Improve Your Fall Garden With This Ultimate Checklist

fall gardening checklist
[Post updated 9/6/2016]

Image modified and used with permission from Nick Lansley.

Attention, pumpkin spice fans and knit scarf-lovers, the time to rejoice is here! Cooler weather is breezing in, kids are back in school and fall has officially arrived. While you may already be celebrating with festive fall décor indoors, the season’s return also means it’s time to get outside and prep your fall garden. Your outdoor space needs just as much gardening love in fall as it does during spring. Between cleaning out your garden and planning for next year, you’ll be plenty occupied until you can enjoy a hot apple cider amidst your fall blooms.

Image used with permission from Donaleen.

In the busy whirlwind that precedes relaxing fall days, it’s easy to lose track of things. To help out, we created a printable checklist with all of your fall garden tasks. As you’re working through them, take the opportunity to spruce up your patio furniture too with a set of Adirondack chairs or one of our lighted outdoor umbrellas. Then, you’ll have the perfect spot to sit back and relax while taking in all your hard work and enjoying the fall colors.

The Ultimate Fall Gardening Checklist

There are three main components to fall gardening: cleaning, freshening and prepping. Each is an important step in maintaining a healthy garden. Scroll down to read more about each task and download our complete fall gardening checklist!

Clean Your Garden

Image used with permission from Barbara Samuel.

It’s time to remove all lingering evidence of summer. Clear out any weeds, gather herbs, remove spent plants and take photos for next year. This will give your garden the breath of fresh air it needs to transition into fall. Remember to move household plants indoors before the cold weather arrives!

Freshen Your Soil

Don’t expect to see a colorful fall garden this year unless you’ve given your soil some serious TLC. Compost and mulch to your heart’s content. Re-pot your indoor plants with fresh soil, and loosen up packed down soil. If you love your soil, it will love you back by producing beautiful fall produce.

Prep for Cooler Weather

If you’re going to enjoy a flavorful, homegrown salad this season, you’ll need to do some food garden planning. Prepare cool-weather veggies like lettuce, beets or spinach to replace your summer harvest. Plant cover crops, reduce watering perennials and remember to water new plants. Then, it’s time to sit back and savor your efforts because it’s a long wait until next spring!

With checklist in hand, it’s time to gather up your gardening gear and start marking off tasks. Are you a beginner gardener who needs a bit more guidance? Here are a few resources to help you through the season:

Fall Gardening Resources for Beginners

  • Discover new plants for your garden, searching by season of bloom, plant type and color with the National Gardening Association’s plant finder.
  • Not sure when Jack Frost is expected in your area? Check out the Farmer’s Almanac’s first frost chart.
  • For expertise on seed-saving for specific plants, check out Seed Savers.
  • Struggling with old gardening tools? Fine Gardening explains why clean, sharp tools last longer and work better.
  • As you prepare your fall garden, don’t forget to snap photos and use any of the social media sharing icons below to share pictures and tips with fellow green thumbs!

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