As some areas of the country may still be a little cool it is best to start your Summer veggies such as capsicum, tomato, chilli and cucumber seeds in warm areas like on your windowsills. Why not try our Windowsill Greenhouse Kits which come in a number of varieties and are perfect for the windowsill!
If the frost has passed in your area then make sure you get your cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn, rockmelon, and zucchinis in the ground for a nice early crop. Whether it’s a Blue Lake, Butterbean, Scarlet Runner or even a Borlotti bean now is a great time to get your favourite beans in the ground too.
Remember to plant some coloured beauty such as sunflowers, petunias, zinnias and even marigolds. Marigolds are great planted near your vegetables as they can help deter insects and you can also add the petals to salads.
Don’t forget about your potted beauties whether they are indoors or out, they need some tender loving care as well. Some plants may have outgrown their current pots or just need an extra boost of nutrients. Either top up the pots or replant them into another pot using good potting mix and a slow release fertiliser. If the root system is getting too out of control, give them a little trim before replanting. Remember to look after your hanging baskets as well.
Compost, compost, compost! This will be your gardens best friend, whether it is homemade or purchased. Compost is generally made up of things like banana peels, coffee grounds, citrus rinds, potato skins and apple cores. These will provide the necessary nutrients which are slowly released to plants throughout the season without using harsh chemicals. Check out our composting article here.
Also remember that there are still some beautiful bulbs that can be planted right now for a lovely display come Summer time. Bulbs such as Oriental Lilies, Dahlias, Hippeastrum and Calla Lilies can be purchased from your local stockist right now.
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.
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.
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, gypsophila, mesembryanthemum, petunia, phlox and statice can now be planted out into your flower beds ensuring a mass of colour in the coming months.
In temperate and cool climates the next few months might be very dry, which is why November garden duties are based around water management. Like the tropical climates, an application of soil wetting agent would be beneficial. Rather than preparing for heavy downpours, this is to ensure that any rain that does fall makes it to where it is needed most—the roots—and doesn’t sit on top of the soil surface for the sun to evaporate. This is also why it is important to keep your garden beds well mulched. Mulch will help keep the soil moist, stop the sun from causing large scale evaporation, and provide much needed organic materials throughout the Summer months. If you have hydrophobic soil (water repellent soil), check out how to resolve this issue here.
Now is also the time to start pruning your Spring flowering plants that are starting to finish their flowering. It may also be time to remove your Spring annuals now if they are no longer looking attractive. November is still a relatively mild month, which provides an opportunity to get all your Summer annuals growing. Marigolds for example begin blooming in as little as 3 weeks after sowing and continue to produce bright orange and yellow flowers right through to Autumn. Here's out top 10 tips for pruning.
If you have plants that flower from Spring through Summer, continue to remove the spent flowers which will encourage most plants to flower again.
Make sure you are watering your garden regularly, as the heat will absolutely devastate vegetable plants that are low on water. Good watering will significantly help in achieving a healthy vegetable garden this Summer.
Shop Summer Flowering Bulbs here - plant these now for flowers in Summer/Autumn.
Shop Spring Flowering Bulbs here - Plant these in Feb-April for Spring flowering.