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You might be thinking October isn’t a month that you can plant anything in your backyard garden.
Surprisingly you can still plant vegetables and even some flowers in your garden during the fall.
So just what can you plant in October in your garden? Below we go over common vegetables and flowers you can plant during this cooler period.
Some of these will depend on your specific climate zone. Cooler climates will be shorter on time for the fall growing season than warmer climates.
Also, many of the plants that you plant in the garden in October will be in preparation for early spring crops, and some will give you a quick fall harvest this year.
Growing Vegetables In Colder Climates In The Fall
If you are in one of the colder zones were growing or planting vegetables in October will put them at risk for damage due to the cold, there is an option available to help you get a longer growing season for certain vegetables.
Cold Frame Greenhouses can help you grow vegetables in colder weather.
These mini-greenhouses can help you provide protection to your vegetable plants and flowers from the harsher fall weather.
You can either buy cold frames or there are DIY options out there too.
What Vegetables Can You Plant In October In The Garden?
Shallots have a long growing season. To have a harvest of them next year you will want to plant these in October.
Planting Shallots in the fall will allow them plenty of time to get their roots established before the soil freezes in the winter.
Make sure to keep track of where you planted them so when you start planting you spring seeds you don’t accidentally disturb them or dig them up.
Just like Shallots, Onions have a long growing season too. So this is another crop to plant in the fall to have a great onion harvest the following year.
As with Shallots, make sure to keep track of where you planted your onions.
Garlic is one of the vegetable plants that you can plant during the fall and get a great garlic harvest in the early spring. It can take up to just over 200 days to mature.
You can plant garlic using the individual cloves from a broken-up garlic bulb. It can also be planted from seed, but that is not the recommended or easiest way to grow garlic, so many gardeners don’t go the seed route when growing garlic.
When planting garlic in the fall you will want to go heavy with the mulch after planting the cloves to help them overwinter, then remove the mulch after the last frost during the springtime.
Kale prefers the cooler weather.
If you are in a warmer climate you can plant kale from seed and harvest it in about 50 days.
If you are in a cooler climate you will want to plant a more cold tolerant variety of kale and harvest it in the early spring.
Kale can withstand very cold temperatures and is able to tolerate frost.
Spinach grows best in cool weather and it is best to grow in the fall.
Depending on how far North you are will determine when you can plant Spinach. Southern states can plant Spinach in October.
Spinach can tolerate a light frost. So if you are in a colder climate then you might need to plant your Spinach before October.
You want to make sure you allow enough time for a harvest before your first hard freeze ( below 28 degrees F)
You can also transplant Spinach if you pick up some from a local nursery. This will allow you to plant it a bit later than if you were starting it from seed.
Snow Peas are a cool-weather crop.
Cooler temperatures make snow pea plants grow faster than if they are planted in the spring.
If you are in an area with mild winters then you can plant snow peas in October. Areas that are not so mild, you will want to plant these 12 weeks before your first frost.
If you are in a warmer climate where soil temperatures stay above freezing (32 degrees F) you can plant Carrots in October for a winter harvest.
In the US, usually, only the southernmost states and some of the western states can plant carrots during the fall and have a harvest for the winter.
Turnips can withstand frost, in fact, frost even improves the flavor of turnips. So this is a great fall crop to plant in October.
These cooler weather-loving vegetables can be grown in both the spring and fall, but do not do well during the summer heat.
Turnips grow fast, and you can use both the roots and the greens of the turnip.
However, if planting from seed you usually want to plant the seeds earlier than October. But if you are transplanting then October is a great time to plant turnips.
You can plant seeds in early fall for a later fall harvest.
Radishes like Turnips, if transplanting seedlings can be planted in October.
If you are planting your radishes from seed then you will want to plant them earlier in the fall.
What Flowers and Bulbs Can You Plant In October?
The fall is the best time to plant flower bulbs.
Flower bulbs need to be planted during this time of year to make sure they will have the time to develop by springtime.
Irises give a beautiful bloom in the early summer/late spring. These are one of my favorite flowers that you see in spring and early summer. I always look forward to their blooms.
You want to plant Iris bulbs in early October in an area that will have full sunlight.
It is also important to pick a spot that will be well-drained. If the soil that you plant the Iris bulbs in is not well-drained they will rot.
Snow Crocus are one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter.
Many times you will start to see them coming up through the early spring snow.
When you plant Snow Crocus bulbs you will want to make sure you choose a spot that gets a lot of sunlight. They only get about 4 inches tall so don’t plant them where taller plants will drown out their sunlight.