October 7th, 2010
October is a very busy month and there is heaps to do out there in the sunny, pretty days to come. If you plant some annuals in pots or hanging baskets now they can be looking quite beautiful for your Christmas time entertaining & they make super gifts. I like to get some impatiens and put them in those dark, shady spots to cheer them up a bit. You need to plant them around 15 centimetres apart, to get that nice full look. Then when they get around 15 centimetres high, pinch out the centres of the plants to encourage bushiness.
The azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons are all looking for a bit of a feed around now. I also like to give them a bit of a prune to keep them in good shape and encourage bushiness. Azaleas and rhododendrons are shallow-rooted and should be fed with natural fertilisers, such as blood and bone or cow manure, as chemical fertilisers can burn the roots. It is best to feed them after they have flowered and always make sure that the soil is damp before applying the fertiliser.
Because they are shallow-rooted, azaleas and rhododendrons should be mulched regularly. This helps to keep the roots cool and moist over the summer months.
Weeds are rampant at this time of the year, so that is an ongoing task. I always seem to be out there pulling them out – but they sneak back overnight. Still, if you are ever to get on top of it – this is the month to get cracking! I try to cheer myself up by popping in some plant or other in the spot where weeds once were.
Did you know that nasturtiums can help to keep the woolly aphids away? I have planted some under my roses to check it out! They are growing quite happily and are cheerfully flowering as we speak.
Well, I am off to the nearest nursery to get som annuals to fill the little empty spaces. Happy springtime gardening!