Low Desert Arizona Garden in October
What grows in low desert Arizona gardens in October? I’ll show you. All of these pictures come from my garden in Mesa, Arizona.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
— L.M. Montgomery
Living in the low desert of Arizona year-round means intense dry heat in June and July. This is followed by more heat, windstorms and monsoons in August and September. At the end of the summer you are ready for the cooler mornings and pleasant (albeit a little warm) days of October.
Certainly, October in the Arizona garden is a busy time. Fortunately, the cooler temperatures are a welcome relief and it’s a pleasure to be outside after the heat of the summer.
Keep reading for garden inspiration, an October garden checklist, and a list of what vegetables, herbs and flowers to plant in your Arizona garden in October.
Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October
It’s finally (hopefully) cool enough to plant all the winter greens we’ve been craving all summer. Pay attention to the temperatures and don’t plant them too soon, or they will bolt. Plant several varieties in your garden.
Flowers growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October
Petunia season has begun. Refresh and replace old potting soil and plant your favorite cool-loving annuals this month.
Butterfly bush is in bloom in October gardens in Arizona. Keep an eye out and you are sure to spot butterflies on one of their favorite flowers.
October in Arizona is the perfect time to plant wildflowers. Spread seeds in the rocky areas of your yard. The wildflower seeds will germinate with October’s cooler temperatures and rain. Wildflowers provide color and visual interest in your yard until temperatures heat up in the spring. Let seeds drop if you want the wildflowers to come back each year.
Fruit trees in the low desert Arizona garden in October
Pomegranates are ripening. I will probably wait until November to harvest them, but check yours by picking one and seeing if the berries are a deep red for most varieties. Read this article to learn how to grow pomegranates.
Peach trees and other deciduous fruit trees‘ leaves are beginning to change color in preparation for losing their leaves. Be sure to clean up around trees, and remove any fallen fruit to prevent pests from overwintering near your trees. Consider planting garlic in your tree wells to deter pests as well.
The citrus in your yard should be looking happy this month. If you didn’t fertilize your trees last month, do it at the beginning of the month. Hopefully you are seeing new growth being pushed out and lots of fruit ripening on the trees. If your tree is not looking good, evaluate what went wrong this summer. It’s important to make sure you have the right tree in the right spot with correct watering in your yard.
Herbs in the low desert Arizona garden in October
Roselle hibiscus is a new addition to my garden this year. The starts were planted in August and the plants are now over 8 feet tall and at least that wide. Harvest the calyx (the calyx is the grouping of red fleshy petals which forms a layer around the flower’s seed-pod) about 10 days after they bloom. Read this article to learn how to grow roselle hibiscus.
Read this post for my favorite ways to use roselle hibiscus.
Sweet bay leaf is putting on new growth. Harvest the largest, oldest leaves for best flavor.
Low desert Arizona garden in October to-do list:
- Plant trees in October in Arizona. Young trees transplant best.
- Adjust watering of established trees to about once every 7 to 21 days.For more guidelines on watering see Water Use It Wisely.
- Plant shrubs and flowering perennials in October in Arizona.
- Prune established flowering perennials back by about a third. Water well after pruning.
- Ideal month to plant many vegetables, herbs and annual flowers. (See lists below)
What to plant in the Arizona garden in October:
Vegetables to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October
Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Endive, Garlic, I’itoi Onions, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leek, Mustard, Onion Plants, Green Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, Turnips
Plant garlic from garlic cloves
Plant I’itoi Onions from I’itoi onion bulbs
Onions grow best from onion seeds (if planted in October – November) or onion transplants (October – early February)
Herbs to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October
Can be grown either way : Catnip, Chives, Yarrow
Flowers to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October
African Daisy, Ageratum, Alyssum, Aster, Baby’s Breath, Begonia, Calendula, Candy Tuft, Carnation, Echinacea, Flax, Foxglove, Gaillardia, Gazania, Geranium, Globe Mallow, Gloriosa Daisy, Hollyhock, Larkspur, Lisianthus, Lobelia, Lupine, Mexican Hat, Nasturtium, Ornamental Cabbage, Painted Daisy, Penstemon, Petunia, Phlox, Pincushion Flower, Poppy, Ranunculus, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Statice, Stock, Straw Flower, Sweet Pea, Verbena, Violet, Yarrow
Would you like the low-desert planting dates for vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a convenient calendar?
*PLANTING GUIDE: Each month has a planting guide (letter boards) for the vegetables, herbs, and flowers to plant in the low desert of Arizona.
*HARVEST GUIDE: Harvest guides are the harvest photos of what it is possible to harvest each month.