Garden Monthly Update: October 2015

Garden News

As daytime temperatures dropped below 100, I was able to do some transplanting. The okra and eggplant continued to steadily produce the first part of the month, but dropped off as nighttime temps dropped into the 60's. The rain in the last couple weeks of the month was a welcome boost as the garden loves rain water. The Serrano, Cayenne and Bell pepper plants are loaded with peppers. The melon plants started producing. The few tomato volunteer transplants are doing well and flowering. I transplanted a few more tomato and pepper volunteers into pots and will try to keep these going through the winter in a small greenhouse to have them ready for spring planting. It turned out to be too hot the first part of the month for many of the lettuce seeds I planted in late September, so I re-planted more lettuce and it is doing well. The cabbage, kale and cauliflower plants have really taken off in the last couple weeks of the month. Rather than just thin my new sprouts, I try to transplant as many as I can to other parts of the garden. I was able to successfully transplant many cabbage, cauliflower, beets and Cilantro sprouts.


I planted a lot of onion bulbs and garlic cloves in October and all have sprouted. I also have Bok choy, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, beets, snow peas and kale doing well from seeds planted in October. I plan to plant dill, spinach, mustard greens, endive, Swiss chard and broccoli in November.


October Harvest - As temperatures remained above average the first part of the month, the harvest remained the same as September - Mint, Marjoram, Sage, Basil, Zucchini, Eggplant, and Okra.


Planting guide updates include - Sub-tropical Fruit sheet added to the planting guide



I finally got 2 nice gourds on my Corsican gourd vine.


I have a new cucumber compost volunteer, that so far, is doing really well.


The oregano, parsley, sage, marjoram, chives and thyme are recovering nicely with the cooler temps.


All onions, garlic and snow peas planted in October have sprouted. The kale, cabbage, Bok choy, lettuce, peppers (bell & chili), carrots, beets, Cilantro and cauliflower are really starting to take off and the Marigolds, Nasturtiums, and Borage are doing well.


The pomegranates are ripening and will be ready to harvest over the next couple months.


One of my gourds was attacked by my bird frenemies.


The Armenian cucumber and tomatillo plant did not survive the sudden drop in nighttime temps.


The Okra, Eggplant and Zucchini production has slowed down with the cooler weather in the last 2 weeks of the month.

"Hot" Topic

As the temperatures drop, make sure you are not over-watering and have a 4 - 6 inch layer of mulch to keep the roots cool in daytime and warm at night.

Tip of the Month

You still have some time to get your garlic planted. A new technique I tried this year was to soak the no-husk cloves 24 to 48hrs in a jar of water/fish emulsion solution (1 tbsp. fish emulsion + 2 tbsp. baking soda to 1 gallon water), rinse, then sub-merge in vodka for a few minutes to sterilize, do a final rinse with water and plant. I can say so far every clove I planted has sprouted, but will see how they look in 7 - 8 months.

November Do List

1. Do any major tree pruning now.

2. Trim unwanted sprouts from the interior of your citrus trees. This makes it easier to harvest fruit.

3. Keep the skirt of your citrus trees pruned and trimmed to about two or three feet from the ground. This permits a better air flow and minimizes chances of fungus.

4. Transplant asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, and lettuce.

5. If you planted vegetables in October, thin out seedlings about three to four weeks after

germination. Snip them, don't pull them.

November Don't List

1. Don't forget to check for aphids in the garden. Use soapy water in a spray bottle to control them.

2. Don't water the lawn when it's dark.

3. Do not fertilize frost-tender plants such as bottlebrush, bougainvillea, oleander and citrus.

4. Don't procrastinate about preparing for cold weather. Toward the end of November we can get frost, and your garden will be at risk if you don't cover tender plants, flowers and vegetables.

5. Don't ignore weeds.

November Planting

Vegetables: Asparagus, Beets, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Collard greens, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Turnips.

Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory.

Flowers: Alyssum, Bachelor's Button, Begonias, Black-eyed Susan, Chrysanthemum, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Fleabone, Gallardia, Geraniums, Nasturtium, Pansy, Petunia, Poppy, Snap Dragon, Society Garlic, Sweet Pea, Viola

Fruit:  Pineapple Guava, Strawberry


Note: Remember to keep planted seeds moist for proper germination and if using transplants, wait until daytime temperatures are below 100 degrees.

Recipe of the Month

- Chayote Salad -  This months recipe was chosen as Jicama, Chayote and Serrano peppers are available this time of year. Picture included in recipe pdf file.



Garden Books: Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens and Desert Gardening for Beginners by Cathy Cromell, Linda Guy and Lucy Bradley.

Web Sites:



Q: How can I control snails in my garden?

A: A mucous trail on plant leafs indicates snail and or slug presence in the garden. They will feed at night chewing on the leafs and hide during the day. There are a few natural methods for control.

1. Handpick and drop into soapy water

2. Lay a board or piece of carpet in the garden; Snails and Slugs will gather there during the day. At daybreak, lift the carpet or board and dispose.

3. Plant onions, Rosemary to distract them.

4. Snail and Slugs like beer. Place some beer in a shallow pan (like a pie pan), that is buried in the ground to the rim. In the morning you will find hungover Snails and Slugs that can be discarded.


Q: Have you ever grown pumpkins? (this question came from a neighbor)

A: Yes, I have successfully grown pumpkins, but I grew a smaller variety as recommended for the phoenix area. I had success growing them in the spring, but un-successful this year in growing them from seed started in July. Even though I kept the new plants shaded from the hot sun in July and August, they gradually died with the higher than normal temps in August.


Follow-up to a question covered in the June update regarding the total planting area of my garden. A plan view of my front yard showing the garden planting areas in brown.

- Yarden layout

November Preview

Plant disease guide

October Pictures

Link to Photos Here


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