Spring in the garden - October
October signals mid-spring and there is plenty to do in the garden. Spring crops and flowers will be starting to appear so it's time to plant more to ensure a continuous supply of delicious veges, juicy fruit and fragrant floral displays that will last you into the summer months!
Keep filling your patch with delicious spring veges including salad greens and herbs. Labour weekend is traditional planting time for tomatoes, so get yours in for a bumper crop of flavoursome tomatoes in summer!
Continue planting a variety of berries for summer snacking and desserts. Plant up pots with citrus to enjoy trees laden with juicy lemons, oranges, limes and mandarins ready to be plucked from the branch.
Plant vibrant blooms in the vege patch to brighten things up. Flowers in the vege garden also encourage bees, helping pollinate vegetables like tomatoes and beans!
Harvest time is from seedling planting to harvest. For seeds, depending on variety, it will take an extra 6-8 weeks from germination to planting.
Use this handy planting poster as a guide to planting and harvesting common fruit and veges. For more detailed planting information by region of New Zealand, use the interactive tool on this page.
The Auckland Vegetable Gardener's DiaryChange region
Asparagus, basil, beetroot, bok choi, beans, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chilli, coriander, courgette, cucumber, eggplant, leek, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, potatoes, pumpkin and squash, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes.
Basil, beetroot, bok choi, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, coriander, kale, lettuce, mesclun, onions, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion.
- For tomatoes planted in garden beds, feed with Tui Tomato Food to replace nutrients and promote big juicy fruit.
- Potatoes are gross feeders so continue to feed each month. Feed potatoes planted in the garden with Tui Potato Food which contains high levels of phosphorus and potassium promote healthy tuber production and plant growth. If you are growing potatoes in pots and containers feed with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
- Mound up the soil around potato plants as the leaves appear through the soil. This will encourage a bigger harvest and protect the crop from the sun.
- Garlic and shallots - keep the area around plants weed free.
- Herbs - cut back sage, thyme and mint to encourage fresh new growth for the summer harvest.
- Look out for aphids and white cabbage butterfly caterpillar as they will also be actively looking for food. Squash these insects, hose off or wash with warm soapy water.
- As your tomatoes grow, remove the laterals to encourage bigger and better fruit. Laterals are the shoots that grow out from the side of the stem.
- To reduce the chance of blight on tomatoes, avoid watering plant foliage.
The Auckland Fruit Gardener's DiaryChange region
Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry, feijoa, lemon, orange, mandarin, lime, passionfruit, grapes, kiwifruit, tamarillo.
Strawberries and other berries including blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries and blackberries. Start picking the last of the citrus crops - lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges.
- Keep planting a variety of berries for summer snacking and desserts. Plant in Tui Strawberry Mix.
- Plant up pots with citrus to enjoy trees laden with juicy lemons, oranges, limes and mandarins.
- Fruits require a position in full sun. Shelter from prevailing winds is preferable.
- Stake all young fruit trees to enable to roots to anchor themselves into the soil for the first few seasons.
- Add a layer of mulch around the base of fruit trees, to help retain moisture over the warmer months.
- Fertilise fruit trees with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
- Spray citrus at the pre-blossom stage with copper to control verrucosis and brown rot.
- Apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic every 4 weeks or so to promote strong root growth and increase fruiting and flowering capacity.
The Auckland Flower Gardener's DiaryChange region
Alyssum, lobelia, foxgloves, ageratum, aster, chrysanthemum, calendula, carnation, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, daisy, fuchsia, gazania, geranium, gerbera, gladiolus, honesty, impatiens marigold, pansy, viola, petunia, nasturtium, phlox, poppy, Queen Anne's Lace, salvia, snapdragon, statice, sunflower, sweet pea, verbena and wallflower, calibrachoa, abutilon, Iris, hibiscus, canna, anemones, lavender, lily, felicia, arctotis, penstemon, delphinium, campanula, scabious, nemesia, diascia, roses, verbena, rhododendrons, Daphne, camellias, azaleas, wisteria, clematis, bougainvillea and mandevilla.
Iris, peony roses, wisteria, delphiniums, larkspur, Queen Anne's Lace, stock, snapdragons, lavender, chrysanthemum, gerbera, sweet pea, roses, poppies, anemones, freesias, daisy.
- Plant flowers in Tui Flower Mix and shrubs into Tui Rose & Shrub for the best results.
- An application of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic every 2-4 weeks will keep your flowers thriving - this seaweed based plant tonic promotes strong root growth, reduces transplant shock, improves germination rates and increases flowering capacity.
- Apply Tui Bulb Food to Christmas lilies and gladiolus ensures good flower bud development for summer displays.
- Feed flower borders and pots and containers with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to give plants a much needed boost for the upcoming season.
- Apply Tui Bulb Food to spring bulbs as they finish flowering to ensure best flowering for next year.
- Aphids, whitefly and slugs and snails will actively be looking for food. Spray insects with a suitable spray from your garden centre as soon as they appear. Or if infestations are small blast them off with the hose.
- Keep an eye out for these unwelcome pests. Lay Tui Quash every few weeks to keep slugs and snails at bay.
- Prune back camellias, magnolias and azaleas as soon as they finish flowering to encourage new growth for next season’s flowers.
- Tie up sweet peas and clematis as the tendrils start to run.