15 Fall Garden Tasks – that I still have to accomplish…
on Nov 04, 2014, Updated Oct 28, 2023
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I’m still not finished with my fall garden tasks! Are YOU?
I admit it! This is what my garden looks like right now. It’s quite the mess. I have ignored it for weeks – with our trip to New York and Boston and just being plain busy. Last weekend, we had really cold, and prolonged cold, weather.
I knew that would be the end of the garden so the kids and I picked the last of the tomatoes (green & semi red) and all the peppers we thought we’d be able to use. We also finally dug the sweet potatoes. So I’ve gotten all the produce out of my garden now that I will use, but I have a ton of stuff to finish up before the ground freezes.
Here’s the long list of items yet to accomplish in my world…before winter sets in…and the clock is ticking, y’all.
15 Fall Garden Tasks
1. Remove dead plants (tomato, pea, beans, squash etc) and either compost if they are healthy plants, or burn or throw-out if they are diseased.
2. Leave brassacias in the garden over winter though. Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and radishes release cyanide compounds that act as pest lures in the early spring if left in the garden. – My husband is going to love me when I draw lines across my garden that he’s to avoid while tilling. 😀
3. Gently till garden soil to loosen it up for spring planting. Some people think tilling the garden in the fall is unnecessary, but I think it helps my garden to be ready earlier in the spring.
4. Test garden soil. You can buy a DIY soil testing kit online and do it yourself – OR send samples to most university cooperative extension offices.
5. Amend garden with organic matter like compost and/or animal manure to make your soil healthy and happy for the next year. Definitely avoid synthetic fertilizers!!!
6. Enlarge my garden. The fall is the perfect time to till up the extra land, and I NEED some extra space for next year. Especially if my cucurbits go gang bustas like they did this past year!
. Prune fruit trees and berry bushes. m- Okay…I’ve been reading up on pruning in the fall – and the HUGE consensus is – wait until the dead of the winter when these plants are 100% dormant to prune – otherwise you’re risking disease and bug infestation. Can’t wait for -15F weather to prune, friends! UGH!!! Looks like we’ll be watching the weather closely this winter and heading out either at the end of February or the beginning of March, weather depending.
8. Divide hardy bulbs and flowering plants like tulips, daffodils, iris, hostas, black-eyed susan, daylilies, and coneflowers.
9. Dig up delicate flower bulbs like dahlia, canna, and gladiolus. Store in a dry, cool (60-65 degrees) place over winter.
10. Mulch strawberries and spring flowering bulb plants with 2-4 inches of organic material after cold weather arrives. Choose material that won’t blow away and remove mulch in early spring when the weather starts to warm up.
11. Plant garlic and flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils. I shared directions for planting fall bulbs over at MomItForward a few weeks ago! Check out my Fall Bulbs Planting Guide here!! And YES — I STILL need to get this done!
12. Empty ornamental pots and store inside to avoid cracking.
13. Remove, clean, and repair any cages, baskets, or fencing used in summer garden.
14. Sharpen and clean shovels, hoes, and other gardening tools so they’re ready to go in the spring.
15. Plan garden for the next year! I can’t wait for the seed catalogs to start arriving! If you’re looking for good catalogs to request, check out my list of free catalogs here!
What do you still have to do in your garden? Are you as behind as I am?