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October Garden Tips | Phoenix, AZ 2023

My October garden tips are just a bit different this year. After a summer filled with more blazing temperatures than we've ever seen, I want to first share what should be done this month for your landscape plants.

pruning roses, vickie mcdermott
  • All of your roses, landscape shrubs, and foliage can use a light-handed prune - only remove the dead canes or branches.

  • Use a gentle organic approach to nutrition - some additional compost and worm castings will help.

  • Water in the nutritional supplements well around the base and to the drip line of plants. The dripline is the outer branching area of a plant, most likely where its roots are.

  • As always, keep an eye on things and adjust water accordingly. With a little extra TLC, your landscape plants should pop right back!

Now without further ado, I'm so excited October is finally here, and it's our gardens' time to shine! With an abundance of kitchen garden options available this month, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. But fear not, for I have some fantastic tips to help you breeze through your October garden maintenance and care. 🌱

Cool Season Vegetables

Now is the perfect time to sow seeds for leafy greens like spinach, kale, and leaf lettuce. Don't forget about root vegetables such as radishes, carrots, and parsnips too! Just follow the planting instructions on the seed packet and keep a record of what you've planted where, so it's easier to thin out the seedlings later.

For plants that take longer to mature, like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and cabbage, it's recommended to transplant them instead of starting from seed. This gives them a head start and ensures they have enough time to grow into healthy and robust plants.

A note about tomatoes:

To encourage a fruitful fall harvest, it's time to give your spring-planted tomatoes a little trim. Cut them back to stalks about one foot in height, and watch as they spring back to life with fresh growth and blooms.

However, remember that post-trim care is crucial for their well-being. Keep the soil consistently moist, similar to a damp sponge. Avoid letting the plants dry out, but be cautious not to overwater and saturate the soil. Finding the right balance is key.

By providing the optimal moisture levels, you'll give your tomatoes the best chance to thrive and produce a bountiful autumn harvest.

Cool Season Herbs

Whether you're planting from seed, transplants, or cuttings, this is a great time to get homegrown herbs started for your holiday. Say it with me: no more little plastic containers with overpriced herbs!

There are a few things to keep in mind when planting your October garden:


If you want your garden to burst with vibrant colors next spring, now is the time to sow some seeds! Consider planting calendula, hollyhock, petunia, nasturtium, verbena and more for a breathtaking show.

PKG Bonus October Garden Tips

Give seedlings room to grow!

  • As your vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings start sprouting and reaching a height of around an inch or two, it's time to thin them out. By doing so, you'll ensure that each plant has enough space to thrive and flourish.

  • Refer to the instructions on the seed packet for the correct spacing, as it can vary depending on the mature size of the plants. The recommended spacing could range from 2 to 12 inches apart. Following these guidelines will help prevent overcrowding and promote healthier growth.

  • Soil prep is a must!

  • Keep on eye on your watering schedule.

  • Garden location makes all the difference for a bountiful harvest.

Cheers to October gardening and enjoying the fruits of our labor - as well as our beautiful Phoenix fall weather!

Do you have questions about your Phoenix Kitchen Gardens? I have answers! To book a consultation, click the link on the PKG homepage or call 602-722-7971.

And for more low desert garden tips, don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

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