Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 7-8

October 1 to October 31-- Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

The temperatures in October definitely turn cooler even in the south. This makes gardening fun again but after a hot summer most of us have some early fall cleanup to deal with. It is still too early to plant garlic or daffodils but perennials can certainly be planted as well as some great fall vegetables.

 

map for zone 5-6

Your Regional reporter

Kate Cospey regional reporter photo

Kate is an avid veggie gardener and writer.
She is a board member of the Garden Writer's Association. She authored 2 books: The Downsized Veggie Garden (Feb 2016) and New York & New Jersey Month by Month Gardening (Aug 2016).

To see What's in Kate's Garden Click Here!

1.) Plant Perennials Vegetables.

1. Plant Perennials Vegetables: There is still plenty of time to plant perennial vegetables that you can enjoy next year. Asparagus, strawberries and raspberries and many more edibles are great to plant now and harvest next spring (and for many more springs to come).

 

  • All About Asparagus

    Asparagus plants will grow well in virtually all areas of the US and lower Canada, except where there is extreme summer heat.

    Read more
  • All About Raspberries


    Raspberries need full sun, well-drained soil with a pH between 5.8-6.5, good air circulation, and protection from strong winds.

    Read more
  • Fall Planted Fruits
    Fall is an ideal time to plant fruit plants. Plants will establish strong root systems and get a jump on spring growth.
    Watch video

2.) Great Perennial Edibles to enjoy now and for years to come.

2. Plant Perennial Edibles: Pick from the great selection of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and find ones that suit your needs. Some produce just one large crop but other varieties continue to produce all summer long.

 

  • Blueberry Plants
    Blueberry Plants
    Grow blueberry plants and enjoy the luscious fruits of this native American shrub that have been cherished since colonial times. Plant at least two different varieties of blueberries for cross pollination to increase yield.
  • Raspberry Plants
    Raspberry Plants
    Grow both standard and everbearing raspberry plants to enjoy fresh fruit all summer.
  • Strawberry Plants
    Strawberry Plants
    Soft, succulent strawberries are difficult to find store bought but they are very easy to grow.

3.) Growing Cover Crops and Composting.

3. Growing Cover Crops: Cover crops are used to provide nutrients to the soil when it is not being used for your vegetables or cut flowers. They are quick to grow and many are killed by first frost but some remain green all through mild winters. Cover crops are another way to start composting in the garden.

4.) Fall Perennials.

4. Plants that survive frost: Not all plants are killed by the first frost and some actually look great with a touch of frost on the leaves. Pansies, ornamental grasses and many chrysanthemums are great for near the back door or containers to welcome guests on cool fall mornings.

 

  • Pansy, Moulin Rouge, , large
  • Eragrostis, Purple Love Grass, , large
  • Garden Mum, Will's Wonderful, , large

5.) First Frost Protection.

5. First Frost Protection: You know that the first frost will arrive sometime, usually in October but for mild areas it could be almost Thanksgiving before you get a cold spell. Many cool weather plants can survive a few degrees of frost if they are covered. Make sure that you have the covers handy before the frost arrives.

 

  • Frost Protection
    Frost Protection
    Extend your growing season with our selection of plant protectors designed to keep the cold out and the sun and heat in.
  • Floating Row Cover, , large
  • Burpee Exclusive Adjustable Frost Protection Kit, , large