Garden and Orchard

Free Fall Garden Chores Checklist

Fall Garden Chores Checklist - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Fall Garden Chores Checklist

There are so many fall garden chores to take care of that it can feel a little overwhelming at times. We really want to enjoy those crisp sunny days and spring is such a long way off. You might be tempted to skip the fall garden cleanup and visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch instead!

However, your tools will last longer if you clean and put them away properly. Getting started on the garden in the spring will be so much easier if you ‘make your beds’ in the fall.

So let’s get started on our fall garden chores checklist before the weather gets too cold!

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You might be interested in starting a garden planner or journal to help you keep track of your chores. #ad

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Garden Chores to Do in Autumn

Many of the chores you take care of in the fall will depend on your weather, garden features, and plantings. Your location on the USDA Plant Hardiness Map is also important in creating your customized checklist. you can check your zone here…

Here are some ideas for chores to take care of in autumn:

  • Plant garlic bulbs in early fall
  • Remove spent vegetable plants and clean up garden beds
  • Clean out any diseased plants from your garden and landscape
  • Protect vegetable plants from frost to get a few more tomatoes, cukes, etc
  • Build or install a cold frame to extend the garden season
  • Clean tools and protect wood and metal with a coat of vegetable oil
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers, fruits, and vegetables
  • Decorate the landscape with chrysanthemums, asters, pumpkins, and gourds
  • Clean windows, deck, walkways, and exterior of your home
  • Put the garden hose away (make sure the water is drained) before the weather freezes
  • Clean out the tool shed and put twine in mouseproof containers
  • Stash any leftover seeds in a survival seed bank for the best germination next year
  • Mulch leaves and grass clippings
  • Winterize water features
  • Clean and sanitize bird feeders and birdbaths
  • Set up a heated birdbath for feathered friends in winter
  • Harvest and Store Potatoes and other root crops for your root cellar
  • Plant cover crops
  • Harvest and Store Pumpkins and Winter Squash
  • Plant winter-sown crops
  • Divide and transplant spring-flowering perennials
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs
  • Clean patio furniture and cover or store it in a protected place
  • Put away any decorations that won’t withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Turn compost in bins
  • Move tender herbs and houseplants indoors for winter
  • Protect tender perennials with mulch
  • Cover roses and other tender shrubs with burlap or rose cones
  • Spray boxwood, holly, and other broadleaf evergreens with an anti-desiccant
  • Clean weeds out of flower beds and mulch
  • Prune dead wood out of trees and shrubs
  • Keep newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials watered in dry weather
  • Dig dahlias, gladiolas, and other bulbs if they won’t survive the winter in your area
  • Collect seeds from annuals that you would like to replant in spring

I’ve also created a free checklist printable that you can download and print out as many times as you like!

Just click on the ‘Download’ button, below, and print out your free checklist!

You may also print out a Blank Fall Garden Chores Checklist to create your own customized worksheet!

Some Chores You SHOULDN’T Do In Fall

Did you know that there are some chores that shouldn’t be done in the fall? You might be tempted to do a few of these but it could cause damage.

Don’t do these chores in the autumn:

  • Apply high-nitrogen fertilizers, causing tender growth that isn’t winter-hardy
  • Divide fall-blooming perennials
  • Trim lilacs or other spring-blooming shrubs, you’ll remove next year’s flower buds
  • Pruning fruit trees can lead to winter injury or weak growth that is killed in winter
  • Till the soil, causes erosion
  • Do a full clean up of flower beds and landscaping – leave habitat for overwintering pollinators!
Your spring garden will be ready much sooner if you take care of your fall garden chores!
Spring garden!.

Next Spring You’ll Be Glad Your Garden is Ready!

Spring is such a busy season that you don’t want to leave all of your chores until then. If you’ve cleaned up the vegetable garden in fall you’ll be ready for an early start next spring!

Be sure to leave some overwintering habitat for pollinators, such as butterflies and bees! One of my favorite ways to help the good bugs is by shredding leaves with the lawnmower and using them to mulch around trees, shrubs, perennials, and garden beds.

Read my Spring Garden Chores Checklist!

What chores do you need to do this fall? Leave a comment!

Fall Garden Chores Checklist - Here's a handy list of your #Fall #Garden chores! And a few things NOT to do in The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

77 Comments on “Free Fall Garden Chores Checklist

  1. Wow! I wanted to check in with your blog to see if you’re still active at it. I’d say so!!

    I was wondering how I’ve missed some of your recent posts. I see now that some of them happened while we had covid run through our place.

    This list is very useful. Eve been working a little on pulling out okra stalks and collecting the seeds from those and our green beans and tomatillos. Harvesting some squash and putting up a greenhouse. Little by little progress happens.

    I’m glad you’ve been able to slow down a tad to be there for your husband. I’m sure he appreciates it and you will never regret the time together.

    Ridge Haven Homestead
    Homestead Blog Hop

    1. Hi Laurie!
      Thanks for stopping by… I haven’t had much time to write. I’ll try to catch with you soon.

  2. My favorite fall chore is planting garlic, especially around out rose bushes. This year we’re also building a cold frame to go over our pepper beds.

  3. My favorite fall chore- gathering the last of the seeds, while praying for those that remain planted (right now radishes, bok choy, lettuce) get to grow again before we get blasted by weather (I’m in the north lol)

  4. My favorite fall chore has always been cleaning up the garden…removing all the dead plants and weeds, etc and restoring meat and tidy order to a garden that looks like dead chaos.

  5. Oh! I need this! I am often so done with the garden by fall that I just want to leave it! I always regret it come spring! Thank you for the checklist and for sharing it at Embracing Home and Family!

  6. I love harvesting root crops. With other plants you can see what you’ll get, but the root crops can give you surprises (once got a potato that resembled a rubber ducky).

    Another favorite is planting anything for spring, flower bulbs, fruit trees and bushes, etc.

  7. My favorite fall thing is preserving the last of the harvest, knowing winter will be blessed with the addition of a freezer and shelves filled with the bounty of preserves, pickles and fresh frozen fruit for pies and cobblers.

  8. My favorite things to do in the spring is raking the leaves up and then covering the newly planted garlic with them as a mulch.

  9. Setting up my cold frames and tucking everything in for winter is my favorite. It means a time of rest and planning for the next spring. A great time of thanksgiving for a bountiful year.

  10. My first garden will be next spring so I haven’t done anything yet. But, what I do now is get the hose put away and make sure the yard is cleaned up really well one last time before it snows.

  11. For some reason, I really enjoy cleaning up the beds – weeding, mulching, etc. Some how this brings a lot of order to what is normally a chaotic time of life for our family.

  12. This fall I’m looking forward to moving my compost bin to a new location.
    I like planting garlic, but it´s still too warm around here for that. In Portugal we usually plant garlic in late November or during December.
    Your chores list did give me some food for thought, thanks for that!

  13. My favorite garden/fall chore is bringing in my herbs and other plants for the winter! Helps give a little green all winter long when we really need it 🙂

  14. I actually don’t have a favorite fall chore in the garden. With my work schedule, most times it is hard enough to try and get a garden in, let alone take care of it correctly. I did have a garden this year, and with my work schedule during the quarantine (I am considered an essential worker), it ended up being just a new place for grass to take over the few plants I did get planted. Maybe next spring will be better.

  15. My favorite fall chore is finish harvest all the produce! The canning, freezing, dehydrating and storing for this winter!

  16. My favorite fall garden chores are: collecting leaves, harvest pumpkins, plant strowberries, preparing the minor-compost for spring, collecting seeds for next year, planting cuttings to get more plants.

  17. I live in Central Florida. Fall is one of our two planting seasons, so I am looking forward to all the fresh veggies I will be harvesting.

  18. Favourite chore here in West Central Florida is planting greens and harvesting roselles, luffa “sponges”, sweet potatoes and watching the chayote form!

  19. My favourite chore, if you can call it that, is wrapping up warm, taking the camera and a notepad then taking photos of all my garden beds along with measurements. Over the year I have collected photos for my wish list of how I would love my garden to look next year. Retreat to the potting shed with a warm brew, sort out my seeds and make a list of new ones I need to purchase. The excitement of next year is already bubbling.

  20. I like to plant green manure to add fertility to the soil for the next growing season. Ken
    Ps it is autumn here in England not ‘fall’

  21. My favourite fall chore is to dig up plants that need rehoming. I’m not sure if that’s considered a fall chore because it’s done so late in the year, but I still like it.

  22. My favorite fall chore is planting bulbs for spring flowers. I always start making detailed notes, but by the time I’m finished I figure I’ll have a nice surprise in the spring when I see what comes up where!

  23. My favorite chore is harvesting the last of the produce from my garden. I feel a sense of accomplishment and completion from doing this chore.

  24. I collect all the dropped leaves from mine & my neighbors trees & use all that FREE mulch to prep another new bed or planter box for next Spring’s planting. I also make salsa verde out of all the remaining unripe tomatoes.

  25. Cleaning up means trimming back the boarders for neatness – it makes the tumble I leave for wildlife look ‘tidy’ and planned.

  26. First cool night was last @ 57*. Closed up the high tunnel to retain heat for the Moringa we grow. Zone 7, piedmont of NC. 10 acres includes same chores as above plus final harvesting and drying of herbs for winter use. Favorite late fall chore is putting high tunnel to bed by incorporating compost into the beds and mulching with composted leaves.

  27. My favorite things to do in the fall is getting my seeds planted for my Florida area and getting my garlic planted I love to decorate for the fall season I have munched around my fruit trees and garden raised beds plus pulled the dead plants weeding is not my favorite but even in the fall they still have to be pulled and here in the South they never die!!!

  28. My favorite fall chore is putting the garden to bed for the winter, making sure all my perennials are tucked it nicely for their long sleep. And starting to plan for spring!

  29. My favorite is, or rather was, planting the fall/winter garden in the SF area. Here in the Midwest I want to build a cold frame to grow winter veggies like spinach and other greens. Can’t wait to give that a try. Locc V e your checklists!!

  30. My favorite fall chore is putting the garden bed to rest for the winter and dreaming about next years garden.

  31. In fall, I absolutely love being able to “put the garden to bed” with a heavy layer of mulch. My favorite go-to is the dirty bedding from the goat pen – lots of straw, hay, goat pellets and urine. Over winter, all that lovely material becomes rich, dark soil.

  32. I really like getting my garden cleaned up and ready for next spring. This year I am also looking forward to getting my gardening supplies packed for a move at the end of the year.

  33. Great checklist! I’m in Southern California so this is the beginning of my favorite growing season. My favorite Fall chore is planting peas.

  34. We live in the midwest of Wisconsin and my favorite end of the year activity in my garden is collecting the asparagus seeds and after the first frost, cutting back and digging up our sun chokes and preparing the gardens for next year. Then when the snow flies, it’s so beautiful until it’s all covered up and then when Spring comes, it all melts away and is ready to plow once again and plant. In the late winter months, I begin to start my seeds for Spring then.

  35. Cleaning up the garden beds of the dead and spent veggies and putting down a layer of our goats poop over the gardens is probably my favorite. Not only do I get to see a clean garden and goat area, the poop will compost all fall and winter and be ready in the spring to be tilled in.

  36. My favorite fall chore is bringing in ornamental squash and gourds to decorate my tiny apartment and getting the hydroponic units set up to start salads. No yard to harvest or garden but planning to start RV trip cross country taking hydroponics with me. I would love your books!

  37. I love getting the garden straighened up again. After so many plants seem to have taken over the garden all summer, it’s nice to see nothing in the dirt again. We usually clean it all up but this year I might leave some to decompose. I will see if I can stand leaving a mess!

  38. I enjoy decorating for fall. All the pumpkins, gourds, straw bale, and corn stalks if I can find them. I love autumn and that just gets me in the mood for bonfires. Lol. I also like getting the vegetable gardens cleaned out and ready for next year. This years garden didn’t do well do to weather but cleaning the garden gives me hope for next years crop.

  39. I have two favorites. I love harvesting pumpkins (because I love eating them!) and I love decorating for fall. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year so I look forward to these things all year long. 🙂

  40. I don’t really enjoy removing the dead wood from trees and bushes but feel a great deal of satisfaction when it’s done so I suppose that’s my favorite Fall chore to get done.

  41. Thank you for hosting! This is what I featured the week of 8-23 to 8-27 on my blog. On Tuesday was a Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie. Wednesday was a Monte Cristo Croissant Sandwich. Thursday was Rolo Brownies. And winding up this week of was a Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding With Coffee Syrup. Enjoy!

  42. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for this extensive Fall list for us! Sadly, here in Washington, we have officially hit cold, wet, rainy and dark “fall” weather… already! I’m not too happy, as I wish summer would have lasted a bit longer.

    Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!

  43. One thing I forget to do to chop down the roses and other plants with dead wood. If you wait til’ spring, you’re too late. #littlecottagelinkparty

    1. Hi Nancy,
      It’s still a bit early for our area too. Although I have started doing some cleanup in my flower beds…pulling any weeds and cutting back the spent flowers.
      Have a great week!

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