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. 

We garden year-round in many parts of Arizona, but we can’t grow everything all year. Take a look at what’s growing this month, and let me know in the comments what’s growing in your garden. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

“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. 

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October

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October in the Arizona garden is a perfect time for peppers. If you gave them a light prune in September, you can expect new growth and healthy peppers to harvest. Give pepper plants a weekly foliar spray of epsom salt while they are actively growing. 

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October in Arizona is the best time to plant potatoes (not sweet potatoes). Try planting them in grow bags if you are short on space. Read this article to learn how to grow potatoes in containers

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Peas are a family favorite straight from the garden. Plant peas this month and continue to plant them through February. Peas planted in October or earlier in September will mature more quickly than those planted later in the year (the cooler temps will slow them down a bit). 

How to grow garlic in Arizona - growing garlic in Arizona - Elephant Garlic #elephantgarlic #arizonagardening #garlic #garden #howtogarden

October is the best time to plant garlic in Arizona. Be sure to check out this post for tips on growing garlic in Arizona. 

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October in Arizona is a great time to plant celery. Plant from seed, starts, or even the cut-off end of a store bought celery. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Cucumelons, also called Mexican Gherkins or mousemelons, that were planted earlier in the summer are finally beginning to take off in the cooler temperatures of October in Arizona. 

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. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Malabar spinach is flowering and producing seeds. This green is a star of the summer garden. If you don’t want volunteers popping up in your garden for years to come, pull the spinach before the seeds begin to drop. 

What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Flowers growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October

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Petunia season has begun. Refresh and replace old potting soil and plant your favorite cool-loving annuals this month. 

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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. 

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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. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Nasturtiums begin to pop up all around my garden in October. Nasturtiums are a great companion plant and a way to prevent garden pests organically. Consider planting some around your garden this month. Read this article to learn how to grow nasturtiums.

What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Fruit trees in the low desert Arizona garden in October

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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

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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. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

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. 

What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Herbs in the low desert Arizona garden in October

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Harvest basil regularly to ensure a continuous supply. If you want to save seeds, hold off on harvesting and allow basil to flower this month and form seeds. This article shares how to grow basil

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

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Sweet bay leaf is putting on new growth. Harvest the largest, oldest leaves for best flavor. 

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

If you gave your leggy sage a trim back in September, it should fill in with lush new growth this month. If it didn’t survive the summer, October is a great month to plant sage. Read this article to learn how to grow sage.

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 a month.
  • 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:

Arizona Garden in October

  Vegetables to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October

Arizona Garden in October

  Herbs o plant in the low desert of Arizona in October

  • Anise, Borage, Caraway, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennell, Garlic Chives, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Winter Savory, Thyme, Yarrow
Arizona Garden in October

  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, Johnny Jump-up, 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

Arizona annual flowers visual guide helps you learn when to plant flowers in Arizona, and whether to plant seeds or transplants.

Arizona Garden in October #gardening #garden #arizonagarden #octobergarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden
Arizona garden in October #arizonagarden #arizonagardenguide
Arizona garden in October #arizonagarden #arizonagardenguide

Want more information about gardening in Arizona? This blog post shares 7 tips for  how to grow a vegetable garden in Arizona

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4 comments on “Arizona Garden in October”

    • I will have another garden class in the spring. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter, I’ll announce it there first. Thanks.

  1. Where can I get seed potatoes to plant this month? Your suggested retailers are sold out until next year to plant in the spring. Thank you I am learning so much from you!

    • Hi Monica, I’m glad the information has been helpful. I often start my own potatoes with organic potatoes from Sprouts and chit (pre-sprout) them before planting. If you have some smaller type potatoes that have begun to sprout on their own, use those, they will work too.

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