Dig and divide spring-blooming perennials that have heaved out of the ground, such as my red hot poker plant (Kniphofia). Such plants are crowded and crying for help. Lift out the whole clump, treating the crown with care, pulling it apart wherever possible. Be sure to get some roots, crown, and leaves with each division and replant quickly in amended soil.
Parsley may be the border plant of the new century. Now's the time to transplant both curly and flat types, when they have nine months of cool weather to grow in before bolting in the heat. You can grow parsley in a pot or an herb bed, or use it to line the driveway in front of your chysanthemums and pansies. It makes a great edible landscape plant.
Fall is perennial-planting time. Choose the best perennials that are now available in garden centers. Look for young plants in uncrowded pots with compact growth and few or no flowers. It\'s tempting to grab full pots, but you\'ll be dividing them years earlier, and you\'ll miss the fun of watching their babies grow.
Mending the Lawn
Fall is a great time to patch up the lawn. If you resod or reseed dead lawn spots now, the new grass will have time to root this winter, then push up new shoots next spring. Once established, it will grow well next summer. Spade the dead areas, add sand to level them with the surrounding turf if they sank, work in compost, and plant fresh sod or seed varieties adapted to your area.
Checking for Borers
Look closely for borer damage to pine, cherry, peach, and any other trees stressed excessively by diseases or mechanical damage. If you\'ve got borers, tree bark gets blobs of what looks like resin mixed with sawdust and sometimes even looks crusty and puffy. Remove what you can and spray the trunk and branches with dormant oil.