What Should You Do to Your Garden Beds in Fall?

Written by Naomi Meza


Posted on October 31 2023

From raking up dry leaves to cleaning out dead, dying, or decaying plants, fall garden chores are geared towards getting the garden ready for winter and spring.

When they said, "Make hay when the sun shines," they must have been talking about fall gardening because it is the best time to plant or simply let your garden rest over winter.

Here are a few reasons why garden prepping in fall is a great idea and how you can prepare your garden beds in fall.

Why is it Important to Prepare Your Garden for the Fall Season?

Fall garden plants

The first and best aspect of fall is the decline in insect and pest numbers which means you can garden in peace without swatting at something every two seconds.


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Fall is also a great time to take a closer look at your garden taking note of any potential diseases and pest damage.

The second best part is you can do this without the extreme heat or cold bothering you.

When to Start Preparing Your Garden for Fall?

Person raking leaves

Preparing a garden bed in fall should be done promptly or you stand the risk of losing your sprouts to Jack Frost's icy clutches.

The best time to prepare your garden is at the very first sign of fall.


Related Post: The Best Plants for a Fall Garden


After preparations, you want to have planted most of everything by mid-september so they germinate and overwinter till spring, for those who live in locations with harsher cold weather months.

If you are resting your garden soil for the winter you don't have to rush, just make sure you get your garden set up for winter before the first frost.

How to Prepare Your Garden for the Fall Season?

Pumpkins and fall squash on grass

How you prepare your garden for fall depends entirely on what you have planned.

If you want to rest your garden for spring planting then you have very little work on your hands.


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If you have plants that need overwintering then you will need to take steps to prepare them for the harsh weather over the next few weeks.

Should You Stop Fertilizing in the Fall?

Greenway biotech organic kelp meal fertilizer

No, you should be raking your soil, adding fresh compost and organic fertilizer like Blood Meal Fertilizer or Feather Meal Fertilizer.

You want to keep adding some organic fertilizer every two weeks for plants that have a higher demand.

Always remove any mulch or wood chippings before applying compost or fertilizer so you get good integration for soil resting.


Related Post: What Cover Crops Are Important in Fall?


You can put the mulch back on after the compost and fertilizer to ensure no weeds grow and drain the newly added nutrients.

Cover Your Garden With Mulch to Avoid Weeds, Pests, and Diseases

Person laying mulch on garden beds

Weed seeds can get blown over to your garden which is why you need to keep your soil covered using mulch.

You can use leaves as much as they are easily available in the fall.

If you do not have mulch a piece of cardboard or a cloth works great for gardens with no plants on them.


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A word of caution, do not prune your plants before they are fully dormant.

Pruning a tree before dormancy stimulates growth which is not good for winter.

What Fertilizer Should I Put in My Garden in the Fall?

Greenway biotech fish bone meal

The best garden fertilizer to use is an organic fertilizer which you can combine with compost.

We highly recommend using one of our organic meal fertilizers if you plan to nourish your soil over the fall season because meal fertilizers like Bone Meal, Fish Bone Meal and Kelp Meal can replace depleted nutrients from the soil so you are ready to plant in the next growing season. 

If your soil needs amending, shop our store for amazing gardening products to make your soil more plant and root-friendly.



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