Garden Calendar for October 2022

It seems that every October is different than the previous one here in the Land of El Sol. Luckily there are some things in common – and thus I can help you plan your October 2022 gardening tasks ahead, so your garden will look great through the holidays ahead.*

Watch for The 3 W’s – Winter ,Weeds, Wildflowers

We had spotty rain across the Southwest in late September. Rain means that many wildflowers (and weeds) are starting to grow. Watch the little seedlings develop and learn to recognize which is weed and which is wildflower.

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Weed or Wildflower?

Take photos! It took me years of careful observation to learn weed from wildflower. Lucky for new Southwestern gardeners we now have camera phones which are a great help! Go back to that same spot once a week and compare the little developing plants. Put a large pretty rock to mark your spot so you can be sure to be in the same spot.

October Gardening Tasks

Anytime during October – Plant

Early October is ideal for planting trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, bulbs, groundcovers, wildflowers, herbs, vegetables,,,, in short, everything! Go forth and plant! With a little work now, your yard will bloom all winter long – nay – all year long!

Plant seasonal color = flowers. Plant the colorful plants as seeds, seedlings, or bulbs. Flowers like pansy, nasturtium, and snapdragon like our cooler months. Bulbs to plant in fall – in three weeks.

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Cool season color! pansies are grand! Photo courtesy All-America Selections

Plant cool-season vegetables – the cool-season things are all the green leafy things and the root crops. Cool season vegetables – including in containerrs – next week.

Plant winter herbs – those in the carrot family! Carrot family herbs include cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, cumin, caraway (and more!). Winter herbs post in two weeks.

Plant wildflowers – for spring display if you haven’t yet.  These are planted from seeds – more about wildflowers here.

Divide & plant.  Many perennials need to be divided so they will flower better next year.  You will need to find places to plant these too.  What plants to divide in fall – here.

Anytime during October – Care

Treat alkaline-induced-iron-chlorotic roses and citrus by acidifying the soil with a nice layer of compost.

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Don’t forget to stop and appreciate the autumn color!

Dethatch then overseed Bermudagrass lawns for winter green.
Reduce irrigation frequency once days no longer top 95 F.
Catch and remove the winter weeds (Watch for Winter Weeds) as they germinate.

Anytime during October – Harvest

Harvest pomegranates. They store well for over three months in a refrigerator.
Harvest almonds if you have a late season variety.
Harvest pecans as the husks start to open.

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Often you can simply harvest pecans with a rake! Do keep them raked up so you don’t get pack rats invading your yard (and attic).

Harvest seed of summer bloomers that you wish to save. This includes basil, epazote, castor bean, and summer wildflowers like paperflower, desert lavender, slender poreleaf, and so many more.

About Harvesting Pomegranate

I have nagged you not to cut fruit of citrus, apples, peaches, etc. off the tree. I have remarked that “Mama” tree will let these fruits fall into your hand with a gentle tug when they are ripe. All of this is true.

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Ideally harvest your pomegranate before they split open. Easier to store them.

BUT Note – pomegranate is not on this list! Pomegranate almost always needs to be cut off the tree! Cut one and try it, if it’s sweet and juicy then do harvest the rest before the birds get them.  They will last 3 or 4 months in the fridge.  while the rinds may get leather they are still juicy inside.

* Sorry to mention the holidays so early but Holy Moly!  I was in the supermarket on October 1st and they already had the Christmas trees out and the reindeer yard decorations and all!

Thanks for Reading

– Jacqueline

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