October Gardening Tasks
October Gardening Tasks
As temperatures begin to rise, the garden springs to life with activity. Fruit trees are in full bloom, and it's the perfect time to start planting a variety of summer vegetables and flowering annuals.
In the Veggie Patch
There are plenty of vegetables to be harvested before you start planting your new summer vegetable garden. These include asparagus, broad beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, kale, peas, radishes, silverbeet and spinach.
Summer vegetables to be planted, especially towards the end of October, include beans (runner and dwarf varieties), beetroot, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, spring onions, silverbeet, spinach, tomato, and zucchini (courgette).
Preparation is the key to successful vegetable growing! Add fresh Garden Time Compost to the soil along with Garden Time Enriched Garden Mix. Combine with existing soil to a depth of 1.5 spades, and work it to a fine tilth (fine, not lumpy texture) before planting out your seedlings or sowing seeds.
Rotate the position of various crops from year to year and if possible, position the vegetable garden in a full sun site facing north, sheltered from strong prevailing winds, and with well-draining soil.
Remove the last of your winter flowering annuals into the compost bin. Prepare soil the same as the vegetable garden above, and sprinkle in some Daltons Premium Rose Fertiliser before planting.
Summer annuals to grow include cornflowers, Californian poppies, cosmos, delphiniums, hollyhock, lobelia, Livingston daisy, marigold, petunias, phlox, portulacas, salvias, statice, sunflowers, sweet peas, nemesias, and zinnias.
The majority of late-winter and spring-flowering bulbs have completed their bloom. Daffodils and many other bulbs can be left to naturalise, allowing them to thrive and spread naturally. If they have become overcrowded, they can be lifted, divided, and replanted immediately.
Some bulbs to be planted at this time of the year include dahlias, gladiolus, hippeastrum, and water lilies. Before planting, prepare the soil well with compost and Daltons Premium Bulb Mix.
Stone fruit trees flower first, followed by apples and pears. Keep in mind that there will always be a significant post-blossom fruit drop. This occurs because there can be far too much fruit for a tree to successfully carry to maturity.
The first application of Garden Time Fruit & Citrus Fertiliser can be made on citrus trees. Spray with copper oxychloride to help prevent citrus melanose and verrucosis (citrus scab) – two common problems with all citrus trees.
In warmer areas, it’s time to plant passionfruit vines.
Towards the end of the month, early-season varieties of strawberries will begin to ripen. This is a reminder to fresh up or add a layer of Daltons Premium Mulch and Grow or clean pea straw around strawberry plants to create a clean bed for ripening fruit.
In October and November, give your strawberry plants a boost by applying Garden Time Strawberry Fertiliser. Be careful not to over fertilise your strawberry plants as this can lead to excessive leaf growth instead of fruit!
October and November, especially in Northern parts of the country, are often the best month for rose flowering. Apply Daltons Premium Rose Fertiliser around the bushes and climbers at five-to-six-weekly intervals through till mid-December.
Regularly removing finished flowers (dead-heading) is important, as it redirects the plant's energy to producing new buds and blooms, resulting in a longer flowering season.
Rapid grass growth means more frequent mowing! Add small quantities of grass clippings to the compost bin. To encourage strong, healthy grass growth, apply Daltons Premium Lawn Fertiliser regularly throughout spring and early summer.
It’s warm enough to plant out all herbs (except for basil in colder climates). If possible, position your herb garden or containers in plenty of sun and close to the kitchen or house for easy access.
When you're planting, be mindful not to space your herbs too closely together. Allow room for future growth, especially as some herbs are extremely vigorous growers!
Complete the re-potting of your houseplants with Daltons Premium Houseplant Mix. Feed plants with Daltons Premium Houseplant Fertiliser or Planter Tabs. Monitor your watering closely to avoid over or underwatering which are the main causes of problems with houseplants.