If there was ever a year in the decade where your lawn may really need a tune up, it will be 2012, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Nearly the entire state has suffered from a lengthy drought and coupled with high temperatures sent your lawn into a dormant state," said Richard Hentschel. "Lawns going dormant is expected, making the lawn so difficult to maintain, though, has been the intensity of the heat and the lack of water. "
The summer growing season has not been kind to gardens, noted a University of Illinois Extension horticulturist, Greg Stack. "Hot temperatures, dry soils, pots that needed watering two or three times a day and flowers that just did not look their best," said Stack describing the season. "Would you look your best if you had to put up with the wilting heat of 2012? Well, maybe there is time to recover and get back some color into the garden with some cool color."
Late summer and fall can mean large populations of biological insects flocking to your garden from nearby fields, said Candice Miller, U of I Extension horticulturist."Although some of these insects may be considered a nuisance, they really are a welcome site to your garden," explained Miller. "A lady beetle for instance may eat its weight in aphids every day as a larva and consume as many as 50 aphids per day as an adult; a welcome predator to save our aphid infested garden plants."
Don't put that trowel and rake away yet, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Fall may end this year's gardening season, but it is the perfect time to begin preparations for next year," explained Martha Smith. "Taking care of a few details now means fewer chores, pests and problems next spring."
Although summer may be drawing to a close, that doesn't mean your time in the garden is done, said University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. "Fall is the ideal time for planting some things, as well as getting prepared for next year's garden," explained Candice L. Miller. "Here are a few fall activities that can be done to lengthen the summer gardening season and prepare for winter."
Certain colors, fragrances and images remind us of specific times of the year, said Martha Smith, a U of I Extension horticulturist educator.