Digger Dan: growing tips for October

Digger Dan’s growing tips for this month:


  • Plant tomatoes in Living Earth Garden Mix or in pots in Living Earth Organic Potting Mix, adding a 1.8m stake at the time of planting. Plant your tomatoesin sunny sheltered positions and be prepared to water regularly. During the growing season, regularly apply Living Earth Liquid Compost and continue to stake up the plant, supporting heavy laterals. Good varieties include egg-shaped Italian variety ‘Roma’, heavy cropper ‘Potentate’ , cocktail type ‘Sweet 100’ and the popular ‘Grosse Lisse’.

    Pear tree blossom

  • Plant up pots and containers with annuals such as petunias or lobelias, impatiens and pansies: Use a top quality mix such as Living Earth More than Potting Mix, as it contains fertilizers and wetting agents plus their magic compost. Use 3 to 4 punnets of seedlings to get good coverage and water in Liquid Compost after planting.
  • Create a bee friendly environment by planting nectar rich flowers such as cornflowers, aquilegias, echiums, verbenas and poppies. It is a fact that 80% of the world’s food crops need pollinating at some point in their production cycle so get some flowers in and around the garden to assist your fruiting crops.
  • Plant successive sowings of lettuces, rocket, coriander and dill to have continuous supply. These particular crops are always in demand for summer cooking and they are best taken fresh from the garden, as store bought crops really have to be eaten within a couple of days.
  • Time to plant flowering shrubs such as hydrangeas, lavender, rhododendrons and roses before the heat sets in. All of these are tempting you in garden centre displays from now on and they can be successfully planted, provided they are kept regularly watered and a layer of mulch is placed around them .
  • Place tiny terracotta pots upside down over bamboo and other garden stakes, so that you don’t poke your eye out when you bend over your plants! Eye injuries from this hazard occur more frequently than people realise and in fact the pots look highly decorative in the summer garden.
  • Late October: Plant out indoor sown crops such as cucumbers, capsicum, chillies and eggplants; sow seeds of corn, melons and sunflowers. Provided that spring isn’t full of southerly blasts, which can be fatal to tender crops, from Labour Weekend on it is time to get the summer veggie garden underway. Same planting rules apply as for planting tomatoes. See Tip above – but not all crops need such tall stakes.
  • Hang codling moth pheromone traps in your apple and quince trees now. The traps are effective in curtailing their breeding process – warding off disappointment when harvesting takes place and there’s a caterpillar in your fruit.
  • Stake and mulch climbers and vines, such as roses, clematis and newly planted passionfruit and grapes. Their growth can get away quickly in the late spring garden and plants perform better when trained to go where they’re supposed to. Mulching is recommended as they all experience vigorous root development at this time of the year and a cool root run is better for their growth.
  • Spring is now fully upon us with a constant mixture of sun, rain and wind. This is a vital time for the health of your lawn.You may find that your lawn has broadleaf or flat weeds starting to germinate and grow, so it is very important to spray these out before they take a strangle hold of your lawn.
  • First fertilise with Turfmaster Gold or Garden Supreme to ensure your desirable grasses are growing actively.Once the fertiliser has taken effect make sure you mow the lawn a few days prior to applying your weed spray.
  • Use a SELECTIVE broadleaf herbicide such as Turfix or Banvine.Ensure even application over the whole lawn and don’t be tempted to give some areas a “little extra” as this may damage your grass.
  • Never use grass clippings for compost or mulch after applying a broadleaf sprayas some sprays can have long residual activity and can damage desirable plants even months later. Always apply chemicals responsibly and follow the label instructions.
  • Once your weeds have died you may have some bare areas, seed these with the relevant Prolawn seed blend. If you find yourself with minimal grass left follow the lawn restoration tips on our website.


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