October Low Desert Garden Checklist
Calling All Gardeners: October is our month! There are so many kitchen garden options this month, I can see how it could get a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips for your October garden maintenance and care.
Most leafy greens (such as arugula, spinach, kale and leaf lettuce), as well as root vegetables (including radish, beet, carrot and turnip) can be planted from seed now. Follow planting instructions found on the seed packet and be sure to record what you planted where; it will make it easier to remember in a few weeks when it's time to thin the seedlings out. It's a good idea to transplant broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, head lettuce and cabbage, which take longer to mature.
Transplant parsley, mint, thyme, cilantro, oregano, dill and most other herbs. The exception to this is basil, which is best planted in late spring.
For a colorful show next spring, sow seeds of wildflowers, such as California poppy, lupine, scarlet flax, owl clover, globemallow, nasturtium and bells of Ireland. Transplant snapdragon, petunia, dianthus, geranium and begonia for immediate beauty. Here is an extensive list to get you started.
Plant spring-blooming crocus, daffodil, tulip and bearded iris in a hole 5 inches deep with the pointed end up and the flat end down. Add water as you backfill to remove air pockets and ensure good contact between the bulb and the soil. This will promote healthy root growth.
Once vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings have reached an inch or two in height, thin so that individual plants are not crowded. Consult the seed packet for the correct spacing, which may range anywhere from 2 to 12 inches apart, depending on the mature size of the greenery.
Cut spring-planted tomatoes back to stalks about 1 foot in height to stimulate a fresh flush of growth and blooms for a fall harvest. After cutting, make sure to not let the plants dry out. It's best to keep the soil moist but not saturated, like a damp sponge.
Less supplemental water is needed as temperatures cool in the fall. Water perennials, shrubs and trees when the soil is dry enough to make it difficult to push a screwdriver 3 inches into the ground.
FEED ROSES AND TURF
Refer to the label for the correct amount. Follow-up with irrigation to dissolve the fertilizer and move it into the root zone.
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!