October is the month where spring seems to gather momentum and flowers in the garden and the veld burst into a celebration of colour and fragrance. Roses are especially delightful during October and the intense blues of delphiniums and irises add pops of colour to the landscape.
Whilst enjoying the spring beauty in the garden, also remember to check off your gardening to-do list for the month. There's lots of soil prepping and planting to do for summer, and you need to keep a watchful eye out for pests and critters that have awakened with the warmer temperatures.
Keep up to speed in your garden by taking care of the following tasks:
MUST dos in the garden this month
Celebrate Garden Day on 11 October with friends, family and neighbours! Remember, it's a tools-down kind of day so whip out the party snacks, kick back in a comfy chair and enjoy your garden, plants and green space.
Visit an Open Garden! Dig into the article below to find out which gardens are open for your viewing pleasure this season.
- Now is the time to get those dahlia tubers in the ground.
Tip | Dig into the article below to learn how to plant and grow dahlias.
As spring-flowering annuals start to fade, remove the plants and start preparing beds for the summer display.
If you're in the winter rainfall region, now is the time to sow summer-flowering annuals.
Feed and water all annuals and groundcovers, and remember to continue deadheading to extend the flowering period.
Stake tall flowering plants like delphiniums
as they grow.
Continue feeding and watering winter flowering bulbs which have not yet died down.
Increase water supply to summer bulbs planted early spring.
Now is the time to plant gladioli
to have a beautiful display come Christmas.
| Feed Hippeastrums
and water every few days. Remove spent flowers but leave the stem.
Remove spent flowers promptly.
Start preventative spraying against mildew
and black spot
. Spray once a week and after heavy rainfall.
Spray foliar feed like Kelpak, Seagrow or Nitrosol.
Feed your roses monthly with 8:1:5 or 3:1:5 for blooming and vigour.
These crops can be sown now: beetroot
, Jerusalem artichoke
, sweet potato
(tubers or cuttings), Swiss chard
, vegetable marrows
(spanspek and sweet).
Tip | Make successive plantings of crops with a limited cropping season like tomatoes, beans and lettuce.
Indoor plant care
Clean the leaves of your indoor plants after the long winter...they might have collected some dust. Do this by either using a soft damp cloth or by spraying them clean with a gentle spray of water.
Increase the amount of water as the temperatures continue to rise.
Lightly water cyclamens
to prevent the soil from drying out completely.
October's flowering favourites