Smart Tips for Successful October Veggie Gardening!
Did you already plant fall veggies in August, Sept, or both? Excellent! Plant another round! If you didn’t, let’s begin now! Many feel October is the prime SoCal planting month of the year, our ‘Second Spring!’ Some people prefer the cool slower pace of winter gardening to the more frenetic hot summer labor and work of big harvests, distribution, storage. Harvesting cold hardy vegetables after they have been hit with a touch of frost can enhance the flavor and increase the sweetness of greens such as kale and collards.
What to plant NOW?! Put in transplants of cabbage and artichokes. Cilantro loves cool weather and is said to repel aphids on Coles/Brassicas! From seeds: arugula beets, brocs, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, lettuce, mustard greens, peas, parsley (keep moist 20 days unless you presoaked), radish. Fall marks the end of the season for small red radishes and the beginning of the season for larger daikon-type radishes. Potatoes! Reds, fingerlings, Yukon Gold – your favorites!
It can go slowly now, as weather cools, so seeds may be a slow go, and tiny plants even slower. Better from transplants now is celery and coles – that’s all your pretty kales, broccoli (F1 Hybrid is my favorite for side shoots and being compact), Brussels Sprouts, collards, but especially cabbages.
Succession Planting If you also put in transplants of the same plants you seed now, you will automatically have two rounds of planting in, one to mature 6 weeks later and keep you in steady supply!
Decide where you will put your tomatoes next summer and plant a patch of favas there! They are a great winter cover crop, producing one of the highest rates of compostable organic material per square foot! Being a legume, they add Nitrogen to your soil. But most of all, they are said to counteract the wilts fungi! Buy the organic seeds at your natural foods store bulk bins!
Cut your strawberry runners Oct 10 to 15 to put in fridge to chill at least 20 days until plant Nov 1 through 5!