1. Bolster a thin lawn
Rent a core aerator from the home center (about $90 per day) to remove plugs of soil from the lawn; run it over damaged sections to improve drainage and get oxygen and nutrients down to the roots. Rake a thin layer of compost into holes. Then sow seed a little heavier than usual and gently mix into the compost with the back of a rake. Water as directed on the seed bag.
2. Divide and multiply perennials
Uprooting plants and pulling them apart may sound cruel, but it actually rejuvenates them. Water well a day or two before digging all the way around a perennial, 6 inches from its base. After prying out the root ball, tease roots apart, leaving groupings of three to five shoots. Share extra bounty with friends.
3. Save seeds
Be sure to stay ahead of the birds. Snip off seed heads and let them dry for about a month on paper-lined sheet pans. Separate out the dried seeds and slide them into marked envelopes or jars. Now you’ve got a head start come spring.