Western Mountains and High Plains
Promote Healthy Turf Roots
If you haven't scheduled lawn aeration, do so now. Make sure that the aeration company removes 3- to 4-inch cores so that the thatch layer is penetrated. Autumn is the season for more active root growth and your lawn will thicken up without a lot of top growth.
Before the ground freezes sow wildflower seeds in areas where you want to create a meadow. Lightly rake the fine seed into the soil, not too deep, and let Mother Nature take over. Fall rain showers will settle the seed, and some species will germinate now while others will grow in spring.
As you clean up the flower and vegetable garden, recycle garden refuse by making a compost pile. Don't use diseased plants as compost generally doesn't get hot enough to kill disease organisms. Layer materials and add some blood meal for nitrogen to speed up the decomposition process.
Dig Out Annual Grasses
They're back: those annual clumps of crabgrass and barnyard grass. Following a rain or good watering, simply pull these grassy weeds before they spread their seeds. They usually have shallow roots and pull out easily.
Trap Yellow Jackets
Ripening fruit brings in the yellow jacket wasps. You can capture worker wasps by suspending a piece of sweet, ripe fruit or a slice of luncheon meat over a large pail of soapy water. After the yellow jacket worker gorges itself, it will fall into the bucket and drown.