17 Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist

Last Updated on September 13, 2019 by Kimberly Crawford

The onset of fall will totally change the look of your garden. You will notice that your backyard gardens no longer look as healthy as they did during the summer. Most of the plants will begin to wither; others will even hibernate. But what you do to ensure that your gardens transition into fall without much trouble for your plants?

This post provides the 17 must-have fall cleanup checklist for everyone that wishes to help their gardens transition into fall without any trouble.

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1. Weeding

clear the weed

Top on your list should be weeding. You need to ensure that your garden is clear of weeds as fall comes. Maybe you have been doing it all through summer, and might be thinking why do you need to pull the weeds again in fall.

But this is the right time to give you garden the best visual look free from the weeds. Having a clear garden will also enable you to carry on with the other tasks that are coming in this checklist.

2. Check the vines

As the weather changes, one thing that will be happening in your garden for sure is your vines will be dying. To ensure that you maintain them in good shape, and still have them even after the fall, you have to prune the dead leaves.

You will also want to think about the kind of vines you have in your garden. There are those vines that do better when cut back significantly during fall. Carrying out a little research to be sure whether your vines need cutting is properly in order. If your research establishes that they can be cut, then doing will help them come back even stronger during spring.

3. Remove non-producing crops

Your checklist should also have the removal of all those non-blooming flowers and vegetables. This is in an effort to make room for your fall or winter garden and allow you to prepare the garden for the next planting season.

4. Put the plants indoors

If you put your indoor plants outside to enjoy the summer sun, now is the time to get them back inside the house. Note that if you live in an area that freezes during fall, you should bring them inside before the first frost.

5. Spray your garden


Fall is the time when you also have to think of spraying your plants. This is because many insects survive through fall, and will end up destroying your garden. Get a good backpack blower and spray your garden with insecticides before fall.

6. Repair beds and fences

The end of summer and beginning of fall is a good time to repair and raised beds as well as fences. This is because fall is that time when you have already removed all the non-producing crops from your garden, and you are preparing it for the next planting season.

7. Plant trees and shrubs

If you are a resident of Southern California, this is the time to plant trees and shrubs in your garden. This is because of the hot summers will not allow one to plant evergreens. Also, deciduous trees do best when planted towards the end of fall, which is best known as the dormancy period.

8. Redesign your garden

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Fall is the perfect time to redesign your garden, change where the flowers will be planted, and decide where the vegetables will be and all that. Having this on your checklist makes sense, as you might have been thinking of how to plant the flowers at a different corner from the previous season.

9. Prepare gardening tools

You will also need to add this to your checklist. This is because there is no perfect time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools than fall. After you have used the tools throughout summer, now is the time to prepare them as they wait for the next season.

10. Plant perennials

Have you been thinking of planting perennials in your garden? Then this is the time for that. Plant new perennials or divide those you already have during early fall.

Note that planting or dividing your perennials during early fall will ensure that they get ample time to grow. This is especially critical for those people who live in areas that freeze during fall and winter.

11. Prepare your soil

You have planted plants in your garden all through summer; fall is the time to help that soil get nutrients back.

Test your soil to check which nutrients are missing, and see how you can add some of the nutrients. You can even add compost manure from your backyard, and this will help your garden as it anticipates new plants for the next season.

12. Put your garden shade in order

There is no better time to avoid all the hustles you went through looking for garden tools during the previous season. Fall is that period that you can organize your garden shade, decide which tools will be in which corner so that you can easily access them when you need them during the next season.

Having an organized garden shade is essential as it will help you make your life easier and stress-free.

13. Start looking for end-of-summer sales

Have you been looking for the best time to restock your garden tools and other things? Then you have to get all you need during the fall.

End-of-summer sales start at the end of summer and go through to mid-fall. This is the period when you can get the best deals for almost everything that your garden needs.

14. Save seeds

After the summer harvest, you need to collect and save seeds that you will be using next year in your garden. Notice that various plants require particular ways of saving seeds.

You will have to conduct research to ensure that you properly keep the seeds so that they don’t go to waste even as you wait for the next season.

15. Map your garden

Apart from preparing your garden to know what to plant where fall is the best time to map your garden. During mapping, try to establish what plant was planted in the garden. Then carry out an audit and see if that place was best for that particular plant.

16. Have sensitive plants protected

You need to ensure that sensitive perennials, shrubs, and roses are protected throughout the cold season. You can do this by adding mulch to the base as well as wrapping plants in cloth barriers.

There will be no need to keep your garden of all the precious sensitive plants that are left to die during the fall and winter.

17. Mow the garden

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Before winter sets in, you need to give you lawns one last mow. This is necessary as it will help the soil to dry up quite quickly during spring. Also, dry soil will be of importance to the microorganisms in the soil, which serve a significant purpose in the growth of garden plants.


Those who think fall is a dormant time might have to rethink. There are a lot of things that need to be done for the garden during this time. Failing to follow the checklist in this article will only mean that you will have a lot more difficult time come the next planting season.

best fall garden cleanup checklist