ready to Use.

Related products

Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix

Specially formulated for trouble-free seed raising in trays (or outdoor seed sowing direclty into the ground) and propagation of cuttings.

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