Spring Gardening Tasks for October
It’s a good time pot up houseplants as there is plenty of new root growth and temperatures are warmer. Potting up only really needs to happen when plants are rootbound (roots appear through drainage holes), and/or leaves turn a yellow colour. Read our How to Grow Houseplants Guide for easy step by step instructions on repotting your indoor plants.
It’s time to plant up flower beds and containers with summer flowering annuals. As with the vegetable garden, prepare sites with new compost and fresh container mix when planting into tubs and containers.
Summer flowering annuals to plant this month include alyssum, asters, cornflowers, californian poppy, cosmos, delphiniums, hollyhock, livingston daisy, lobelia, marigolds, nemesia, petunias, portulacas, phlox, salvias, statice, sweet peas, verbena and zinnias.
Stop ‘pinching out’ strawberry flowers and allow fruit to form towards the end of October. Regularly inspect for any signs of botrytis (gray mould) and remove any infected leaves. Keep maintaining a mulch of pea straw and/or crushed bark around plants.
In the veggie patch
All summer vegetables can now be planted including courgettes, cucumbers, beans, beetroot, carrots, celery, corn, leeks, lettuce, melons, onions, radish, pumpkin, tomato, and zucchini.
Consider expanding existing vegetable gardens, remembering the experience of Covid19 this year. Prepare the vegetable plot thoroughly before planting with new compost - the better the preparation, the more bountiful the harvest! Stagger planting (called succession planting) to ensure continuous harvesting and avoiding vegetables maturing at the same time. Water young seedlings as requited and apply a side dressing of Garden Time® Vegetable Fertiliser as the plants mature.
The first application of fruit tree fertiliser can be applied. This is especially important around young specimens as the fertiliser encourages the development of a strong, sturdy root system. Try our Garden Time® Fruit and Citrus Fertiliser which works on all types of fruit trees, including citrus.
Seminole tangelos and Jamaican ugli (tangelo) are beginning to ripen now, both very under rated citrus fruit.
As soils warm toward the end of the month, mulch around trees to prevent weed growth and improve water retention over the hot, dry summer months.
It’s warm enough now to plant most new season’s herbs, chives, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme. Herbs grow best in well-drained, ‘light’ soil, in a position that receives full sun all day. It may be a little early for planting basil, a herb that thrives in the heat of summer. Herbs can also be successfully cultivated in containers that can be positioned near the kitchen for convenience.
In most parts of New Zealand, roses will be flowering freely. These early seasons displays are the best because plants are typically disease free and black spot and rust are hopefully a few months away. Apply the first side dressing of Daltons Premium Rose and Flower Fertiliser toward the end of the month and repeat every 5-6 weeks until mid-December. Deadhead finished flowers to promote new continuous flowering. Tie up climbing roses as new growth appears.
Perfect time to replant containers with flowering annuals, herbs, or summer salad vegetables. Fill containers with fresh potting or container mix, try Garden Time® Outdoor Container Mix. Containers are especially important in smaller properties and apartments and is probably the best way to grow many herbs.