Longer days are finally here, and the garden is bursting with growth. Conditions are perfect for planting summer vegies like tomato, lettuce, capsicum and sweet corn, and if you're thinking about laying a new lawn, do it now before the summer heat arrives.
- Trees & shrubs: Camellia, crabapple, diosma, flowering cherry, fuchsia, jacaranda, jasmine, lavender, lilac, murraya, rhododendron, rose, viburnum
- Natives: Banksia, boronia, bottlebrush, coastal rosemary, grevillea, native frangipani, NSW Christmas bush
- Annuals & perennials: California poppy, campanula, cineraria, columbine, English daisy, delphinium, echium, geranium, lobelia
- Bulbs: Babiana, bearded and Dutch iris, ixia, narcissus, tulip
- Climbers: Bougainvillea, star jasmine, wisteria
- With so many plants in bloom, it’s easy to enjoy a colourful spring. Choose from alyssum, cineraria, columbine, cornflower, cosmos, daisy, delphinium, echium, Federation daisy, foxglove, gazania, geranium, gerbera, New Guinea impatiens, pentstemon, petunia, snapdragon and stock.
- October is the peak planting month for summer vegies like beetroot, capsicum, chilli, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, pumpkin, radish, spring onion, squash, sweet corn, tomato and zucchini.
- Still on the edible front, add flavour to warm-weather dishes by planting basil, ginger, chives and mint.
- Think ahead – if you’re planning on adding some cold-sensitive ornamentals like tibouchina or jacaranda to your garden, plant now so they can establish while the weather’s warm.
- Looking to grow shrubs in pots? October is the time for planting.
- Create shade for the summer months by planting fast-growing climbers and training them up structures like arbours and patios.
- Your garden's still in growth mode, so keep up the increased feeding schedule you've established over the last couple of months. Don't take your foot off the pedal just yet!
- Enrich and condition your soil by adding Seamungus or mulching with Whoflungdung.
- Use a soil wetter such as Wettasoil to your advantage and water smartly in compliance with Sydney’s current Level 1 water restrictions. Remember, early morning and late evening are the most effective times to water anyway!
- Once your veggie seeds or seedlings are showing good, rapid growth, keep them powering along with fortnightly feeds of a quality liquid fertiliser, such as Harvest.
- Keep annuals blooming in abundance with a fortnightly fertiliser application. We love soluble Thrive Flower and Fruit.
- For healthy fruit, feed citrus with a specially-formulated citrus fertiliser and water regularly.
- To ensure prolific summer flowering, fertilise hibiscus and hydrangeas as they come into bud.
- Roses need a meal this month – a complete rose food, such as Sudden Impact for Roses, will give them all the nutrients they need to flourish.
- Fertilise azaleas and camellias after flowering.
- Indoor plants need love, too! Start feeding regularly now, and continue through to March with an indoor-specific formula such as Osmocote Pour + Feed House Plant Fertiliser.
- For annuals that are beginning to fade, pick off dying blooms to help new ones form! You can also deadhead your proteas and leucadendrons now to extend their floral display.
- Just bought a citrus tree? Remove all its little fruit. This diverts the plant’s energy into growing roots and leaves for a stronger tree.
- Deadhead roses to encourage a new flower flush.
- Trim grevillea and bottlebrush after blooming.
- Prune spring-flowering peach and other prunus as soon as petals finish dropping, but before substantial shoot growth has occurred. Do not prune edible peach trees this month.
- Cut back lean and straggly azaleas after they’ve finished flowering.
- To keep them compact, lightly prune native shrubs after flowering.
- Control creepers, like jasmine and wisteria, by cutting back unruly canes.
- Well-established lawns should be growing very happily this month, so it’s time to start mowing regularly. Only ever cut the top 1/3 of your lawn to leave it looking lush and healthy.
Pests & diseases
- If growing fruit, including tomatoes, October is the time to take action against fruit fly with fruit fly bait such as eco-naturalure.
- Save azaleas and rhododendrons from petal blight with a fungicide like Zaleton.
- Got new growth? Keep your eyes peeled for aphids. Squash them with your fingers if you see them, or for larger infestations, spray with eco-oil or pyrethrum.
- Use Nature’s Way Caterpillar Killer or Success Ultra for caterpillars munching on grapevines and fuchsia.
- Watch out for weeds! The beautiful weather will provide perfect growth conditions. Pull them out while they’re small to stop them taking over garden beds.
- Protect developing fruit and veggies from fruit fly attack with exclusion bags.
General garden care
- Repot your indoor and outdoor potted plants if necessary and feed them with a slow-release fertiliser. Take them outside and give them a good watering with the hose to remove any dust from the leaves.
- Feed your lawn if you didn’t last month. Or plant a new lawn in October.