In the Garden: October


Longer daylight hours, warmer days, warm soil and a reduced chance of frosts.
All of this makes October the optimum time to sow, plant, spray, water, feed, dig and mow.
In fact, think of a garden activity and you can pretty much guarantee it should be happening in October!

With the warmer days be mindful of any potted plants, regardless of container size, they will need watering or at least checking daily.

Annual plants and well grown seedlings can now be put in the beds.
A circle of "Lime" around each plant will help keep the snails and slugs at bay.


Pruning in the first couple of weeks of October is the best way to control the energy of very vigorous deciduous fruit and ornamental trees.

This is also a good time to prune older lemon trees.



Controlling weeds is essential. At this time they are in competition with most ornamentals and without being checked they could quite easily win.

Seeds or seedlings to consider this month are:

  • Alyssum, Aster, Begonia, Calendula, Candytuft, Cornflower, Coleus,

  • Chrysanthemum, Cosmos, Dahlia, Daisy, Dianthus, Geranium,Gerbera

  • Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Impatiens, Lobelia, Lupin, Marigold, Mimulus, Nasturtium

  • Pansy, Petunia, Polyanthus, Poppy, Portulaca, Salvia, Statice,Sunflower

  • Sweetpea, Verbena, Vinca, Viola, Wallflower, Zinnia


For sowing or planting; this month gives a good six months of fabulous weather geared for growing.

As soon as seedlings are big enough to cope, apply mulch of choice:

  • sugar cane mulch, hay, straw.

(e) this is the last month to plant out and achieve best results
(p) there will be another chance next month to get it in the ground.
(b) this is the beginning of the season so in general we will have a bit of time.

(su) start undercover in seed trays before transplanting to garden.
(t) transplant seedlings to beds  

  • Asian Greens, Asparagus(p), Basil(t), Beetroot, Cabbage(t), Cape Gooseberry Capsicum(t), Carrot(p), Celery(t), Chilli(t), Chinese Cabbage, Chives, Choko(b)(p),  Climbing Beans, Cucumber, Dwarf/ French Beans

  • Eggplant(t), French Tarragon, Ginger(b), Globe Artichoke(p), Lemon Balm(p), Lettuce, Marrow(t), Mint(t),

  • Mustard Greens, Okra(t), Oregano,  Pumpkin, Radish, Rockmelon(t), Rosella

  • Sage(p), Silverbeet, Spring onion, Squash(t), Sunflower, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato(p), Taro(b)(p), Thyme(t), Tomatillo(t),Tomato(t), Turnip, Watermelon(t),

  • Warrigal Greens(NZ Spinach),  Watermelon, Yam(p),  Zucchini(t)

Planning to Plant

Most annual, biennial and perennial flowering plants can be planted out this month. Be it seedlings or the larger potted ones.

Seed can be sown directly into the garden, however,  if you would like a better guarantee of survival, starting them in containers may be wiser - less likelihood of being mistaken as one of those fast growing weeds that we need to keep under control.

Planting from seed.
For a higher germination success rate; check where the species you wish to plant originated.
If you are able to do this, you will get a clear idea of the growing conditions where your chosen plant originated,and give you a guide to the best germination results.

For example some plants are "programmed" to germinate after it has been cold (colder than our winters) and starts to warm up.
Replicating these conditions is as easy as popping the seeds into the fridge for a couple of days prior to sowing.
From now onwards this also works well to increase germination rates in some lettuce seed.
Combine this with a good seed raising mix and you should have excellent germination results.

 Passionfruit vines can go in this month  preferably on a warm wall or in a warm area.

Strawberries that you may have planted already will be developing quite fast, so apply plenty of well diluted liquid fertiliser regularly.
Check beneath each plant for signs of grey mould or diseased leaves -making sure to remove all infected material.
As berries mature add more clean straw but be vigilant in checking for slugs and snails. 


If planting pumpkin, they love a good draining, rich, well manured soil in a warm bed that gets full sun.
If your bed meets this criteria there is no reason why the seed can not be sown directly into the ground where it should then germinate quite quickly.

Any water logging will more than likely result in a  disastrous end to the vine.

Pumpkins are a bit like free range chooks and like to run all round the place searching for food.
If you have a wide area where they are to be grown and work in lots of aged manure like chook poo, more of the runners will take root increasing the possible yield.
There are many different varieties available so choose your favourite and enjoy your crop.



Continue with re-potting and refreshing any house-plants that are root-bound or have been in their pots for two or more years.
Remember though that some flowering house-plants prefer to have their roots slightly cramped for optimum flowering conditions.

Hanging baskets fall into the "potted Plants" reminder and with the warmer days will start to dry out much quicker than expected.
If they dry out too much they are difficult to re wet; should this occur, dunk them in a full bucket of water, allowing them to soak up from the roots.
Allow excess water to drain before re-hanging them.
If feeding, remember diluted liquid fertilisers are best.


Need a slow acting fertiliser like blood and bone or check out Searles 5 in 1Plus -this product is endorsed by the Qld Rose Society.

Aphids will be thick around the new growing shoots so, get out the pyrethrum, give them a spray and watch them change their minds.


As mentioned last month, resist the temptation to lower the mower blades to any of the 3 lower blade levels.
Being cut shorter will not reduce the number of times it needs to be mowed, rather it will reduce root growth, make it more vulnerable to drying out and allow weeds to take hold in any scalped / shaved spots


Lemon and other citrus can be planted this month

Mulch around all bushes and trees. Consider adding/mixing some aged manure to the mulch around each tree . This will reward you when the tree crops with bigger and better tasting fruit.

Prune older lemon trees, spray with white oil against scale.

Black citrus aphids start appearing now on new growth - the same as for roses, Pyrethrum is a safe effective way of controlling these pests.

Remove weed and grasses growing around fruit trees as they will steal the moisture and nutrients you have worked so hard to get to them.

Mulching will help reduce this growth, you could always try Roundup; however use a wipe on method and do not spray.

If you haven't already, and it's feasible in your situation, you may wish to consider drip irrigation for your Citrus. The trees require consistent water as the fruit develops and slow release water is ideal.

All the best and Happy Gardening!


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