Replace spent annuals with fall-blooming hardy mums; these showy perennials will provide color for many weeks. Properly planted, maintained and winterized, mums will colorfully enhance your landscape for years to come.
Check out Dutch treats.
Fall is "now or never" time to plant spring bulbs. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocus and other fall bulbs will arrive soon from Holland. Shop early for the best selection. Then dream up a new color scheme or enhance the old.
Seed grass now.
Fall is the best time to seed new grass. Warm days and cool nights supported by regular rainfall or irrigation make for ideal growing conditions. Spruce up spotty patches or plant a full lawn.
Raking it over.
Know which leaves to rake and which to "leave" behind. Must-rake: leaves on sidewalks (too slippery); perennial beds (cause crown rot); and lawns (attract fungi insects). Leave-behind: leaves under trees and shrubs, and on sturdy ground covers (over time they self-destruct into needed compost). Invest in a clog-free rake with a wave-shaped tooth design to keep leaves from sticking. Use an electric blower only when it is absolutely necessary, such as on the roof. And protect your back from strain while raking by moving your feet rather than bending over continuously from one spot.
Hire a landscape designer this fall! Scheduling is less chaotic than in spring, and designers have more time to answer questions and develop smaller projects. Start early to avoid missing the planting season, because considerable lead time is necessary (visiting the site, drawing up plans, making estimates, etc.).