October in South Africa is an important month for any home gardener. It’s a great time of year to watch the miracles of nature as your garden bursts into abundance. Make sure you are prepared to maintain your garden well and nurture your young seedlings through this month. Any beds that have been resting over the winter are probably ready to be planted out with a combination a great diversity of summer crops.
The days in October are nice and long, providing many hours of sun for your plants to absorb and convert to energy. Make sure that any plants that are sensitive to too much heat are protected by shade cloth or are planted in an area that only gets sun for part of the day, however, as hot spells can cause wilting and plant stress.
October also marks the end of winter rains in winter rainfall areas and the beginning of a potentially very long, hot and dry period, so be sure to conserve your water early on. Water in the mornings and evenings to prevent massive losses of water due to evaporation. Plant cucumbers next to fences and train them upward. Plant beetroots and feed with compost tea every couple of weeks. Plant mixed salads and continue to plant them regularly throughout the coming months to ensure an ongoing supply.