by Lyn Bagnall
Spring bulbs provide a lovely display in spring. A moderate application of complete organic fertiliser and regular watering in dry weather will help them perform at their best. Once flowering has finished, allow foliage to remain on the plants until it has completely died back. As foliage yellows it is drawing nutrients from the leaves into the bulbs to provide energy for next year’s growth. Cutting foliage too soon will only weaken the bulbs.
To keep tomato plants healthy, a deep watering once or twice (in hot, dry weather) a week is better than a daily late watering. As flowers start to form on tomato plants, a light application of a complete organic fertiliser will ensure good cropping.
Just a reminder that it is a legal requirement to remove galls from citrus trees by the end of August. Gall wasps larvae weaken trees. Adult wasps emerge from the galls in September or October and, as gall wasps are poor flyers, they prefer to lay their eggs in new shoots on the same tree. If you haven’t already done so, check citrus trees (especially grapefruit and lemons) now and prune off any galls. Galls are swellings in a section of main stems or fruit stalks. Old galls are dotted with tiny holes where previous wasps have emerged. Burn prunings or dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag.
The following gardening advice for October is suitable for most areas of the Manning Valley. Further advice on individual plants and tips on how to address gardening problems can be found on my blog, aussieorganicgardening.com
For gardeners who do not use moon planting: sow or plant out any of the following list at any time this month, although you may find germination rates are poor when the Moon is in Last Quarter phase.
During Full Moon phase: [from all day on 1st to all day on 4th October]. In frost-free areas, Jerusalem artichoke, carrot, potato and radish can be sown directly into beds, and banana passionfruit, passionfruit and tropical guava can be planted. Asparagus seed, beetroot, sweet potato and chives can be sown in a cold frame.
After frost, avocado, blueberry, citrus, cherry guava, macadamia, olive, marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, French tarragon, thyme and evergreen trees, shrubs and vines can also be planted.
During Last Quarter phase: [No sowing between 5th and 12th October.] A good phase for removing weeds that can be hosts for garden pests and for general garden maintenance.
Before Full Moon: [from all day on 14th to 6:30 pm on 20th and from all day on 22nd to 10:am on 27th]. Bush and climbing beans, suitable Chinese cabbage, grain crops, rocket, NZ spinach, tatsoi, sunflower and sweet corn can be sown directly into beds, as well as a green manure crop of clover, buckwheat, millet, Japanese millet, pigeon pea, soybean – or sorghum late in October.
Cabbage, capsicum, celery, cucumber, eggplant, leek, lettuce, pumpkin, rockmelon, rosella, silver beet, spring onions, summer squash, tomato, watermelon, zucchini, basil, dill, parsley and flowering annuals can be sown or planted out.
Full Moon phase: [from 10:00 am on 28th to all day on 31st]. During Full Moon phase, asparagus seed, banana passionfruit, beetroot, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, passionfruit, pawpaw, potato, radish, sweet potato, chives and lawn seed can be sown directly into beds. Avocado, blueberry, citrus, tropical and cherry guava, macadamia, mango, pawpaw, marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, French tarragon, thyme and evergreen trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and vines can be planted, and turf laid.
Lightly fertilise young citrus, divide chives and day lilies, and re-pot pot plants.