Tip-prune or shear evergreens lightly with a hedge trimmer now to clean them up and trim off summer's damaged growth. There's plenty of time for any new growth to harden off before cold weather. Fertilize with fall feeding formulas that have very little nitrogen, such as 0-20-20.
Assessing Stressed Trees
Trees stressed from this year's drought may show signs such as early leaf drop. Don't worry about leaves falling from deciduous trees. It's a natural reaction to drought stress. The tree's just shutting down for the season a bit early. Wait until next spring to assess whether it has suffered any permanent damage.
Feed the Lawn
If you want to fertilize your lawn this fall, now's the time. However, don't overfertilize or use the wrong fertilizer. Overfeeding can make fungal problems worse and leave the grass vulnerable to cold weather damage. To support strong root growth and a healthy lawn, use a fall feeding formula with little or no nitrogen, such as 0-20-20.
Since most of our soils are by nature acidic, and many popular fertilizers can intensify that characteristic, many lawns will benefit from a fall liming every four years or so. Have a soil test done to determine the soil pH and how much lime to add. Use pelletized lime for less dust and easier spreading with a drop spreader.
Plant Garlic and Shallots
It's garlic and shallot planting time. Here's an easy way to plant. Turn your hoe upside down and poke a hole deep enough to bury the peeled garlic clove or shallot bulb about an inch deep in good garden soil - a bit less in hard clay. Creole garlic and Louisiana shallots lend authentic flavors to food and may help fend off a few insects, too.