Seasonal Advice for October: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore

Pile of Pumpkins

Pumpkins at a local farm market on a glorious October day.

Cindy Stogsdill


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October 2016 brings autumn into full swing, and who doesn’t love donning a sweater for a walk in the woods, or a stroll through an apple orchard to enjoy the season’s bounty? Enjoy our monthly seasonal advice.

Listen! The wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
Now for October eves!

Humbert Wolfe (1885-1940)


October was the name of the eighth month of the year in the ancient Roman calendar. When the Romans converted to a 12-month calendar, the name October stuck.

On the second Monday in October, the U.S. celebrates Columbus Day. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day.

October 9 is Leif Eriksson Day. Who was Leif Eriksson and why should we care?

Wrapping up the month is Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve) on the 31st! 

Recipes for the Season

October kicks off the fall baking season for us!

From pumpkin spice cookies to fresh apple crumble bars, we love the flavors of the harvest.

See five fall baking recipes.


October is all about storage. Check our tips on storing vegetables, fruits, and herbs as well as information on root cellars.

If you’re interested in growing pumpkins for next Halloween, see our Pumpkin planting page.

Review our full gardening calendar for a list of what to do in the October garden.

Everyday Advice

Check out these pages for advice and facts about our favorite orange vegetable:
How to Cook and Clean Pumpkins
Dealing with Pumpkin Sprawl (podcast)
History of Carving Halloween Pumpkins (video)



October’s full Moon, the Full Hunter’s Moon, occurs on the 16th, at 12:24 a.m. EDT.



Birth Flowers and Birthstone

October’s birth flowers are the cosmos and the calendula or marigold. Cosmos is a symbol of joy in life and love and of peace. The calendula (aka garden, English, or pot marigold) represents winning grace, grief, or chagrin in the language of flowers. Find out more about October’s birth flowers.

The October birthstone is the opal, which symbolizes faithfulness and confidence. Find out more about October’s birthstone.


  • When deer are in a gray coat in October, expect a hard winter.
  • Much rain in October, much wind in December.
  • A warm October means a cold February.
  • In October dung your field, and your land its wealth shall yield.
  • Good October, a good blast. 
    To blow the hog acorn and mast
    [tree fruit upon which wild animals feed]

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Add new comment

When is first frost day for

When is first frost day for Dayton ohio? I want to save as many of my vegetable plants in pots as possible by bringing them inside my Sunroom.

When is the signs in the

When is the signs in the HEAD? I want to make saur kraut when the signs are in the head. But can't find a calendar showing the dates with the signs.

Finishing a community

Finishing a community development project...when are the best days to lay
gravel in October. My mother-in-law always told me to lay gravel by the moon. Please help with advice.
Thank you.

Some people traditionally lay

Some people traditionally lay gravel during the light of the Moon, when it is waxing or increasing in light. This is between the new and full phases. So in October, a good time to lay gravel according to this criteria would be Oct 1-8 and 23-31.
Sept. 24 EDT/Sept. 23 PDT = New Moon
October 8 = Full Moon
October 23 = New Moon
November 6 = Full Moon

Halloween video not working.

Halloween video not working. bummer

Just tried it. It worked for

Just tried it. It worked for me.

I live in upstate South

I live in upstate South Carolina. When is best fall dates/days to plant trees?

In the South, you can plant

In the South, you can plant containerized trees all year. But the best time to plant any tree, whether in a container, bare rooted, or balled-and-burlapped, is after it has gone dormant in fall because it is less stressful for the plant. (For deciduous trees, a sign that the plant has gone dormant is when it has lost all of its leaves in autumn.)

I need to have a tooth pulled

I need to have a tooth pulled and I want to know when the sign are below the bowels. Maybe I should say whenthe best time to have it pulled.

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