Autumn is one of the most exciting times of year in the garden. The harvest is in full swing, the leaves are turning and there is tons of work to be done (remember, as gardeners we like garden work)!

Here is our list of fall garden chores. We’ll be tackling some of these later this month at our Member Cleanup Day, but there’s no reason not to get started now.

  • Remove diseased plants. The best time to remove a diseased plant is the moment you realize it’s diseased. But now’s a good time too. Removing diseased plant material helps minimize disease and pests for next year. Be sure to remove these debris off site.
  • Pull weeds. Like diseases, you want to nip weeds in the bud-literally. If weeds are allowed to set seed, they’ll spread and make more work in the spring. Fewer weeds in the fall=fewer weeds in the spring. Not sure which are weeds? Check this out.
  • Remove annuals. Summer annuals are looking scraggly and have all but stopped producing. Compost spent summer veggies and…
  • Plant fall crops. Sow fast growing, cold hardy greens for one last harvest. Plant garlic now for early summer harvest next season. Grow scallions which will over-winter. More ideas here!
  • Feed your soil. Your dirt has been working hard all summer. Give it a light layer of compost (1-2″ is all you need. There is such a thing as too much compost), or plant a cover crop of “green manure”.
  • Divide perennials. Over time perennial plants will get crowded in raised beds. Fall is the perfect time to literally cut them in half to help them flourish. Give the other half away or compost it.
  • Plant bulbs. Spring blooming bulbs need to go in the ground in the fall. You can find some of our favorite bulb sellers here. Be sure to check bloom times so you get early, mid, and late spring flowers.
  • Clean garden tools. Give pruners, trowels, and diggers a good washing with soapy water (and be sure to dry them so they don’t rust). Sharpen blades. Toss gloves in the wash.
  • Do nothing. Leave seed heads on perennials for winter interest and wildlife.
  • Evaluate and plan. Take note of what did well in the garden this year and what didn’t. Factor your findings into your planting plan for next year. Not all garden areas are ideal for growing the same things (for example you’ll never get a healthy yield of tomatoes if your plants are in the shade most of the day). Be sure to note it all down in your garden journal.
  • Get excited for next year! There are TONS of veggies, fruits, and flowers we can grow in NYC. Don’t limit yourself to basil and bell peppers. Start getting excited now while you have plenty of time to plan. Visit our Resources page to start shopping!




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