Rake On Pile Of Orange Leaves
october SC
(Image credit: Elenathewise)

The beginning of fall often marks a time when the focus begins to shift away from the garden and outdoor chores. Many find themselves beginning to decorate for upcoming seasonal holidays, and spending more quality time with family and friends. However, the arrival of pleasant cooler temperatures does not mean there isn’t anything left to do in the vegetable garden and/or flower beds.

Learning more about regional gardening tasks and creating an October to-do list can help growers stay focused, even as the activity in the yard begins to slow.

South Central Gardens in Fall

October can be one of the most enjoyable months for gardening. Without the heat and humidity of summer, growers may find a sudden renewed interest in working outdoors. While gardening in fall often does not consist of too much planting and seed sowing, there are some crops that will continue to thrive late into the season.

Cool season plants such as spinach, lettuce, and kale will all continue to produce throughout the month of October. During this time, those gardening in fall should also complete planting tasks related to cool season hardy annual flowers like pansies, bachelor’s buttons, snapdragons, and more.

As the warm season crops come to a close, do not forget to complete harvests of tomatoes, pumpkins, and melons.

The October to-do list will also consist of pruning and maintenance of perennial flowering plants and shrubs. Many herbaceous herbs and flowers can be cut back at this time in preparation for winter. In doing so, always make certain to remove all plant debris from the garden in order to discourage issues related to pests and disease.

Depending upon the plant, this month may also be the ideal time to divide and transplant flowers which have become too large.

South central regional gardening tasks will also include attention to bulb care. Now will be the time to lift and store tender flowering bulbs like caladium, elephant’s ear, dahlias, etc. Spring blooming bulbs and roots may be planted in October in most areas. These plants include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, peonies, and more.

Growers that have not yet had their first frost will now need to consider bringing tender and tropical houseplants back indoors for winter. As the temperatures cool, many potted plants may begin to struggle and show signs of stress. Whether overwintering small cuttings or full-sized specimens, taking proper care of houseplants at this time will be essential to their well-being.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@tonyawiththeflowers.