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Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

October Garden Calendar

Vegetables and Fruits

  • Plant garlic cloves for next summer's harvest. Fall planting gets a jump on spring conditions.
  • After a light frost, dig sweet potatoes and cure them for two weeks in a warm location. Then store in a cool, dry location for longer keeping.
  • Harvest peanuts and roast for a homegrown snack.
  • Pick pumpkins and winter squash. Keep in a warm area for a couple of weeks, and then store in a cool, dry location.
  • Till the garden at the end of the season and add organic matter such as manure or compost to improve the soil structure.
  • Make notes of successes and failures in the garden for next year.
  • Remove hulls from black walnuts to retain good color of the kernels.
  • Continue to harvest apples.
  • Pick up and discard fallen fruit to reduce disease next year.


  • Plant spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and crocus, for a splash of early season color.
  • Remove dead annuals from the garden.
  • Trim perennial stalks to tidy the garden for winter.
  • Pot bulbs for indoor forcing.
  • Clean up dead iris and peony foliage and destroy it to decrease the spread of disease.
  • After a light frost, dig canna, glads, dahlias and other tender bulbs for winter storage.
  • Make notes about the garden to document successes and failures.


  • Continue to mow the lawn if necessary, bluegrass 2 inches, tall fescue 2½ inches.
  • Core aerate turf to reduce soil compaction, improve drainage, break up thatch, and help nutrients move into the soil.
  • Control dandelions, henbit, and chickweed with a broadleaf herbicide while seedlings are young.
  • Sharpen mower blade for a clean cut.
  • Check oil level in your lawn mower.
  • Keep fallen leaves removed from the lawn to prevent shading and dieback on grass.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Plant new trees and shrubs and keep them watered during dry winter months.
  • Once the leaves have fallen, transplant trees and shrubs.
  • Trim dead, broken, or diseased branches from trees and shrubs.
  • Enjoy fall leaf color, which normally hits its peak about the third week of October.


  • Drain and store garden hoses and sprinklers for winter.
  • Prepare the compost pile for winter. Add new materials and turn.
  • Store unused seeds in a cool, dry location.

Return to Garden Calendar

Freeze Warning Checkoff List

K-State Research and Extension Johnson County Master Gardener logo

Have questions? The Garden Hotline is staffed by trained EMG volunteers and Extension staff who will assist you with questions.

Phone: (913) 715-7050

Email: garden.help@jocogov.org