Fall chores

I keep reading how Fall is everyone’s favorite time of year. It is nice, the colors are beautiful especially here in the Northeast, but it is also a lot of work to put things to bed and get ready for the cold winter months.

So, I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks and will be for several more.

I’ve done some outside painting. I redid our entry, touched up other things including the chicken coop where I had to do a little scraping first, and did a couple of windows. Now, they’ll all survive the rain, snow and ice.

Some inside cleaning and paint touch up have also been checked off my list.

I pulled up the garden and because of the challenging summer weather and bugs I wanted to do what I could to help the soil recover.

So, I first covered everything with leaves we had piled up from last year. They had already started to compost – you could smell that earthy smell or as my granddaughter said – smells like death. In leaves, that is a really good thing.

Covering the leaves with compost was my next goal. Compost costs about $6.50 per bag, and I would have needed a lot of bags. So,ย my husband took our utility trailerย and got a yard at a local landscape company for $35.

We then shoveled it into all the raised beds and a small bed near the new raspberry row. What I had left, I hauled around and distributed to planters and newly transplanted shrubs.

Once I had the compost covering the leaves, I reused my burlap from last year and covered everything up to keep weeds from sprouting.


I’ve also moved a lot of plants around but still have a few to go. I needed to straighten up some beds and divide some plants and just get things lined up for the next growing season.

And, then there is the deadheading. I have a lot of that left to do – a lot.


I did take time out last week to go apple picking at Butternut Farm. They have a large selection of apples including Macouns which are my absolute favorite.

Macoun apples are a cross between the McIntosh and Jersey Black varieties.

My grandson came for breakfast yesterday so I made a Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake.

I think I may have to make time to go get some more because my stock is getting low.

Hope your fall chores are going well and that your weather is sunny and warm. Have a good week.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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15 Responses to Fall chores

  1. pbmgarden says:

    My husband enjoys trying different varieties of apples, so we’ll have to search for Macoun at the next farmer’s market. The apple cake sounds perfect for this time of year.


  2. I used to dread fall…I mean seriously dread it! not just the work involved but the psychological impact of having to deal with winter. I didn’t have seasonal affective disorder, it was due to the worry of expense! Our house was too big (5600sq ft Victorian) and we were either broke from heating it or freezing from not! then there was the year the ice damming happened and a huge section of the slate roof needed replacing. I could go on and on, but you get the idea! As soon as that first frost hit, my anxiety level began climbing and no amount of gorgeous fall foliage could bring it down!
    I know your circumstances are much different; thank the Lord for that! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Now, you’re talking my language. We’ve lost our power boxes right off the house twice due to ice storms and had to pay to replace them. The second time we got what others might call an ugly utility pole at the side of the yard and to us it is the most beautiful sight ever because our lines haven’t gone down since it was installed. Power still goes out but the lines don’t go down. In the winter, we run a pellet stove and a propane furnace to supplement and I certainly understand the freezing or the high heating bill. When I see that gorgeous fall foliage, I think snow blowing and snow shoveling. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. The apple cake sounds wonderful; will you share the recipe? Love the fall. I have been “lazy” in the garden this summer, so I have lots of work to do. The weather is so nice, I enjoy working outside. Just cna’t do it in the heat.
    I was surprised that you put a layer of leaves on the beds and cover them with compost. Don’t they get matted down, or do they really continue to break down? I have a big tree near my flower bed that ends up full of leaves in the fall; and I usually leave them all winter; and rake them away in the spring, when the daffs start to poke through.


    • Yes, I’ll be glad to share. The leaves I used had already started to decompose and I’m hopeful they will fully decompose with the compost on top. I’ll let you know in the spring. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have one perennial bed that gets all the pine needles from a neighbor’s tree – now pine needles make great mulch that can just be left there.


  4. i like what you did with your beds. I think I am going to copy you as you said crop covers are more trouble than they are worth. Sounds like what the beds need to recover and it is simple plus looks tidy. You are well ahead of things!


    • I bought the burlap last year at a local fabric store when I had a 50% coupon so it was very cost effective. It survived the winter pretty well, and when I took it off I hung it on a rack in the barn. I used landscape fabric pins to hold it down, and I may get another year or two out of it. Post a photo if you do it. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • What do you think about adding fresh chicken compost to it? Would it be weed seed free and old enough by next spring to not do any harm to the crops. ( mix the leaves with the fresh chicken manure (i’ve been buying it bagged for the veggie plot to not have any weeds) and then covering it with burlap or a tarp)


      • Different sources tell you about letting it sit for 6-12 months if you’re talking about chicken manure fresh from the chickens. We pile ours out in the open near the compost bins and let it sit for a year and then only take from the bottom that is fully composted. If we use ours that still has hay in it we get weeds and mold.


  5. Grandma Kc says:

    I’ve never heard of Macoun apples — I will have to try and be on the look out for them. I love looking at your gardening pictures, so different than here — thanks for sharing them. love your raised beds.


  6. Joyce says:

    What you’ve accomplished is lots of hard work, but the satisfaction must be great reward. Our property isn’t suitable for growing anything but there’s lots of leaves to rake. My husband enjoys doing that and I just sit on the deck and enjoy the remaining warm days with my grandkids and cats. Of course, we pay full price for everything we eat at the grocery store, and most of it is tasteless!


    • Pots – you need pots for the grandkids to grow cherry tomatoes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And, please don’t even mention leaves. We sweep and rake so many leaves you wouldn’t believe it – almost four acres covered ankle deep in leaves. Eighty nine percent of NH is covered in trees – it’s like living in a national forest. It’s a good thing we compost them for reuse. Do you take the grandkids to pick apples?


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