The calendar indicates the fall season is underway, but it is still warm enough to comfortably tackle some work with outdoor plants. 

Carly Hyrcyna, host of the Lawn and Garden Journal, says this is the right time to plan your fall gardening tasks. 

"Grab your cup of tea or coffee in the morning, go and assess your yard to see where there are areas needing assistance."

She says it is helpful to keep a garden journal, making notes of what type of work needs to be done and then follow it up with how well the plants did. Hyrcyna explains that this is helpful to plan future gardening tasks. 

"then you're able to see when you planted it, what the weather was like at that time frame, and make little notes."

As for common fall tasks, Hyrcyna says the common term "fall clean-up" is not something that all gardeners are comfortable with. 

"Some people like to clean up their gardens, get everything crisp and clean so that they have less work to do in the spring," she says, noting that there are others who prefer to leave things until the snow melts. 

Hyrcyna says there are some things that can be done in either fall or spring, while others have a particular season when they should be done. 

While trimming trees and shrubs can often be considered a fall task, she points out that lilac bushes should be left alone right now. 

"You have to prune them right after they bloom. So, if you did not do that this year right after they bloom, and then do them in the fall, you're going to cut off your blooms," she explains. 

As for ornamental grasses, she says you can either trim them down before the snow falls or wait until spring. 

"We are a sea of white (in winter) and the ornamental grasses have a tendency to add to the design element of your landscape by using the foliage and the seed heads that are on there. So, if you don't want to clean up, do everything else and leave those up for winter effect."

If that is the route you choose to take, Hyrcyna suggests tending to the grasses in spring as early as possible, to remove the old blades of grass and the old seed heads, leaving three to four inches of tufting. 

"And remove the foliage. If you leave it too late, you will see that you'll get the emergence of the new blades coming through that old tufting and you may be cutting off the nice green new growth. So, get out as early as you can clean it up in the spring, or if you don't want the winter effect and you want it cleaned up, you can remove them in the fall."

When it comes to transplanting, Hyrcyna says it is important to make sure the plant gets watered really well as that will help it get through the winter. 


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