Let’s Talk About October, 2017

By: Pat Cordray

Take a deep breath, now exhale, it is October.  Possible cooler weather with fewer pests is almost here.  A great gardening month with tons of things to plant from vegetables to beautiful color plants.  I’m so ready for this.


Fall vegetable gardening goes into high gear as we get cooler, plant beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, Swiss chard, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard greens, English peas, snap peas, radish, spinach, and turnips.  Does any of these veggies sound good to you, then go outside and plant them.



Fall color, this is the optimum time to plant beautiful color for the fall. Plant lobelia, alyssum, snapdragons, dianthus, phlox, nasturtiums, bluebonnets, dusty miller, marigold, petunia, violas, ornamental kale and ornamental cabbage.  As the weather gets a little cooler, it will be time to plant pansies and cyclamen.  These plants will add bright colored blooms and/or interesting leaves that are perfect for any container or garden.



If you want poppies, larkspur, sweet peas, delphiniums, hollyhocks and foxglove blooming in the spring, now is the time to plant the seeds.  Before you plant your seeds, check the package to see if there are any special instructions for the seeds you picked.  Examine the seeds to make sure they are not broken.  Broken seeds will not germinate.  I usually soak all of my seeds overnight in tepid water to help the germination process along.  Plant seeds in raised beds or in containers with organic soil topped with worm castings.  The worm castings will give the young plants the boost they need without burning.  Gently water your new seed plantings to keep them moist, too much water pressure will wash your seeds away.  Seeds are great way to add loads of color and variety to your garden.


Bulbs are another great way to add spring color to your containers or in your garden.   Bulbs need a raised


bed or container that has good drainage, full sun (part sun in summer, under a deciduous tree would be perfect), and water.   These bulbs spent the last year getting everything they need to bloom this year.  So, plant them and they will bloom in amazing colors.  Toward the end of this month and through November plant Dutch Iris, ranunculus, calla lilies, Leucojum, Lycoris, and daffodils.  Tulips and hyacinths will need to be refrigerated 4-6 weeks before planting.  Hyacinths need to be planted from mid-November through early December.  Tulips will need to be planted mid-December through early January.


So much beauty to look forward to, I love gardening!


Enjoy your garden,