When it comes to the vegetable garden, there are 4 Fall garden chores that can make all the difference in the success of next year’s harvest! With a little work now, you can set the stage for your best-ever garden next season.

The Must Do 4 Fall Garden Chores

#1 Create A Lasting Snapshot Of Your Current Garden – Now!

4 fall garden chores
Take time to jot down what grew where this year

This is the least labor intensive of all four fall garden chores, but a huge difference maker! Take time now to commit this year’s garden to memory by snapping a few pictures, or sketching out what is growing where. Spend a couple of minutes jotting down a few notes on what plants thrived, and what plants struggled.

Why? Because it will give you a road map to gardening success next year. By taking time to jot down now what you have where – it makes it easy to plan new spots for the same crops next year. Rotating your plants in the garden is one of the best ways to keep pests and disease at bay. It also keeps the soil from losing it’s vitality. You will also have a record of what varieties underperformed – and decide if maybe it’s time to try a new type.

And if you think you will remember come next Spring – trust me when I say from experience, you won’t!

So take out that cell phone and snap a few pictures now and commit those notes to permanent memory. The best part is that after a few years, you will have an incredible wealth of information from your notes.

#2 The Clean Up  

4 Fall Garden Chores
Clearing out plants is a must to help control pests and disease next year

When it comes to eliminating next year’s disease and pest problems, this one is a must! As your annual vegetable garden plants begin to die off and stop producing, take time to remove them from your garden.

One of the most damaging things you can do to your garden is to leave this year’s crops in place until next spring.

When you allow plants to overwinter, all kinds of bad things start to happen. For one, it sets the table for garden pests to find a place to hide out and multiply. It also allows late season blight and other diseases that have infested plants a chance to become established. It also lets seeds from the leftover veggies  to become planted, waiting to sprout all around next years crops.

#3  Start That Compost Pile

4 fall garden chores
Fall is a great time to get that compost pile going

Simply put, compost is the powerhouse of great gardens. It is teeming with all sorts of beneficial microbes and organisms that help to create great balance and structure in the soil.

Fall is the perfect time to start a pile with readily available leaves and garden scraps. And by starting it now, you can have great compost ready to go come planting day next year.

When building that pile, there are a few things to keep out. We never compost our tomato and pepper plants, opting to instead burn them on our fire pit. We have found with the ease of spreading blight and disease, those two plants are better left out.  See : Making A Fall Compost Pile

#4 The BIG ONE – Planting A Cover Crop

4 fall garden chores
planting a cover crop is the single best way to rejuvenate soil and protect soil from the elements

We talk about it often, but planting and covering your garden with a blanket of a thick cover crop is an absolute must. It not only enriches the soil, but helps to fix nitrogen levels as well. It also helps eliminate next year’s weed seeds from becoming established. Cover crops are one of the most inexpensive ways to power your garden and eliminate weeding – period!  See : How To Plant A Cover Crop

So get out there and get started on those 4 fall garden chores – and get ready for a great garden next year!

Happy Fall Gardening!  Jim and Mary

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4 thoughts on “4 Fall Garden Chores That Will Make Next Year’s Garden Rock!

  • September 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    Pictures (and this is a great time for that selfie stick!) are great, because, you’re right, in as little as a couple of weeks you can begin to forget what was where, and by spring it’s like a complete mystery in some areas.

  • August 26, 2016 at 11:21 pm
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    Your garden is wonderful. How wide are your rows? How wide are your walkways? I like the straw idea for the walkways! Thanks for sharing.

  • August 26, 2016 at 9:02 am
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    I do all of the above EXCEPT I don’t plant a cover crop. Instead I completely weed each bed, cover it with newspaper and cardboard and lay a THICK layer of straw on the beds and walkways. Next season I’m going to build lasagna beds. Our soil is cement-like clay. Instead of spending years trying to amend it, I’ll grow on top of it.
    I have made a diagram of our garden, made copies and list what has been planted in each bed. This way I have a permanent record of what was planted where and my notes. My garden is 1/3rd of an acre. I plant all types of flowers around the inside borders to attract bees, butterflies and ladybugs.
    I simply pull my garden notebook to determine what will be planted where, if I want to plant more or less of a variety or add something new — I can easily see where to add these.

    Thank you for the GREAT TIPS and for sharing your knowledge with us. Love all your pictures too!

  • August 26, 2016 at 8:02 am
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    Good day and thank you!! I never knew you should not compost tomato and pepper plants. Great tips, especially in this sandy Florida soil.

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