October is the most colourful month in the garden, with a host of plants in full flower. It is a lovely time to enjoy the outdoors again. Hydrangeas need some attention to look their best at Christmas feed them regularly with special hydrangea food and mountain a thick mulch. Treat the acid loving shrubs like hydrangeas with micron nutrients by applying a dose of trellmix at recommended quantities. Water all shrubs and trees once a week during dry spells. Continue making softwood cuttings from plants such as pelargoniums, margurite daisies, chrysanthemums, fuchsias, and lavender and rosemary bushes. Continue pruning flowering trees, shrubs and climbers as soon as they have finished flowering. These include spiraeas, weigelias, flowering peach, almond and quince trees, wistereas and bougainvilleas. Feed all pruned plants with a general fertilizer like 3:1:5 at a rate of 60g/m2 and provide a mulch of compost or rough organic material to help retain moisture.
Watch out for insects all over the garden and spray with an appropriate insecticide where necessary. Roses are coming into full flower this month and are looking great. Keep cutting roses for the vase to encourage flowering. Always cut the following stem just above a leaf node to encourage the bud in the leaf node to develop into a new flower-bearing shoot. When deadheading flowers early in the flowering season, remember to leave as much foliage as possible on the plant to encourage food production and ultimately more flowering shoots. To ensure larger blossoms on your hybrid tea, roses, remember to disbud them when the buds on the side shoots are the size of a pea. Continue watering roses deeply when dry, and feed them with a special rose fertilizer every 4 weeks. Continue with the weekly preventative treatment against mildew, black spot, rust and aphids. Watch out of rose battles, which usually appear during this time of year, and treat with an appropriate insecticide. Start mowing the lawn regularly. Feed the lawn once a month with special lawn fertilizer or general fertilizer like 3:2:1 at a rate of 60g/m2 and water thoroughly after applying the fertilizer. Water the lawn regularly, especially during dry weather.
To minimize the possibility of fungal infection, water in the mornings so that the grass has plenty of time to dry before night fall. If you see any signs of fungal infections, treat it in an appropriate fungicide before it spreads. Continue mulching and weeding the garden to help with moisture retention. Control weeds by applying a thick mulch in garden beds. Continue watering all shrubs deeply during dry weather. Pinch back growing tips of fuchsias to encourage bushy growth and the development of more flowers. Trim hedges and feed with a fertilizer like 3:1:5 at a rate of 60g/m2. Water well after applying the fertilizer. Feed summer flowering shrubs like hydrangeas, azaleas, fuchsias and hibiscus with special fertilizer for flowering plants. As the days become warmer, renew the mulch around roses to help retain moisture and to keep the beds weed free. Continue feeding the lawns fertilizer. Water and mow regularly when necessary. Spray with a herbicide to control broadleaf weeds.
Remember to stake liliums and feed them with fertilizer for 2 weeks. Bearded irises peonies, columbines and delphiniums are full in flower, so water them regularly and apply a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants every 2 weeks. Continue weeding flowerings beds regularly.
Continue sowing summer flowering annuals like alyssums, asters, pinks, sweet Williams, Cornflowers gaillardias, zinnias, salvias. Plant out seedlings of summer flowering annuals like begonias, impatiens, marigolds, petunias, Vincas, cleomes and celosias into well- prepared beds. Water well all newly planted annuals regularly.
Continue sowing summer-flowering annuals such as alyssums, asters, bedding dalias, cleomes, cosmos. Continue watering and feeding regularly.
Stimulating too much algae growth. Another way in which plants help to control algae is by competing for nutrients, which they obtain from rotting plant material and fishing droppings. When you select plants, ensure that you have sufficient submerged oxygenating plants as well as plants. Fish also contribute to a healthy pond by feeding on mosquito larvae and other insects that might fall into the pond.
Fuchsias growing in containers need to be pinched back to encourage bushy growth and good flowering. Flowers are borne one new shoots, which is why it is important to keep pinching back new shoots early in the season until the bush is covered with new shoots.
Clean the patio and pool area by cutting back any overgrown shrubs and creepers, and clear all surroundings beds of weeds and spent flowers. Remove the upper layer of potting soil in outdoor containers, if necessary, and place with fresh potting soil. Under plant large shrubs in containers with colourful summer flowering.
Feed all outdoor and indoor container plants with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
Continue repotting ferns. Necessary, and water with a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Replace spent winter and spring flowering annuals and bulbs in containers with summer- flowering annuals such as begonias.