Northern & Central Midwest
Try New Apple Varieties
Visit a local farmers' market or orchard and taste-test some apple varieties that are new to you. Mutsu (also called Crispin) is sweet and crisp and great for sauce; Fuji and Gala are superb for fresh eating; aromatic Braeburn and Jonagold are terrific for snacking or cooking; and old-fashioned Winesap makes great cider.
Save Summer Bulbs
After frost has blacked the foliage of summer bulbs, dig the tuberous roots of dahlias and begonias to store for winter. Some, such as calla lilies, amaryllis, caladiums, and cannas, can be simply dried down in their pots and stored in the basement as long it's fairly dry.
Time to Repair Lawns
Early September to early October is the time for lawn repair. Core aerate to take care of thatch problems. Seed bare spots or an entire new lawn and keep it moist until the seed germinates. A light mulch will help. Fertilize if necessary and keep controlling broad-leaf weeds.
Everbearing raspberries should be providing their fall crop about now. Check the plants daily so you can harvest the berries before bugs get to them. Either eat the berries fresh or freeze them in freezer bags. When the harvest is finished, prune the canes to the ground and destroy the prunings to avoid virus problems.
Harvest Winter Squash
Late September is the time to begin harvesting winter squash and pumpkins. The rinds should be firm enough not to dent easily with a fingernail. Cut them from the vine, leaving about 2 inches of stem. Move them into a dry area that stays about 50 to 55 degrees (if possible) for winter storage.