Monday, 2 October 2017

October in the Australian Garden

Prune frost-damaged parts of plants. Feed trees and shrubs. Plant evergreens.
Flowers and Shrubs
Fertilise gardenias. Plant pots of annuals – Petunias, phlox, zinnias verbena and salvia. Repot orchids. Cut back azaleas that are straggly. Lightly shape lavender, picking flowers and deadheading.
Fruit trees and vegetables 
Spray apples and pears every two weeks to protect from codling moth. Place a band of corrugated cardboard around the trunk to trap wandering caterpillars. Prune, mulch and feed citrus trees. Dig decomposed poultry manure into beds to grow leaf crops. Start preparing and enrichining beds for planting pumpkin, sweet corn, zucchini and cucumber next month. Sprinkle a tight fistful of sulphate of potash per square metere where tomato, capsicum and eggplant seedlings will be planted. Crop rotation prevents pests and diseases from getting too bad. Grow sweet corn where potatoes grew,  and tomato, eggplant and capsicum in replace of beans and peas, salad veggies follow crops such as carrots and parsnip. Basil is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes because it repels pests and promotes healthy growth.
Renovate your lawn. Re-sow if necessary, or aerate and top-dress. Mow weekly and feed every six weeks to establish a healthy lawn. Set  mower higher in very hot weather.
What to sow this month 
Alyssum, everlasting daisy, gypsophila, Irish green bellflower, kangaroo paw, nasturtium, ornamental chilli, petunia, phlox, portulaca, strawflower, verbena, viscaria and waratah.

Beans (dwarf and climbing), beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celery, choko, cress, cucumber, eggplant, herbs, leeks, lettuce, marrow, melons, mustard, okra, onion (spring), potato, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, silverbeet, sweet corn, tomato, zucchini.

Birth flowers for October

Traditional - Calendula (Marigold)
Sympathy, sorrow, grief, despair.
Sometimes called "summer bride" or "husbandman’s dial," because its flower head follows the sun.
Early Christians called marigolds Mary’s Gold, and placed it by statues of the Virgin Mary.
Marigolds are good cleansers and can be remedies for the sting of bees.
Australian - Bottlebrush ('Harkness')
One of the best red hybrids.A tall growing shrub to 3-5m.Very reliable in the garden.
Quote of the Month

"I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth?"

Edward Giobbi

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