What to plant now


Autumn is the right time to get your winter veggie garden going, plant bulbs for spring flowers and give your lawn some love.

Autumn may not be the most exciting time for the garden, after the bounty of late summer – but it’s an optimistic season of looking forward to new growth to come. Below, we partner with King’s Plant Barn to share some tips for autumn gardening.

Gardening in April

  • Get rid of any summer flowering annuals that have done their dash and plant your winter flowers – think primulas, calendula, hollyhock, snapdragon, violas, pansies, mini cyclamen, Iceland poppies, and nemesias.

  • Harvest any pumpkins, potatoes, onions and marrows coming through and store them somewhere cool and dry for the coming winter.

  • Plant sweetpeas somewhere sunny so they’re looking sweet come spring. It’s also the right time to sow seeds for English daisies, cornflowers, cineraria, lobelia and lupins. And you can plant daffodils directly into the garden now for a sunny touch come spring.

  • Trim your summer perennials such as hydrangeas and hebe back once they’re no longer flowering. You can now dig them up, divide and replant them – or just wait for them to bud again in spring!

  • If you’ve got roses, deadhead your established plants and start planning for the new season. Roses will begin arriving in late May, so ready any new planting sites for them with a good compost.

  • Pop hedges in while it’s still warm. Consider eugenia, griselinias or pittosporum for large spaces, or corokia or buxus for smaller spots.

  • Plump up your winter herb garden with parsley, mint, chives and rosemary.

  • Once you’ve harvested all your fruit trees, give them a bit of love with a copper spray to protect against ailments such as leaf blight and downy mildew. 

  • Transplant your winter seedlings or sow seeds directly into your garden bed – we love broad beans, broccoli, spinach and carrots for this time of year.

  • If all you’ve got is a lawn, autumn’s an exciting time! April is the best month for sowing a new lawn or repairing an existing one, so dig in.

Gardening in May

  • This is your last opportunity to plant bulbs for a gorgeous spring garden – don’t forget!

  • May is the perfect time to sow alyssum, calendula, sweetpea, stock, lupin, lobelia, cornflower, cineraria, forget-me-not, statice and nemesia seeds.

  • Love lilies? Now’s the time to get them in the ground. Make sure you pop some bulb food into the planting site and cover the bulbs with 10cm of soil.

  • Plant garlic and shallot bulbs anytime from now until late July, for an allium party come spring!

  • May is ripe for sowing winter veg seeds – think swedes, onions, carrots, radishes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and turnips. The seeds can be put directly into your garden bed.

  • House plant fanatic? Ease off on watering as sunlight hours decrease and temperatures drop. Move house plants into warmer positions and bring patio plants that are susceptible to frost into sheltered positions.

  • As the weather gets wetter, snails and slugs become more of an issue – especially when it comes to your tender young seedlings. Invest in some slug pellets or apply a mix of ground eggshells and coffee grounds around the base of your plants for natural protection.

  • Autumn sees a return of pesky garden pests and diseases. If you can’t diagnose your problem, send a photo to the Kings Plant Doctors for free advice.

  • If roses are your jam, now’s the month to start planting new varieties! Roses will be in gardening stores from late May.

  • Harvest feijoas, guavas and tamarillos in May. Got a glut? They all make great crumble.
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