FIRST WEEK: Blow or rake fallen leaves regularly from newly planted fescue lawns. Remove as many acorns as possible from all lawns.
This is the best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs now that the soil is cooler. Add fertilizer as you dig the bed.
Dig caladium, elephant ear and dahlia bulbs now while you can still find them. Store in boxes of peat moss.
Fertilize fescue lawns for a second time (and again in February and April). Use any turf fertilizer that’s on sale.
SECOND WEEK: Enjoy sasanqua camellia blooms. Cut a few to bring indoors and float in a crystal saucer for a dining table centerpiece.
Shear chrysanthemums and asters down to four inches once the flowers fade.
Rake out fallen leaves and replace the mulch under crabapples and dogwoods to prevent disease next year.
Neaten perennial flower beds. Remove dry stems and dead leaves. Put fresh mulch under shrubs, trees and perennials.
Fill bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds. Birds will find and eat each seed and you won’t accidentally feed chipmunks and rats on the ground.
THIRD WEEK: Fertilize again the pansies, snapdragons, cabbage and dianthus you planted a few weeks ago. Use a powdered, water-soluble fertilizer now but switch to a product containing “nitrate nitrogen” December thru March.
Prepare your composting area for fall leaves. You can make a cheap bin from 4 foot wide fence wire 10 feet long. Bend it into a circle and join the ends together. Pile in leaves as you rake them. Spray each layer with water.
Clean all of the old vines from tomato cages before putting them in storage. Pull up okra stalks plus squash and bean vines
Bring some rosemary inside to dry for winter use. Freeze basil in water-filled plastic containers.
Regularly water bermudagrass sod installed within the last two months. One-half inch per week will suffice.
FOURTH WEEK: Divide your hanging basket of Boston fern into thirds and plant into three new baskets. Hang in a sunny window; by spring they’ll be big enough to put outside.
Continue to plant shrubs and trees. Even though its chilly outdoors, the soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth. Remove all of the twine, wire or paper trunk cover on each one.
Tie up loose canes of climbing roses so they don’t slap against the arbor or each other on windy days.
Water weekly the pansies and other cool-season flowers you planted earlier.
Spot-spray or dig out chickweed, violets and wild onions you find in your lawn.