what to do in your garden in October

What to Plant in Your Garden in October in Benicia

What Plant in your Garden in October in Benicia

You might be tempted to ease off on your gardening but there is still time to plan your spring garden.  So, let’s take a look at what to pant in your garden in October.


spring bulbs, Shamrock Landscape, Benicia, CA 94510You can expect to see Amaryllis bulbs, Tulips, Daffodils, Paperwhites, Freesias, Hyacinth, and other spring-blooming bulbs in your local nurseries or garden centers. Just remember, Tulips and Hyacinths will give you a better show if refrigerated for 4 to 6 weeks prior to planting. I’ll be planting spring bulbs in places I previously marked throughout the garden, and if deer is a problem include Allium ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Drumstick’ in your plant list.

Now would be a good time as well to visit a garden nursery if you are interested in finding a tree with the best fall color. Note, trees in containers usually start changing color several weeks before well-established trees in the ground do, which is typically late October to early November.


In the San Francisco Bay area, October is a great month to plant. The daytime temperatures are still nice while the nighttime temperatures begin to cool. This is one of the best months to plant shrubs, trees, and perennials, and here is why. The ground doesn’t dry out as quickly because of cooler evenings and the roots of the plants have a chance to spread out and get established before the winter months.

Replace wilted annuals with those that do well here during the winter month such as pansies, snapdragons, etc.  Just take a clue from what the garden centers are now displaying. And don’t forget to swap out your containers too.

Cut back perennials gone to seed. While you’re at it, collect seeds in paper envelopes, not plastic bags, and mark them right away. Trust me, you won’t remember the names of all of the seeds you’ve collected.

Divide and move.  Divide irises and daylilies. Perennials that need to be divided can find a new home in a different spot. Now you can also transplant plants that did not perform well in their original spot for better success next season.

Now is the time to prepare your vegetable beds with rich soil and plenty of compost for your winter crops and begin planting fall and winter vegetables. You can plant lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, mustard, collards, celery, carrots, onions, garlic (all types), radishes, and more.

Need to renovate or install a new lawn?  Now is a great time to either re-seed the existing lawn, or plant a new lawn from seed, or lay sod.  Click here for some great information on how to repair your lawn after a summer drought. If you rather not tackle this chore yourself, you could always contact us.

For some plant inspiration, check out this online tool.


Starting mid-October to early November fertilize your fruit trees and flowering shrubs. We recommend Master Bloom (0-10-10) and F.S.T. (a product that contains Iron, Sulfur, Manganese, and Zinc. You should apply these two products once a month until the middle of February.

The Master Bloom fertilizer enhances root and flower development because of the phosphorus and potash. The F.S.T., which contains essential trace minerals, strengthens the trees and generally makes the fruit sweeter. Both of these products are applied through the winter months to make these elements available to the plants as they emerge from dormancy.

Get the Garden Soil Tested. Fall is a good time to get the soil analyzed so any deficiencies can be addressed before planting in the spring.

Put out pre-emergent herbicide in beds for cool-weather weeds and in Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede lawns.

Taking some time to evaluate plantings — what thrived, what did poorly — and considering where to fill in gaps or try new plants and flowers.

We hope this article has helped you identify what to plant in October for an awesome start to the Spring.

Happy Gardening,

from your Shamrock Landscape Co crew

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