Garden Tasks For October

Garden Tasks For October


Firstly, I have to admit I have never really wanted to give gardeners a monthly to do list in their garden as if you are a gardener, this list can be and normally is never ending. So my first task for you this month is to make the time to enjoy your garden.  Now that daylight saving has started, take the time to have a walk around the garden in the evening with a refreshing beverage to enjoy the garden or select a spot to take a seat where you can admire what you have created and cared for. As the old saying goes “Always make time to smell the Roses”. 

Mid Spring down here in Young has still been quite cool so we haven’t seen as much weed growth even if we have had plenty of rain. We have a little bit of time up our sleeves so keeping on top of any weeds popping up now will be best. My advice with any weeding if you are running short of time, to actually dig out the weeds by the roots. I would try to at least try to break off any flowers that may be appearing. This is only a quick fix but will help stop weeds from spreading as quick.

Mulching areas as you weed them is a key to long term success.

Start preparing the soil for Dahlia tubers. I will be planting mine out in about mid October when hopefully the chances of a heavy frosts are gone. I will cover more about Dahlia growing later but in brief they like a well draining organic soil, in full sun to part shade position.  Ideally this position should be protected from wind. To prepare my beds I will start digging through a composted cow or sheep  manure along with some organic compost. Ideally this should be completed a few weeks before planting.

For warm season grasses like Buffalo, Couch and Kikuyu, it’s time to do your spring renovation .  This might include scarifying,  dethatching, aerating, topdressing and fertilizing.  To get some helpful tips on lawns go to Ben from Lawn Tips Youtube channel. 

Fertilise your Roses. I like to use Sudden Impact Fertiliser this also works well on Hydrangeas, Agapanthus, Hibiscus and many other flowering plants.  Use this now in October to give them a boost before flowering starts.

Purchase and plant out your summer flowering bulbs like Lilies,  Belladonna Lilies and Gladioli.


Remove the dead flower heads on bulbs before they go to seed
The collection of seeds Im using in my meadow planting

Your winter flowering bulbs will be finishing up now. Ideally it is always best to let the foliage die down naturally before you lift them up however, when the flowers do finish if you have time cut back the dead flower head (not the flowers stems just the dead flower) This will stop them from going to seed and will help the plant put energy back into their bulb for next year’s growth.

In the veggie patch I will be planting out salad leaves (like Mizuna, English Spinach, Rocket), tomatoes, zucchini, corn, cucumbers and radishes

Herb Garden – With the chance of frost starting to reduce planting out annual herbs such as basil, dill, coriander and flat leaved parsley. You can also plant out perennial herbs now like rosemary, all varieties of thyme, chives and oregano.

Check that irrigation systems are working to their full potential before the hot days arrive. I also check what irrigation parts we have on hand. I usually like to have some back up parts like joiners, clamps,  and T’s in the irrigation kit just in case we need them.

Plant out summer flowering annuals in the cutting garden, veggie patch or even just for a splash of colour through the rest of the  garden for summer. Some summer flowers you could plant are Calendula, Cosmos, Cornflowers, Poppies, Love in the Mist, Zinnias, Sun Flowers, Cerinthus major and Queen Anne’s Lace.   Stay tuned for an update on our meadow planting we have planted out at The Berkshires. 

Start to think about netting your summer flowering fruit like Cherries, Peaches and Apricots. One thing to consider is the size of mesh you use as it can be hazard in trapping wildlife. In the state of Victoria, legally the netting can only be 5mm x 5mm mesh to help prevent wildlife from becoming caught.

Glenice Buck