Even as the weather cools you can still plant in your garden! This article will go through what to plant in October for a delicious spring harvest next year!
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Keep in mind that this article is specifically for those of you living in zones 7 & 8. If you don’t know what your garden zone is you can follow this link to find out!
If you don’t live in zones 7 or 8 we also have articles on what to plant in zones 5 & 6, or 9 & 10.
Remember that most of the crops on this list are being planted for a SPRING harvest. Planting in the fall means that you will get a yummy spring harvest next year!
You will need to use a hoop house, cold frame or some Heavy Fabric Row Cover to help protect your crops during the coldest months of the winter.
Let’s get started! Here’s what to plant in October in zones 7 & 8!
What to Plant in October: Zones 7 & 8
October is the perfect time for planting garlic. Planting garlic in the fall gives you a head start in the spring and will give you stronger, healthier, and larger bulbs. You should plant garlic a week or two after your expected first frost date (notice this is the expected date not the actual date!) Use this frost date calculator to determine when your first frost is expected. You can learn more about growing garlic here: Garlic Growing Guide
Shallots are also best when you plant them in the fall. I recommend that you cover both your garlic and shallots with a layer of mulch to insulate the ground against the worst of the cold. You can learn more about growing shallots in the fall in this article: Growing Shallots
You can also try planting leafy greens. These will mostly be planted for overwintering, so you won’t be harvesting them before winter. You need to plan on protecting them over the winter with a cold frame, hoop house or at least fabric row cover!
Mache is a perfect salad green for planting in October! Mache actually germinates best when the temperature is around 65 degrees in the daytime which makes it a great October crop! Mache will grow unprotected, but it will grow faster if you protect it with a hoop house.
Like Mache, Claytonia actually continues to grow even when there is less than 10 hours of daily sunlight in the garden! It’s a great winter crop!
Y’all know I love kale. It’s one of my favorite crops especially in the winter! Kale planted in October will really take off in a few months (around February) giving you a yummy early spring harvest!
You can also plant spinach this month. Planting spinach in October means you are definitely thinking ahead! If it’s protected by a hoop house or cold frame it will grow slowly through the coldest months and then start to grow quickly once the days get longer in the early spring!
Swiss Chard is another hardy crop that you can start in October for a yummy early spring harvest!
These greens should be protected by a cold frame, hoop house, or fabric row cover because they aren’t quite as hardy as some of the others, but starting them now gives you a good head start for next year!
That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed this guide for what to plant in October in your garden! What will you be planting this month?
Thank. You for this wonderful article. Very helpful. I live in zone 8 b
Dear Stoney Acres,
Thank you so much for your services of teaching gardening. Because of you and others like you, I now have a small 9×9 ft. Sunbubble, an igloo-style clear vinyl tent, put up. And I will plant the seeds of the plants you are teaching about today. I did not understand that these could be overwintered and not die. I was afraid because I didn’t start seedlings in late summer that I could not plant now.
I have always wondered how grasses and wild plants can actually grow in the winter.
Thank you so much for today’s email information!!!