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Arizona Garden in October

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. 

Low desert includes elevations below 3500 ft in the Southwest, such as the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.


“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. 


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

Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October

Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October Roselle, summer squash, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, and pumpkins
Roselle, summer squash, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, and pumpkins

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

October in the Arizona garden is harvest time for peppers. If you gave them a light prune in September, you can expect new growth and healthy peppers to harvest.


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

September or early October in Arizona is one of the best times 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


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

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). 


Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October Astia container zucchini
Astia container zucchini

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. 


Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October Luffa (loofah)
Luffa (loofah)

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

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. 


Jack Be Little Pumpkins - Arizona garden in October
Jack Be Little Pumpkins

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

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


Arizona garden in October
October harvest

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 Roselle hibiscus calyces
Roselle hibiscus calyces

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 Roselle plant in a raised bed
Roselle plant in a raised bed

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 drop. 


Arizona garden in October Cucumbers, Peppers, Roselle
Cucumbers, Peppers, Roselle


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

Flowers growing in the low desert Arizona garden in October

Arizona garden in October Sunset Cosmos
Sunset Cosmos

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

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


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

Butterfly bush is in bloom in October gardens in Arizona. Keep an eye out, and you will spot butterflies on one of their favorite flowers. 


Arizona garden in October

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

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

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

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

Arizona garden in October

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

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. 

Read this article for more information about how to grow peach trees.


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 ensure you have the right tree in the right spot with the correct watering in your yard. 

Arizona garden in October
Lemons continue to ripen during October

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

Herbs in the low desert Arizona garden in October

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

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


Plant saffron during October. Learn more about how to grow saffron in this post.

I purchased my saffron bulbs from Renee’s Garden Seeds. They typically sell and ship them each fall.


Arizona garden in October Basil, zucchini, summer squash, winter squash, luffa, cantaloupe
Basil, zucchini, summer squash, winter squash, luffa, cantaloupe

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

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


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

If you gave your leggy sage a trim in September, it should fill in with lush new growth this month. If it doesn’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:

Arizona garden in October Sweet Potato Vines
Sweet Potato Vines
  • 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. 
  • October is the ideal month to plant many vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers. (See lists below)

Arizona garden in October Cabbage
Cabbage


How to grow citrus in Arizona #arizonacitrus #citrus

Questions about growing citrus? This article answers 10 questions about how to grow citrus and includes guidelines for selecting, planting, watering, and fertilizing citrus.


What to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October

What to plant in Arizona in October

Before planting:


Vegetables, herbs & fruit to plant in the low desert in October:

SEED, TRANSPLANT, OR BOTH? S = Seed / T= Transplant


Perpetual Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Planting Calendar Zone 9b
  • PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists vegetables, fruit & herbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
  • HARVEST GUIDE: Photos show what may be ready to harvest that month.
  • Planting dates are for the low desert of Arizona (zone 9b).

Arizona garden in October Beans, Zucchini, Okra, Melon, Eggplant, and Roselle
October harvest of: Beans, Zucchini, Okra, Melon, Eggplant, and Roselle

Vegetable, herb & fruit seeds to start indoors in October

(Click the link for seed sources.)


Visual planting guides for vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers & vines.


 Flowers to plant in the low desert of Arizona in October

Arizona garden in October Alyssum
Alyssum
  • African Daisy (S)
  • Ageratum (T)
  • Allium (bulb)
  • Alyssum (ST)
  • Amaryllis (bulb)
  • Anemone (corm)
  • Aster (T)
  • Baby’s Breath (ST)
  • Begonia (T)
  • Bells of Ireland (S)
  • Bigelow’s Purple Aster (S)
  • Calendula (ST)
  • Calla Lily (rhizome)
  • Carnation (T)
  • Chrysanthemum (T)
  • Clarkia (T)
  • Coreopsis (ST)
  • Cornflower (S)
  • Crocus (bulb)
  • Daffodil (bulb)
  • Dara (ST)
  • Delphinium (S)
  • Dianthus (T)
  • Echinacea (T)
  • English Daisy (T)
  • Evening Primrose (T)
  • Flax (S)
  • Forget-Me-Not (S)
  • Foxglove (T)
  • Freesia (bulb) 
  • Gaillardia (ST)
  • Gazania (T)
  • Geranium (T)
  • Grape Hyacinth (bulb)
  • Hollyhock (ST)
  • Iris (rhizome)
  • Larkspur (S)
  • Linaria (S)
  • Lobelia (T)
  • Lupine (S)
  • Marigold (ST)
  • Nasturtium (S)
  • Ornamental Cabbage/Kale (T)

SEED, TRANSPLANT, OR BOTH? S = Seed / T= Transplant


Cool-Season Flowers That Love Mild Winters

Although summers are hot in the low desert, our winters are mild. Several beautiful flowers grow well during the mild winter and bloom through early spring. In this post, I share my 10 favorite cool-season flowers that love mild winters. 


Flower seeds to start indoors in the low desert in October

(Click the link for seed sources.)


Perpetual Flower Planting Calendar for Zone 9B

Flowers to Plant Outside & Seeds to Start Indoors Each Month in the Low Desert of Arizona.
PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists annual flowers and bulbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
BLOOMING GUIDE: Photos show what may be in bloom that month.


Seed Box Labels with planting dates for vegetables and flowers


If this post about Arizona gardening during October was helpful, please share it:


Anna

Monday 16th of October 2023

Hi there, I was wondering if you could explain what the letters are next to the plant names (ST, S etc). Thank you so much!

Angela Judd

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

SEED, TRANSPLANT, OR BOTH? S = Seed / T= Transplant / ST= Seed or Transplant

Jeanette

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Angela, I have a plant growing in my garden that I can’t identify: maybe you can, I will look for your email to send you a picture: it looks like lambs quarter but does not have the white dust- it has yellow lantern like flowers that grow on the underside of the plant.

James

Monday 9th of October 2023

Hello, My wife and I are planning on buying FreezeDryer to help us store our foods for longer. However, I've seen several poor reviews regarding the HarvestRight system performancein a hot area like Arizona. Can you please tell me what special precautions we should take and what operating environment the system needs to perform optimally? Specifically I heard the vacuum pumps will not work well in the hot temps and errors out midway through a cycle and having to start from the beginning. I plan on storing the FD in my garage. The temperature will be between 80-90 degrees. I can use a portable AC u it but it it will work without the extra electricity that would make me happy. Thank you for your time. I hope to learn a lot about gardening and the freeze drying operation.

Cheers!

Angela Judd

Monday 9th of October 2023

If you're going to keep it in the garage it will be too hot during most of the year to operate it. If the room is any hotter than 78°-80°F the functionality suffers. I don't use my freeze dryer much during the summer, but I use it quite often during the cooler months of the year.

Cindy New

Sunday 8th of October 2023

Where can I purchase a blackberry plant?

Angela Judd

Sunday 8th of October 2023

Check local nurseries. I've seen them at Summerwinds and A&P.

Rosa Cervantes

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Hi Angela please help me I cant find l´itoi onion bulbs for sale nowhere

Angela Judd

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Villardi Gardens has had them in the past.