October In The Vegie Patch + Bed Preps + A Video

calendulaOctober checklist and things to do

  • Get your zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin, corn, tomato and pepper beds ready to grow. These are all heavy feeders and need rotten manure, compost, seaweed – that kind of business.  Add it now, so the soil can incorporate and percolate – all ready to plant later in the month.
  • Be sure of robust stakes and frames for beans and tomatoes.
  • Make a compost pile (or three)
  • Plant out chives, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, lavender and any other perennial herbs you need.
  • Protect all new shoots and seedlings with slug bait and bird net
  • Prick on seedlings as soon as they have 4 leaves.


Seed to Sow and Seedlings to Plant

Under Cloches or in the Greenhouse
Direct sow another lot of dwarf beans.
Direct sow basil, cucumber and zucchini.
Plant out tomatoes, peppers, chillies, eggplants, basil and cucumbers.

Tray Sow
Pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, melons, corn, salads, basil, tomatoes and companion flowers like sunflowers, gaillardia, calendula, zinnias and oodles of marigolds.

Direct Sow Outside
Radish, daikon, coriander, carrot, beetroot, florence fennel, dill, peas, sno peas, rocket, salads, spinach, leafy greens, calendula, borage, sweet peas and cosmos.
Once the soil hits 15 degrees you can direct sow beans.
Once it hits 20 degrees zucchini, cucumber, pumpkin and corn can go in.

Plant outside
Plant out salads, red onions, celery, silverbeet, perpetual beet, asparagus crowns, potatoes, yams, rhubarb and parsley


Last minute preps for Tomatoes, Pumpkins and Corn

In an ideal world preps begin with the preceeding crop – in the case of these heavy feeders nothing beats a lupin or pea and oat greencrop through winter to condition and build the soil. But the world isn’t always ideal is it! Here’s how you can last minute it

Tomato Preps

  • Broadfork the bed so the roots can get down straight as an arrow – this almost makes more difference than the compost!
  • Add a fine layer of compost + gypsum. Add Roksolid if your soil is still in development, and lightly mix it all into the topsoil.
  • Mulch and let it settle until planting.
  • Put up stakes and frames pre planting

Pumpkin Preps

  • Create raised mounds made of 50/50 compost and soil. Add rotten manure. Add Roksolid if need be.
  • Cover deeply in mulch for best biological activity and leave it be
  • Direct sow into this when the soil is 20 degrees. Because they are low growing and need no frame pumpkins are well suited to starting out under a cloche if its still chilly/ soggy at yours. You can of course, tray sow them and transplant at 4 – 6 leaf stage. Pumpkins need a long season to ripen – as early as you can manage is good.

Corn Preps

  • Broadfork the bed so the roots can head to china
  • Add a fine layer of compost + gypsum. Add Roksolid if needed, and lighty mix it all into the soil.
  • Mulch generously and let it settle until planting.
  • Direct sow into 18 degree soil.
  • For staggered harvests sow a few a month until December
  • To get your corn going early – either put up a cloche and direct sow once the soils warmed, or sow into loo paper rolls filled with seed raising mix and grow in a warm place. Jam the rolls together in a container so they don’t fall over/ collapse. Plant out toilet roll and all for no transplant shock.


  1. Elise Curnow says:

    Hi Kath, I am having a problem with white fly. It started last summer in my mint patch and soon got out of hand. I pulled up all the host plants, which included mint, lemon balm and borage 🙁 and grew some tobacco plants (on the suggestion of a friend), Now the weather has warmed up again it appears they are still around and the cycle is continuing again. I have a beautiful self seeded borage which is taller than me and I am loathe to cut it down. I am about to put in two new raised beds with new soil, which I really don’t want the white fly to spread to. Any suggestions how to be rid of this plague? Thanks