October Garden Guide

Spring keeps on springing…
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I swear we have the calendar all back to front in this hemisphere. Surely when the chooks are munching on all the new leafy greens and laying as if their lives depended on it (fair enough, in some places that might really be the case!) it ought to be Easter. But instead, when the pumpkins are just germinating and are still six months off ripening, we get Halloween. But eggs are even more versatile than pumpkins, so who’s complaining?

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Zucchini seedlings (the pumpkin’s cousin). Normally I’d plant them directly into the bed, but the bed was otherwise engaged.

I’m writing today’s post a little early, before I take a spring break. Sheer madness, to take time off at this busy season, but there are other priorities (more about those next month). By the time we meet again, we will have passed the spring equinox and I will have been plodding along with this little blog (and the whole Nadja’s Garden project) for five years. It really doesn’t feel that long!

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Ladybirds have arrived to seek out and destroy peach aphids 

While we still have some cooler days and rain ahead of us, this week has brought the first burst of real heat for spring. After our next soaking will be a good time to put some fresh mulch on raised vegetable beds to help keep the moisture in, and free-draining soil will need regular irrigation soon. In-ground beds and heavier soils can probably wait a bit longer, depending how regularly the rain comes, but newly planted seeds need gentle daily watering. It is often really windy at this time of year too, adding to the rapid drying of surface soil and wilting of newly transplanted seedlings. The wind stresses trees like avocados, bananas and persimmons, tells you what needs pruning (those flappy long branches) and what needs securing in the garden, and it ruffles the poor old chooks. It brings dust and pollen flying in, so that just when you feel like a day in the garden to enjoy the blossom and the fresh new greenery, you get hit with hayfever. So that’s a reminder to plant trees and shrubs as windbreaks.

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Espaliered pear in bloom

Vegetables and herbs to sow now*: basil, climbing beans (D), beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot (D), celery, celeriac, chilli, chives, chervil, coriander (D), cucumber, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, spring onions, kale, lettuce, mint (cuttings), mizuna, mustard, pak choi, parsley, parsnip, potatoes (whole or cut seed potatoes), radiccio, radish, rocket, silverbeet, tomato, turnip, zucchini.

*Those marked with a D really ought to be sown direct in the garden, while others can be started off in punnets in a warm, sheltered spot for extra TLC to get them going, and then planted out after they have grown a couple of sets of leaves. It’s not as vital now that the soil is warming up (as self-sown tomatoes in the garden like to show us), but don’t let them dry out or get eaten as soon as their little heads pop up.

See you at…

  • Organic Corner Store market Thursday 5th Oct (Sally) & 19th Oct (Sally & Nadja). For this spring’s special multi-grafted fruit trees, phone Sally on 0438512389. Very limited stock!
  • Eco Families Adelaide at The Joinery for “Where’s the Sun?” – a child-friendly and playful look at solar orientation in home and garden design – Wed 25th Oct.
  • Strathalbyn for Introduction to Permaculture with GWLAP, Tues 31st Oct (follow Facebook page for updates).
  • Tonsley Pod for Food Growing for Dummies Thursday 9th Nov.
  • Your home garden! Email nadjasgarden@gmail.com for a consultation booking or design quote. I’ll get back to you but it might be a little delayed this month.
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This entry was posted in permaculture principles, planning, planting, raised garden beds, seedlings, seeds, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

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