Our top 10 autumn gardening ideas to prepare for winter

Check these autumn gardening tasks off your to-do list and prepare for the months to come.

Last updated: 28 April 2023

The earth is still warm from summer but the air is cooling down. Not only do plants love the mellow climate, so do we! It’s much easier to get ahead on autumnal activities without the scorching heat of summer.

Whether it’s for your mind or maintenance – get those hands in the ground now to sow, grow, clear and prepare for an awesome autumn.

1. Love (and leave) those leaves

Fallen leaves are everywhere! Gather them up and add ‘em to your compost for a boost of carbon – so grab your spade, shovel or fork and get stuck in.

Or, gather and store leaves separately in a garden waste bag or damp heap. Once the leaves break down, you’ll have a nutritious soil-conditioner and mulch to enrich your garden beds. Leave them long enough and you’ll have a completely free, home-made potting mix for next year’s spring!

Whether you’ve got a tiny corner to clean up, the swimming pool or the entire lawn, we’ve got the wheelbarrows, carts and trolleys that you need to tick this ‘to do’ off your list quick-smart.

Clearing out the leaves will make your garden look neater, and also give your soil some much needed carbon.

2. Plan(t) for a pretty winter and stunning spring

Autumn is an awesome time to plant flowers and bulbs. From tulips and daffodils that will put on a spring show, to polyanthus and pansies that will produce beautiful blooms throughout winter, we’ve got you covered for flowers of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Of course, you’ll want to show off the fruits of your labour. Frame your front door with hanging baskets, fill up your balcony with iron wall planters and pimp out your backyard with our massive range of new and used colourful pots.

When those florals make their grand appearance, you’ll be so glad you were prepared.

Autumn is a great time to plant flowers to enjoy through winter and spring.

3. Protect your plants

Ease your plants into autumn and extend their growing season with cloches, cold frames or go all out with a greenhouse.

Alternatively, for an easy, low cost solution, a good layer of mulch or compost will keep those roots warm. You’ll find heaps of options on site.

A greenhouse is a great way to protect your plants through the cooler months.

4. Enrich your soil

Every gardener knows that good quality soil is crucial, and a soil metre to test the pH of your garden is a great place to start! There’s nothing like a bit of science to give you the assurance you need before planting out those autumn and winter seedlings.

Don’t forget to head to Gubba Garden and replenish your soil with an appropriate tonic.

Good quality soil will make a world of difference.

5. Sow, reap and repeat!

In between harvesting your potatoes and pumpkins, it’s time to plan what veges to grow next!

Broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and spinach are good seedlings to plant out at this time of the year – just grab some netting to protect brassicas from butterflies, and seaweed tonic to prevent transplant shock. In the glasshouse, it’s time to sow seeds like carrots, turnips and radish with a good seed-raising mix.

Remember that garden hygiene is essential too, so give those trays a good clean or grab some new ones.

Put some time into thinking about what veggies you want to plant next.

6. Do that overdue garden maintenance

The change in season is your quarterly reminder to pause and look at what needs repairing or replacing around the garden. Give some TLC to that fence post, prune back those hedges to promote new growth and clear out those gutters in preparation of more leaves.

A sharp pair of hedge clippers could be the difference between a full or a half day's work, so do yourself a favour and invest in good-quality tools. You’ll find all the garden power tools you need onsite to get all those important maintenance jobs done in a jiffy.

Do you have all the tools you need?

7. Prepare your gardening gear

An outdoor storage box or shed is a great way to safeguard the ol’ tools this season. A storage box can even double as a bench seat – perfect for admiring all your hard work – while a shed can also protect your BBQ and outdoor furniture in the months when they get less use.

Psst! Don’t forget about yourself. An outdoor heater will complement those calm, autumn evenings… it ain’t winter yet!

A shed can help you organise and protect the tools you use to keep your garden in shape.

8. Level up your lawn

Autumn and spring are the seasons to tend to your lawn, so figure out what you need to keep yours looking legit.

Whether it needs literal levelling, a trim from the lawnmower, lawn roll or a good raking of lawn seed – get started on this task in early autumn to enjoy a lush (and aesthetically pleasing) lawn the whole year round.

Now that summer is over, it’s time to look to your lawn health.

9. Bring in the bees

Bees spend autumn stocking up for winter, so why not lend our buzzy buds a helping hand? You’ll be doing the environment a favour, as well as your plants!

If you’ve got chives, fennel and rosemary in your garden, let them go to seed for the bees – they’ll love it. You can also plant calendulas, hebes and yarrow now to encourage bumbles and honey bees to pollinate your fruit and vegetables throughout autumn.

Alternatively, if you’re keen to try your hand at beekeeping, you could go the whole hog and see if you could provide a permanent home for the bees in your backyard.

There are plenty of options on site if you want to make your garden a haven for Aotearoa’s bees.

10. And finally – garden in style!

The contrast of bright blue skies and burnt orange leaves make this season a treat for the eyes – there’s no reason your tools and personal equipment can’t be cool too!

Snag a colourful gardening tool set, these vintage-style watering cans or a garden kneeler to make it all that little bit more comfortable. If it inspires you to hone your horticulture habit – it’s worth it!

Whether you’re a gardening newbie or green-thumbed guru, these practical and interesting tips are sure to help you prepare, slow down and grow something this autumn.

Whether you’re a gardening newbie or green-thumbed guru, these practical and interesting tips are sure to help you prepare, slow down and grow something this autumn. 

Get prepared for autumn
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