Spring is a gorgeous time of year in New Zealand and it certainly sees gardeners of all experience levels heading for the outdoors. If you have set up your beautiful kitset planter boxes and are ready to start OR you are doing a seasonal change, then here is our top advice for Spring gardening goals.
Let’s get digging!
Early October is a great time to start planting your summer harvest vegetables.
You can plant cabbage, cauliflower, celery, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish and others quite early in October. Stagger planting dates of each vegetable so that you have, for example, a new batch of lettuce maturing every week.
Order your seeds now or book your seedlings with your plant supplier. If you have self-harvested seeds, consider sharing them with friends to get them on board with growing their own delicious vegetables.
Later in October, you can add cucumbers, eggplant, beans, tomatoes and courgettes. If you have planted in your kitset planter boxes before, be sure to plant different vegetables with the next crop. This is called crop rotation and allows the soil to remain robust for longer and as always, add compost. Compost is king!
Strawberries are a delicious crop that will start its ripening phase towards the latter part of October and are a perfect fruit for raised gardening beds. As the name implies, keep a layer of mulch or straw around the plants for the strawberries to drop onto. If birds are a problem you could consider covering your garden beds with bird-proof netting to ensure you keep all the strawberries for yourselves!
If you have raised planter beds dedicated to flowers or veggies combined with flowers then October is the time to remove your spring-flowering annuals after their pretty flourish of colour to make room for more delicious, bountiful crops.
As we said above, add the garden king, aka compost, before planting new stock which in this case would be summer flowering annuals. Check the seedling catalogues for alyssum, cornflower, lobelia, Livingstone daisy, petunias and salvias. Marigolds are great for planting amongst vegetables as sacrificial plants and they also taste great in salads, however, don’t plant them with beans or cabbage. Use Nemesia as a border plant around the perimeter of your planter boxes. Note: they have a preference for slightly acidic soil
Bulbs always deliver ooohs and aaaahs when they flower so they are always worth having in your garden even if those sounds are only emanating from you! Daffodils can be left to naturalise in situ or be thinned out later and replanted in May.
For summer flowers, plant Calla, Gloriosa, Dahlia or Begonia.
If you have some of our tall kitset planters you can plant fruit trees for summer. Here are some summer-bearing fruit trees that you can plant in the tall planters: Apples, apricots, peaches, blueberries, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, oranges and pears. You will get a harvest if your trees are at a fruiting age and healthy. Add compost and fruit-tree-specific fertiliser at the beginning of October. Note: only about 10 per cent of the flowers become harvested fruit with some trees.