Intermittent sunshine and exposed extremities - it must be nearing planting season in Australia! Welcome October and all your springy gorgeousness! Here at TRH headquarters, we have been clearing out the garden beds, pulling weeds and trimming up the yard, to make way for the October planting.
There is nothing like the sun on your back, fresh air in your lungs and kids running on the grass to make you feel earthed and alive! Well a G&T in the sun might come close – but it’s slightly less productive! In a double win it is also school holidays which means a good sesh in the garden will get everyone outside, cost you nothing and sort out the groceries for the coming months! What the hell are you waiting for?!
So, where to start… what can you plant this month? The choices are endless and with so many varieties to plant, you are definitely spoilt for choice. Narrow it down to… what your family can’t get enough of and balance it out with what will give you a good yield.
Scour your garden and work out where to plant your produce. Look for good sunlight and well-drained moisture retentive soil, somewhere with good air flow and some summer shade for things that need it. Research what the sun and shade requirements of what you are planting are.
Here are some ideas…
Vegetables - Capsicum, spring onion, cucumber, squash, zucchini, rosella, sweet corn, eggplant, climbing beans and pumpkin.
Herbs – Basil, Parsley, sage, lemongrass, oregano, rue, marjoram and mint.
Fruit & nuts – Citrus trees, passionfruit, paw paw, avocados, banana, watermelon
Vegetables - Spinach, silverbeet, eggplant, cabbage, brussels sprouts, celery, leek, lettuce, spring onion, capsicum, chilli, and beetroot.
Herbs - Parsley, calendula, chamomile, marigold, oregano, rue, sage, rosemary, thyme, and Echinacea. Mint is also a great option but it grows prolifically, so make sure you whack it in a pot to stop it strangling the rest of your produce.
Fruit – Melon
A special mention for the tommy-a-to
You really can’t look past the tom-a-to! A suitable tomato plant can be found to grow in almost any climate. They are hearty, easy to grow and there are so many varieties and colours – they are amazing in summer salads and a sweet treat for the kids to pick. They are also so versatile, if you get them in abundance you can make endless amounts of sauces and chutneys. Their dinner plate mate Basil, also thrives at this time of year and has endless uses. Pesto and tomato chuntey are a regular staple at TRH headquarters - so quick and easy to whip up!
Evergreen fruit and nut trees
Evergreen fruit and nut trees will grow almost anywhere in Australia.
Trees such as; citrus, macadamia, guava, avocado, grumichama, sapotes and mango. When selecting the right plant for your garden take into account things such as rainfall, heat and frost.
Mulch, mulch, mulch. Mulch is your friend!
Mulch protects the soil from evaporation and can reduce water use by up to 75%.
Mulch gives valuable nutrients and promotes the presence of worms, which aerate the soil and provide fertiliser in the form of worm castings. Interestingly mulch also reduces weeds by inhibiting the germination of weed seed. Who knew?
Mulch works well in all areas of the garden, so after planting top up mulch on your veggie patches, herb gardens and flower beds. It also neatens up garden beds. There are a few versions on the market but try and choose one which is sustainable and has a low environmental impact. Those with larger chunks are better, because they take longer to decompose. Bark types (such as pine bark nuggets) are better performers than shredded wood types (such as cedar, cypress and hardwood).
Now time to get out in the sunshine and get the kids to work, your organic garden awaits!