We’ve gotten a lot of requests for a list of garden chores to do each month, so your wish is our command! Here’s Civano Nursery’s collection of October chores to keep your garden happy, healthy, and beautiful.
What to plant in October:
- agaves and yuccas
- cold-hardy perennials (through mid-month)
- cold-hardy woody shrubs and trees
- container-grown roses
- deciduous trees (including deciduous fruit trees)
- fall/winter annuals
- flowering bulbs
- winter veggies: asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese greens, collard greens, endive, fava beans, fennel, garbanzo beans, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, bulb and bunching onions, parsnip, peas, potatoes, radicchio, radish, rapini, rutabaga, shallots, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips
- winter herbs: arugula, borage, calendula, caraway, chamomile, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, garlic chives, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, salad burnet, sorrel, thyme, winter savory
What NOT to plant in October:
- Frost-sensitive plants
What to Fertilize:
- Cold hardy woody shrubs in the early part of the month
- Containerized annuals, bulbs, or cacti & succulents (at ½ to ¼ strength) that are actively growing
- Allow plants to get established before you feed them – wait at least 2 weeks after planting to apply a fertilizer
- Established perennial herbs such as: lavender, marjoram, mints, oreganos, rosemary, sage, thyme
- St. Augustine and zoysia lawn
Prune, Divide and Conquer:
- Divide overcrowded bearded iris, replant immediately
- Remove agave pups and pot them up to share with friends and family
- Prune overgrown spring-flowering perennials by 1/3 or more to control the size of the plant
- Prune back Mediterranean herbs that are actively growing this month: Bay, Greek oregano, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme
For the Fruit Trees:
- Pomegranates are ripening this month – if the fruit makes a metallic sound when you tap it with your fingernail, it’s ready to be picked
- Apply a 4-6 inch layer of mulch around the root zones of frost sensitive citrus trees. Avoid mulch buildup against the trunk of the tree.
- Begin checking November-ripening citrus fruit late in October to see if they’re ready a little early
For the Lawn:
- Overseed Bermuda lawns with annual or perennial rye
- Fertilize 2 weeks later with a lawn-starter formula
- To care for Bermuda lawns going dormant: Reduce water frequency, and ensure that water timers are set to go off in the morning hours rather than in the evening – moisture can sit for too long when the roots aren’t taking up water as quickly, increasing your chances of fungal disease
- Get ready for winter temperatures by applying a 4-6 inch layer of mulch around the root zones of frost-sensitive plants
- The position of the sun is changing – check your containerized plants to make sure that that they’re getting the right amount of sun (not too much, not too little).
- You can also begin grouping containerized plants by their winter needs – plants that need to be protected from frost can be grouped together for easier covering when the first freeze rolls in.
- Reduce water frequency as temperatures cool down to encourage trees and woody shrubs to go dormant. Water to the same depth (for the same amount of time), but less frequently.
Is there something we left off of the list? Leave a comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what we should add!