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October Garden Guide

Posted by The Gubba Team
9th Oct 2023

October Garden Guide


October is a busy month when it comes to planting… If you’re anything like us, you’ll be (impatiently) counting down the days until you can plant out those heat-loving summer crops! But be patient and try to wait until the soil has really warmed up enough before getting them in the ground - for much of the country, this is around Labour Day / late October.

In the meantime, you can continue to successively plant / sow veggies that your household enjoys; potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, beans, carrots, beetroot, spinach, rocket, and lettuce are some popular picks for spring.

In the herb garden you can plant basil, coriander, chives, parsley and dill once the risk of frost has passed.

Around Labour weekend (you might have to wait a bit longer if you live in a colder area), you can plant or sow the following directly into your garden beds: capsicums, chillis, cucumbers, sweet corn, melons, corgettes, pumpkins and tomatoes. Or you can tray sow them indoors now - use a heatpad or place them in a warm, sunny spot. Even though some of these seedlings are likely available in your local garden centre already, try to resist the urge to plant heat-loving veggies outdoors until the soil warms up a bit more! If you can’t wait until the end of the month, make sure any young seedlings are protected with a cloche.

Remember to harden off your seedlings before planting them out; leave the seedling trays outside for a few days before transplanting.


For a vibrant display of colour, plant sunflowers, cosmos, cornflower, borage, gerbera, zinnia, lobelia, marigold, petunia, sweet pea and begonia.

Continue planting summer flowering bulbs - dahlia and gladioli.

Stake your dahlias and taller perennials (the stake you use should be roughly two-thirds the height of the fully matured plant).

Use an all purpose fertiliser or plant tonic to feed your flowering annuals and perennials.

Plant more wildflowers! Sow them near your veggies to encourage beneficial pollinators. 


You’ve probably started to notice hoards of hungry slugs and snails out looking for food; they’re especially attracted to brassicas and leafy greens. Apply Tui Quash slug & snail Stoppa to prevent them munching on your seedlings, or sprinkle some natural NZ Wool Mulch around the base of plants to deter them. Neem is another great natural option - Grosafe BioNeem is an excellent organic choice.

Prune back existing mint, thyme and sage plants to promote fresh new growth in time for summer.

Keep feeding hungry crops: some great options are seaweed sprays (learn how to make your own here), Ocean Fert, EM1 Garden Concentrate, EM Garden Boost, and Rootella. All of which nourish the soil and give your plants essential nutrients to sustain them throughout the growing season.

Collect organic matter to use as mulch in your garden beds: seaweed, leaves, cardboard, manure etc.

From the sounds of it, we’re in for a particularly hot summer. That means now is the best time to get a garden water tank set up. Make the most of these spring rains, so you have plenty of water collected to keep your garden going once the hot weather hits.

Look out for aphids and white cabbage butterfly caterpillar as they will also be actively looking for food. Use a tunnel or net cover to help keep them at bay. We’ve also heard of this simple but clever trick: make your own white butterfly out of paper and place it in your garden. Apparently white butterflies are territorial, it may help to deter them! Give it a go and let us know if it works for you…


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