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October checklist

This is a month of rapid new growth for the whole garden, so there is plenty of work to do. Spring is well underway, keep an eye on the weather, pay attention to weeding and feeding. A well fed plant will better survive diseases, pests and drought.

Key points for this month:

  • October is tomato planting time.
  • Plant seedlings and seeds of salad crops.
  • October is vegetable planting time.
  • Finish planting the herb garden.
  • Small fruits and berries should be planted now.
  • Time to feed all fruiting crops, flowering annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs.
  • Plan and plant perennials for summer colour.
  • Plant to attract bees into the garden.
  • Maintain hedges.
  • Spray lawns for weeds.

Kitchen Garden

Protect cabbages and cauliflowers with Derris Dust to prevent white butterfly caterpillar and diamond back moth. Make sure you get to the undersides where they like to lay their eggs.

Sow seeds: Beetroot, beans, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplants, kohl Rabi, lettuce, cucumber, melons. Transplant to the garden as the weather warms and when they are showing at least two sets of true leaves. If you’re not sure about growing from seeds, have a look at our guide.

Tomatoes can be planted now the weather is warmer. Dig compost into the soil before planting. Put the stake in at the same time to save root damage later on and it serves as a reminder to regularly tie them up. We’ve got an Easy As guide all about growing your own tomatoes. See it here.

Plant seedlings: Eggplant, capsicum, cucumber, melons, lettuce, capsicums, leeks, cabbage, corn, pumpkin, celery, onions, silverbeet, courgettes. 

Plant passionfruit, if have an existing vine remember they need replacing after approx five years, plant its replacement now. For help, check this out here.

Plant tamarillos, red or yellow, they like a free draining soil, add compost to the soil and stake well.

Blueberries can be planted now, easy to grow and a great source of antioxidants.

Plant seedlings: Beans, peas, courgettes, cauliflower, carrots, radish, beetroot, pumpkin, spinach, corn, lettuce and tomatoes.

Basil and Coriander can be planted now as the weather is more consistent, pinch out the centres to encourage the plant to bush out. Use the pinched tips in the kitchen

Feed all vegetable plants fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser, water and fertiliser at the same time!

Feed strawberries plant, with strawberry food every two weeks, water in the fertiliser. 

Feed your potatoes with blood and bone every two weeks and remember to mound up the soil around as the foliage as it grows.

Citrus needs protection now from verrucosis, spray with Copper Oxychloride.

Protect fruit trees with Codlin moth traps.

Protect seedlings with slugs and snails with bait, scatter around each plant.

Garden Colour

Keep on top of the weeds around your vegetables when they are small, use a torpedo hoe to nip them off at the roots. We’ve got some advice on how to deal with weeds here.

Lavender makes a great low hedge, suits every garden and is perfectly happy by the seaside. 

Sow seeds; Alyssum, Californian poppy, marigolds, cosmos, nasturtium, Livingstone daisy, petunia, salvia and gerberas. Transplant to the garden as the weather warms and when they are showing at least two sets of true leaves.

Plant seedlings: Ageratum, alyssum, aster, begonia, californian poppy, carnation, cosmos, dahlia, impatiens, marigold, and petunia. Your local Mitre 10 store will now be stocking a full range of spring annuals.

Sunflowers can now be planted directly in to the soil.

Plant for bees: Pineapple sage, bergamot, lemon balm, blue salvia, coreopsis, echinops, eryngium, gaillardia, alyssum, rosemary. They love these simple flowers. 

Plant new season perennials, Alstromeria, Geranium, Petunia, Hostas, Daisies and Heuchera. Prepare the ground with compost.

Lightly prune roses to remove old flowers and encourage more, follow this with an application of rose fertiliser, water it in to the soil.  

Reduce the spread of pest and diseases by removing any dead leaves and clippings from around the base of the plant.

Protect with an insect control product recommended for roses, spray later in the evening.

Feed all flowering annuals and perennials, use an all purpose fertiliser.

Trees and Shrubs

Fill up any empty space in the shrub border, more plants less weeds. 

Feed flowering shrubs with a side dressing of general fertiliser.

Evergreen hedges should be pruned before the end of the active growing season. Prune lightly with hedge shears to desired height and width.

If hydrangeas are looking a bit pale, give the colour a boost. Sulphate of Aluminium will intensify the blue coloured flowers; add lime for your pink flowers.

Keep on top of the weeds around your vegetables when they are small, use a torpedo hoe to nip them off at the roots. We’ve got some advice on how to deal with weeds here.


Spray for Onehunga weed, it comes in to flower in September and October now is the time to spray for it. 

Attack the broadleaf weeds in the lawn. Wait for a calm day before using any sprays.

Sow new lawn; take advantage of the spring rain and warmth to germinate new seed. More on growing and caring for lawns can be found here.

Fertilise your lawn for spring. Apply evenly across the whole lawn and water in.