Garden Chores To Do In Autumn!
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!
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However, your tools will last longer if you clean and put them away properly. And 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!
Fall Garden Chores Checklist
- 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 landscape with chrysanthemums, asters, pumpkins, and gourds
- Clean windows, deck, walkways, and exterior of your home
- Put garden hose away (make sure the water is drained) before the weather freeze
- Clean out tool shed and put seeds and twine in mouseproof containers
- 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 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
Some Chores You SHOULDN’T Do In Fall
Did you know that there are some chores that shouldn’t be done in fall? There are! Don’t do these chores in fall:
- Apply high nitrogen fertilizers
- Divide fall-blooming perennials…wait until spring
- Trim lilacs or other spring-blooming shrubs, you’ll remove next year’s flower buds
- Prune fruit trees
- Till the soil…wait until spring
- Do a full clean up of flower beds and landscaping – leave habitat for overwintering pollinators!
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 in garden beds.
Read my Spring Garden Chores Checklist!
What chores do you need to do this fall? Leave a comment!
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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