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Learn—month by month—the necessary gardening activities for lawns and shrubs, annuals and perennials, fruit and nut trees, and bulbs, roots, and tubers. Included is a timeline for activities such as soil testing, planting, pruning, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, indoor plantings—from cauliflower to okra, from camellias to dahlias to heirloom roses.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Planting season for strawberries starts in south Alabama.
  • Clean up orchard area.
  • Remove broken limbs, old fruit, and debris from orchard floor.


  • Plant new trees and shrubs in the landscape
  • Water when needed.
  • Note varieties of camellias and other landscape plants in bloom.
  • Start mulching all shrubs that do not have a mulch.


  • Perform a soil test to determine if limestone is recommended and apply anytime this fall.
  • If winter or spring weeds were a concern this year, apply preemergent herbicides.
  • Fertilize fescue lawns at 1 pound slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
  • As fall rain returns, monitor for fungal disease in fescue.


  • Continue insect and disease control practices.
  • New rose catalogs will be coming in.
  • Study closely; add some new varieties to your list.

Annuals and Perennials

  • Visit flower shows and gardens.
  • List desirable varieties of mums.
  • Clean up flower beds immediately after first killing frost. Plant half-hardy annuals, such as snapdragons.


  • Plant tulip, hyacinth, daffodil, crocus, Dutch iris, anemone, and ranunculus.
  • Watch planting depth. Dig caladiums; clean and store in a warm place.


  • Renew mulch around shrubs and rose beds.
  • Loosen mulches that have packed down.
  • Spray with oils before freezing weather to kill scale, mites, etc.
  • Remove all dead stems and trash from flower beds.
  • Transplant into small pots any cuttings taken earlier.

Raised bedsVegetable Seeds

  • South: This is the last fall month to plant the winter garden. Plant carrots, collards, kale, mustard, onion seeds, radishes, spinach, and turnips. Plant Swiss chard in early October.
  • Central and South: Continue planting winter-hardy crops such as beets, carrots, collards, kale, parsley, and spinach.
  • North: Plant onion seeds and radishes in early October.

Vegetable Transplants

  • Whole state: Continue planting winter-hardy transplants.
  • Soil test garden soil and apply limestone as recommended anytime this fall.


Call the Master Gardener Helpline at (877) 252-4769. A Master Gardener Extension volunteer is waiting to answer your call.


See other months from Alabama Gardener’s Calendar at www.aces.edu.


Peer ReviewKerry Smith, Extension Associate, Horticulture, Frances Sledge, Horticulture Intern Auburn University. Originally prepared by Dave Williams, former Extension Horticulturist, and Ron Shumack, former Extension Horticulturist.

Reviewed July 2022, Alabama Gardener’s Calendar – October, ANR-2622

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