In the garden this week: October 1, 2010

  • Ideally you should have finished your spring fertilising round so give this priority if you haven’t.
  • Broad beans need to be staked to stop them from falling over. Pinch out the tops to stop them getting too tall. These tender tops are delicious eaten as fresh greens.
  • Peas also need something to climb up. We tend to use a stretch of wire netting held by wooden stakes at each end so these frames can be moved around the vegetable garden as required – functional but not aesthetic. Woven willow supports or bamboo structures look more ornamental but take more time.
  • As evergreen azaleas finish flowering, they can be clipped or pruned and shaped – with hedgeclippers if you wish. These are tough plants that will shoot again from bare wood so you can prune hard if they are looking scruffy or too leggy. You can even cut them off just above ground level if you are into drastic rejuvenation.
  • If you have forgotten about your feijoa bushes, you can still get in and give them a thin and a feed. Don’t clip off all the tips or you will be cutting off next year’s potential harvest – thin out entire branches if necessary. A more open, airy bushy will set bigger fruit.
  • You can get your first crop of dwarf beans and runner beans sown in all but the coldest areas.
  • Ideally you should have dug over the areas of the vegetable garden which are to be planted out in a few weeks. Certainly you should have dug in any green crops. If you use animal manures, get them incorporated now so they get dispersed in the soil before you start planting. Keep raking over the freshly dug areas to stop compacting and to disturb the freshly germinating weeds.