Fri, Oct 21, 2022 6:00 AM

October in the garden


Tessa Jaine

We’re into mid-spring already and there’s plenty to do in the garden this month. The crops and flowers planted earlier in the season will be starting to appear, now it’s time to harvest and to plant more to ensure you’ve got a continuous supply through the summer.

In the vegetable patch:

All those quick-growing greens should be producing well now. Keep picking lettuce and spinach to ensure new growth.

Plant spring vegetable seedlings. Popular options are peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, courgettes, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, eggplants, leeks, and salad greens including rocket, spinach, mizuna, mesclun and lettuce.

Keep vigilant on slugs and snails. They particularly enjoy spring seedlings.

Now that the weather is more consistent, basil and coriander can be planted outside. Other herbs to plant in the garden now are parsley (Italian and curly), sage, rosemary, thyme, rocket, marjoram, dill and chives. Plant them in and around the garden to increase the diversity, this aids as a natural insect repellant.

Labour weekend is traditional planting time for tomatoes, get yours in the ground by then to ensure a bumper crop in the summer. Fertilise with a tomato-specific fertiliser.

In the fruit garden:

Stake fruit trees to protect against spring winds.

Plant blueberry plants. They are relatively easy to grow, make great hedges and the fruit is high in antioxidants.

Keep regularly feeding your strawberries every couple of weeks with liquid fertiliser.

Plant new citrus trees. They prefer a position in full sun with good draining soil.

In the flower garden:

Your spring bulbs will be out now. Enjoy the beauty and take photos, this will help you remember where everything is for next year and you can decide what needs moving.

Plant annuals for instant garden colour. Seedlings available now are ageratum, alyssum, aster, begonia, Californian poppy, carnation, cosmos, dahlia, impatiens, marigold, and petunia.

Lightly prune roses to remove dead heads and to encourage new buds.

With the warmer weather and the high pollen levels, bees are active. Plant food sources for them such as pineapple sage, bergamot, lemon balm, blue salvia, coreopsis, echinops, eryngium, gaillardia, alyssum, and rosemary.

As the soil warms, apply mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. As it breaks down it will supply food for your soil.

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