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South Regional Reports

South: October Garden To-Do List

Add some ornamental edibles to your garden this month, like these plantings of dinosaur kale and ‘Oriole Orange’ Swiss chard. Photo: Andy Pulte

Plant some ornamental edibles to add interest to your landscape this month. Ornamental kale, ‘Bull’s Blood’ beets, Swiss chard, and pansies (Viola × wittrockiana cvs., annual), which have edible flowers, all fit the bill. Transplants should be readily available at garden centers.

If you grow caladiums (Caladium spp. and cvs., Zones 9–12), dig them early in the month before foliage dies down. Remove as much soil as possible without damaging the tuber. Let them dry spread out with the foliage still attached for a few weeks (a cool, dry place is best). Then clip off dry foliage and store bulbs in a dry potting medium in a dark frost-free area.

This is the month to plant or start thinking about planting garlic (depending on where you are in the South). This is one of the easiest edibles to grow, and it can be tucked right into your landscape. Find another gardener in your area who has grown garlic, and ask for advice on varieties and when to plant. Do some research, and avoid planting bulbs from supermarket shelves.

garlic
Now is a great time to plant garlic. Photo: Andy Pulte

Andy Pulte is a faculty member in the Plant Sciences department at the University of Tennessee.

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