Work on cutting back your exhausted perennials. Some will die back earlier than others and some will die back a little at a time. Generally, if the foliage and stems are brown or fallen over it’s time to cut it back. If the stems are brown, but still sturdy and upright you might choose to leave them in place for fall and winter interest.
Start planning your fall bulb purchases and plantings. Even though you might find them for sale in stores, it’s too early to plant them. You can shop from catalogs for great prices and an interesting selection and order them to be delivered in October. Aim to plant your spring blooming bulbs sometime between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.
As leaves from deciduous trees start to turn and fall remember they make great compost. Spread them in shrubby beds for a natural mulch or mow them up with a bagging mower and add it to your compost pile. While some plants might be susceptible to fungal spores carried by freshly fallen leaves, well composted leaves have much less fungal potential.
Melissa Butler Burdick, Curator of Herbaceous Plants