Fall means the weather is getting cooler, and it can be quite stressful to get all the fall yard work done before the snow falls. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tasks you should never skip this season. These are the fall garden chores you should get done. Below you will discover a checklist.
Table of Contents
- Fall gardening: rake up the leaves before it snows
- Protect newly planted perennials and shrubs
- Take care of perennial plants in pots
- Remove annual plants from containers
- Fall gardening – it’s time for fall planting
- Fall gardening: refresh your vegetable garden for next year
- Fall gardening – watering the garden
- Fall gardening: winterize sprinkler systems and hoses
- Winterizing ponds and fountains
- Fall gardening – clean greenhouse, garden tools and pots
Fall gardening: rake leaves before it snows
Leaves left on the lawn over the winter can cause patchy, dead spots. Raking up leaves before winter is very important for the health of your lawn. You can collect the leaves and then spread them around your yard as a natural mulch, or simply toss them in the compost garbage can. Leaves are like free gold to gardeners and have a lot of benefits in the garden.
Protect newly planted perennials and shrubs.
It is advisable to mulch newly planted perennials and shrubs that are not yet well rooted to prevent the root ball from lifting out of the ground during the winter. Mulch helps keep the soil at a more even temperature.
Take care of perennial plants in pots.
Perennial plants in containers and pots are much more exposed to winter temperatures than plants in the ground. To help them survive, move the containers to a greenhouse or to the sunniest side of your house where it’s warmer.
Remove annual plants from containers
When fall arrives, it’s time to remove annual plants and put the pots into storage for the winter. This can be tricky because long-blooming plants still look great in the fall, but once frost sets in, you’ll wish you had removed them sooner. Healthy annuals can be composted and diseased plants should be discarded.
Fall gardening – it’s time for fall planting.
The still-warm soil and relatively cool air temperatures encourage healthy root growth in plants that come back each year. Divide or move plants around the garden in the fall. Ideally, give the roots at least six weeks to settle into their new home before the ground freezes. Fall is the best time to plant spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocuses and a variety of other plants that you can find at your garden center this time of year. Combine them with perennials such as funkias and catmint so the bulbs are covered when the vegetation dormancy comes.
Fall gardening: refresh your vegetable garden for the next year
Whether you have a large kitchen garden or a small edible plant bed, things start to wind down in the fall as you harvest the last of the tasty fruits. As soon as a few frosts end the growing season, get the following vegetable garden chores done to get ready for next season’s harvest.
Clean out the beds
By removing all plant debris, you can prevent pests and diseases from overwintering in your garden.
Your kitchen garden needs compost
Spread a 5 to 8 cm layer of compost on your beds to enrich the soil. You don’t have to work the compost in, precipitation and soil organisms will do it for you.
You can expand your planting areas now
If you want to increase your planting areas, this season is the perfect time to plant new vegetable beds, raised beds, or compact grass where you want to create a bed.
Fall gardening – watering the garden
Even if it seems like your plants are going to sleep, their roots are still actively growing in the fall. Evergreen perennials, shrubs and trees, as well as anything you’ve recently planted, need to be watered until the ground begins to freeze.
Fall in the garden: winterize sprinkler systems and hoses.
We all know that underground irrigation systems need to be winterized. Blowing out sprinkler systems is undoubtedly one of the most important garden chores in the fall. You should also take the time to drain your garden hoses and store them in a garage or garden shed if you have room. This will extend the life of your hose.
Don’t forget to winterize irrigation systems like drip irrigation as well. These should also be drained and stored for the winter.
Winterizing ponds and fountains
If you have a garden pond, water feature, rain barrels or other water containers, they should be properly winterized, completely drained and then stored either upside down or in a garage or shed.
Fall garden – clean out the greenhouse, garden tools and pots.
- Clean out the garden shed. Make sure soft materials and seeds are protected from rodents.
- Clear all garden tools of dirt, grime and rust.
- Empty summer annuals from their pots, tubs and window boxes. Compost the plants, use the potting soil as mulch, and rinse and scrub out the pots. Let them dry before storing them for next year.
- Clean out the greenhouse and wash it thoroughly . If you do this now, your overwintering plants will have fewer pests, fungi, molds and pathogens to contend with in the winter.