Stop freaking out over the spotted lanternfly. It is here, it is in all the counties — even Philadelphia — and it’s like some out-of-the-Bible plague. DO NOT panic, DO NOT CALL 911. They do not bite, they do not carry disease to humans. What they do is suck all the juices out of certain plants that are valuable to us. So DO squash them, DO suck them up in your Shop-Vac, and DO collect them in jars and drown them. Feel no guilt. My daughter was just a bridesmaid in a wedding and managed to kill five of them during the ceremony.

Plant something. If you haven’t already bought or started cabbage, broccoli, or collards seedlings, get them in the ground soon! You can also seed spinach, lettuce, arugula, and all of the greens, so they get a good start before the weather gets cold. The trick to carrying them over through the winter is to get them big enough to take care of themselves before the cold weather hits. Remember, despite the fact that it was 90 this week, we are due for frost around Halloween, and Thanksgiving is three weeks after that. So do the math and pick plants and seeds that will mature in 50 to 65 days, 70 days max.

Check in on your leaf blower. Did it need repairs when you put it away last year? Clean it up, fix it up, or send it into the shop so it’s ready to go when leaves start to fall.

Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ( and winner of the AHS Great American Gardener Jane L. Taylor award.