October in the Garden
Scientists are still debating the long term effects of non-native tropical milkweed on the monarch population. If you have tropical milkweed growing in your Central Texas garden, we strongly advise cutting the plant back sometime in October. New tropical milkweed transplants will not be available for sale again until next spring.
We feel that native milkweeds are always the better option, but we continue to carry tropical milkweed for the following reasons:
- It is less challenging to grow and more suitable for beginner gardeners.
- It is a popular pollinator plant for many other insects apart from monarchs.
- Cutting back early addresses any overwintering concerns.
- Due to the widespread loss of habitat and wild foraging spaces, even a non-native option is better than none.
If you have concerns, we invite you to come in and share your research with us. New discoveries may lead to changes in future policies. Let’s help each other learn how to preserve our natural world!
VEGGIES TO PLANT
- Asian Greens
- Brussels Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
- Fava Beans
- Greens (cool season)
- Head Lettuce
- Leaf Lettuce
- Bulbing Onions (plant seed)
- Multiplying Onions
- Peas (English, snap, snow)
- Pole Beans
WHAT TO DO
October is the best month to plant wildflower seeds. You will get a higher rate of germination and healthier plants by sowing seed in a prepared site. Scalp any existing grasses and remove the clippings so the seeds can make direct contact with the soil. Keep the site lightly moist with short, frequent waterings until the seedlings are about 1″ tall, then switch to less frequent, deeper waterings until healthy roots are established.
Fall is the best season for planting in Central Texas! Plant all landscape plants, and sow winter cover crops in any unplanted veggie beds.
Garlic is a kitchen staple, good companion plant, and easy to grow. Softneck garlic is better suited for our area, and is best planted in October and November. Shallots, a cousin of garlic and onions are planted here in September and October. Soil preparation is similar for both, read our planting guide here.
Feed existing asparagus, strawberries, and other cool-weather veggies and annuals with a balanced organic fertilizer. Solid fertilizer can be scratched into the soil surface at the beginning of the month, or liquid fertilizers can be applied once a week while watering.