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Hi Folks,

Thyme To Plant Thyme and other perennials and winter annuals ! :-)

This October planting guide is a lot like September, except a few things drop off and a few things get added.

The prime planting time for GARLIC is October 1ish and no later than October 31 as the plants need the full winter to form the heads.

BUT you can plant extra cloves for harvesting periodically as 'green garlic' or 'garlic scallions' which is how they are used -- just like onion scallions only mild garlic in flavor.  Harvest when you can feel the clove has swollen and the greens are 10" inches or so in height.  You can successive plant the cloves through about January/February for harvesting as green garlic through May.

VIOLETS/Pansies/Johnny-Jump-Ups are probably my most loved flower.  For fun I seed into our dormant  lawn so I have small patches of these great flowers all winter long.

If you are able to get POTATO SEED - not the seed potatoes which are tiny baby ones for planting out later on - you can sow your potato seed starting October.  The seed will sprout, and may die back after a while.  You can leave the tiny (they are the size of a pearl) in place or transplant into their permanent bed.  The temperatures of your garden will dictate how big the potatoes are in April when it is time to harvest.

(My sister who lives in New Jersey and I have a fun project going - she sends me seeds (potato plants produce flowers and a small green 'cherry-tomato-looking' fruit (NOT EDIBLE) from her potato fruit, I sow the seeds here in AZ and send her the see potatoes in the spring for planting in NJ, then she harvests the fruit and seeds me the seeds . . . and on, and on.  This year she was able to acquire fruit from the purple potatoes I sent her :-) -- potatoes in Arizona rarely flower and even more rarely produce fruit because of the summer heat.

SWEET POTATOES - if you planted sweet potatoes at the beginning of the summer, you should start to reduce watering to reduce fruit split.  You can start to check if you have harvestable size roots in early October.  That is pretty much how big you want them.  If you do not 'cure' them or don't feel comfortable curing them, they store better in the ground for digging up later.

Kim posted her sweet potato curing process here

Bay, Greek (Sweet)
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage, Ornamental
Calendula (Calendula Officinalis)
Carnation (Dianthus Caryophyllus)
Chrysanthemum, Shungiku
Cornflower/bachelor Buttons (Bentaurea Cyanus)
Endive (and Chicory)
English Daisy (Bellis Perennis)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera Berlandieri)
Fennel, Leaf
Fruit Trees
Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea)
Johnny-jump-up (Viola Tricolor)
Kale, Ornamental
Lemon Grass
Lemon Verbena
Lettuce (arugula, leaf lettuce etc.)
Marigold, Tangerine Scented (Tagetes Lemonii)
Marigold, Citrus Scented (Tagetes Nelsonii)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum Majus)
Onions, Green
Oregano, Greek
Oregano, Mexican
Pansies (Viola X Wittrockiana)
Potato seeds (not seed potatoes - use seeds) (seed or cut pieces of potato should be planted Nov 1-Jan 1)
Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)
Scented Geranium
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus)
Stock (Matthiola Incana)
Sweet Alyssum
Sweet William Aka Pinks (Dianthus Barbatus)
Tarragon, Mexican
Tarragon, French
Violet (Viola Spp.)

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Oh my - what a list!!  Let's sow.....thanks Catherine!

You are welcome, Mary :-)

Hey Catherine, what about shallots?  A friend in Michigan gave me some from her garden and I've been chilling them in the fridge.  I thought they would be with garlic.

Mary give them a try - I have not had success with them, but I think it is because I never got the bulbs until spring - wrong time.  Since you have had them and they are chilled, you should be okay planting out like garlic.

Let me/us know how they work for you.  I would like to grow them myself, just have not put the energy into getting them for fall planting.

Also they do rot faster in too wet/not well draining soil.

Catherine, thanks for the calender and pointing out that shallot bulbs will rot.  I realized yesterday that my bulbs must be rotting and that is why my onions are disappearing.  So I can keep track of them I have my l'itiol onions  in pots, most are doing well and a couple of pots were not.  I dug up sick looking ones and they have no bulbs.

You are welcome Grace.

I bought a bag of shallots from Mekong Market in Mesa a couple of years ago and planted them late Oct. They were in a mesh bag, a dollar or two at the most and they grew beautifully into nice large bulbs. I need to get some more and get them planted, thanks for the reminder!

Good to know, Judy, thank you for posting.

Thanks Catherine! How about Fava beans? I brought two pods back with be from the SF bay area last week. I'm going to give it a shot, though I don't have much gardening experience. Any ideas?

Hi Sarah,  I would try them now and get them in ASAP.  Soak for 6 hours before planting.  You might try saving some of them for planting in February.  I have not grown them personally, but their culture is similar to Lima beans.  See which season works best for you if you try them now and then in February. Good luck :-)

A question about Fava beans.  The planting guide I got from The Urban Farm suggests October only for  planting and I thought it was a cool weather plant whereas thought Lima beans were hot weather plants.  You say that favas can be planted now but not harvested till spring but I think the package says 90 day maturity.  I ask because I have my garden all planned out for successive planting and need that fava bean patch for something else come February.  Sounds like that will not work for me??  

Hi Victoria,

The information may seem somewhat confusing because our October and February/March can be similar in temperature range.

See this link to the Extension Service and it may help you determine when you want to plan for planting.


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