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What to Plant in October in Santa Fe

Plant lettuce in October in Santa Fe

Fall is usually in full swing by October and many gardeners believe in leaving their garden beds alone for the season. This is done in preparation for the winter planting season. However, the moderate weather in October makes it perfect for planting some plants early. This is an especially favorable time if you have garden soil in the USDA zones ranging from 4 to 7.

Keep in mind that anything you plant in October will yield a harvest by early or even mid-spring. With this final note out of the way, the following crops can be planted with ease.

1.     Shallots

These can be planted in late fall to get a good harvest by spring. Shallots grow much like garlic but they tend to be more sensitive in colder climates. Care has to be taken to keep them insulated as freezing temperatures can kill them. Mulching the garden bed thoroughly can help prevent the ground temperature from fluctuating too much.

2.     Spinach

Planting spinach in October will yield a big harvest in spring so be prepared. Germination of the seeds will occur later in the month. Shoots will also give out only two leaves and grow slowly once the cold weather sets in. Protection with the help of a cold frame or a hoop house might be necessary to ensure that the seedlings survive through the chilly months ahead.

3.     Garlic

While these can be planted all year round, garlic that is planted in October tends to grow bigger and healthier bulbs in spring. You will have to wait for the first frosting of fall to occur and plant them a week or two after it. This usually happens in mid-October, by the 15th. Even if you miss the date, your garlic can still be planted till the ground freezes.

4.     Sugarsnap Peas

While they are usually planted in warmer weather, if you experience temperate winters, these are perfect for October. Sugarsnap peas grown in fall will yield smaller pods in the spring and summer but many people prefer this. This variation of peas is also more flavorful and you’ll find that they definitely add a fresh flavor to your peas with ease.

5.     Mache

Also known as corn salad, this leafy green vegetable is very hardy and germinates well in chilly weather with temperatures of up to 65 degrees. The growth of the plant is also not impacted if they are not getting a lot of sunlight. Try to plant them in early October so that Mache has a chance to germinate properly before winter comes. While the plant is hardy, growth can be boosted with the help of a hoop house or a cold frame too.

6.     Lettuce

For a spring or a summer harvest, it is a good idea to plant some lettuce in October. Lettuce is a delicate plant but the seedlings tend to withstand cold temperatures better. The germinated plants won’t grow much in winter and will need a cold frame for protection. Once the sunny days of spring return, the will start to grow much faster than anticipated.

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start for the spring. Go start planting now!