A Kihei Garden Newsletter for October

October is the month many local gardeners have been waiting for. October and November are the ideal months to plant a garden in Kihei.

There are many veggies that can be started from seeds this month. If your planting brassicas or salad greens it's a good idea to begin preparations for dealing with the cabbageworm. See the Destructive Bugs section at the end of this post for more information

Seeds to plant in October:
Arugula (plant in partial shade)
Beans (heat tolerant varieties)
Broccoli Rabe - Rapini (90 day)
Cilantro (plant in partial shade)
Cucumbers (Suyo grows well in the fall)
Eggplant (all types)
Herbs (all except Chervil)
Lemongrass - Culinary
Mustard Greens
Onions - Bunching (white varieties)

In mid-October I begin planting brassica seeds. Broccoli needs 3 months and cabbage needs 3 to 4 months of our coolest weather to grow to a harvestable size. Kale has a longer planting season than broccoli or cabbage and can planted from October through January. Most varieties of kale are ready to begin cutting within 60 days.

For kohlrabi, I recommend planting seeds in November. I think kohlrabi is best harvested when it's small - about 2 inches wide. I haven't grown brussel sprouts but they do grow in Upcountry Maui. For more information about growing brassicas see my posts on Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale and Kohlrabi

It's still too hot to plant the French and Italian beans but limas and the high and low desert varieties featured in my post on Southwestern beans can usually be planted in October with good results.

October through December are the months to order seed potatoes. Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, Potato GardenNatural Gardening Company and Territorial Seeds sell organic or natural seed potatoes and will ship to Hawaii.

Potatoes are heat sensitive - some winters it's just too hot to grow them successfully in Kihei. I've found the best time to plant seed potatoes is in December. If we have a warm winter, the plants can become heat stressed and collapse when they begin to form the potatoes. 
I recommend planting the early varieties - they need 60 to 80 days to maturity. For more information see my post about growing Potatoes.

Potatoes from the market can be planted, although they aren't recommended by Mainland gardeners. Look for older organic potatoes that are starting to sprout. Early varieties like Yukon Gold are ideal for our short season. Many of the potato varieties sold at the market are also sold at Potato Garden - their website is helpful for identifying the early, mid and late season varieties.


Seed garlic may be in short supply in October. However, information about ordering seed garlc can be found in the July/August newsletter.

Destructive Bugs, Larvae & Disease
In October, most of the pickleworms, melon fruit fly larvae and problems with mosaic virus will disappear. Although I have found occasional pickleworm damage in the fall, there's usually a short reprieve until mid-November.

In mid-November the cabbageworm, the larvae of a white moth, make their appearance and they can destroy a garden in a short period of time. They'll ravenously eat the leafy greens and brassica leaves. They eat 
beet, horseradish and radishes leaves too but these leaves grow rapidly and only need to be covered if you're growing them for salad greens. The greens the cabbageworms don't normally bother are arugula, broccoli rabe (cima di rapa or rapini), some of the mustard greens and the chicory family - radicchio, endive and escarole.

It's a good idea to prepare now for covering the edible greens and the brassicas with tulle or light row cover fabric by mid-November. Walmart is a good place to buy tulle and row cover fabric can be purchased online at 
Gardeners Supply Company or Johnny's Selected Seeds. A row cover needs a simple frame - this can be created with bendable pieces of PVC slid over stakes that are pushed into the ground. Hoops are also sold at these online garden suppliers or you can make your own with thick plastic coated wire or 2 ft plant stakes.