Expert checklist for Sept. yard, garden tasks

Cooling temperatures signal the coming end of outdoor gardening, but it’s not here yet. There are many tasks that still need to be done. Many tips for success are available in the USU Extension Gardeners Almanac. (Photo courtesy of USU Extension)

LOGAN-- Fall is in the air, which may make some people want to hang up the rake. Don’t give up just yet, though – gardeners are coming in the home stretch. Consider the following fall tips from the USU Extension Gardeners Almanac. All of the following ideas can be further researched and studied by visiting the almanac online at

• If interested, learn how to save seeds from the garden.

• Learn about how and when to harvest watermelon and cantaloupe.

• For storing potatoes, harvest the tubers once the vines have died down.

• Harvest garlic and onions once the tops have dried down. Allow them to dry for 2-3 weeks before storing.

• Store potatoes, garlic and onions in a cool/dry location (32-40 F) away from apples.

• Fall is the perfect time of year for planting trees and shrubs, learn how.

• Go hiking in the hills to enjoy autumn colors.

• Divide crowded, spring-blooming perennials.

• Check pears for ripeness once the fruit twists easily off the tree and seeds are dark colored, allowing them to finish ripening off the tree.

• Early in September, apply a slow-release lawn fertilizer to provide a long-lasting effect throughout the fall months.

• As temperatures cool, turfgrass requires minimal irrigation each week. Learn what the irrigation needs are for the area.

• Plant new lawns or repair insect/diseased areas with grass seed, allowing 4-6 weeks for establishment before heavy frosts.

• In compacted sites, aerate with a hollow core aerator when turfgrass is actively growing in September and October.

Pests, problems

• To control raspberry crown borer, use a root drench during late summer to early fall. More information available in the almanac.

• Learn about what causes bitter pit and other problems in apples.

• Control rust mites in apple and pear trees after fruit is harvested and before leaf drop. Visit the almanac for information.

• Box Elder bugs congregate on sunny surfaces during the fall months. Learn how to control these nuisance pests.

• Monitor the lawn for damaging turfgrass insects.

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