What to Do in the Garden in October

Written by Living Earth for Auckland Landscape Supplies Customers

The Veggie Bed

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  • Seeds to sow now for crops in summer: sweet corn, chillies, beans, eggplants, cucumber, zucchini, coriander and parsley.
  • Plant out lettuces, pumpkins, spring onions and put in some cabbages and radishes for summer coleslaws. (Cabbage seedlings available now are varieties that can grow in warmer temperatures without ‘bolting’). Wait a few more weeks until you plant your tomatoes, a good time is labour weekend.
  • Tips for planting Seedlings: make sure the soil is moist and friable, add plenty of Living Earth Compost or Garden Mix, and then water your punnets of seedlings. Gently ease the seedling out of the punnets holding them by the foliage as you do so – avoiding touching or knocking the root-ball, as this can lead to ‘shock’ that causes the plant to wilt and die off. Plant into the soil and firm around the base. Water on liquid plant food immediately, then every couple of weeks until established.
  • Build simple tee-pees for beans and tomatoes with inexpensive cane stakes and garden string, so your plants will have a frame to climb up.

For more comprehensive monthly vegetable garden tips and ideas please refer to Bridget's Vege Patch on this website under articles.

The Rest of the Garden

  • Planting: Summer planting requires a bit of preparation to ensure success, as new additions to the garden stress more easily when the hot temperatures arrive. Try the following steps:
  1. Add Living Earth Garden Mix to bulk up and add nutrients to the soil.
  2. If the soil is dry fill the planting hole to the top with water and wait until it has drained away.
  3. Soak the roots of the new plant in a bucket of water until the bubbles cease rising.
  4. Firm the plant into the soil and water it well.
  5. Add a thick layer of Living Earth More than Mulch around the plant.
  6. Good to plant now
  • Summer bulbs: dahlias, gladioli, peonies, hippeastrums and begonias Also, lots of interesting perennials such as the Peruvian Lily, alstroemeria, salvias and the new lavenders known as the ‘Leigh’ series. Shrubs such as roses, hebes, fuchsias and viburnums can all go in now.
  • Plant Care: Squash early aphids on roses and vegetables, prune passionfruit, trim hedging if the new growth has ‘hardened off’. Feed all fruiting trees once the blossom is gone and hang Codling Moth traps in pip-fruit trees.
  • Fertilising: Now is a great time to feed everything in the garden (except proteas, leucadendrons and grevilleas). Feed NZ native and Australian plants with a fertiliser that has a low phosphorous content.

The Lawn

  • Make sure new lawns are being sufficiently irrigated.
  • Get rid of as many broadleaf weeds in the lawn as you can, then fertilise the grass. This will encourage it to ‘take over’ the space left.
  • With larger bare patches, it’s not too late (or too warm) to sow a bit more lawn seed for good coverage. Our Lawn Mix is an ideal ‘filler’ and growing medium in which to do this.
  • Mow often – it’s a season of regular rain, so lawns are growing well.
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