April in your Garden

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Thank goodness the heat of summer is firmly in the rear view mirror. We are all hoping for some soil soaking rain. Once that arrives, we have the perfect conditions for growing plants. Autumn is a great time to plant new plants as they will have lots of time to establish before the next summer. While the exotic perennials are showing signs of decline, the Aussie natives, which have been hibernating all summer, kick back into action following autumn rains. Correas are flowering furiously with their long, slender blooms, attracting – if you are lucky, Australia’s version of the humming bird – the Eastern Spine Bill. Try Correa OMG or Fat Bastard for a spectacular display. Or try the Chef’s hat Correa for that shady, dry site – its lime green flowers resembling a chef’s hat.

April is a great month to re-plant the vegie patch too. If the weather is still warm, check the backs of the brassicas to squash any white cabbage moth eggs, and then use an insect net to exclude the adult moths.

There’s plenty to do in the garden in April, so put summer behind you and get cracking!

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

In Your Produce Garden

Click here for a full list of herbs, fruit and vegies that can be planted in Melbourne this month.

Unless there is absolutely no rain, vegies grown over autumn and winter are usually hardier than the summer crop, and after they are established they may only need the occasional water and liquid feed. April is an ideal time to plant, so don’t leave the beds empty. Your vegie beds can play host now to seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, Asian Greens, leeks, and onions. For an over view look at Vegie Patch Basics. If you want to start your vegie garden, but are still uncertain or feel it is a bit much, we run many classes on all sort of vegie and produce gardening, from bee keeping, through vegie basics to espaliering.

Fertilising and Soil Health

Autumn, as in spring, is the ideal time to fertilise your garden. Many plants, especially evergreens, put on most of their root growth in autumn. Warm soil and mild conditions with rain lead to a refreshing burst of growth on most evergreen plants. It is a time when soil nutrient levels make a big difference to your plants. Soil improvement is the best way to ensure that you get the best out of your plants. Feed your soil rather than the plants alone. Improved soil structure leads to healthier, more drought-tolerant and disease-resistant gardens. We have a LOT of information on soils – as it is a bit of a passion for various staff members – check it out at our soil health page We now also stock bentonite for people on sandy soils or people wanting to improve the soil mix they buy in from a landscape yard (as these commonly have no clay component).

April is also a good month to give your Buffalo lawn a feed. Buffalo lawns are growing very strongly at this time of year, and a feed now gives it strength before winter  and aids a rapid jump away once spring arrives. Iron chelate is a good addition to your Buffalo lawn fertilising regime, use either now or in spring.

BAAG stocks organic composts, mulches and fertilisers in bulk as well as pre-bagged. Check out our range of bulk soils, composts and soil conditioners here.


Autumn is a good time for mushrooms too. Given the anxiety around foraging for mushrooms, growing your own gives you certainty about what you are eating, and the satisfaction of fresh produce. There are boxes of mushroom spores available that are easy to grow if you follow the simple instructions. There are a couple of different types available, and kids love watching them grow and harvesting them. Remember to keep the mixture moist and cool at all times.

Photo from Unsplash by Mohammad Amiri


Bulbs are, by their very nature, extremely drought tolerant and can be planted in containers or straight into the ground. Pack the bulbs close together, without actually touching for a massed effect. Since they will not flower for a few months yet, plant alyssum, pansies, violas or other small seedlings over them for some immediate colour. The bulbs will poke through in time. We have a great range of packaged and loose bulbs in stock at the moment.


Lift Gladiolus, Liliums and Dahlias after they have finished blooming and the foliage has yellowed off.

Citrus trees need feeding at least twice a year. Leafminer has not been bad this year – but if you do find it, simply prune off. See our fact sheet on citrus leafminer for extra information.

Rake up fallen leaves and add them to the compost heap. Layer them through the heap, or shred them with your lawnmower first, rather than adding them all at once, as they will mat together and not break down readily otherwise. A handful of blood and bone or other high nitrogen organic fertiliser will help break them down more quickly. Perhaps keep a garbage bag full of leaves next to your heap to add a handful every now and again.

Prune back perennials that have finished flowering. Pull out old stakes, clean up and store until spring.

Cut back the amount of water supplied to succulents, cacti and tropical and indoor plants as the weather cools down. Excessive moisture and cold temperatures may cause these plants to rot over the winter.

Autumn rains bring out snails and slugs in full force. Lightly sprinkle bait around newly planted seedlings and shrubs where snails and slugs breed, or try a beer trap to lure them in and drown them. Use snail and slug baits that are iron-based, and safer to use with pets and wildlife. Begonias, lilies and other fleshy leaved plants are popular hiding spots.