Things to do in the garden in October

The month of October is rich in autumnal hues and the first snows. 

The perfect time to tidy up and trim back in the garden is when the sky is clear and blue. 

There’s still plenty of fruit and vegetable to harvest and store for the winter months if you cultivate them.

When autumn approaches and leaves start falling, you know October has arrived.

Because of the weather conditions, people are usually confused about how to look after their garden during this month and whether October is a good month to engage in gardening activities.

The truth is that October is a very good month to spend time in your garden and do a lot of interesting things.

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Table of Contents

What Makes October a Good Month for Gardening?

One of the factors that make October a good month for gardening is that the summers are gone and you don’t have to be worried about being out in the garden during the day for a long time.

You will see autumn leaves in different hues of red and yellow being splattered all across the garden and that will add to the joy of working around in the garden.

Though October is known to be a month of harvesting, there are several things you can plant during this month. Before winter arrives in December, you can plant different varieties of fruits and vegetables and finish many important gardening-related tasks.

autumn garden

What Can Be Planted in October?

If you are planning to put together a list about ‘what to do in the garden in October’, then it’s going to be quite a long one! October is a good month to sow both spring and winter crops. While certain crops are suitable only to be grown outdoors, there are certain varieties that can be sown in a greenhouse or under cloches.

Broad beans like Imperial Green Longpod or Aquadulce Claudia are best sown outdoors. Winter crops like Pak choi, Winter Lettuce and Mizuna are most suitable to be grown in a greenhouse. You can also grow citrus trees indoors.

October is a good time to harvest vegetables like tomatoes, peas, pumpkins, runner beans, french beans, squash, peppers, beetroot and leaks. These are some of the vegetables you can plant in the summer so that you can harvest during October.

Let us now take a look at some of the plants, fruits and vegetables that can be grown or harvested in the month of October:


broad beans on chopping board


Here is a list of the fruits and fruit trees you can grow in October.

Raspberries – Raspberries are of two kinds – summer fruiting raspberries and autumn fruiting raspberries. While the former is known to start growing from early summer, autumn fruiting raspberries are grown from October and harvested closer to the first frost.

Pears  – While most people harvest pears in the month of September, you can still pluck a few from the trees this month. Just be a little careful and do not try to store the pears that look even slightly damaged.

Apples – Though September is considered to be the best month to start harvesting apples, is recommended that by mid-October, you pick all the apples that are left. Check the apples properly and discard the ones that are damaged.

Grapes – Mid-season varieties of grapes are supposed to be harvested in the middle of October. Late-season varieties should ideally be harvested towards the end of the month. However, weather conditions play an important role here. If summer was very hot, then grapes should be ready to be harvested a little earlier.

Melons – If you have been growing melons for some time, now is a good time to harvest them.

Pumpkins – Most people start growing pumpkins by late May or early June and harvest them in October. The timing is just right as Halloween is celebrated towards the end of October and pumpkins are used extensively as Halloween decorations. After harvesting them, you can use them in a variety of dishes that you make at home. Nothing beats the flavour exuded by home-grown pumpkins.



Here is a list of the vegetables you can grow or harvest in October.

French Beans – French beans are harvested during the month of October. After harvesting them, you must detach them from their pods and use airtight containers to preserve them.

Broccoli – If you want to grow broccoli, you shouldn’t wait further than October. While you can still grow them after October, the weather conditions won’t be as suitable for their growth.

Chicory – These are herbaceous perennials that are usually harvested in mid-late autumn. There are different varieties of chicory. Hardy perennials grow very well in a cold frame.

Cabbages – Cabbage is one vegetable that every household stores on a regular basis. Autumn is when you harvest the cabbages; the seeds of which were sown in the spring.

Parsnip – Parsnip happens to be a root vegetable that is planted in October and left to grow throughout the winter months. Frosty weather is known to improve its flavour and enhance its sweetness.

Lettuces – The seeds for autumn lettuces are sown sometime in summer and are harvested towards the beginning of the autumn season.

Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi, also referred to by many as the German turnip, is a flowering vegetable whose seeds are sown in the summer and are harvested during the months of September and October.

Spinach – Spinach is a green vegetable that has several health benefits such as improving hydration and safeguarding you against many diseases. Spinach is planted during summer and harvested in October.

Chillies and Peppers – You need chillies and peppers for the purpose of seasoning a wide variety of dishes. If you have a makeshift garden or lawn inside the house, the weather conditions in October are very suitable to grow them.



Here are some of the flowers you can grow or harvest in October.

Rambling Roses – October is a good month to grow rambling roses, one of the most unique varieties of roses. These are tender plants that bloom in groups of seven and are characterized by stems that are flexible and long.

Phacelia – Apart from being a source of green manure, the Phacelia flower is often described as one of the best plants for different pollinators including bees. October is a great month to plant these hardy perennials. Even if you have a very small garden or lawn, all you need to do is keep aside a very small portion to sow the seeds in.  

Sweet Woodruff – If you have shade in or around your garden, you should consider planting the seeds of the Sweet Woodruff flower in October. Sow the seeds in good quality soil in autumn and you will see the flowers blooming by the spring season.

Cowslips – Also known as Primula veris, Cowslips are small-sized perennials that have a fairly tough structure and grow best in a shaded area in the garden. Cold weather works very well for their growth.  

Cow Parsley – If you want to plant some easy-to-grow flowers, then you can go for Cow Parsley. After sowing the seeds, you wouldn’t be required to do much to propel their growth.

Hyacinths – Planting hyacinths, often referred to as fragrant winter flowers, in jars or vases is a good idea if you want to experience some pleasant winter scent in your home. If you wish hyacinths to grow closer to Christmas, you must remember to purchase bulbs that are sold as ‘prepared’ in the marketplace. If you plant them in the early days of October, they will blossom just at the right time during the winter.

Apart from the ones in the list above, there are several tender perennials that can be grown by keeping the plants inside during winter and outside during the summer months.


Things You Can Do in Your Garden in October

October is a month that is known to have pleasant weather conditions. If you are planning to venture into your garden and do some productive work, here are some of the things you can do.

Give Your Garden More Attention

Whether you have a big garden or a small lawn, October is a good month to look after it. You don’t have to worry about the harsh sun and don’t have to seek protection from the rains.

In October, there is a high chance of you seeing a large number of autumn leaves falling on the grass. You can collect fallen leaves in a small bag and make a leaf mould out of them. A leaf mould works very well as a soil conditioner. Instead of buying commercial fertilizers, you can use leaf mould as an organic fertilizer.

Apart from fallen leaves, you must also clear out dead plant material, dead foliage and perennial weeds from the garden.

October is said to be the ideal month for cutting the grass in the garden for the last time in a year. While cutting the grass, just ensure that the last cut turns out to be a little higher than the cut you made in the summer. By cutting the grass in the garden a little higher, you will be able to protect it against the potential damage incurred by winter frost in the coming months.

Before the winter approaches, most people prefer cleaning up their ponds, water butts, greenhouses, gutters and everything in or around the garden.

If you have wooden furniture in the garden, you should cover it with some cloth or get it inside. Otherwise, it could get damaged in the winter. Even if you have terracotta pots or any other sensitive structure in the garden, you must get them inside the house. If you never had a compost heap, now is a good time to put together one.

cutting grass

Trim The Hedges

There are certain things you must do to maintain the aesthetic value of your garden. Before the winter approaches, you must get the hedges trimmed properly. Edges that are very crisp and sharp look visually appealing when a layer of frost forms on them during the winter.

trimming hedges in the garden

Plant Spring Bulbs

If you sow spring bulbs in the month of October, they will grow by spring and lend a vibrant look to your garden. Plant groups of 5-7 bulbs belonging to the same variety together. The depth at which you plant them should at least be double the bulb’s height.

spring bulbs

Make Necessary Arrangements To Protects Plants Against Frost

When you own a garden, it is imperative that you take effective measures to protect it against extreme weather conditions. Since we are in October, it is important to think about winter protection before colder weather approaches. Once winter arrives, crops remain at great risk of suffering from frost damage.

You have to take certain steps to ensure that the plants in your garden remain protected against the autumn chill and early frosts. During colder months, you have to put up a fence or some other structure to protect your crops against high autumn winds. Building a frost-free greenhouse would be a good investment if you plan to nurture your garden for years.

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Oliver Wright

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