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Why not love the cherry blossoms or the colorful tulip meadows? While we know these plants are symbols of spring, much of the planting is done in the fall! Although fall is not the peak growing season, there are still plenty of opportunities to start planting in your garden or home pots. We know it sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll have a lot to look forward to when spring arrives, trust us. So whether you are ready to get out of your houseplants or already have a small garden, these vegetables and flowers are perfect for planting in October.
From hearty greens like kale and arugula to delicate iris and tulip blossoms, they’ll be great additions to your home for a splash of color or to make a fresh salad with your earthy greens.
Whatever you decide to grow in October, be sure to read our list of tips for planting.
Depending on where you live in the country, you ideally want to plant kale six to eight weeks before the first fall frost. When it’s time to harvest, you can tell the kale is ready when it is about the size of your hand. Then all you have to do is pull out the kale recipes!
It’s a good idea to plant garlic in October because you want to develop the roots before the frost months. Prepare the soil by removing weeds and be sure to plant your garlic in an area that receives about six to eight hours of sunlight.
If you live in a warmer area, you can plant arugula in October and see the young leaves six to eight weeks later. You’ll want to harvest your arugula when the leaves are younger, as older leaves tend to be a bit tough. You can even try this Arugula and Kale Harvest Salad with your freshly grown veggies.
Shallots are part of the Allium family, including onions, garlic, chives and others. Growing shallots perform best in warmer areas when planting in the fall, as they prefer soil temperatures of 35 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When planting, their cloves are placed in the soil (the thickest part pointing down) with the top just above the soil line. After 90 days, you’ll know when it’s time to harvest when their tops start to turn brown.
Peas are grown during the cooler months and are very easy to grow. For warmer parts of the country, they can be grown in the fall or when the soil is cool. When planting, sow the seeds an inch or two deep into the soil and two inches apart. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you grow them in full sun – they’ll taste sweeter!
These brightly colored petals are the quintessential spring flower. You can start planting tulips in the fall when the average temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. This is because tulips need cooler soil to develop their roots in the spring. While flower bulbs can hold up well, avoid soggy soil as the roots will rot quickly.
If you are new to planting flowers, daffodils are a great option because they are easy to grow and very durable. Plant two to four weeks before the ground freezes and choose a sunny or partially sunny location. Once they are planted and start to bloom, cut the flowers and put them in a vase on their own. You’ll want to separate them from your other fresh flowers, as the daffodils secrete a liquid that causes the other flowers in the vase to wilt.
Known as flowers with “faces”, pansies make a great decor for window sills. With just a little potting soil, pansies can grow in containers with the right amount of sun (not too much). If your thoughts are not doing their best they are often underwatered, so make sure they are getting enough H2O.
SHOP THE SEEDS
Crocuses begin to bloom in winter, even when there is snow on the ground. For the greatest impact, plant the crocuses in clusters rather than in a straight line, and make sure they are planted before the first frost.
Irises have a very delicate and colorful appearance. They are usually planted when temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and need lots of sunlight to bloom beautifully. An important note is that you don’t want to bury your irises too deep, they should be planted close to the surface for best results.
Hellebores are those that grow in snow at the end of winter. There are two popular varieties: the Christmas rose has white petals and blooms in warmer climates and the Lenten rose which takes on a pink / purple color. Due to their early flowering nature, hellebores like to be kept in shade to partial shade, with well-drained soil.
Cherry blossoms are best known for their pink buds that bloom in early spring. Although we all know them as spring trees, early fall is the best time to plant bare root cherry trees. For best results, these trees should get plenty of sun, grow in a location with minimal wind, and not be exposed to extreme weather conditions.
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