October Tips & Events for Santa Clara County
" Autumn's the mellow time.   William Allingham
Fall Market Time!
Seedlings growing at Martial Cottle Park facility, Allen Buchinski
It's time to plant winter vegetables and we can help! Visit one of our fall markets to browse cool season vegetable seedlings and get advice for your winter garden.

October 7:  Martial Cottle Park Harvest Festival , 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

October 14:  Guglielmo Winery , 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

More info:  Fall Garden Markets
Photo: seedlings growing at our Martial Cottle Park garden

Autumn Leaves
All the leaves that fall from the trees, as long as they are disease free, can be put to good use in your garden. You can follow nature’s example and leave them where they fall, to return the nutrients to the same tree from whence they came. Chopping them up will help them decompose faster. Or you can add the autumn leaves to your compost bin. They count as a “brown”, or carbon source.

Chicken manure has high levels of nitrogen
Fresh Manure
Animal manure is high in nitrogen, a vital nutrient for plants. Because of the high levels of nitrogen, it can burn plants if added when fresh. It is often added to the garden after it has already been composted. In the compost pile it counts as a “green”, or nitrogen source. If you have an area you are not planting over the winter, you can add fresh manure directly to the garden and allow it to break down naturally and be carried into the soil by the worms and the rain.

Rake and shovel with dirt on them
Storing Tools
There may be garden tools you will not be using over the winter. Make sure to clean, dry, and do maintenance on them before storing them in a dry place. Remove rust from metal and coat lightly with household or motor oil. Inspect handles for damage, and rub wooden handles with linseed oil. And keeping tools sharp reduces damage to plants and gardeners.

Photo:  Hoe, Hoe, Hoe , UC Master Gardener Colusa County Blog
Vegetable Transplants
There’s still time to get your cool season vegetable garden planted. October is a good month for transplanting beets, broccoli, peas, and leafy greens. Some of the greens that you can still start from seed are arugula, lettuce, and spinach. Water them well at the beginning. Keep a close eye on them when they are young and tender in the ground, and cover them with row cover if some critter starts to eat them. 

Photo: Planting vegetables, UC Davis Horticulture Innovation Lab blog
Collecting Seeds
If there was anything particularly good from this year’s crop, you can have it again next year if you save the seeds. Be sure to choose the best seeds from the best produce from the best plants. Also, they must be from open-pollinated (non-hybrid) varieties if you want to replicate your success. Seeds from hybrid plants will have unpredictable results.

Photo: Assorted Bean and Grain Seeds, Copyright © 1982 The Regents of the University of California
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Upcoming Events
Sat, Oct 07, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.,  Fall Garden Market at the Martial Cottle Park Harvest Festival (free admission, $6 parking), Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Avenue, San Jose

Sat, Oct 07, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Cool Season Vegetable Gardening , Palo Alto Demo Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto

Sat, Oct 07, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m., Growing Amazing Succulents , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Avenue, San Jose

Sat, Oct 07, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., The Rewards of Growing Cool Season Vegetables , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Oct 07, 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m., California Native Plants For Your Landscape , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Oct 07, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Growing Glorious Garlic , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Oct 14, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Fall Garden Market at Guglielmo Winery , 1480 East Main Ave,  Morgan Hill

Sat, Oct 14, 11:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Seed Day (seed exchange, seed saving talk, and more), Rancho Rinconada Park and Recreation, 18000 Chelmsford Drive, Cupertino

Sat, Oct 14, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Cover Crops: An Easy Way to Improve and Protect Your Garden Soil , Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin Street, Mountain View

Thu, Oct 19, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Low Water Lawn Alternatives , Palo Alto Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto

Sat, Oct 21, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Lose The Lawn Talk And Workshop – Co-hosted by Our City Forest , Martial Cottle Park, 5283 Snell Ave, San Jose

Sat, Oct 21, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.,  Back Yard Fruit Tree Basics , Berryessa Library, 3355 Noble Avenue, San Jose

Mon, Oct 23, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., Grow a Cover Crop for Great Soil , St. Louise Hospital Teaching and Demo Garden, 9400 No Name Uno Way, Gilroy

Mon, Oct 23, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Winter Pests and Weeds , Morgan Hill Library, 660 W Main Ave, Morgan Hill

Tue, Oct 24, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Native Garden Successful Maintenance , Gilroy Library, 350 W. 6th St., Gilroy

Wed, Oct 25, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Secrets to Growing Exhibition Quality Chrysanthemums , San Jose Calabazas Library, 1230 S. Blaney Ave, San Jose

Wed, Oct 25, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Winter Fruit Tree Pruning , Los Altos Library, 13 S San Antonio Rd, Los Altos

Sat, Nov 11, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Plant Perennials Now! , Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Visitor & Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose
Visit the UC Master Gardener Program website  for additional information including an up-to-date list of events and classes .

Have a gardening question? Contact our Hotline (for Santa Clara County residents). Start by reviewing our plant  problem diagnosis tips .
  • Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 408-282-3105
  • Fri ONLY 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., 650-329-1356 (Closed Dec. & Jan.)
  • Or send us your question online

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Santa Clara County Master Gardener Program volunteers are trained under the auspices of the UCCE. Our mission is to promote sustainable gardening practices by providing up-to-date, research-based horticultural information to home gardeners.
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