Newcastle Garden Guide by Brian Holt For October (Temperate Climate)

Remember these tips are a guide only. Your individual situation may require professional help.

As the weather keeps warming up, so everything will continue to grow more vigorously. Roses should now be looking gorgeous after their major winter pruning. For now, humidity won’t be intense, so fungal problems won’t be a major challenge yet. If you planted things like Silver beet, it will still be looking good while these conditions remain. Mine are knocked by fungal problems every year, as soon as the humidity increases. The solution is, enjoy it in spring and if you can extend their time, it’s well and good! If you haven’t planted warm season vegetables, you can plant out a lot now, including radish, cucumber, eggplant, beans, spring onions, leeks, garlic chives, lettuce, silver beet (if protected from hot sun), beetroot & more.

Strawberries should have gone in earlier but you can still get a result if you hurry them up. Remember to put aged organic manures & compost into the soil & mulch. Keep up the watering as the weather warms up. I use aged tree loppers mulch on my vegetable patch. Pansies planted in autumn or winter may be doing okay but will need to be regularly watered.

As in September, you can plant warm season annuals, which should be planted no later than now to be established and flowering well before the really hot humid weather strikes. Fungal diseases, such as Black Spot on roses, will require regular treatment. One method for the roses is to use a lime wash. Fill the 10 litre watering can. Add 1 level tablespoon  lime. Agitate and allow several hours to settle. Strain and spray onto leaves. If you decide to use chemicals, follow the label carefully and also obtain the material safety data sheet from the internet.

Compost heaps will benefit from an increase in lawn clippings. Toss a layer on each new load of fruit and veg peelings. Don’t forget to add used tissues, coffee grounds, crushed up egg shells and even hair. Citrus peelings and onion are also fine. Contrary to commonly held misconceptions about composting, worms are not repelled by these. Maintain successive plantings of salad vegetables and Coriander. Keep mint and Oregano in large containers; not in the garden. Water these regularly. Keep up fertilising of gardens each 6 to 8 weeks.

You may consider planting out a ‘low water requirement’ garden, which will make life a lot easier in the hot dry weather. Plants such as succulents, grasses, Lomandra Tanika,  Jade plants (great in large pots, especially the one with red margins on the leaves) and many other varieties.

If this is something you’d prefer someone else did for you, call HOLTS. We can help!