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October is the time to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables

When it comes to plant hardiness, the Palatine area is known for cool temperatures from the end of September until the beginning of May. Yet there are some plant varieties that do well when planted in October for a spring harvest.

Keep in mind that planting times for specific plants can vary depending on your local climate. So, it’s important to consider your specific location within the Palatine area and the current weather conditions. Generally, October in Illinois is a good time for planting a variety of cool-season crops, bulbs, and perennial plants. Here are over a dozen examples that include flowers, herbs and vegetables that can be planted successfully in October:


tulipsTulips: Planted in October, they make a colorful display in spring.
Most people associate tulips with Holland and assume that they originated in the Netherlands. In fact, they were first cultivated in Iran (Persia) as early as the 10th century. Many historical sources offer evidence of how tulips came to Europe over the centuries. By the 16th century tulips were among the most prized flowers in the Ottoman Empire and became a symbol of the monarchy’s political power. It was during this time that they began to be grown and prized in Holland as well.

daffodilsDaffodils: These spring-welcoming blooms can also be planted in the fall.
The poet William Wordsworth may have written one of the best known literary references to daffodils in the English language, but these plants originated in Europe and Northern Africa. Known and loved for their gay yellow hue, they have come to symbolize the coming of spring for Europeans and Americans for the last three hundred years. Although there are only 36 species of daffodil, their popularity as an ornamental plant has led to the creation of over 26,000 different cultivated varieties.

crocusesCrocuses: Early blooming crocuses are another favorite for October planting.
These low growing plants have stems underground and bear flowers in a range of colors including white, purple and yellow. After flowering, the plants are dormant and appear again in winter and autumn as well as in the spring. They are also the source of Saffron, one of the most precious spices in the world. It’s obtained from the dried stigma of a crocus species that blooms in the autumn.

peoniesPeonies: Once the national flower of China, they are now loved all over the world.
Fall is the best time for planting peonies so they can establish their roots before the winter. These plants need colder temperatures to bloom properly. If they are container grown and were bought at a local garden center, they can be planted any time in the spring or summer. But if you’re planting the bare root or replanting plants you already have, make sure to do it six weeks before the ground freezes.


Create an herb garden to add flavor and beauty to your life all year long
herbsOctober is the ideal time to start an herb garden. Sage and chives can be planted and replanted in the fall. Oregano is another herb that thrives when planted in October. Mint will also do well. But plant it in a container because mint tends to be invasive and should be planted in an area that can be controlled. Last but not least, if you want garlic next summer, plant it now. Planting should be done at least two weeks before the first frost to produce a large enough cluster of cloves to harvest in 9 months.


Growing your own vegetables gives you more flavorful meals and saves you money.
Few things are as rewarding – and delicious – as growing your own vegetables. And October is a great time to plant several of your favorite greens.

spinach and lettuceSpinach and Lettuce 
Both of these popular salad ingredients are cool-season crops, ideal for planting 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost. Make sure to place plants 12 inches apart; this gives the leaves room to reach their full size. The lovely thing about lettuce is all it comes in so many different varieties and flavors including crispy romaine butterhead, green and red leaf, and arugula. All are delicious and relatively easy to grow.

A member of the cabbage family, Kale is full of nutrients and has become an increasingly popular part of our diet. It’s a hardy, cool-season green and should be planted about six weeks before your first frost date in fall. It’s not only tolerant of cold temperatures, cooler temperatures actually make its leaves sweeter. It needs just three hours of sunshine and grows well in full sun to light shade.

root vegetablesRoot Vegetables
Radishes, beets, carrots and turnips are all root vegetables and the fall growing season is the perfect time to plant them. They grow quickly because they start life in warm soil and mature under cool soil conditions. Left in the garden until freezing weather is around the corner, they’re not only ideal ingredients for salads but stews with chicken, beef or just on their own.

Gardening Tips
Make sure to check the specific planting guidelines for each plant variety and consider local weather conditions and frost dates when planning your October planting in Illinois. Additionally, soil preparation and proper care are essential for successful gardening. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to advise you on how to make the most of the fall growing season.

Happy planting!


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