October is the month when things really “get going” in our gardens. The soil is now warm enough to plant all the summer vegetables we love, as well as any citrus that have been waiting on the back burner. Let’s take a look at some of the things to do this month.
We’ve already had one day above 30 degrees, so before we get a sustained run of hotter weather this is the perfect time to get out and check your irrigation system. If you have a mains controller with a battery backup you should change the battery. Just like your smoke alarms, replace the battery at the start and end of daylight saving to ensure that your program will be saved if something happens to the power supply. Run your system on manual to make sure that it is working properly, flush filters, fix any leaks and replace any drippers or sprayers that are not working. If you don’t have a watering system now is also the perfect time to install one, it saves water, saves time and provides peace of mind your garden is being looked after when you're away for extended periods. Check hoses and hose fittings for wear, especially O rings, and replace if necessary.
Having done the above checks, the next thing to consider is mulch. Do you just need to top up existing mulch around your plants or do you need to start from scratch? Mulch comes in many different forms, Pea Straw, Sugar Cane, Pine Bark, Coloured Barks, Forest Mulch and more. It really doesn’t make any difference which one you use; choose one to compliment your garden style, but the important thing is to actually use one. You can significantly reduce the evaporation of water from the soil around your plants, and gain a time saving in watering, let alone the cost of the water. Mulch, if applied thick enough, also helps to suppress weeds which compete with your plants for that water and look unsightly. If you want to fertilise your plants do this at the same time, scrape the mulch back to expose the soil, apply the fertiliser and replace the mulch. Putting the fertiliser directly under the mulch means that it will get into the soil quicker and go straight to work, not have to work through the mulch first. Try Nuetrog Rapid Raiser for a concentrated, fast acting fertilliser.
Summer grass lawns, Buffalo, Kikuyu and Couch are all starting to become active now with warmer soil temperatures and will be looking for a feed to spur them along. There are lots of fertilisers to choose from, granular, liquid spray on and ‘weed and feed’. If using a ‘weed and feed’ option be careful to purchase one suitable for your lawn type, some will burn Buffalo and Kikuyu. If you are not sure which one is right for you ask one of our garden staff, they will be happy to point you in the right direction. Keep an eye out in store for the Lawnporn range of lawn care products. These are professional grade products used on golf courses and ovals, now available in home garden size packaging. The Four Seasons fertiliser is a dual action slow release fertiliser that works for up to 16 weeks! The 4kg bag will cover up to 250 sqm so it is very economical too. When you start to mow again remember to raise the cutting height, you don’t want to cut too short at this time of the year.