It’s October, and I don’t care where you live, it’s fall. In my area of the country we might still be experiencing 80+ degrees, but hey, the mornings are cooler, right? And those cooler mornings make gardening even more enjoyable — which is perfect timing, as October is a huge garden month. So grab your Pumpkin Spice latte and go get some gardening done!
Now’s the time to take a final inventory of this year’s garden. Did you plant too much of something? Was a new variety a winner for you? What bombed? Why did it bomb? What veggie did your family absolutely love? Make notes in your garden journal and refer to them next year.
Prepare & Maintain
Collect leaves for composting and mulching — ask your neighbors for theirs! Take a garden inventory and notice where your soil is bare; you’ll want to cover that up with mulch to avoid winter weeds from germinating. If you sowed seeds of carrots, beets, greens, or lettuce last month, go ahead and thin them out now. Gardeners in cooler climates can mulch strawberries and asparagus.
Sow & Plant Indoors
Zones 7-10 can sow cool weather veggie seeds for transplanting
Zone 11 if you missed it last month don’t worry! You can still start seeds for strawberry plants that can be transplanted next month.
Sow & Plant Outdoors
Zones 4-6 can plant garlic and shallots, as well as spinach and parsnips in a cold frame.
Zones 7-10 can plant garlic, leeks, onions, and shallots. They can also sow seeds of beets, carrots, mustard, turnips, spinach, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radishes, and bok choy. Set out strawberry plants. Plant trees and shrubs.
Zones 9-10 can make a final planting of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
Zones 4-7 can harvest and enjoy spinach, lettuce, parsnips, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots. These gardeners can also begin digging sweet potatoes (time it as the leaves start to fall) and harvest winter squash.
Zones 7-10 can continue to harvest squash, late-season tomatoes, peppers, radishes, broccoli, beans, bok choy, eggplant, kale, and lettuce.