IF YOU have beans and peas that are finishing, dig in the last of them as green manure to add organic material into the soil.
If you have areas of the vegie patch or beds you won't use over winter, plant a green manure crop such as lupins, dun peas and oats from seed.
These grow up and cover the soil over winter and, as they start to form a flower, are dug back into the soil to introduce plenty of nitrogen and organic material for enriching the soil.
THE colour in leaves of Hydrangea quercifolia, the oak-leaf hydrangea, has intensified and is a great contrast in the garden now.
This medium shrub thrives in dappled light and holds its colourful leaves usually into early winter, in shades of reddish-bronze.
Prune in winter after the leaves have fallen.
Other deciduous shrubs that intensify in colour in the garden now are the berberis, and the burning bush (Euonymus alatus), which thrive in colder areas and colour very intensely in full sun locations.
Many of the deciduous shrubby viburnums have purplish red autumn foliage before losing their leaves. Another feature they parade is attractive clusters of fruit, often bright red to black in colour.
Callicarpas, or beauty bushes, are showing off their bright purple fruit now and are worthy in the garden for this feature alone.
Falling food source
COMPOST autumn leaves now.
Some people complain about the falling leaves but there are a couple of things to remember with deciduous trees over evergreen trees.
Leaves of deciduous trees often all fall across a month, or less, compared with evergreen plants that can shed over several months and when stressed.
Deciduous leaves are often a lot softer in texture than those of our native evergreens, so take less time to break down in the compost.
So instead of ruing the falling leaves, look on them as a free and nutritious food source for the garden.
If you dig around under a deciduous tree, where leaves that fall have been allowed to stay and compost over the years, you will generally find a topsoil rich in organic material and worms and soil insects thriving.