Gardening Basics

How To Prepare Your Lawn and Garden For Fall

Gardening expert Paul James offers advice on fertilizing, seeding and planting.

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Keep the birds coming. When you invite birds into your yard by feeding them, they do a fantastic job of keeping the insect population in check, which means you don't have to spray or dust as often to control pests.

Don't forget the shed! Take time to clean your garden storage area, tossing old chemicals — responsibly of course — and taking note of what you'll need to replenish before next spring.

A number of gardening products have a shelf life and may lose their effectiveness over time or if they get too hot or too cold. That's particularly true of botanical insecticides such as Bt and beneficial fungi.

And of course you should tend to your tools. Rub metal tool surfaces with a light coating or oil; rub wooden tool handles with boiled linseed oil; and sharpen everything that needs it with a proper file.

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