* Trim shrubs, trees, bushes. If you are not familiar with the area, plant, or just gardening in general one safe thing to do is watch for the people around you to start trimming the same kinds of plants. Watch especially for professional landscapers to be doing it since they will be most likely to know when it is appropriate. For example, when Stacy moved to Texas, she had never been around Crepe Myrtle trees and had never done anything with them. She just waited until she saw people trimming them along the sides of the roads (all professionally landscaped) and then did the same at home-all was well, everything came up full bloom that year!
* Aerate your lawn. If you live in an area with clay dirt or your lawn has heavy traffic on it, this is a great thing to consider. Heather does this to her lawn every year and her lawn looks AMAZING every year too! If you have Bermuda, Zoysia, or St. Augustine grass, it is best to do this from April to June. Fescue, Bluegrass, and Rye are best to be done August through October.
*Fertilize! The local stores in your area will have the fertilizer grasses common for your area needs and most will have an expert if you have questions on how and when to apply.
*Insect and Bug sprays, pellets, repellents These also can be found at local stores and you can ask what the best products are for the particular pests in that area. Ex: Fire ants in Alabama- there were a lot of products out there but there were some that were far better than others. We would also find out when our neighbors were going to spray because it really did no good if we sprayed and then 2 weeks later they did, it would just cause the left over bugs to come right back to our lawn, so try to coordinate with them!
* Mulch flower beds! Clean out old or dead plants, plant your new ones and then mulch around everything! It not only looks amazing, but it helps keep the weeds out and helps keep the moisture in better for the plants you do want there!
There are probably things we have forgotten and definitely things are different throughout the country so one more suggestion would be to check with your local nursery and see if they have a nice "Honey-Do" list specific to your area.