Skip to main content

October Gardening Tips from Southwest Austin’s Natural Gardener

published on October 10, 2012

Austin Fall GardenNow that cool weather has breezed into Austin, Texas, it’s time to start preparing your garden for fall! Enjoy these useful gardening tips for October, compliments of Southwest Austin’s Natural Gardener …

Gardening To-Do List for October

Plant vegetable plants. Chinese Cabbage, Collards (and other Greens), Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Greens, Lettuce, and Spinach can be planted throughout the fall, if they are given frost protection.

Plant herbs. Seeds: Borage, Caraway, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Summer Savory. Plants: All perennial herb plants; also Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley.

Plant annual flowers/ornamentals (can be seeds and/or plants). Sweet Alyssum, Calendula, Centaurea, Coreopsis, Johnny Jump-Up, Larkspur, Nasturtium, Pansy, Poppy, Snapdragon, Sweet Pea.

Plant perennials, trees, and shrubs. Plant Columbine (in a shady location) now in order to have springtime blooms.

Plant ground covers and borders.

Plant wildflower seeds. This month is the ideal time to plant wildflowers. Try to find Bluebonnet inoculant to go with your Bluebonnet seeds. It is in the bean family, after all, and would like some of that Rhizobium bacteria.

Divide perennials. Transplant or give away your divisions of Daylily, Bearded Iris, Shasta Daisies, Violets, Wood Ferns, and Cannas.

Start, or add to, a compost pile.

Be on the lookout for Brown Patch in the (usually St. Augustine) lawn. Treat brown patch by increasing the beneficial soil life. Topdress with good quality manure compost and/or spray lawn with aerobically brewed compost tea. Add corn meal at 20 pounds per 1000 square feet. Apply Actinovate at one pound per 1000 square feet of problem area. Also address other causal factors by filling in low spots, mowing at the proper height, and watering and feeding properly.

Plant cool-season cover crops. Plant Clovers, Hairy Vetch, Austrian Winter Peas, or annual Rye instead of mulching, and till them in next spring before they flower. Cereal Rye is a cover crop that can assist in controlling the root-knot nematode in the soil. If you plant Cereal Rye, it should be cut and tilled in before it gets to be a foot tall. For all cover crops, wait at least a couple of weeks after tilling before you plant anything else, to allow the organic matter to decompose.

Plant naturalizing bulbs. Unlike so-called Dutch bulbs that require refrigeration and have to be replanted each year, naturalizing bulbs are well-suited to Austin soils and climate, and they’ll make themselves right at home in a Central Texas garden. Anemones, Oxblood Lilies, Spider Lilies, Grape Muscari, and many types of Narcissus have been gracing Austin homesteads for well over a hundred years. They return year after year, they increase in number, and they require virtually no care! Here are a few other types of bulbs that can naturalize here: Allium, Byzantine Gladiola, Crocus, and Daffodil.

Spray lawn and landscape weekly with seaweed spray. Seaweed’s potassium, along with other minerals and hormones, makes it the perfect anti-freeze for all plants. Other benefits include increased disease and pest resistance and promotion of flowering. For best results, spray in the early morning or in the evening.

Thank you, Natural Gardener! Check out the store website for additional information. Or, take a trip to see them this fall. Store hours and directions are below! Happy gardening!

Regent Property Group REALTORS® support homegrown Austin businesses like the Natural Gardener. They also help Austin homebuyers stay on top of the luxury real estate market. On the lookout for a new home? Check out Austin homes for sale!

Natural Garden AustinStore Hours:

Mon-Sat: 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

(Hours Change Seasonally)

Address: 8648 Old Bee Caves Road, Austin, Texas 78735. Phone Number: (512) 288-6113

Directions to the Natural Gardener:

This gardening store is relatively close for residents of South Austin neighborhoods like Circle C, Legend Oaks, and the Village at Western Oaks. For those coming from other parts of Austin, just avoid visiting the Natural Gardener during rush hour traffic!

From South Austin: Take Hwy 290/Hwy 71 into Oak Hill. When you reach the “Y”, take Hwy 71 West. Go about 1 mile to the traffic light at Fletcher. Turn right onto Fletcher and go about 1/4 mile until it dead ends into Old Bee Caves Road. Turn left onto Old Bee Caves Road and go 1/2 to 3/4 mile. The Natural Gardener is on the right.

From North and Northwest Austin: Heading south on MoPac, take the Southwest Parkway exit. Turn right onto Southwest Parkway. Check the odometer; go 4.5 miles. You will turn left onto Travis Cook Road. Go about 1/2 mile until it dead ends into Old Bee Caves Road. The Natural Gardener is at that intersection on the right.

Austin Home Price Estimate


What's your home worth? Use our instant home price estimator to get an idea of what your home might sell for on the market today.