In temperate, arid and subtropical climates it’s time to get seriously stuck in. The soil is warming (and in some areas, already warm) and if your last frost date has passed, there is a plethora of summer vegies that can now go in the ground. Think tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, chilli, bush and climbing beans, sweetcorn and maize, zucchini, cucumber, pumpkins and melons. If you’re in a very cold location, plant the true heat lovers (such as eggplants and melons) later in October or early next month.
In the tropics and frost-free subtropics, it’s a great time to plant banana suckers, ginger and its relatives such as galangal, cardamom and turmeric, along with sweetcorn, taro, cassava, yams and okra.
October is a great month to plant evergreen fruit and nut trees almost anywhere in Australia. Give citrus, macadamias, guavas, avocados, grumichama, sapotes and mangoes a try, choosing the right plant for your garden by taking into account factors such as heat, frost and rainfall. As a rule of thumb, water in newly planted trees using the day/week/month/year method – water once per day for a week, once per week for a month, and once per month for a year. Make sure each drink is a good soaking, and if the soil is dry to start with, rewet it using a soil wetting agent such as EcoHydrate.
Don’t forget to plant vines. They’re versatile, often highly productive and in many cases, beautifully ornamental. Try the usual favourites such as passionfruit and grapes, but don’t overlook more unusual plants such as kiwiberries, hops and akebia (aka chocolate vine). Note that for some – I’m pointing at you kiwifruit – you’ll need a strong trellis to support heavy growth plus male and female plants for pollination.
Photo: 'Lazy Housewife' climbing beans – super productive and perfect for October planting.
By: Justin Russell
First published: September 2017