Your October gardening to-do list
Gardening seems to ramp up in October and becomes a real priority for many of us. Spring is well underway, and that desire to plant things by Labour Weekend (particularly potatoes and tomatoes) acts as a great motivator. If October is a busy gardening month for you, here’s a bit of a to-do list to ensure you do the things you really need to do.
Spoil your spring blooms: Nothing says “Spring is here!!” like daffodils. Daffodils and other spring bulbs add much needed colour to the garden after a bleak winter, but they need some attention. If they’re in leaf, bud or flower, treat them to standard bulb fertiliser so they’ll keep on producing those beautiful blooms. Potted bulbs should receive frequent watering, especially those from temperate region: daffodils, narcissus, hyacinth and tulips. Let foliage die down naturally so bulbs can build up food for next season’s flowers.
Deal to weeds: Weeds will grow anywhere…you know that! They’ll grow extra vigorously in warm and wet weather so this spring, cover up bare and exposed soil with weed mats, or use a good quality mulch. Make the mulch layers about 6cm deep….and do it soon. Weeds won’t wait!
A feed of fertiliser: It’s a good time to apply fertiliser so everything thrives through the warm summer months. Choose fertilizers for fruit, vegetables or shrubs, or feed a general fertiliser around the root zone of all plants. Once you’ve done that, water it in so the roots can absorb that nutritious goodness ore quickly.
Re-pot and refresh: October is the perfect month to check out any container plants you might have. They might need to be re-potted to give their roots the extra space they need to feed the growing plant above them. Even if they don’t need re-potting, they almost certainly need replenishing with fresh potting mix, as well as more watering during the warmer weather.
Love your lawn: Your lawn is a hugely important part of your garden, and it needs some springtime TLC. A good application of lawn fertiliser will set it up for summer, as well weed killer specially formulated to get rid of the prickly things we tend to find – and stand on – every single summer. A little aeration will loosen up compacted soil and promote grass growth, while frequent watering will also help.
What to plant: The prep is the important bit…the planting is the fun bit! There are so many things to plant now and enjoy later, including potatoes, tomatoes, peas, beans, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and beetroot. Don’t forget salad greens including lettuce rocket, and spinach. Wait for warmer weather towards the end of October to plant things like cucumbers, chillies and capsicums. Herbs such as basil, dill and coriander can be planted when the threat of frost has passed, while hardy plants like sage, thyme and mint can be cut back to promote new growth for summer. As for fruit, it’s time to get berries in, as well as citrus.