It’s October and time to get planting! It’s too late to plant some flowers from seed in USDA Zone 9, with a few exceptions. Sweet peas can be planted now until January. They are one of my favorite flowers and have an amazing scent. To speed up sprouting, soak sweet peas for 24 hours before you plant, just make sure to keep the soil moist if you do. Nasturtiums can also be planted from seed and are edible (peppery tasting). Nasturtiums can grow up a trellis, trail out of a pot or sprawl on the ground. Cyclamens can be found at the nursery and are easy to plant and grow well in light shade.
Vegetables to Plant in October
For vegetables from seed there’s still time to plant lettuce and other greens (and they only need 4 hours of sunlight!) but I would do that soon. One of my favorite greens is arugula, which adds a kick to any salad or sandwich. Mustard greens are also on my list of yummy greens, and when you cook them (steam in broth with a few garlic cloves) they taste mild and delicious. Greens are packed with lots of Vitamins like ‘A’ and ‘C’ and also calcium.
The following video has some great tips on which vegetables to plant for fall.
It’s also time to plant snow peas (“regular” garden peas do better when planted in spring). Plant carrots now too and make sure to thin them after they sprout. Beets can be planted now also, but I think do better when planted in spring.
Flowers to Plant in October
Flowers available as plants in 6 packs include calendula (petals are edible and fun to add to salads), snapdragon, stock, pansies and Johnny-jump-ups. If you plant them while days are still warm, they will grow and brighten up your yard in just a few weeks. Flowering cabbage is a great choice for a larger sized plant that gives a pop of color, and for bright, eye-catching color choose cyclamen.
Vegetables in 6-packs include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, romanesco (a fun kind of broccoli that tastes delicious and is SO fun to grow), kale, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, swiss chard and spinach. Onions are available in 6 packs but are less expensive in sets of 100 which usually arrive at nurseries in November. It’s not recommended to plant onions from bulbs unless you want green onions/small onions, as bulbs never get very big. It’s also time to plant garlic from bulbs, break them open and plant each clove separately.
Plant now for spring flowering bulbs like anemones, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, and ranunculus. You have until “Black Friday” to get them underground unless you live in a cooler climate, in that case you may need to plant them sooner. Personally I prefer bulbs that only need to be buried 3 inches deep as opposed to 6 inches! I usually plant anemones and ranunculus for just that reason.
Originally published: October 2, 2013
Updated: October 6, 2016