October: What to Plant in Your Garden Right Now in Tennessee

In Tennessee, October marks the transition to the fall season. Temps are on the decline and a new, fresh air sets in.

While it’s not the traditional planting time for many crops, there are still some vegetables and flowers you can plant in October to enjoy later in the season or the following year.

Things to Plant During October in Tennessee

Cool-Season Vegetables

Early October is a good time to plant cool-season vegetables that can withstand cooler temperatures and even light frosts.

Consider planting:

  • Lettuce: Varieties like Romaine, Butterhead, and Mesclun mix.
  • Spinach: Both smooth-leaf and savoy-leaf varieties.
  • Kale: Varieties such as Lacinato (Dinosaur) or Curly Kale.
  • Radishes: Fast-growing and great for fall salads.
  • Carrots: Choose varieties suitable for cooler weather.
  • Turnips: Both the roots and greens are edible.
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: For overwintering and early spring harvest.

Garlic: October is the traditional time to plant garlic bulbs for a summer harvest the following year. Break the bulbs into individual cloves and plant them about 2 inches deep.

Onions: You can plant onion sets or transplants in October for a spring harvest.

Flowering Bulbs: October is a great time to plant spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths. These will provide beautiful blooms for the spring days ahead.

Perennial Flowers: Fall is also an ideal time to plant perennial flowers. They have time to establish their roots before winter and will come back stronger in the spring. Consider plants like asters, and daylilies.

Pansies and Violas: These hardy annuals can add color to your garden throughout the fall and into the winter.

Cover Crops: If you have empty garden beds or areas that won’t be used over the winter, consider planting cover crops like clover, rye, or winter wheat. These crops help improve soil health and prevent erosion.

Herbs: Some herbs, like cilantro and parsley, can be planted in October for a late fall harvest. They may also overwinter and provide an early spring crop.

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