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What to do in the garden in October

With the clocks going forward and the days getting longer, summer is finally within sight. But before you rest easy, there’s plenty of work to do to get your garden ready for the warmer months.


What to Plant

October is one of the busiest times in the veggie patch, no matter which climate you live in. With warmer weather arriving, you can’t help thinking about the season’s first juicy tomato ready for summer salads. So now is the perfect time to plant tomatoes.

And that’s not all you should plant. In cold to temperate regions, sub-tropical and some tropical regions too, pop these into your veggie garden: Beans, beetroot, cabbages, capsicums, carrots (seedlings or seed), celery, cucumbers, eggplants, leeks, lettuces, watermelons, spring onions, parsnips (best by seed), pumpkins, sweet corn (seedling or seed), sweet potato, silverbeet, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. 

Make sure you plant sweet corn and sweet potato in October as they thrive in warm and hot weather. 

In tropical regions, now is the time to plant taro, cassava, yams, water chestnuts and peanuts.

October is a great time to get your garden flowering as well. In all regions, plant some sun-loving annuals, such as ageratum, asters, begonias, California poppy, cockscomb, coleus, coreopsis, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, marigolds, salvia, snapdragon, sunflowers and zinnia.

What to Pick

Now’s your last chance to pick any remaining winter vegetables, like onions, broccoli, peas and cauliflower, so you can get the veggie garden ready for planting. 

The great news is all those bulbs you planted in autumn should now be starting to bloom. In the cool to temperate climates, your garden will be bright with colour and sweet with the scents of daffodils, jonquils, crocuses, gladiolus and hyacinth. 

In tropical areas, you should be rewarded with vibrant bursts of babiana, gladiolus, hippeastrums, ornithogalum and ranunculus. 

What to do

Time to get the veggie patch ready for spring and summer planting. Simply add cow manure, dynamic lifter or blood and bone to the soil, along with water granulesas needed. Turn over the soil to a spade depth, leave for three days, and then pop in your new veggies. 

Weeding is an inevitable job for October. But it doesn’t have to be hard work. For densely weeded areas use glyphosate. This non-selective weed killer is found in products like Yates Zero and Hortico Weed Killer, and will kill everything in its path. So only use it on weeds or plants you want to get rid of. 

Once the garden is clear of weeds, fertilise the beds using either an all-purpose fertiliser or a dynamic lifter. Then, lay sugar cane mulch to help with water retention during the dry summer months. 

Finally, spray roses with Yates Rose Shield to keep away mildew, black spot and aphids. And if your fruit trees haven’t finished blossoming, spray them with Yates Leaf Curl for some extra protection. 

That’s it for October! Now you can sit back and enjoy your garden as it springs to life. 

Looking for more ideas? Check out our full Garden range and D.I.Y. ideas.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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