Now is the time to start thinking about putting your garden to bed for the winter. September is an opportune time to start cleaning up beds by cutting back perennials and pulling out annuals that have quit blooming for the year.
By October, you should dig up and store tender bulbs such as dahlias, cannas, caladiums and elephant ears. You should cut off the foliage and store them in 50-65 degree temperatures until spring. Spring flowering bulbs should be purchased and planted outdoors at this time. Other plants that benefit from fall planting include evergreens, peony, phlox and bearded iris.
Before a hard freeze you should remove plants from containers, cut roses back to 18 inches and mulch, and continue cutting back plants in the garden that the frost has affected. Leaving old plants and plant debris in the garden over the winter is the best way to promote diseases in the spring, so remove them as soon as they are cut back.
Also remember, the best time to prune is after the trees and shrubs have gone dormant usually late December-February.