The Complete Checklist For Garden Tasks In Fall Apple Basket

The Complete Fall Garden Checklist

Now the temperature is getting cooler and the sunlight hours are shorter, it’s time to start your fall garden preparation. This fall garden checklist is a handy guide to help you wrap up your garden for winter.The Complete Checklist for Garden Tasks in Fall

Some people like to clean everything up in the fall so that the garden looks neat and tidy as it goes into winter. Others prefer to let the seed heads stand and the leaves fall where they may. Either way, you’ll want to clean up anything that has disease or pest damage so that it doesn’t overwinter in your garden.

Clean up the Leaves

As this summer was uncharacteristically hot and dry, there were a lot less fungal problems in the garden than usual but there was a much higher incidence of pests. Spider mites, aphids, leafhoppers, and friends went crazy in the garden this year. To make sure that they don’t have a chance to overwinter, I’m cleaning up all of the fallen leaves and adding them to the compost.

Think About Spring—Bulbs, That is

Shop catalogs or visit your garden stores to find the bulbs that you want to plant in your garden next spring. Here are some ideas of bulbs and locations to plant them that might be helpful:

Grow Fall & Winter Vegetables

Vegetable gardening doesn’t have to end in the fall. Here are some resources on last-minute vegetables you can grow in the fall as well as overwintering favorites like garlic and broad beans.

Save the Seeds

As your plants go to seed, it’s time to collect them! See how in these articles on seed collecting:

And here are some free printable envelopes for your seeds (including an adorable Valentine):

Preserve the Ornamental Garden

Preserve flowers, leaves, and seed pods for crafting so you will have all the materials to make handmade gifts, wreaths, or home and garden decor.

Plant Your Shrubs

Fall means it is time to plant shrubs and evergreens. It’s a great time to allow them to develop a strong enough root system so that they can get through the winter in their new homes.

Amend Soil

Fall is the perfect time to amend your soil. You can scratch in an inch of compost everywhere, or brew some of your own compost tea. Plenty more details in these articles:

Fall Lawn Care

Take care of your lawn. If you think of what the natural life cycle is of grass—without us mowing it—the plants would have flowered, set seed, and dropped the seeds to the ground in order to supply new growth for the following year. As you have likely been mowing your lawn instead of letting it grow long and go to seed, it needs your help in order to continue filling in and replacing old plants. In the fall, you should spread seeds over the lawn with a light dusting of soil over top. For more about how to care for your lawn, please see the organic guide to lawn care:

Plan Your Garden (on a Budget)

Fall is the time to do garden planning whether you are on a budget or not. Read more about that here:

Divide Perennials

One of the ways to save money in the garden is to get your plants for free! Dividing perennials increases your plants but also helps them to fill in, improve blooming, and avoid overcrowding. For the healthiest perennials dividing them in the fall is an essential fall task.

Whew! There you have it! A whole lot of tips and tasks to get your garden gorgeous this fall. Did I miss something or do you have a question about your garden specifically? Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to get you some answers!

The Complete Checklist for the Fall Garden

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Hannah
    HannahSeptember 28,15

    Thanks for the post! It was a great reminder that I need to get my old foliage cleaned off my garden. I have a question for you. I planted bulbs, crocus, underneath a few of my trees in the mulch ring last fall and they bloomed beautifully this Spring. Now the bulbs are shooting up new leaves , like they do in the Spring. Is this healthy for the bulb? Should I continue to let it do this?

    • Stephanie
      StephanieSeptember 28,15

      Hi Hannah, You are very welcome! I don’t know what bulbs they are or what the weather has been like that might have caused the leaves to sprout up again, but I would leave them. They seem to have a plan, and even if it is misguided, cutting off the leaves would do the bulbs more harm then letting them do their thing. Check back in with them next spring. If the blooming is poor next year, we can go back and investigate the cause then.

  2. Wendy Romero
    Wendy RomeroOctober 5,15

    Great checklist! It’s very helpful for me and my family. It’s our first year in gardening and although we don’t know many things, we managed to harvest good and healthy crops. Thank you for your post!

    • Stephanie
      StephanieOctober 5,15

      Yay for you! It’s wonderful to feed your family from the land and enjoy everything that gardening can do for you. Congrats on a successful harvest!

  3. Katherine~FurnishMyWay
    Katherine~FurnishMyWaySeptember 13,16

    Thank you for this thorough list. I may not have a very big garden (as I am still very new at gardening), but I still want it to do well. Can’t wait for fall!

  4. Logan Wilhelm
    Logan WilhelmSeptember 15,16

    Is there a place where we can download your checklist so easier to follow? Great steps and I need to follow them!! Thanks!

  5. Jack Bennett
    Jack BennettNovember 1,16

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for this useful list. Are you planning to post another checklist covering winter months soon? -Jack

Leave a Reply