Décor & Gardening
Gardening tips for October
We’re planting… Pentas ‘Glitterati’ a low-growing perennial with pretty star-patterned flowers that seem to shimmer, especially at night. Plants are tidy and compact, tolerating heat and humidity. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and nectar-loving birds. Use them in mixed borders or group three together so that they stand out. Space plants 20 to 30cm apart, in well composted soil in a sunny position. They grow well in containers too. Plants flower continuously, and deadheading will encourage more blooms.
Indoor plant of the month …Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) ‘Sapphire’ is unlike other long-stemmed Lisianthus because it produces a round posy of flowers, like a living flower arrangement. It is a dwarf variety that is well-branched with short stems, which creates the posy effect. It should be kept out of direct sunlight but still receive good indirect light. Keep the top layer of the soil moist and allow it to slightly dry out between watering. Over-watering will cause rotting. Remove dead flowers to encourage more flowers and fertilise with a liquid fertiliser once a month.
Tips for your own rose garden
Water deeply two to three times a week.
Mulch around the roses and over the soil to shade the roots and keep the soil cool.
Fertilise with Vigorosa in mid-October (a little later in the cooler parts of the country) to give the roses a boost, encouraging them to re-sprout and produce the next crop of blooms.
Keep the roses looking neat by cutting off old faded blooms.
Do not cut off too many long-stemmed roses at one time because this reduces the amount of leaves on a bush which stresses the roots.
Insects are active in October. Spray every two weeks with the ‘cocktail’ of Ludwig’s Insect Spray, Chronos and Picanta. This environmentally friendly spray will pests away from the buds.
Garden tasks for October
1. Start planting summer annuals.
2. Water perennials and shrubs regularly and fertilise.
3. Trim lavender after it’s finished flowering but don’t cut into old wood. For those lavenders that flower continuously, do it when bushes start looking untidy.
4. Fertilise the lawn and mow once a week.
5. Wash away aphids with a jet of water or spray with organic Ludwig’s Insect Spray.
6. Protect newly germinated seedlings from cutworm, snails and slugs by using cutworm bait and an organic snail repellent like Ferramol.