Before that first frost settles in, you will want to do as much with your garden as possible. This includes planting a bounty of vegetables in October.
What to plant in October: The secret to a successful garden is using it all year round, which is why it is so important to plant specific crops in October. Root vegetables, such as beets and carrots, do well underground. The allium family, including onions and garlic, are also good options. If you live in an area where it isn’t too cold during winter, you can even try greens such as kale, lettuce, and swiss chard. The more you plan in October, the more productive your garden will be. It also gives you the possibility of having fresh vegetables at the end of winter and into early spring.
Is October a good month for planting?
For many areas, the first frost in the fall happens in October. The ground is cold but not yet frozen, so you can still work it.
Many crops are ready to pop up in early spring and instead of having to dig through snow to plant, you can save yourself some hassle and do the work in October. Then, once spring hits, you will be amazed at an abundance in your garden.
What Seeds to Plant in October
While not a common crop in most backyard gardens, if you are looking for a new vegetable to try, you can think about artichokes.
Start with transplants to help this crop along a bit, but you can definitely put them in the ground in October. Then, come early spring, you can harvest the large flowers.
Carrots can indeed be planted in October although you may want to wait if you are expecting incredibly frigid temperatures. However, as they are root vegetables, they will be fine in the ground.
Plant carrot seeds in October, before the first frost. Then, come spring they will start to pop up. You will want to thin them out in early spring to allow them enough room to grow. If you plan it right, you can have fresh carrots for most of the year.
This cold-hardy crop can easily be planted in October. You will want to choose varieties that are early maturing and will be ready for the spring.
The key with peas is that you want to cover them once they start to grow with netting so that birds don’t come by to munch on them. Come early spring, they will be ready to eat.
Rich in nutrients, it’s always nice to have a steady supply of kale. This green is best when you plant it in October as it will stay dormant, even if you have very cold winters.
Kale doesn’t take a lot to grow and if you have enough sunlight, it may even be ready to harvest in February. Planting kale in October means you can have fresh greens, even at the tail-end of winter.
Radishes are incredibly quick to grow and are a cool-weather crop. You may even be able to get a second crop in the fall if you plant in September or early October, depending on how cold your area is.
If you live in an especially cold place, plant radishes in October, and come early spring they will emerge from the earth.
Root vegetables are perfect for overwintering. Beets are rich in color and you can plant different varieties for a sumptuous meal.
Plant beets in October and they will do fine, even in very cold areas. They will be ready for harvest in early spring, around March or April.
This can be a bit of a tricky crop, planning-wise, so planting really is dependent on the climate you live in. If you have a mild fall, plant spinach in September as it will be ready in October for harvest.
However, if you are competing with an early frost date, the spinach you plant in October won’t be ready until the early spring. Similar to kale, it can start popping up in February.
Plant your favorite varieties of onions in fall, similar to when you would plant your garlic. As part of the allium family, onions overwinter well and will be ready for harvest in the spring.
You can also then plant another crop of onions in the spring so that you have access to this fragrant vegetable all year long.
Planting romaine lettuce in October only works if you have a mild winter. If you are expecting multiple feet of snow, then this can be too cold for the small plants.
Romaine lettuce will grow a bit after you plant it in October but will then become dormant. You should use a cold frame to protect the small plants so that come spring they will grow and flourish.
With its deep green leaves and bright red stalks, swiss chard is extremely rich in nutrients. This is a nice, healthy crop to have in your garden.
Planting Swiss chard in October may require you to use a cold frame as it can start growing before becoming dormant over the winter. If you live in very cold areas, you may want to wait until the spring before planting this crop.
One of the best crops to plant in October is garlic. Indeed, this is a must-have as October will produce the best and largest garlic come harvest time. The longer growing season will also produce stronger garlic.
While you can technically wait until the spring to plant garlic, most people find that it just isn’t worth it. Instead, plant in October, allow the garlic to overwinter, and come summer you will have very large garlic bulbs.
The more you plan with your garden, the more you can get out of it. Take advantage of cold-hardy vegetable crops that can go in the ground in October, so that you have fresh vegetables in the spring.