* This is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs. Shop early for best varieties. I recommend planting a majority of Daffodils or Alliums because the squirrels do not like those bulbs.
* Before a frost is a really good time to divide and move perennials, especially for perennials like hostas, ornamental grasses and irises.
* This is the perfect time to relocate a peony; just don’t replant it too deep.
* Prune and dispose of any diseased or infested plant debris to avoid overwintering the problem, i.e. leaves with powdery mildew.
* For the most part, I recommend leaving ornamental plants like grasses, hydrangeas and flowering perennials alone for winter interest and for food for the birds. I love watching the goldfinches eat from the seed heads in the garden every year.
Trees and Shrubs
* Check over your trees and shrubs for damaged branches.
* If you have trees that need a professional pruning now is also the best time to call a professional arborist.
* It is still a good time to plant trees and shrubs and perennials. Look for holes now in your garden. It is even a good time to plant some spring blooming plants that the nurseries still have on hand. No instant gratification but in the spring you will be happy you did it.
* This is the best time of year to work on your lawn. Heavy raking now in the fall is better than doing it with the fragile grass in the spring.
* Follow a heavy raking with a good topdressing of more than 1/2 inch of compost, especially in the thin areas of the lawn.
* If lawn does not need a good rake and is in relatively good shape then now is a good time to apply a fall fertilizer.
* I always recommend cutting your grass “longer” during the spring and summer but make the last cut of the year a short one to avoid “snow mold” that many people had after the snow melted last year.
* Lastly and more importantly water. Keep an eye on rainfall. Make sure newly planted shrubs and especially all trees and evergreens are well watered right until the first frost.