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September: To-Do List


Illustration by Julia Tran

Illustration by Julia Tran

1. Check on your weather stripping
The better doors and windows are sealed, the longer it will be before you have to resort to turning on the heat. It’s low-cost and easy to install, whether you rent or own.

2. Get your heating system serviced
We all have that moment on the first really cold day when we turn on the heat and hope for the best. But don’t wait until it’s freezing to find out if the heater is still working!

3. Plan a fall day trip
You can take advantage of early fall festivals—like the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival on Sept. 10—but block out a weekend for pumpkin picking before you fill your schedule.

4. Reseed your lawn
If you’re managing more land than a patio in South Philadelphia, you may have inherited a lawn. The best long-term plan should be to replace as much turf as possible with low-care perennial plantings that increase biodiversity. In the meantime, early fall is when you should reseed those areas that you plan to keep. Kentucky bluegrass is a variety that thrives in Pennsylvania.

5. Clean your bike chain
You’ve been riding all summer, and your chain has collected a ton of grit and dust. It will last longer if you periodically get out an old toothbrush and some Simple Green to clean it off.

6. Register to vote  
You have until Oct. 11 to make sure that you’re registered to vote in what will surely be an historic election. Mark your calendar for the Nov. 8 general election, and if you won’t be around, make sure to apply for an absentee ballot by the deadline on Nov. 1—they’re then due on Nov. 4 to the county Board of Elections. Find out what you need to know by visiting

7. Replant the garden
While you’re harvesting all those tomatoes and snapping squash off the vine, don’t forget that you can get a second round of cool weather starts in the ground. Peas, kale and lettuce are three plants that you can grow again in the fall now that the summer heat has died down a little bit.    

8. Make room for fall clothes
Don’t wait until spring cleaning to donate old clothes that you won’t wear again. That great new sweater you found at the consignment shop is going to need a place to live.

9. Divide your perennials
If your iris or daylily plants have started to outgrow their place in your garden, early fall is when you can divide and replant them to give them a chance to establish roots before the frost.

10. Support local food and theater
Center City Restaurant Week is from Sept. 11-16 and 18-23 this year, but don’t forget all the great places just outside the zone. Many of them are listed in our first ever “Dinner and a Show” issue—where you can also see our picks for the Fringe Festival

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