Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.

I know, you're hot and tired after a nice summer of planting and watering. The last thing you want anyone to tell you is that you have more work to do. But at least now it's in cooler weather. 

Be sure to use the free printable for Fall Chores that I'm providing, at the end of this article.

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.

I've spent the last two years making notes and also doing research on reputable garden sites and I have put together a substantial list that most Gardeners should be doing for Fall.

Frost Date for your area
You can ask your local Nursery or google when your local frost date is. If you have any shrub, tree or perennial planting you will want to know this. It is a general guideline that you will want at to plant a tree or shrub at least one month away from your frost date. The roots need that much time to acclimate and get established.

Give your lawn some attention to fight off pests and diseases before it goes dormant. Fertilize it with your favorite fertilizer. If you don't have one, visit your local Garden Center or Garden Co-op and find out what works best in your area.

This is also a good time to reseed your lawn, if you have areas that need it.

Grass Clippings 
You can compost these or discard them. Leaving grass clippings on your lawn will kill it or promote weeds and disease to grow, not grass.

Rake them up and dispose of them. There are so many ways to deal with leaves. Rake, mower or blower, pick your tool and have fun! About every other year I drop about 1/3rd of mine in my flowerbeds, if they are nice and dry and free from mold or disease. Most Cities have debris pickup too but you'll need to get them close to the street. Compost piles are always a good place to drop leaves too as long as they don't have any pests or diseases. If your leaves have powdery mildew for example, trash or burn them. You don't want to spread that around and deal with it again next year. Not every City allows you to burn your leaves so call your local City Ordinance Office and find out. They might even have a website you can check.

Rain Barrels
Time to check them for leaks or mold. Clean outside and inside if needed. 

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.

If you aren't lucky enough to have covers on your gutters, clean them out. The fastest way to find out how waterproofed your foundation is, don't follow this step and you will unfortunately find out sooner or later.

Tool Care
Sharpen and clean your pruners, clippers and any other tools you have. Check your wheelbarrow and determine how it's doing. Tire(s) need replaced, handles need oiled to keep from drying out? Also wash your hats and gloves you rely on while outside. 

If any of your tools are battery operated put them indoors! Any battery you buy, needs to be treated like a baby. This goes any type of battery! AA to lithium to whatever. Never store them in an unheated shed or garage. Especially if you expect them to keep charged. A general temperature guide I use is 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees. I bought my husband one of those tool bags specifically for all his tool batteries and laptop. Every time Winter comes, he brings that bag inside and does not store it in his company truck and we do the same for any drills or tools we have in the garage. 

Trees and shrubs always need a closer inspection and when the leaves start to fall off is a good time to check for disease and for any branches that are rubbing or crossing to prune them. Now is a perfect time to get your pruning chores done.

Mower Maintenance
Check your manual on what maintenance is best for your mower. Also, now is a good time to get your mower blades sharpened. A good tip I learned is always have one extra set of blades for your mower, so when you drop one set off for sharpening, you have a backup you can use. 

Time to store any containers that will not stand up to Winter. You can add bundles of Hay in your concrete containers and cover them to keep moisture out, if they are too heavy to move. Planting winter interest will also help a great deal, but if you want the evergreens to not die, be sure to add at least 2 cups of tap water to the container once a week unless you get rain. Terra Cotta pots need to be stored, They are notorious for cracking during winter. 

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.

Walk all the way around and inside if necessary in your flower beds. Check and make note of bare spots you want to fill. Maybe add some more Fall or Winter interest?

Bird Feeders
Clean out those bird feeders to help prevent diseases and fungus. A little hot water and soap does wonders. I would not recommend using any strong chemicals as it may hurt the birds. One tablespoon of bleach per gallon of soapy water is sufficient.

Plant Spring Bulbs
This is the time Nurseries and Home Improvements are carrying Spring bulbs like Tulips. So if you want some early or late Spring bulbs, now is time to plant before the ground freezes.

Divide or Move Perennials 
If there any perennials that have outgrown their spot or are looking flopped over or scraggly, it may be time to dig them up and divide them or relocate them to a better location.

Patio Furniture
Time to start thinking about cleaning and / or storing your patio furniture. Every year it depends on how much work I've done in the yard or my mood. Sometimes I leave the cleaning part to next Spring, but in my mind, it's always nicer to just be able to pull it out next season and start using it right away.

Depending on what zone you live in, take a look at the Annuals you planted. Do they need cutting back or pulled out all together and replaced with a hardy Winter plant. 

Add a 1 to 2" layer of mulch in any areas that are scarce. A small layer now will keep weeds out early spring.

Deal with weeds
One weed left now can make hundreds. Weed your garden one last time.

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.

If you have any roses or other perennials that need leaves mounded up around their crowns for protection, now is the time.

Irrigation Lines
Depending on the type you use, you might need to blow out your lines or use manual drain valves installed on your system. I use a soaker hose system, so it isn't necessary. If you have a PVC pipe system or use black pipe, preventive maintenance is going to be key before a hard frost hits. Do some strong research on what type of system you use and find what works for you.

If you use lanterns, wind chimes or any decorative piece to enhance your garden, now might be time to try and preserve it and store it until next Spring.

Preen is something I like to use occasionally. I started sprinkling it in Fall to help with those early Spring weeds. If however you have flowers like Columbine that self seed themselves, you will want to not use a pre-emergent weed killer. This prevents them from starting.  

New Garden Beds
Now is the perfect time to carve out a new flower bed for next year without taking out grass. Because isn't that the part that truly sucks? Use your trimmer or mower and scalp the area where the new bed is going and cover it with newspapers and then add some weed cloth or landscape fabric. Next year your bed will be ready for everything your heart desires!

Vegetable Garden
Write down the veggies you grew and where, if you have large beds or more then one. Do not go on your memory for this! Farmers rotate their crops when they can and so should you.  Next year you will want to rotate what is planted where. 

Soil Testing
Get your soil tested. Now is a good time to check the nutrient level, so you are prepared next year and know what you might need to add. Or take that pat on the back and know you're amending it properly.

Dahlias, Cannas and Gladioli
After the first frost, it's time to dig these up and store them for next year if you want to plant them again.

Ponds or Water Features
Time to take the pump out and do any and all cleanup necessary to keep it maintained.

I hope you've enjoyed or learned something from this, if you have then please thank me by sharing this post. I have created a free printable that you can use for your convenience. It does not even require your email address to get it!

Click here to download the PDF printable to your computer.

Christine Graves

Top 25 Chores for your Fall Garden including a free printable.