Here are 30 tips and chores to conquer in your garden...

Here are 30 tips and chores to conquer in your garden this month.  Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/YinYang

September marks the end of summer, and this year, after nearly 15 years, the end of this column. Many thanks to all who have written, attended tomato challenges and stopped me at nurseries to say hello. Those are things I will always cherish.

As you renovate the lawn and plant mums, know that I, too, will be moving forward. You can still find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and get updates and advice at my website,

So, preserve those tomatoes and pull the last weeds. I wish you all the greenest of pastures.

1. It’s time to reseed the lawn — or overhaul it, if necessary.

2. If peonies need dividing, do so now. Otherwise, leave them be.

3. Divide spring-blooming perennials.

4. Remove new tomato blossoms to ensure the plant has enough energy for existing fruit to mature.

5. If spider mites are a problem on evergreens, rinse them off with a hose once each week this month.

6. Take pictures of the garden now so you’ll know where to place new plants in the spring.

7. Happy Labor Day! Fertilize the lawn one last time using a slow-release product.

8. Plant new perennials. They’ll hit the ground running next spring.

9. Relocate shrubs that need moving.

10. Harvest grapes.

11. If you haven’t already, place orders for spring bulbs.

12. Plant new trees and shrubs, and water regularly.

13. Harvest onions when their tops flop over.

14. Plant garlic cloves 2 inches deep, pointy end up, 3 to 6 inches apart for a spring crop.

15. Get a soil test, and incorporate lime now, if indicated. It will work its way into soil over winter.

16. Replace faded annuals (or simply remove them) to freshen the garden and reduce pests and diseases.

17. Continue to water trees and shrubs until hard frost — and evergreens all winter during dry spells.

18. Shanah Tovah! Enjoy local honey on fresh-picked apples to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.

19. Bring tender pond plants indoors and grow by a sunny window until spring.

20. Don’t panic if the innermost needles on evergreens turn brown and drop; it’s normal.

21. Bring in the last of the basil and parsley to dry or freeze for future use.

22. It’s the first day of fall; make garden vegetable soup with the last of this year’s crops.

23. Allow seed heads to remain on coneflowers and other plants to provide birds with food over winter.

24. Overwinter tropical plants like canna and elephant ears indoors. Get instructions at

25. If houseplants summered outdoors, move them to shade for a few days, then rinse to remove insects and bring inside.

26. Turn the compost pile and keep adding to it.

27. Make a scarecrow to adorn your garden.

28. Cut back daylilies when foliage turns yellow.

29. Keep pulling up weeds before they go to seed.

30. Clear out vegetable beds, removing fallen fruit and plant debris (compost if healthy; discard in the trash if diseased).

Find more gardening advice at Newsday's Gardening 101.

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