Perennials: Carefully cut back faded perennials. Mark the location of plants that emerge late in spring such as balloon flower. Begin bulb planting, especially the early blooming bulbs. Continue purchase of major bulbs while there is a good supply. Buying in large amounts saves money. Buy top quality bulbs.
Flowers: Clean up weeds thoroughly to prevent them from going to seed. When the leaves die back bring in dahlias, tuberous rooted begonias, gladiolus corms, cannas and gloxinias for the winter. Dig and wipe off excess soil and store in a cool dry place with good air circulation. Maintain in barely moist peat moss or wood shavings, keeping the air temperature at 40 to 45 degrees.
Vegetables and fruits: Save leftover vegetable seed and store in jars in a cool dry place. Harvest apples when the green color disappears, being careful not to break the spur. Harvest fall raspberries. Wait until the first frost to harvest parsnips and Brussels sprouts.
Trees and shrubs: Visit gardens to see what’s blooming this late in the season. Shrubs providing fall bloom include caryopteris (blue), buddleia (purple, lavender), beautyberry (purple or white berries), hydrangea, abelia and viburnum. Fall is a good time to move and plant shrubs and trees. Water the root ball well before planting. Do not fertilize deciduous trees until the leaves have fallen.
Lawns: Annual weeds lose their strength now and can be easily raked out and the areas reseeded.
Houseplants: Houseplants undergo “acclimatization” after they are brought indoors. A period of adjustment to the lower levels of light, temperature and humidity is natural. Place the plants in bright light or under lights until they readjust.
General: Now is a good time to survey your property for invasive species, such as purple loosestrife, mile-a-minute vine and others. Mark plants with flagging tape or spray paint. Pull or dig out and dispose of plants and seeds. Follow up next spring.
Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester