Top gardening tasks to tackle this autumn!

Entering the cooler months means leaving behind the backyard bounty of crops like tomatoes, berries, and cucumbers. Autumn also represents a time of slowing down, nurturing, and moving into more of a preparation or maintenance phase of our gardens. And whether you’re preparing your home for sale or simply want to bask in backyard bliss, it’s the perfect season to get planning and planting for the year ahead.

Here, we dig up exactly why autumn is the best time to tackle the garden, the benefits of getting your garden in shape now, how to do it, and finally, share our favourite indoor plant babies for those days when heading outdoors isn’t an option.

Why autumn is a golden time to get growing?

Milder weather and a little more rain make autumn a great time to establish new plants, transplant existing ones, and do some pruning without shocking your shrubs. And perhaps best of all, the cooler temperature also means you won’t perish spending hours out in the elements. So, whether you’re prepping your home for sale or striving for a flawless garden for the year ahead, here are five reasons to get on your gloves this autumn:

  1. Set the stage for spring and summer – with the soil still warm from summer, autumn is the perfect time for plants to get established and roots to take hold before winter. This sets them up to look their very best for the seasons ahead.
  1. Hands-free irrigation – forget sprinklers on timers or daily dawn and dusk waterings; moisture often comes for free in autumn!
  1. Less pest pressure – with many pests and diseases hibernating over the cooler months, enjoy less damage and less intervention.
  1. Winter protection – get in early with protective layers of mulch to see your precious plant babies through harsh winter temperatures. It’ll save you time and effort as spring approaches.
  1. Harvest the spoils of autumn – from picking the last of summer crops to harvesting seasonal favourites like pumpkins, and enjoy the fruits of your labour as the peak growing season ends.

Beautiful back (or front yard) = big benefits

A well-maintained garden is not only something you’ll enjoy soaking up, but the benefits are tenfold if you’re planning to sell your home. Here’s what you’ll get back:

  • Fabulous first impressions – a meticulously maintained garden catches the eye and creates a fabulous first impression for prospective buyers. It sets the tone for the property and can help your home stand out from others on the market.
  • Increased value and saleability – increased curb appeal can help you command a higher sale price and help your home sell faster than those with neglected exteriors.
  • Supersized living spaces – a well-designed garden can act as an extension to the interior living space of your home, providing an outdoor retreat and added entertainment area.
  • For the love of bees – support your neighbourhood’s biodiversity and provide shaded areas that provide wildlife refuge. As a bonus, your beautiful garden will help improve air quality, and increased plantings can help protect your home from harsh weather conditions.
  • A sanctuary with soul benefits – finally, maintaining an idyllic garden gives you a sense of accomplishment and a quiet space to soak up nature and the simple pleasures in life. This can lift your mood and boost your overall happiness.

Practical tips to unearth garden glory

If a green thumb doesn’t come naturally, don’t throw in the gardening gloves just yet. We’ve got seven practical tips to help you create aesthetic appeal in your garden – whether it’s for you to enjoy or a prospective buyer:

  • Fall for fall – there’s plenty of colour in autumn plantings; you just need to know where to find it. Choose autumn-loving flowers like stock, viola, poppies and pansies, or fiery-hued shrubs like Japanese maple or Chinese tallow tree. If you plan to sell, add colourful flowers to pots in key areas like the entryway or fill out highly visible garden beds.
  • Meticulous maintenance – from small tasks like keeping your lawn and any shrubs or trees neatly trimmed to bigger issues like broken fences or blocked gutters, it’s a great idea to get on top of these before winter.
  • Plant for privacy – with autumn being one of the best times for new plants to get established, consider any areas that could benefit from additional privacy. You can plant fast-growing hedging or a trellis with beautiful, fragrant climbing plants like star jasmine. A private outdoor area ranks highly on most homebuyers’ wish lists, so if you can create one, now is the time!
  • Swap the trowel for a hammer – if creating a better (or new) outdoor living space has been on your mind, tackling this in autumn means you’ll avoid working through the muddy winter months, and it’ll be ready to enjoy come summer. Whether it’s a new deck, paved patio, outdoor kitchen, water feature, fire pit or pergola, enlist the experts (or DIY) to create additional dining, entertaining and relaxing spaces. And don’t forget the lighting!
  • Child’s play – whether you have kids in your household or are targeting family home buyers, think about what you can do to incorporate more outdoor play space. It could be a cute cubby house, mud kitchen, DIY blackboard, or, for budding green thumbs, tackle a raised garden bed project.
  • Choose sustainable and low-maintenance – unless you’re an avid gardener with plenty of time to spare, sustainable and low-maintenance is a bit of a dream combo when creating a glorious garden. Consider incorporating things like rainwater harvesting, native plantings, and low-maintenance decking materials – these spell long-term cost and time savings for you and potential buyers.
  • Set the stage – finally, if you’re poised to sell, style your outdoor area to showcase its very best. Carefully consider outdoor furniture placements, add some soft furnishings like outdoor rugs and cushions, pile fresh mulch onto garden beds to hide weeds, and cull any clutter.

Take your gardening prowess indoors

If the weather’s not playing ball, but you’re feeling the gardening call, shift your focus to indoor greenery instead. Houseplants are a fabulous addition to interior styling and come with science-backed health benefits, too! Here are our top five easy-care plant-baby picks for autumn:

  • Forgiving pothos – if more than an ounce of neglect ranks highly in your indoor plant requirements, pothos (also known as devil’s ivy) deserve a place in your indoor jungle. It’s a trailing vine, perfect for draping down shelves or housed in a hanging basket.
  • A spider you’ll love indoors – indoors or out, spider plants won’t make a fuss. They prefer bright indirect light, and when they‘re happy, they’ll produce “spiderettes” – new little baby spider plants that you can pop in a new pot and keep or gift.
  • Lush, oversized fiddle leaf fig – if you want a statement plant, the fiddle leaf fig with its large glossy leaves is here to fill (and beautify) that neglected corner. They can be a little bit fussy, preferring brightly lit areas, but not direct sunlight or draughty spots – but will reward you when you’ve found a spot that suits.
  • Say hello to aloe – known for its medicinal properties and ability to thrive in dry conditions, aloe vera is easy to care for and handy to have on hand. Snap off a stem to reveal a natural soothing gel for sunburn, and don’t worry about a rigid watering schedule either.
  • Peace and plant joy – known for their tall white flowers and uber-glossy foliage, peace lilies are easy to care for and well known for their air-purifying properties. They’re happy in low light (and tolerate fluorescent lights), making them a great office or bedside companion.

Get in the garden this autumn, and you’ll reap what you sow

While it’s tempting to rug up and switch to semi-hibernation mode, planning and planting now will prepare you to reap what you sow in the months ahead. Whether for sale or your enjoyment, creating a lush, functional, and appealing outdoor area comes with plenty of benefits. And if you’re unsure what to prioritise to get your outdoor space sale-ready, consult your local expert at First National Real Estate for the very best advice.

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

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