November 22, 2018

End-of-season garden tips for fall and autumn

Now is the time to take stock of this year’s garden season so you can plan better for next year! Here are a few end-of-season garden tips to consider…

No matter how or where you garden – containers or raised beds, zone 4 or zone 10, in the country or on a city rooftop – there are always things you can do to build your soil, increase your yield, and improve your garden’s results. If this year’s garden wasn’t all you wanted it to be, this fall is the time to make changes that will hopefully improve next year’s garden yields. Now, while it’s fresh in your head, is a great time to make notes on this year’s garden crops – including production, crop locations for your rotation plan, and any pest or disease problems that your garden may have experienced this year. By assessing this garden season and analyzing your results, you will be able to plan a better garden for the next time around.

Below are a few end-of-season garden tips from the Pioneering Today Podcast to help give your garden a head start for next year:

1.  Fall Garden clean up and winter soil amendments

One of the first things we do when it comes to our fall garden prep is to make sure that we do a really good fall garden cleanup.

  • Get rid of the old stuff that’s dying out and isn’t going to be producing anymore.  You don’t want to leave any diseased plants behind over winter to further infect your soil, or to breed disease.
  • Do soil amending after you’ve cleaned up and where you don’t have any winter crops going in.

2.  Make notes of your harvest

Take notes if you need to increase, decrease, stay the same.  This is where I look at the crops that we’ve grown based upon what we’re eating now, because with over 19 plus years of growing my own garden for our family, it has definitely changed over time.

We use a lot more of some things now than we ever did before, and vice versa. It’s always important for us to look at what we’re doing and using now, and then plan out next year’s garden and crops based on that.

………………………………………………………………………..Look at what you planted, how much those plants produced, and then decide what, if any, changes you need to make for next year.  Do I need to increase, decrease, or keep it the same?


Now is a really good time of year when you’re coming fresh off the harvest and it’s all right there in your mind, make these notes, and then use them when it comes closer to seed starting, and further in the year…

3.  Make notes on how the harvest went down

Make any notes on if any plants did not do good, or you had specific pests, or diseases, in order to get those researched and fixed for next year if possible.

If you had any crops that were suffering from disease, if you had a lot of blossom-end rot, fungal disease, or blight, then you’re going to want to look at amending your soil and seeing what it could be deficient in…

If you had crops that really didn’t produce how you wanted to, or disease or pests wiped them out, make some notes… Do more research and see what you need to do and when in order to fix those problems.

Look back on the harvest and determine if maybe you could have done some more succession planting, or if you should have.


If you find that you planted all of your plants at one time, and that they were spent before the growing season was over, you might want to look and see if maybe you should have planned a little bit more succession planting so that you had smaller harvests at one time, but longer into the year. This can be beneficial so that you don’t have this huge glut of everything all at once, and then you can take your time preserving – and harvesting it longer and in smaller amounts.

4.  Evaluate changes in the climate and growing season

Take notes on your climate.  If there’s been any extension or patterns over a long period of time, that may adjust your planting schedule. It may be you get to plant earlier, which means a longer growing season – Hallelujah – but it could be the opposite.

It may mean you need to plan on not putting in your garden quite so early because you keep getting wiped out with cold weather, or it struggles because it’s not quite warm enough.

Sometimes you can just have an off year

I would not make changes based off a weather pattern for just one year. I’m talking multiple years in a row, but if it looks like it has changed and it’s going to stick around, then I would evaluate.


I would still keep an eye on the forecasts…and go by that each year. But you may notice a change in your area and should adjust your planting accordingly.

5. Take note of where everything was planted this year

Then lastly, take note of where everything was in order to practice crop rotation for next year’s planting.  If it’s still visible, take a picture with your phone. You’ve got it on there, so then when you go to plant this coming spring, you know where you need to practice your crop rotation. If you already did it in the springtime, then you don’t need to worry about it now, but for those of you who forgot, or you just didn’t get around to it, now is a good time to do that if you didn’t do it earlier.



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About the author 

Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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