A Fall Garden Checklist to guide you through essential tasks
Clean Up and Maintenance
- Remove dead plants, weeds, and debris from your garden beds.
- Prune and trim shrubs, trees, and perennials as needed.
- Clean and store garden tools properly for winter. See the next blog post for how to clean and sanitize your garden tools.
- Add organic matter like compost to enrich the soil.
- Consider mulching to protect soil and suppress weeds.
- Test your soil for pH and nutrient levels and make necessary amendments.
- Plant fall-blooming bulbs like tulips and daffodils for spring color.
- Sow cool-season vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, and radishes.
- Plant perennial flowers and shrubs for next year's blooms.
Divide and Transplant
- Divide and transplant overcrowded perennials.
- Transplant any shrubs or trees that need a new location.
Pest and Disease Control
- Remove and dispose of diseased plants.
- Clean and sanitize gardening tools to prevent disease spread.
- Consider applying dormant oil to control overwintering pests.
- Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to lawns and garden beds.
- Avoid fertilization of plants that are going dormant.
- Adjust your watering schedule as the weather cools down.
- Reduce watering for plants that go dormant in the fall.
Protecting Tender Plants
- Cover tender plants or bring them indoors if frost is expected.
- Consider using row covers or cloths to extend the growing season.
- Continue mowing the lawn until it stops growing.
- Aerate and overseed if necessary.
- Rake up fallen leaves to prevent them from smothering the grass.
- If you have existing bulbs, resist the temptation to cut back foliage until it has turned brown.
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs (see our article about Spring bulbs here).
- Continue adding compostable materials to your compost pile.
- Continue to water the compost pile and turn to promote decomposition.
- Reflect on the past growing season and make notes for next year.
- Plan your garden layout and order seeds and plants for the spring. Our article of garden planning software reviews is here and how to keep a garden journal is here.
- Sharpen and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Our Garden Tool Care Guide is here.
- Make sure water sources for wildlife are clean and accessible.
- Clean out bird feeders and fill with food for winter birds.