October is all about getting the most out of your garden in a season where growth is the norm. Hopefully your spring flowers are well into their blooming phase now and will therefore be requiring some food.
Plant something new
Another great idea for the month of October is to plant some new plants. With the weather generally warming up around Australia, the soil temperatures will have increased and the night time temperatures generally are not getting as low. This makes October an opportune month to put some more plants in to take advantage of the many months of great weather ahead.
In the vegetable garden
Make sure you check your young vegetable seedlings for pests; snails in particular. I have found snails to be very active in October. If you are finding snails to be a hassle, either try using snail baits or, if you want to grow an organic vegetable garden, try companion planting which means finding plants you can place together where something about the one plant will stop bugs attacking the other.
An example of this is planting marigolds around your vegetables to limit caterpillars. The scent of marigold flowers put off caterpillars, so they leave your vegetables that are close by alone. There are a plethora of resources on companion planting online and most nurseries can help you learn what goes best with what. Another organic approach is a trap. Bury a small tin or container at ground level, leaving the top open. Fill the trap ¾ full with beer. The snails will be attracted to the beer and will fall in and drown.
What to do with your potted plants
If you have lots of potted plants, especially ones that have been indoors during winter, you may like to seriously consider re-potting them. They will be trying to grow just like all the other plant in your garden. If they have been sitting in the same pot for over a year, there is a strong chance that their roots will have grown as much as is possible. Pull them out, untangle the roots very gently (you don’t really want to break any of the roots off) and place them in slightly different, preferably bigger, pots. Basically, the bigger the pot, the bigger the plant can grow, at least until it reaches the normal size range for that plant. Include some slow release fertiliser and fresh, good potting mix to improve the health of your re-potted favourite.
Finally, make sure that you stay on top of weeds, especially those that might be trying to pop up in your grass. Hopefully you have followed my advice and mulched your garden, so weeding should be easier. Don’t let any weeds that have made it through your mulch take hold, they’ll be harder to remove.