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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.


Download a PDF of Alabama Gardener’s Calendar – October, ANR-2622.

View the full Alabama Gardener’s Calendar.

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