Perennials: Enjoy the brilliant asters, glowing sedum, deep blue ageratum, sky blue salvia and snowy boltonia as well as the last roses of the season.
Flowers: Pot up less hardy ornamental grasses such as fountain grass to overwinter in a dry basement or garage that stays above freezing.
Vegetables and fruits: When frost threatens, bring in the last of the ripening and green tomatoes and store loosely in newspaper in a cool dark place. Check daily for rot. The first frost is often followed by warm Indian summer days affording a longer season for harvesting. Row covers, baskets, buckets, blankets etc. can protect tender plants during a cold snap. Make sure that all diseased tomato and potato plants are put in the trash, not the compost bin.
Trees and shrubs: Planting and transplanting of broad leaved and needled evergreens is usually done now. Regular watering is essential. Protect shrubs from deer browsing with netting, rigid fencing and repellent spray. Rigid fencing must leave 3 feet clearance to prevent deer from pushing and reaching the branch tips.
Lawns: Continue lawn renovation and seeding until the middle of the month. Consider creating a crocus field in a new lawn area. Five thousand tiny corms will cover an 18-square-foot area. After spreading the topsoil but before seeding broadcast the bulbs in an asymmetrical drift. Spread a thin layer of topsoil and seed the lawn. Keep it well watered and watch for a sea of lavender in the spring. But this area of lawn cannot be mowed until the crocus leaves have yellowed.
Houseplants: When houseplants drop leaves, they are often responding to stress of lower light levels and increased heat. Don’t apply fertilizer and more water: be patient while the plants acclimatize.