In October the days are getting longer and temperatures are warming – the perfect time of year to be spending time in the garden. This is the key month to get that vegetable garden underway so that you can be enjoying fresh, home grown produce over the Christmas and summer holiday period.
There is a vast variety of vegetables that can be sown at this time including beans, beetroot, capsicum, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, leek, lettuce, pumpkins, radish, silverbeet, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelons and zucchini.
Many of your favourite salad vegetables should be grown quickly for best results. To achieve this plants need to be watered regularly and fed every 2 weeks with an all-purpose liquid fertiliser. Use mulch around your plants to keep weeds at bay and to retain soil moisture during hot summer months.
It’s also the ideal time of the year to sow herbs and all of your favourites thrive at this time of year. Most will allow first pickings in as little as 6-8 weeks and then provide an abundance throughout the Summer and following Autumn.
Arguably the best thing about herbs is that they are very adaptable to a range of soils and conditions and can grow as productively in a well situated pot or container as they would in a garden bed. Whether this be a courtyard, patio or even a windowsill in the kitchen, fresh herbs should be feature in any home regardless of space restrictions.
October is also a great time to sow flowers from seed. Some of the more popular varieties include alyssum, asters, balsam, coleus, cosmos, gerbera, marigolds, nasturtium, petunia, portulaca, salvia, sunflower and zinnia.
Propagated seedlings of carnation, gyphsophlia, mesembryanthemum, petunia, phlox and statice can now be planted out into your flower beds ensuring a mass of colour in the coming months.
October is also the month that new lawns should be established from turf and the earlier the better to avoid the hotter temperatures. Kikuyu lawns can be sown from seed now.