When Should You Start Preparing Your Garden For Fall? - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

When Should You Start Preparing Your Garden For Fall?

Are you starting to get excited for fall? The leaves changing color, the cool cozy weather, and of course, all of the delicious food! Now, you may be wondering when the best time is to start preparing your garden for fall. Let’s take a look at when you should start preparing your garden for fall and some tips on how to get ready for the coming autumn season. So read on and get started planning your fall garden today!

When Should You Start Preparing Your Garden?

Autumn garden
Image credits: Hogogo via Canva

Typically, the arrival of the first fall frost signals the end of the growing season for many gardeners. That could be anywhere from October to November. The best time of day to begin a good fall clean-up is late in the morning or early in the afternoon.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding if you should start preparing your garden for fall:

  • The type of plants you have. Fall-blooming flowers and vegetables will still need care after the first frost.
  • The length of your growing season. The longer your growing season, the more time you have to prepare your fall garden.
  • The weather forecast. Fall can be an unpredictable time of year weather-wise. If you’re worried about a late frost damaging your plants, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start preparing your fall garden early.

Preparing Your Fall Garden

Here are a few tips to help you get your garden ready for fall.

Cleaning Up Any Debris

Fall garden clean up
Image credits: encierro via Shutterstock

After a long summer, your garden may be full of dead leaves, twigs, and other debris. Fall is the perfect time to give it a good clean-up. Remove any labels, cages, and trellises and give them a good cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Not only will this make your garden look nicer, but it will also help prevent pests and diseases from overwintering in your garden.

Harvesting Mature Fruits and Vegetables

Box of ripe butternut squashes
Image credits: Ulrike Leone via Pixabay

Mature fruits and vegetables should be harvested as part of your fall garden preparation. This is because they are more likely to rot or spoil if left on the plant for too long.

There are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting mature fruits and veggies from your garden. First, be sure to use sharp tools so as not to damage the produce. Second, any immature fruits should be put in the compost. Finally, handle the produce gently to avoid bruising it.

Discarding Any Diseased Plants

Leaf spot disease of tomato
Image credits: Taew Jari via Shutterstock

As part of your fall garden preparation, it is important to discard any diseased plants. Diseased plants can harbor harmful bacteria and fungi that can infect other plants in your garden. By discarding diseased plants, you will help to keep your garden healthy and free of disease.

There are a few ways to tell if a plant is diseased. One way is to look for signs of pests or diseases on the leaves or stems. If you see any spots, lesions, or other abnormalities, the plant may be diseased. Another way to tell if a plant is diseased is by its overall appearance. If a plant looks unhealthy, with yellowing leaves or stunted growth, it may be diseased.

If you suspect that a plant is diseased, it is important to act quickly. Remove the plant from your garden and place it in a plastic bag. Be sure to seal the bag tightly so that no other plants can come in contact with the diseased plant. Then, dispose of the plant in a landfill.


Garden Weed Bag
Image credits: hamik via Canva

Weeding is an important part of fall garden preparation. By removing weeds, you can help improve the appearance of your garden and make it easier to care for in the future.

There are a few different ways to remove weeds from your garden. One way is to pull them by hand. This can be effective, but it can also be time-consuming. Another way to remove weeds is to use a weed whacker or weed trimmer. This method is much faster, but it can also damage your plants if you’re not careful.

If you have a lot of weeds, you may want to consider using herbicides. Herbicides will kill any plants they come in contact with, so you’ll need to be careful when using them. Only use herbicides as a last resort and be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.

Soil Testing 

pH Test
Image credits: Shawn Hempel via Shutterstock

Soil testing is an important part of fall garden preparation. By testing your soil, you can determine what nutrients are lacking and make sure your plants have everything they need to thrive.

There are a few different ways to test your soil. You can either do it yourself with a home soil test kit or send a sample off to a lab for analysis. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

A home soil test kit is a good option if you want to test your soil quickly and easily. Most kits will come with everything you need, including directions on how to take the sample and interpret the results.

If you prefer, you can send a sample of your soil to a lab for analysis. This is a good option if you want a more accurate picture of your soil’s nutrient levels. Most labs will provide you with a report that includes recommendations for amendments and fertilizers.

Once you have your results, take some time to review them and make sure you understand what they mean. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local garden center for help.

Putting Down Mulch

mulching around a tree with pine bark mulch
Image credits: ronstik via Canva

Mulch helps insulate the soil and roots of plants, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps to prevent weeds from taking over your garden beds.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing mulch for your garden. First, you’ll want to make sure that it’s organic and free of chemicals. And second, you’ll want to make sure that the mulch is thick enough to provide adequate coverage for your plants.

Once you’ve chosen the right mulch for your garden, it’s time to start putting it down. The best way to do this is to spread it evenly over the surface of the soil. You can use a rake or shovel to help spread it around.

In Summary

Fall is definitely one of the most exciting times of the year and preparing your garden for the autumn season is a great way to get ready. By following these tips on when to start preparing your garden for fall and what you need to do, you can make sure that your garden is in top shape for the cool weather ahead. Do you have any tips or tricks that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!