Autumn - Planting and maintenance garden guide

The change of seasons from Summer to Autumn is welcomed by gardeners and garden alike! The sun begins to lose its intensity, while tropical storms and hot, drying winds subside.

The days become mild and mellow - perfect for restoring the garden back to its best, harvesting the last of the Summer vegetables and planning for the cooler months ahead.



Although it is Autumn, there's still time to plant out Winter and early Spring flowering annuals and vegetables while the soil remains warm.

There's an old saying that bulbs should be planted on St Patrick's Day - March 17 - but if you're a bit late, it won't matter! Try to have planting finished (except tulips) by mid April or a couple of weeks earlier in cold regions. Suggestions include:

The flower garden

  • Flowering bulbs from mid March to the end of April - daffodil, jonquil, freesia, ranunculus, anemone, crocus, hyacinth, muscari (grape hyacinth) and tulip*
  • Pansy, viola, polyanthus, primula, primrose and cineraria
  • Australian natives like native heath (correa), bottlebrush (callistemon), banksia, lillypilly, gum tree (eucalypt) and grevillea
  • South African protea, leucadendron, leucospermum and serruria
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs - camellia, azalea, rhododendron, magnolia, michelia, pieris

    * Tulip bulbs need 4-5 weeks in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator before they are planted out in early May

The vegetable patch



An application of plant food now will not only give plants a boost after Summer's harsh conditions, but will help them build up strength to survive winter's chill.


Garden beds



  • Prune back or ‘dead-head’ (remove dead flowers) roses to promote a final autumnal flush of blooms
  • Cut back pelargoniums and fuchsias by about two-thirds
  • Cut down herbaceous perennials that have finished flowering
  • Trim evergreen shrubs that need tidying

Lawn care

Repair bald patches in the lawn with Scotts Lawn Builder™ Topdress Mix followed by Patch Magic or a Seed & Feed lawn seed blend. Both contain a starter fertiliser that will see new grass through to next spring.

For established lawns:

Controlling garden pests