In the October garden, many vegetables can be sown and transplanted. The summer crops have come to an end, and our autumn garden is in full swing, with vegetables that will accompany us through the long cold season. In October, both direct sowing and transplanting can be done. Therefore, we have plenty of choices to create our garden harmoniously and productively at the same time.
Let’s see the advice for choosing what to sow and plant this month.
What to Sow in the October Garden
A rather obvious consideration is that all plants originate from seeds. However, in practical gardening, there are seedlings that we transplant, and seeds that we bury in the soil. Not all vegetables are suitable for direct sowing, mainly due to long germination times and the subsequent competition from weeds. Therefore, it is preferred to plant young seedlings directly purchased from a nursery or self-produced using the seedbed technique. For the month of October, we can mention cabbages and various types of lettuce, for example. However, some vegetables are suitable for direct sowing in the soil, without the intermediate step of the seedbed, as they germinate quickly and have very robust seeds. We are talking especially about leguminous plants, but also other vegetables that benefit from broadcast sowing.
Sowing Legumes in October
October is perfect for direct sowing of legumes in the garden, especially in southern regions where winters are mild, and small plants are not threatened by dangerous and frequent frosts. The legumes to plant in October include broad beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and lupins. The sowing technique is that of broadcasting in regular rows, spacing the holes 30/40 cm apart in the row and maintaining a distance of at least 50 cm between the rows. The holes should be about 2/3 cm deep and should accommodate 2/3 seeds, so that a nice cluster of seedlings emerges. With this technique, there is an evident economic advantage, as purchasing seeds in packages of 500 g or more costs much less than individual plants.
Seeds, for example, those of broad beans, can be easily found in specialized stores. The seeds of peas can also be easily sourced.
Sowing Garlic in October
October is ideal for starting to sow garlic. It is a highly significant cultivation in our tradition, as garlic, besides being an ingredient in hundreds of recipes, can be transformed into excellent natural remedies (link) to protect plants from pests.
Garlic is sown by burying the bulbils at about 3/5 depth, with the tip facing upwards, in small furrows specially created. The distance maintained is 15 cm in the row and 25/30 cm between the rows. Therefore, it is a space-saving cultivation.
Sowing Spinach and Chard
Other vegetables that can be sown in October are spinach and chard, both belonging to the same botanical family, Chenopodiaceae. The seeds of these vegetables are quite large and can germinate in a few days. The technique used is broadcasting. It is crucial to prepare the soil’s surface and keep it adequately moist with light watering. The seed is buried at a depth of about 1 cm, using a convenient rake. If the seeding intensity was excessive, thinning should be carried out later, leaving about one seedling every 5/10 cm.
Sowing Turnip Greens in October
Among the October sowings is also the one for turnip greens, which many have already done between August and September. For successful sowing, it is essential that the soil is moist, which means there should be abundant rainfall. Those who sowed in August certainly had to resort to rain irrigation, which is no longer necessary in October. Sowing is done by broadcasting, but unlike the previously mentioned vegetables, turnip green seeds are tiny. To spread them evenly, it is advisable to mix them with fine sand or soil. In this case as well, lightly burying with a rake and thinning the seedlings if necessary is recommended.
What to Plant in October in the Garden
In October, the transplanting of autumnal garden vegetables is completed (or initiated). The vegetables planted during this period fall into two categories: medium to large-sized cabbages and leafy vegetables.
Which Cabbages to Plant in the October Garden
Regarding cabbages, October is practically the last month for transplanting them in the garden. These are plants with a medium to long growing cycle, so planting them too late means exposing them to winter frosts. For planting in November or December, it is better to use protected structures (greenhouses or tunnels) for the species we will see below. However, in October, there are no particular issues in any Italian region.
Here are the cabbages to plant this month: cauliflower, Savoy cabbage, broccoli, Romanesco broccoli, Tuscan black kale, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage.
Which Leafy Vegetables to Plant in October in the Garden
In October, the transplanting of leafy vegetables ideal for the autumn-winter season continues. Here are the main organic vegetables to grow in our garden: romaine lettuce and Canasta lettuce, curly endive, smooth-leaved endive, sugarloaf chicory, radicchio, puntarelle and catalogna, leaf celery, fennel.