October Garden Calendar

October Garden Calendar

posted in: Garden | 0

Autumn is already here but why am I surprised? It’s as if I want to slow down the natural cycles to enjoy just a few more hot summer days. However, I too, like all creatures, will embrace the cooler days, the earlier darkness, and the gentle reminder to get ready for winter. These are signals that it is time to harvest the last of your squashes and tomatoes, start making scarecrows and gather seeds of dried up plants.

It is a sweet time of year, a time of slowing down the actions of outdoors while inviting yourself to a time of introspection.

And it has been a magical Fall season for seed collecting here on our property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Every year I get drawn to a special focus in my garden and this year it was appreciating the diversity and possibility of the seed. I have always found seeds to be simply amazing and I don’t think I will ever stop marveling at them.

I love the enormous variety of shapes, sizes and methods of transport they exhibit. This year, a sole artichoke was left on the stem, which meant we could just let it
 go to seed.
My kids and I geeked out in the garden as we gently plucked the downy feathers attached to the artichoke seed from its bed then watched them parachute away in the breeze. So before you throw those dead-headed blooms into the compost, investigate the seed head and begin the beautiful ritual of saving, storing and sharing these little sources of life and enormous potential.
  • This Fall, Learn what to:
  • PLUS many other gardeny things to do….

*This calendar is based on Northern California gardening so keep in mind that planting times vary depending on location.V= Vegetable, H= Herbs, A= Annuals, P= Perennials, B= Bulbs, T= Trees



Enjoy the garden this fall season and remember to reflect and ponder the magic and mystery life offers.

DIRECT SOW SEEDS INTO THE GARDEN V: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, chard, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, endive, garlic, kale, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, peas (in mountains), radish, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip H: parsley, shallot A: calendula, clarkia, forget-me-nots, Iceland poppy, linaria, pansy, primrose, stock, sweet alyssum,sweet peas, sweet William, viola, wallflower, wildflowers Cover Crop: clover, fava beans, vetch

START IN FLATS A: Cleome, coreopsis, dahlia

PLANT STARTS DIRECTLY INTO THE GARDEN V: Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, greens, lettuce, mesclun- salad mix, onion sets (until April), spinach P: artichoke, cineraria, nemesia B: allium, anemone, crocus, daffodil, Dutch iris, ixia, freesia, grape hyacinths (muscari), ranunculus, scilla, tratonia, tulip, watsonia

Harvest Apples, pears, broccoli, basil, carrots, green beans, kale, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, spinach, strawberries

FERTILIZE  N-P-K Re-seed, top-dress and aerate lawn.  Feed over-wintering plants with low-nitrogen organic non chemical fertilizer.  Spread compost and composted manure over all planted areas. PRUNE Head back leggy perennials to the ground and divide crowded perennials. Pull up spent garden plants from summer garden.

MULCH   WATER  SOIL Keep azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons watered. Work in compost and manure to strawberries and perennials. Apply mulch, 2-3 inches deep after first frost.  Watch for erosion problems. Keep watering in dry weather.

PESTS For snails, bait with a shallow dish of beer or use a barrier like diatomaceous earth. Look for caterpillars on cole crops (cabbage, cauliflower) and all types of trees. Pick off and destroy.

GENERAL INFO Order bare root asparagus. Order specialty variety fruits. Dig up and store bulbs of dahlia, gladiolas, tuberous begonias.  To prepare and store tubers—let foliage die down, cut off stems to 4″ from ground, pry up clump, shake off and dry in sun to prevent rot. Store in cool dry place or in bags with peat moss or vermiculite. Clean up weeds, spent annuals, dropped fruit, and leaves. Set out plants that bear winterberries to welcome birds to your garden. Save seeds.