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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

How to Prepare your Garden for Fall

There are many things to accomplish in your garden when the crisp weather begins to roll in. Take advantage of the great weather by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. In the spring, you'll thank yourself!


Some plants like to be pruned in the fall, so now is the time to get it done! Gooseberries, honeysuckle, lemongrass, raspberries, currants, blackberries, and grapes are among the many plants that enjoy a prune in the fall.

Save some seeds

Now is the time to choose which plants you want to grow and save the seeds. Store and label them so they'll be easy to find for the following spring. Now is an excellent time to start asking others for seeds they may have to spare. Connect with others on a local buy-sell-trade group and ask for seeds. Fall is also a perfect time to let others know if you have seeds to share.


Empty your compost bin and rake it into your garden beds. If you have a tumbling composter, now it might be a good idea to move it closer to the house. If your compost bin cannot be relocated, consider placing a 5-gallon bucket or garbage can with a secure lid outside your back door where kitchen scraps can be easily tossed. When brisk weather strikes, you might not want to walk halfway through the yard to drop off your kitchen waste. Setting up a system for composting in the winter will increase your chances of successfully composting all winter.

Clean up

Remove all trellises, tomato cages, and row markers away. The harsh elements that winter brings will break them down faster so, put these up for the winter.

Empty your rain barrel

When the fall season ends, you should empty and rinse your rain barrel. After the temperatures drop, any remaining water may freeze and cause cracks in the barrel. Don't forget this step if you want your rain harvesting system to serve you for many years!

Plant fall crops

There are several autumn planting options to explore! Depending on your growing zone, you might be able to grow some chilly weather-loving foods like lettuce, radishes, and baby carrots. Or plant bulbs that pop up in the spring. Information will vary here, so look up your crops for instructions.

Soil Testing

You can test your soil any time of year. Autumn is a fantastic time to have your soil tested since most plants have finished growing for the year, and therefore have finished removing nutrients from the earth.

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