Eco Gardening – October 2017

Eco Gardening – October 2017
September 4, 2017 Christina Mullin

What to Buy at the local Farmer’s Market:

What to Plant in the Garden:

October Eco Garden 2017

West Coast and East Coast Garden Calendars

Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth

Please check out my blog about Gardening according to the phases of the Moon, where I explain it in more detail:


Oct 1st-4th: Waxing

Oct. 5th: Full Moon

Oct 6th-18th: Waning

Oct. 19th: New Moon

Oct. 20th-Nov 2nd: Waxing


West Coast Garden Chores for the month of October are:

October is a great time to plant: bare root fruit trees, perennials, roses, cane berries, artichokes, asparagus, spring bulbs, chives, parsley, arugula, cilantro and Swiss chard, lavender, rosemary, and santolina

When you plan your vegetable garden, sow the seeds at intervals, every week throughout the season, so you always have something growing at different times. This is called ‘succession planting’.

Harvest tomatoes and peppers

Feed citrus and avocado trees with a dose of organic fertilizer specific to those trees

Plant shrubs for fall color such as barberry, cotonteaser, mahonia, nandina or pyracantha

Save water by letting go of the small lawn on the curb by your house. This is a perfect time to plant water-wise plants such as carex or blue fescue, creeping germanderm, sedums, aloes mixed with lobelia, nemesia and sweet smelling alyssum.

Keep a bucket in your shower (if there is room enough) and catch the cold water before it turns warm. Use that water in your garden or water a thirsty tree in your neighborhood.

October is also a great time to do pruning: Prune perennials that have flowered such as bananas, cannas, gingers and heliconias, and cut their stems to the ground. Prune Santa Barbara daisies, scabiosas and verbenas and all your geraniums by half and also the oleander bushes

Deadhead spent flowers

Feed roses with a balanced organic fertilizer

Start Kale from seed such as ‘Lacinto’ or ‘Red Russian’ and plant in the full sun

Clean up your garden and start a fall compost pile

Fill vacant spots with drought-tolerant groundcovers such as these two: Sundrops grow 4 to 20 inches tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, and bloom yellow almost year-round, and China blue-flowering germander sage reaches 18 inches tall and 2 to 3 feet wide

Divide perennials and fall blooming bulbs after bloom

Watch out for slugs and snails around your new plantings.

Turn your compost pile and keep it damp

Plant bulbs, spring wildflowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflower, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, larkspur, lobelia, lupine, nicotiana, nigella, pansy, petunia, poppy, salvia, scabiosa, snapdragon, stock, sweet pea, verbena, carnation, delphinium, hollyhock, lavender, penstemon, rudbeckia, statice, and yarrow

In your vegetable garden plant: broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, garlic, spinach, lettuce, peas, chard, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage

East Coast Garden Chores for the month of October are:

Mulch root crops with a thick layer of straw, and harvest through winter

Cover perennial beds with thick leaf mulch or straw after ground is frozen

Divide fall blooming bulbs and perennials after bloom

Plant spring bulbs and tulips, and lift and store tender bulbs

Drain hoses and sprinklers, and store them

Force bulbs indoors for holiday bloom

Use row covers and cold frames to extend season

Protect tender plants such as roses

Water thoroughly before the ground freezes

Cut back on feeding house plants

Plant trees, asparagus, cane berries and rhubarb

Start compost pile

Plant and repair lawns

In your flower garden: plant winter and spring bulbs and spring wildflowers

Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for October and which days are best for specific chores:

October 1st till the 4th, the Moon is in the Waxing phase, when the lunar gravitational pull brings the water up, which makes it a good time of the month to encourage plant growth and proliferation. Plant seeds, transplant, re-pot, trim and prune for growth. Also, fruits and vegetables that are tender and should be eaten immediately are at their best when gathered at the Waxing Moon, because the water content is higher, salads are crunchier, and juicier.

The 4 days before and also 4 days after the Full Moon is the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.

The Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month. Best time to pick tomatoes. Harvest grapes to be used in winemaking as close to the full moon as possible because the grapes will retain more juice and bouquet. Gather any herbs to be used for their essential oils at the Full Moon because oil content is more concentrated at this time.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

Oct 2ndand 3rd: Plant hardy above ground annuals

Oct. 5th: Full Moon

October 6th till the 18th, the Moon is Waning, and the energy of the earth is drawn down but the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil and this energy goes into the roots making it a good time of the month to sow crops that produce their yield below ground and control plant growth by pruning, weeding, and controlling garden pests, as well as dividing perennials. This is the best time for garden maintenance because the growth cycle of plants decreases.  Fruit trees do best planted at this time of the month because the position of the moon encourages development of root growth and tree bark, essential to their success. This is also the best time to cut wood, because it resists parasites and cures better. Farmers pick their apples, cabbages, potatoes and onions at the Waning Moon, when water content is lowest and so the harvest stores better and keeps longer. Best time to dry herbs, flowers and fruit and the herbs are at their most potent. Also, add potassium fertilizer to plants that need it because it will be better absorbed at this time. Mow your lawn to slow growth.  First time composting, start your composting during this period because the Waning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

Oct. 6th and 7th: Plant for root growth and divide perennials

Oct. 9th and 10th: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests

Oct. 11th and 12th: Plant for root growth and divide perennials

Oct. 13th and 14th: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests

Oct, 15th and 16th: Harvest and cultivate, especially medicinal plants

Oct. 18th: Water

Oct. 19th: New Moon

Waxing phase starts again…

Oct. 20th and 21st: Plant hardy above ground annuals

Oct. 29th till the 31st: Plant hardy above ground annuals

Happy gardening and see you in November!