After a busy summer, many growers give up on sowing and planting in fall. In my opinion it is a complete missing out! Although in the majority of locations you won’t be able to grow heat-loving plants but planting cold season crops is totally doable.
In this blog post I will break down what seeds you can start outdoors or in a greenhouse according to different locations. Also, you will learn what flowers, vegetables and fruits you can plant in October. Make sure to check out my September planting guide too.
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Let’s start with the brief explanation of how does a fall garden work.
As you know plants can be cool-season and warm-season. While cool-season plants not only withstand cold temperatures but actually need them to germinate, warm-season plants need very warm soil and air temperatures.
So, you need to plant cool-season crops before the last frost date. In contrast, the planting of warm-season crops should only begin after the last frost date. Therefore, you can plant cool-season crops very early in the spring and in the fall.
The key is to make sure that you plant cool-season vegetables early enough so that the frost doesn’t kill them. However, some of these vegetables can withstand cold weather and we call them winter-hardy. For example, kale and Brussels sprouts are winter-hardy veggies.
There are two things that you need to know before planting:
- How long does it take for a plant to reach maturity
- What is the first frost date in your area
To save your precious time I did the research for you and made the lists of plants that you can grow in October in your area!
Off we go!
What to sow in October in the UK?
The aim here is to sow these plants in October for an early start next spring. There is no doubt that you will be busy with sowing other plants in early spring, so planning ahead helps you to achieve more. Some of the plants need to stay in a greenhouse or cold frame over winter.
Vegetables to sow outdoors:
- Broad Beans
Vegetables to sow in a greenhouse:
- Spring Onion
Go to this blog post to learn how to start seeds in an unheated greenhouse.
Flowers to sow outdoors:
- Poached Egg plants
- Annual Poppies
- Wildflower seeds
Flowers to sow in a greenhouse:
- Sweet peas
What to plant in October in the UK?
Vegetables to plant outdoors in the UK:
- Spring cabbages
- Winter lettuces
Flowers to plant outdoors in the UK:
These are traditional bulbs that flower in spring. As you know bulbs need chilling period for flowering next year. So the cold dormant period from October to early March is ideal. This way they have time to root and develop for spring.
Don’t know what to do with bulbs in pots after flowering? Check out this blog post to learn everything about chilling period and forcing.
Looking for a plant nursery to buy bulbs online? My go-to online store is Nature Hills where you can find a ton of spring flower bulbs. I am absolutely in love with their range of fall planting bulbs! So, click here to order your bulbs today and start planting ahead of time.
October Planting Tips:
#1 – In fall plant out transplants rather than directly sow seeds. So, you need to start seeds in late summer and make sure to provide plenty of water.
#2 – October is the right time to plant shrubs and deciduous trees. This way they establish roots and avoid extreme summer heat.
#3 – Plant bright annuals that tolerate frosts like Pansies. They will bright up any fall display with vibrant colors.
All of the above tips are applicable for any location. Now that you are aware of the different types of vegetables, I will tell you what you can plant in your state. Although I spent hours researching what you can plant in each of these states, you still need to use a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your zip code.
What to Plant in October in California:
Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, celery, onions, garlic, peas, radishes and spinach.
Fruits: lemonade berry, blue elderberry.
Herbs: chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley and rosemary.
What to plant in October in Texas:
Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collards, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, potatoes, radishes, turnip
Herbs: basil, chamomile, catnip, comfrey, lemon balm, oregano, mint, rosemary, chives, coriander, dill, parsley, sage, thyme
What to plant in October in Florida:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
What to plant in October in Virginia:
- Brussels sprouts
What to plant in October in Arizona:
- Winter Greens
You can also find more information on what herbs, vegetables and flowers to plant or harvest in Arizona in October here.
What to plant in October in Oregon:
- Leafy greens
What to plant in October in Georgia:
Hope that this article helps you to make up your mind around planting in October!
What do you do with your greenhouse or garden in fall? What grows well in your region in October? Let me know in the comments section down below!
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Happy Growing 🙂