Most of us think of spring and summer when it comes to our favourite seasons to be outdoors, but it would surprise many to know that autumn is the best time of year to be sprucing up your garden.

The days are cooler, yet the soil is still warm, which makes it the perfect of year to be getting your garden, trees and lawns ready for the cooler months. The added bonus? The work you do now will also get your garden in great shape before spring and summer next year.

So what sort of jobs should you be getting done now?

Planting and transplanting your plants because the soil is still warm and has a good amount of moisture, so your plants can settle into their new spot before winter.

Plant those bulbs.
Autumn is the perfect time for planting bulbs, including daffodils, irises, freesias, hyacinths and many others.

Planting winter vegetables such as broccoli, silverbeet onions, leeks and cabbage.
What you plant obviously depends on which part of Australia you live in, but in Sydney, we have a fantastic climate for most winter veg. And if your garden only extends as far as the balcony, you can still plant your own winter vegies in pots or hanging baskets. Check out the fantastic book The Edible Balcony by Indira Naidoo for tips on how to make the most of your own balcony.

Trim hedges and show your lawn a little love.
Hedges should be trimmed back for the last time in autumn, but not too far. Your lawn will also need a bit of pampering before the cooler months begins, by cleaning up leaf litter, fertilizing and light mowing to help resist weeds.

Making compost!
A compost pile is the best place for your garden’s pruning goodness, rather than consigning it to the council garden waste pick up. Leaves and clippings from your garden provide carbon needed for your compost to “cook”.

Just be mindful to make sure balance these brown ingredients with green ingredients such as vegie scraps, fresh lawn clippings and weeds from the garden. The “green” ingredients will provide nitrogen to promote good organisms in your compost bin. For more information about making your own compost, check out this PDF factsheet from Clean Up Australia.

A little work now means a great spring garden later
The work you do in autumn will yield better results for your winter and spring gardens. Of course, if you’re not a particularly green thumb, it might be worth it to get the professionals in to help you get it underway.