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by Jack Hardy
October is the month for setting up the winter garden. Just about any of your favourite vegetables can be planted as seeds or seedlings. Your winter flowering beds can take your favourite annuals while your citrus and fruit trees must have their autumn feeding. A busy month!
I could give you list of vegetables from aragula to zucchini that may be planted this month, so take it as read as there are few exceptions to October sowings. Hopefully, you have some of the larger vegetables already under way, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cabbage.
I've been asked about certain vegetables by winter residents unsure as to whether they could be grown on Abaco. Garden peas - particularly snow peas and edible-podded varieties - do very well. Varieties of iceberg lettuce grow well but tend towards bitterness. Most other lettuces are excellent. Leaf spinach grows profusely, as does Swiss chard. Brussels sprouts grow very well in cooler than normal seasons but tend to develop too late during a warm winter. Rhubarb, no.
Virtually any annual can be sown. Those that like our conditions will re-seed themselves next year. A garden full of perennials is a source of joy for years and well worth the initial work and outlay. If you are a winter resident, earmark those perennials and bulbs that put out while you are in residence and add more. Look in other people's yards for ideas about those plants that bloom at the right time for you.
The perfect fruit trees for winter residents are citrus, carambola and loquat. They produce between Christmas and March and are all medium sized trees that are not messy.
Whatever fruit trees you have, give them their autumn feeding of fertilizer. For citrus, it will be their last until Easter.
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