Fall's cooler temperatures make me want to attack those daunting garden tasks that I've been avoiding during the summer heat.
This week, I'll be applying the weed trimmer under the willow trees to try to knock down some of the invasive vines that try to jump up into the tree's branches. I'm switching some of my summer pots into autumn pots, pulling out the spent annuals and putting in mums in pretty fall colors.
This year, I put in fewer annuals, however, and more perennials. It was a way to "test" several plants that I wasn't sure I would like. To my delight, I liked them all so now they will go into the garden beds to bloom next year. Also, I'll divide my perennials soon - especially the ones that are growing in rings with the center portion missing.
My grass needs attention, and fall is a great time to take care of bluegrass or fescue lawns. Better Homes and Gardens magazine suggests these three things to do this fall:
1. Reseed to cover bare patches and thicken turf.
2. Fertilize for a better appearance this autumn and to strengthen grass for earlier, stronger growth next spring.
3. When the ground is moist, use a core aerator to loosen compacted soil.
Much to my family's dismay, I'll be ordering manure to work into the garden beds. Adding it in the fall is smart, as it has plenty of time to break down. Leave your vegetable garden "messy" after working in the manure, suggests Georgiana Marshen of www.gardenguides.com. "This will expose any insects and weed seeds to the winter elements."