Gardening Projects to Do This Fall

5 min read|Last updated at: October 20, 2022

Each season brings with it different considerations for gardening. Although summer is often thought as the ideal time for outdoor and leisure activities, the cool weather fall brings opportunities to tend to your garden without the burden of the scorching summer sun. Fall, with its dazzling hues of autumnal leaves and festive woodland charm, is rich in symbolism. It at once symbolizes plenty, the reaping of a harvest; but at the same time, is associated with the twilight realm as a symbol of decay. Through gardening, you are able to embrace the melancholy beauty of autumn and gain a deeper understanding of nature. As the cool weather sets in, gardening during the fall can be a relaxing hobby, giving you opportunities to take on gardening projects that are not feasible during the summer. Below is a list of fun gardening projects you can try this fall. 

Plan a Thanksgiving Dinner  

Many of the early settlers to America grew their own food, living off the land and foraging for foodstuffs – many of the foods served during the first Thanksgiving were less indulgent. Since then, the menu has expanded to include quintessential favorites – cranberry sauce, turkey, and pumpkin pie. With careful planning, you can have a bountiful harvest for Thanksgiving straight from your garden. While most of the crops are easy to grow, getting the dates correct for a Thanksgiving harvest can be difficult. It is important that you figure out the maturity dates of the vegetables and plan accordingly. A simple calendar or spreadsheet with outlines of planting dates will often suffice. 

For a more enjoyable growing experience, consider growing your crops in raised metal garden beds. Vego Garden has a versatile collection of garden beds that are suitable for all your planting needs. If you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving outside, then structuring the dining table next to your raised garden beds can create a memorable experience. Popular crops to grow that can supplement your Thanksgiving dinner include potatoes, onions, green beans, and herbs. If you choose to grow an herb garden, then it is a good idea to choose a compact but sturdy herb raised bed that allows you to easily reach and harvest your herbs. Add ornamental squash, gourds and other autumn decorations to create a festive fall atmosphere. 

Gardening Projects to Do This Fall | Vego Garden

Build a Compost Bin

Autumn is one of the best times to gather material for composting. Leaves and other decaying plant matter, which are abundant during this season, offer carbon-rich material that can be easily added to compost. Nitrogen based material, including kitchen scraps, fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, and grass clippings, can be obtained year-round without difficulty. Generally, a good combination of brown (carbon) matter to green (nitrogen) matter is 4:1, though you can adjust it based on your gardening conditions. To start composting, gather leaves and grass clippings into piles based on their texture and enrich with withered annuals and garden waste.  

If the hassle and smell of traditional composting systems discourages you from composting, then there is another option you should consider. Vego Garden has an in-ground worm composter that eliminates the problems associated with traditional composting bins. Simply dig a hole in the ground of your Vego Garden bed, bury the vermicomposting bin, fill with organic waste and worms, and let nature do the work.

Gardening Projects to Do This Fall | Vego Garden

Build a Hugelkultur Raised Bed         

If you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to fill raised garden beds, then building a hugelkultur bed can help you optimize savings. Building your bed during the fall will ensure that you have plenty of woody debris available. Derived from German origin, hugelkultur translates to “hill or mound culture” and consists of a raised bed built from layers of decaying organic matter. 

The materials used include large rotting logs, fallen branches and other debris that are layered with grass clippings, coffee grounds, compost, and other organic matter. As the material breaks down, the hugel bed settles, creating a sponge-like effect that allows for increased water retention. Here are some tips for building your hugel bed:

  • Hardwoods are recommended as they break down more slowly and hold water longer, though softwoods are also acceptable. Woods like birch, alder, willow, and oak work best. Avoid rot resistant trees like black cherry and black locust, as they inhibit the decomposition process.
  • For added convenience, dig within an existing raised garden bed. Logs are preferred over wood chips as they are conducive to plant growth.
  • Plant root crops that have few nutrient requirements in the first few years. To remedy nitrogen deficiencies, plant cover crops or nitrogen fixing plants. 

17" Tall 9 In 1 Modular Metal Raised Garden Bed Kit

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The classic of the classics, this is the first raised garden bed kit we launched. The 3.5' x 6.5' and 2' x 8' configurations are among the most iconic designs for anyone who is new to garden beds. The height is also great for easy, quick access when gardening and assists in keeping slugs and pests at a minimum too. Great for growing herbs, succulents, veggies, or flowers.…

Plant Trees and Shrubs         

Planting trees in fall offers multiple advantages. As summer starts to wind down, cooler temperatures and autumnal rain offers an ideal planting environment for trees and shrubs, decreasing the chance of heat stress, drought, and other unfavorable growing conditions. It also allows new trees to become more established before they have to tolerate dry summer conditions. While spring can seem a good time to plant trees, the humidity levels can make the soil too wet. Furthermore, because energy is spent on both foliage and root development, this can also lead to stunted root growth and barren branches.  

Gardening Projects to Do This Fall | Vego Garden

Harvest and Dry Herbs  

Herbs that are used for preservation should be harvested at the end of the growing season or before the first frost, depending on whether it is an annual or perennial. If the herb is an annual, they can be harvested until the first frost and cut down to the ground level. Perennial herbs can be harvested throughout the summer – either cut off a third of the plant or remove the leafy tips. For optimal flavor, herbs should be harvested when flower buds appear, but before they bloom. Harvest them early in the morning after the dew dries, when the sun has not yet set in. 

Save Seeds        

Lamented as a lost art, seed saving was once a common activity for early settlers that has since been lost due to the commercialization and standardization of the agricultural industry. Whether as a school room activity or as an individual hobby, seed saving is a key to preserving the past. Not only does it teach values of self-sufficiency, but it helps improve seed diversity. With their wealth of diversity and historical value, heirloom cultivars such as tomatoes, beans, and peppers are suitable for seed saving. 

Gardening Projects to Do This Fall | Vego Garden

Add Soil Amendments    

Though many do not think of fall as a time of planting, it is important to amend the soil with amendments to prepare for next year’s plantings. Take advantage of readily available material, such as leaves and grass clippings, and apply them to the soil. Adding compost and beneficial soil amendments allows them enough time to break down and decompose, enriching the soil for the coming year. If your soil is of subpar composition or needs pH adjustment, then fall is the ideal time to correct it.    

Plant Bulbs for Spring   

For a vibrant display next spring, start planting fall bulbs during the fall months, particularly during September and November. Some popular fall-planted varieties include alliums, crocuses, daffodils, tulips and irises. Get a head start on your spring gardening by completing preliminary tasks that can be accomplished during the fall, such as planning your garden layout, researching new crop varieties, and organizing seed packets. 

Gardening Projects to Do This Fall | Vego Garden