The Garden Diaries: Northern Territory in October

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The Garden Diaries: Northern Territory in October

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It’s a great time to be in the garden in the Top End in October. As well as routine maintenance, there are plenty of things to plant. Here are some ideas for what to do at your place this month.

Hero plant this month: Palms

While there are lots of options for planting in October, this month the focus is on palms. 

They are cool and calming for patio areas and around the pool. There are varieties that grow well in pots too. 

Most palms are hardy and establish well in a sunny, well-drained position. 

A good choice for the Top End is the dwarf date palm Phoenix roebelenii It has a single stem, and is slow growing, reaching up to 3m high.

trees

What else to plant

October is a great month to plant some shrubs too. 

Murraya paniculata, also known as mock orange or orange jessamine, is a good choice. It’s a member of the citrus family and has beautiful, white, fragrant flowers and glossy, green leaves. Ideal as a hedging or specimen plant, it thrives in a warm climate.

Jasmine with its heady perfume is an excellent climber. Plant on a trellis or screen to cover an unsightly wall.  

Duranta erecta also known as golden dewdrop has pretty, blue, purple and white flowers. It grows prolifically in The Territory, is hardy and will thrive in moist, well-drained soil. Also grows well in a pot.

Get some edibles in the vegie patch too. It’s the perfect time to plant basil, lemon grass, chillies, snake beans and sweet potatoes in the Top End. 

maintain

Maintenance

First up, get out the secateurs as it’s a great time to get things in shape. Prune hedging plants and cordylines. 

A good tip is to use the cordyline cuttings to propagate new plants to giveaway to friends, neighbours…or plant them yourself. Put the cuttings in water until they have grown roots and then plant out into a quality potting mix. 

Give the lawn some love too. Use weed n feed or a similar product to clean up the lawn, so it’s weed-free.  If you need advice about what to use, pop into stare and see the experts.

The other important job to do in October is mulch the garden in preparation for the wet season. Use Lucerne or pea straw because as these products break down, they add nutrients to the soil. Use mulch to a thickness of between 5-7cm. Before applying be sure to give the garden bed a good soak.

harvest

Harvest

There’s lots to harvest in October. Watermelons are ripening. Sweet potatoes are ready to pick as are ginger, chillies and zucchini. 

There you go, make the most of the build-up in the Top End and get out into your garden.

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