Arizona Garden in October
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
— L.M. Montgomery
Living in 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 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.
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.
Flowers growing in the 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.
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.
Fruit trees in the 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.
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.
Top 5 Tips for Growing Citrus
Herbs in the Arizona garden in October
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.
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.
Sweet bay leaf is putting on new growth. Harvest the largest, oldest leaves for best flavor.
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 list below)
What to plant in the Arizona garden in October:
- Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Endive, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leek, Mustard, Onions, Green Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rutabagas, Swiss Chard, Turnips
- Anise, Borage, Caraway, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennell, Garlic Chives, Lavendar, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Winter Savory, Thyme, Yarrow
- 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