As shorter days and cooler weather relieve the strains of summer watering and harvesting, take a moment to savor the slower pace; then tackle these lawn and garden basics:
Vegetable Garden: As you finish and store the summer and fall harvest, practice good sanitation by removing spent plants and debris. Plant late fall, winter, and overwinter crops such as garlic, onions, winter and overwinter broccoli and cauliflower and cabbage, kale, swiss chard, arugula, and more. Mulch or cover crop areas that don’t have a crop for the winter.
Lawn: Improve soil by aerating and mulching. It’s a great time to plant a new lawn or add some seed to thin or bare patches. Lime and fertilize as the lawn starts growing again, and control weeds and cranefly now, before they do major damage.
Landscape: The biggest task for fall is to NOT prune your shrubs, trees, and ornamental grasses – most should be pruned in the winter or spring instead. Cut back herbaceous plants as they die back. Mulch around trees and shrubs and in flower beds to deter weeds and diseases. Plant trees, shrubs, grasses, and groundcover – and don’t forget that now is the time to plant all those bulbs that bloom in the spring.