• Fertilize around Labor Day. Have the best lawn on the block. This is the most important fertilization of the year! Water fertilizer in. If the summer has been hot and dry the grass is coming out of dormancy and is actively growing again. Fertilize cool season grasses with high nitrogen sources of fertilizer.
• Spray for pesky weeds now that the temperature is below 90 degrees.
• NOW is the time to start a new lawn or over-seed. BEST time to seed or over seed is between September 15 and October 15. It is important to get good soil contact and use the correct amount of seed. Fescue (best grass for Kansas) = 6-8 pounds per 1000 sf, over-seeding use ½ as much. Be sure and buy good quality seed! (A premium blend of fescue is great!) Mow after it is 3-4″ tall. Spray for weeds after the new area has been mowed at least twice. Also a great time to core aerate established yards at least 2.5-3″ deep.
• Plant or sod new bluegrass or tall fescue lawns
• Renovate bluegrass or tall fescue lawns by verticutting
• Core aerate cool season turf
• Mow turf at 2 to 3 inches and sharpen blade for a clean cut


• Now is a good time to clean up weedy beds – dig out all the flowers and place them in the shade on a tarp. You may need to spray round-up in the bed and wait a couple days to till the area. Amend the soil! Add compost such as Cotton Burr or Alfalfa compost to provide good nutrients and help with drainage. Re-plant a part of the perennials you have divided and mulch the bed 2″ deep to conserve moisture, prevent weeds, and provide winter protection. Add a balanced fertilizer and/or bone meal to the hole when replanting.

Vegetables and Fruits

• If you plan on having a vegetable garden, now is the time to clean-up and burn old straw mulch and dried plants. Till under and add compost. You can also add leaves to the garden area and till them in. Preparation is the key to a good garden and now is the time to pay attention to sanitation and clean up any dead tomato plants, weeds or residue that pests can lay eggs and overwinter in.
• Continue to harvest vegetables
• Pick apples and pears and store in a cool place to extend freshness
• Harvest pumpkins when flesh is completely orange and avoid carrying by stem
• Harvest winter squash when rind is hard enough to puncture with fingernail
• Plant lettuce, spinach, and radishes
• Remove weeds from garden plantings before going to seed
• Herbs can be dug from garden and placed in pots for indoor use this winter
• Remove small tomatoes from their vines to increase late development of more mature fruits


• Time to divide perennials, especially spring bloomers, at least every three years, to keep growth in-bounds and flowering at their full potential. Divide either in April (spring) or early September (fall).
• Plant spring flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils, and others
• Remove seedheads from perennials to prevent reseeding in the garden
• Plant chrysanthemums for fall color
• Dig gladiolus as foliage begins to yellow and air dry before storing for winter
• Clean up garden areas to reduce insects and disease as plants dieback for winter
• Enrich soil by adding organic matter such as peat moss or compost

Tall sedum is loved by pollinators

Trees and Shrubs

• Plant trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen
• Rake up fallen leaves and compost
• Prune broken and dead branches from trees
• Avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs such as lilac and forsythia to ensure spring flowers
• Hand pick bagworms to reduce problem in future

Fall color is just beginning


• Bring plants in before temperatures drop into the fifties
• Clean and wash before moving indoors to reduce insects
• Fertilize before winter conditions arrive and growth slows
• Poinsettias can be forced into Christmas bloom by starting dark treatment of short days

This information is brought to you from Nadine Champlin, Designer, Grimms Gardens; and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension.

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