With the clocks going forward and the days getting longer, summer is finally within sight. But before you rest easy, there’s plenty of work to do to get your garden ready for the warmer months.
What to Plant
October is one of the busiest times in the veggie patch, no matter which climate you live in. With warmer weather arriving, you can’t help thinking about the season’s first juicy tomato ready for summer salads. So now is the perfect time to plant tomatoes.
And that’s not all you should plant. In cold to temperate regions, sub-tropical and some tropical regions too, pop these into your veggie garden: Beans, beetroot, cabbages, capsicums, carrots (seedlings or seed), celery, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, lettuces, watermelons, spring onions, parsnips (best by seed), pumpkins, sweet corn (seedling or seed), sweet potato, silverbeet, squash, tomatoes and zucchini.
Make sure you plant sweet corn and sweet potato in October as they thrive in warm and hot weather.
In tropical regions, now is the time to plant taro, cassava, yams, water chestnuts and peanuts.
October is a great time to get your garden flowering as well. In all regions, plant some sun-loving annuals, such as ageratum, asters, begonias, California poppy, cockscomb, coleus, coreopsis, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, marigolds, salvia, snapdragon, sunflowers and zinnia.
What to Pick
Now’s your last chance to pick any remaining winter vegetables, like onions, broccoli, peas and cauliflower, so you can get the veggie garden ready for planting.
The great news is all those bulbs you planted in autumn should now be starting to bloom. In the cool to temperate climates, your garden will be bright with colour and sweet with the scents of daffodils, jonquils, crocuses, gladiolus and hyacinth.
In tropical areas, you should be rewarded with vibrant bursts of babiana, gladiolus, hippeastrums, ornithogalum and ranunculus.
Weeding is an inevitable job for October. But it doesn’t have to be hard work. For densely weeded areas use glyphosate. This non-selective weed killer is found in products like Yates Zero and Hortico Weed Killer, and will kill everything in its path. So only use it on weeds or plants you want to get rid of.
Once the garden is clear of weeds, fertilise the beds using either an all-purpose fertiliser or a dynamic lifter. Then, lay sugar cane mulch to help with water retention during the dry summer months.
Finally, spray roses with Yates Rose Shield to keep away mildew, black spot and aphids. And if your fruit trees haven’t finished blossoming, spray them with Yates Leaf Curl for some extra protection.