It's time to: October
Begin regular applications of Eco Oil on susceptible plants to prevent infestation of insects such as scale, mites and leaf miner. Mix 2-5ml/l and apply fortnightly.
Deadhead roses regularly to prolong their spring display. Apply Dynamic Lifter for Roses or Sudden Impact for Roses.
Seaweed solution is a great tonic for promoting vigour and disease resistance in all your plants. Buy a hose on pack and apply fortnightly to all your plants.
Prune spring flowering shrubs, such as may, buddleia, weigela, philadelphus and azaleas after blooming. Cut old, dead or diseased canes back to the ground to allow new growth to emerge from the base.
After flowering, divide and re-pot cymbidium orchids that are bulging out of their pots. Discard the old potting mix and any dead roots. Simply twist and tear the bulbs apart or use a sharp knife. For the plant to flower the following year retain at least one old bulb (with leaves) and one back bulb (without leaves) in each clump and keep the divisions fairly large.
Create a miniature herb garden in pots and keep it close to the house for easy picking. Traditional Mediterranean cooks will love fresh basil, thyme, sage and marjoram. Pick herbs regularly to keep plants nice and bushy.
Now that the risk of frost has passed, prune off any ugly, winter damaged leaves from to promote fresh new growth.
When you have 10 minutes
Keep a look out for snails and slugs in the garden before they decimate tender plants. Moist evenings are the best time to find them. Drop them into a bucket of salty water, or trap them in a saucer of beer.
Tip! If you can’t find anything to grow under big trees, put in some bromeliads or epiphytic orchids. Because they obtain their nutrition from the air, rain and leaf litter, they won’t worry about root competition.
Text: Libby Cameron & Melissa King