October Homesteading Chores by USDA Zone

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October Homesteading Chores By USDA Zone

October Homesteading Chores

These homesteading chores are intended as a general guideline. Most homesteaders will need to adjust their activities according to their local climate and conditions. For information tailored to your area, consult your local extension office.

Find Your Zone… Click on the link to see your average first and last frost dates.

USDA Zone 1

Average low temperatures:
  • -60 to -55F in zone 1a
  • -55 to -50F in zone 1b

Barn Chores

  • Keep livestock well fed and protected from wind and cold
  • Check for signs of hypothermia and frostbite on livestock
  • Water should be kept ice-free with proper heaters
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Give poultry corn or sunflower seed for extra calories
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Gather eggs often to prevent freezing
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Plan garden beds (be sure to rotate crops)
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Harvest the last frost tolerant kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts if you haven’t already done so
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
  • Check vegetables in the root cellar and use or compost any with bad spots

pumpkin

USDA Zone 2

Average Low Temperatures:
  • -50 to -45F in zone 2a
  • -45 to -30F in zone 2b

Barn Chores

  • Keep livestock well fed and protected from wind and cold
  • Check for signs of hypothermia and frostbite on livestock
  • Water should be kept ice-free with proper heaters
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Give poultry corn or sunflower seed for extra calories
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Gather eggs often to prevent freezing
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Plan garden beds (be sure to rotate crops)
  • Harvest the last frost tolerant kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts if you haven’t already done so
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
  • Check vegetables in the root cellar and use or compost any with bad spots

leaves

USDA Zone 3

Average Low Temperatures:
  • -40 to -35F in zone 3a
  • -35 to -30F in zone 3b

Barn Chores

  • Keep livestock well fed and protected from wind and cold
  • Check for signs of hypothermia and frostbite on livestock
  • Water should be kept ice-free with proper heaters
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Give poultry corn or sunflower seed in the evening to keep them warm
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Gather eggs often to prevent freezing
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Check fence lines for needed repairs and signs of predators
  • Finish purchasing hay and grain for winter if needed, assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Plan garden beds (be sure to rotate crops)
  • Harvest frost-tolerant greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards and preserve for winter
  • Harvest last of the root crops and store in the root cellar, if you haven’t already done so
  • Finish garden clean up
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
  • Check vegetables in the root cellar and use or compost any with bad spots

autumn

USDA Zone 4

Average Low Temperatures:
  • -30 to -25F in zone 4a
  • -25 to -20F in zone 4b

Barn Chores

  • Keep livestock well fed and protected from wind and cold
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Water should be kept ice-free with proper heaters
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Give poultry corn or sunflower seed in the evening to keep them warm
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Gather eggs often to prevent freezing
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Check fence lines for needed repairs and signs of predators
  • Finish purchasing hay and grain for winter if needed, assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Plan garden beds (be sure to rotate crops)
  • Harvest frost-tolerant greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards as needed
  • Tend frost-tolerant greens in cold frame to extend the growing season
  • Harvest root crops and store in the root cellar
  • Clean garden beds and prepare soil for spring
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Plant dormant fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Plant evergreens and water until ground freezes
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
  • Check vegetables in the root cellar and use or compost any with bad spots
pumpkins

USDA Zone 5

Average Low Temperatures:
  • -20 to -15F in zone 5a
  • -15 to -10F in zone 5b

Barn Chores

  • Keep livestock well fed and protected from wind and cold at night
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Check fence lines for needed repairs and signs of predators
  • Finish putting hay and grain up for winter, assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Tend kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Plan garden beds (be sure to rotate crops)
  • Tend frost-tolerant greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards in garden and harvest as needed
  • Tend frost-tolerant greens in cold frame to extend the growing season
  • Harvest root crops and store in the root cellar
  • Clean garden beds and prepare soil for spring
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Plant dormant fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Plant evergreens and water until ground freezes
  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
  • Finish digging root vegetables and store in the root cellar
potatoes

USDA Zone 6

Average Low Temperatures:
  • -10 to -5F in zone 6a
  • -55 to 0F in zone 6b

Barn Chores

  • Protect small livestock from wind and cold
  • Make sure barn is ventilated (but draft free) to prevent disease
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Gather eggs often when temperatures drop
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Check fence lines for needed repairs and signs of predators
  • Finish putting up hay and grain for winter, assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Tend kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Tend and harvest cold hardy greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards
  • Tend and harvest cool season crops such as lettuce, radish, and peas
  • Finish planting cold-hardy green in cold frames to extend the growing season
  • Finish harvesting warm season produce
  • Begin harvest of root crops and store in the root cellar for winter
  • Clean garden beds and prepare soil for spring
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Plant dormant fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Plant evergreens and water until ground freezes
  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
veggies

USDA Zone 7

Average Low Temperatures:
  • 0 to 5F in zone 7a
  • 5 to 10F in zone 7b

Barn Chores

  • Make sure barn is ventilated
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Check your fencing for needed repairs and signs of predators
  • Finish putting hay, straw, and grain up for winter, assess feed supplies to ensure they will last through winter
  • Tend kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Butcher or sell excess livestock

Garden Chores

  • Order gardening catalogs
  • Tend  cold hardy greens such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards
  • Tend and harvest cool season crops such as lettuce, radish, and peas
  • Plant cold-hardy greens in cold frames to extend the growing season
  • Finish harvesting warm season produce
  • Begin harvest of root crops and store in the root cellar for winter
  • Clean garden beds and prepare soil for spring
  • Protect fruit-bearing trees and shrubs from damage from wildlife
  • Clean and oil tools to prevent rust over winter
  • Plant fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Plant evergreens and water until ground freezes
  • Divide and transplant hardy perennials
  • Grow sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and houseplants under lights indoors
  • Check houseplants for scale and mites, treat if necessary
  • Transplant houseplants to larger pots
  • Houseplants do not need fertilizer until daylight hours increase
bees on flower

USDA Zone 8

Average Low Temperatures:
  • 10 to 15F in zone 8a
  • 15 to 20F in zone 8b

Barn Chores

  • Pasture livestock as desired
  • Make sure barn is ventilated
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of artificial light a day in their coop
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Repair fencing and check for signs of predators
  • Put hay, straw, and grain up for winter
  • Tend kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Assess livestock for sale or slaughter

Garden Chores

  • Harvest warm season vegetables and preserve for winter
  • Prepare garden beds and direct seed cool season vegetables
  • Use cold frames or floating row covers to protect warm season vegetables
  • Harvest root crops for fresh use
  • Bring cold sensitive container plants indoors
  • Plant dormant fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Plant evergreens and water until ground freezes
  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil gardening tools
dahlia

USDA Zone 9

Average Low Temperatures:
  • 20 to 25F in zone 9a
  • 25 to 30F in zone 9b

Barn Chores

  • Pasture livestock
  • Make sure barn is ventilated
  • Test heaters for water troughs to be sure they are in working condition
  • Poultry may lay eggs with 14 hours of light a day
  • Gather eggs often if temperatures drop
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Repair fencing and check for signs of predators
  • Put up hay, straw, and grain for season
  • Tend kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Assess livestock for sale or slaughter

Garden Chores

  • Prepare garden beds and direct seed successive crops of cool season veggies
  • Protect warm season vegetables when temperatures drop
  • Harvest and preserve vegetables
  • Plant non-citrus fruit trees, shrubs, and hardy perennials
  • Divide perennials
  • Water citrus trees during dry spells, protect from frost
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil gardening tools
  • Bring tender potted plants indoors when temps drop
succulents

USDA Zone 10

Average Low Temperatures:
  • 30 to 35F in zone 10a
  • 35 to 40F in zone 10b

Barn Chores

  • Pasture livestock
  • Make sure barn is ventilated
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Repair fencing and check for signs of predators
  • Grow kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder

Garden Chores

  • Prepare garden beds and plant successive crops of cool season vegetables
  • Harvest warm season crops
  • Clean up beds as warm season crops finish for the season
  • Water citrus during drought
  • Harvest citrus fruits when ripe
  • Plant cover crops
  • Clean and sharpen gardening tools
  • Grow herbs and houseplants on sunny decks
  • Cut back on fertilizer for houseplants
avocado tree

USDA Zone 11

Average Low Temperatures:
  • 40 to 45F for zone 11a
  • 45 to 50F for zone 11b

Barn Chores

  • Pasture livestock
  • Incubate eggs for next flock of poultry
  • Make sure barn is ventilated
  • Keep bedding clean and dry
  • Repair fencing and check for signs of predators
  • Plant cover crops
  • Grow kale, collards and other cool season crops for livestock fodder
  • Assess livestock for sale or slaughter

Garden Chores

  • Prepare garden beds and plant successive crops of cool season vegetables
  • Tend and harvest warm season vegetables
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials
  • Divide and transplant perennials
  • Water citrus fruit during drought
  • Weed garden beds
  • Grow herbs and houseplants on patios
  • Harvest citrus fruits, avocados, and possibly papayas
Notes: Within each USDA Zone, there are many different micro-climates and variations in frost free dates, average low temperatures, and average high temperatures. Visit the Interactive USDA Zone Map for the most accurate information about your local conditions.
The information listed here is intended to give a general guideline to appropriate homesteading activities for your area. Each individual using these guidelines must determine if the information is accurate for their conditions.

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October Homesteading Chores by USDA Zone - The New Homesteader's Almanac
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Lisa Lombardo

Freelance Writer & Blogger at Tohoca, LLC
Lisa writes in-depth articles about gardening and homesteading topics. She grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a self proclaimed gardening freak and crazy chicken lady.

In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.

The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.
Lisa Lombardo
Follow me...

Spread the love
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About Lisa Lombardo

Lisa writes in-depth articles about gardening and homesteading topics. She grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a self proclaimed gardening freak and crazy chicken lady. In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org. The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.

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