October is a really golden month in the Santa Barbara area. There will probably be a mini heat wave. Although most nights will be starting to cool, the soil is still plenty warm for planting and even transplanting some things. The days are getting shorter, but there are still a few hours of daylight to do chores even during the busy work week. The first real rain may even fall. Here are some garden tasks that are suited to this beautiful month.
• Watch the squirrels and acorn woodpeckers fight it out for the California live oak acorns.
• Plant individual garlic cloves and “seed” potatoes for spring harvest.
• Collect and compost leaves of deciduous trees as they begin to fall. Pile them in a corner and turn the pile a couple of times during the winter, and they will produce a useful product by next spring.
• Enjoy fall fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, late tomatoes, and squashes.