There is certainly a sense of excitement about October, with the approach of lingering evenings, balmy nights and gentle warm breezes not too far away. What a fantastic time of year to enjoy being in the garden – though it is quite a busy and productive time it is usually not too warm to feel hot and bothered while working.
FERTILSER: If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get the fertilizer out – be generous and use a good organic fertiliser. Fertilise those well established trees and shrubs – our soils are generally pretty poor on this continent. Feed all the way out to the leaf line, water in well and soon you will see the results with fresh healthy new growth. Plants like citrus, gardenias and even some natives such as banksias are often deficient in iron (the leaves lack that deep green colour and in extreme cases look yellow). Use Yates Chelated Iron but do not overdo it. Follow the instructions on the packet closely – too much can damage the plants.
ANNUALS: If you are looking for summer and Christmas colour with annuals, they really should be in by now. If you haven’t planted, you’ll need to get moving on it. Can’t beat those old favourites such as Petunias. The old ones like Colour Parade give a mass of colour but do keep your eye out for new releases – the “Grandaflora” petunias have very large and showy flowers.
LAWNS: If you don’t get rid of bindii burs they are a real pain, literally. You should have sprayed a few weeks ago but if you haven’t, do it now. Most bindii burs will not have formed yet.
TREES AND SHRUBS: This is the time to prune shrubs after they finish flowering. Plants which flower on ‘new wood’ like White May, Bottlebrush, some Grevilleas and Azaleas fall into this category.
IN THE VEGETABLE PATCH: The list is never ending! You can plant just about any veg at this time of the year – tomatoes, peas and beans for example.
IN THE HERB GARDEN: Trim those woody and sprawling herbs such as Sage, Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme. Pull them back into shape and with the warmer weather coming, they’ll shoot out and provide a rich harvest.
ORGANIC TIP: With more of us making espresso coffee at home, put those spent coffee grounds to good use! Snails and slugs hate coffee and give it a wide berth so spread the grounds around the edge of the garden beds to form an effective barrier against these pests.