What to do for September

Inside: Dust ceilings, walls, baseboards and woodwork. This is especially important now, because dust that collects during summer is often laden with allergy-inducing pollen. Clean ceilings first, then work your way down.

Rearrange furniture with the fireplace as focal point.

Rehang heavier curtains and window treatments. Have sheers dry cleaned or wash by hand.

Take off summer slipcovers, and make plans to pack up jute, coir and fiber rugs in favor of wool rugs.

Vacuum upholstery — vacuum all sides of cushions as well as underneath.

Plant amaryllis bulbs in pots for holiday blooms.

Purchase summer bulbs for October planting.

Have your heating system checked by a professional, replace filters and make sure the sytem is in peak condition for the weather to come.

Rotate your mattress, wash mattress cover and vacuum the mattress.

Clean carpets. Do this before it is too cool to open the windows.

Organize closets to make room for new school clothes. Unpack sweaters and take the dust covers off of cold weather clothes.

Outisde: Caulk around windows and doors.

Select a few garden mums for lively color.

Get your soil in shape for fall planting. Remove spent annuals and vegetables, dig and turn top four to six inches of soil, lightly water once a day for a few days and pull weeds. Add two to three inches of compost.

Don’t fetilize your lawn until after trees have gone dorment, say around Halloween.

Be a good neighbor. Clean up under and around fruit trees. Fruit left to rot is an invitation to disease and animal problems.

Clean terra cotta planters, store inside garage or tool shed to prevent cracks and decay.

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is an advanced master gardener.

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