NEW GARDEN BEDS:
Fall is a good time to create a new garden bed. Dig up the entire area, turning over any grass or perhaps removing the grass to make more depth for what you’ll be adding. Don’t worry about big clots of soil. They’ll be broken up by the action of snow and ice which is preferable to your backbreaking effort. Put in a thick layer of compost, manure, leaf mould, or any other organic material that is available. Mix it in if you have time. Either way, in the spring this area will be easier to work with, and after a little bit of spring raking you can get your seeds and seedlings planted.
TREES & SHRUBS:
Thinking of adding a fruit tree or shrub next spring? Start this fall. Dig the holes for fruit trees and shrubs in the fall. If the soil you've dug out is poor, amend it with compost and return that amended soil to the hole. Then cover the hole with boards so it won't compact during the winter. In the spring the soil will be easier to work and you’ll be able to get a quick start on planting your trees and shrubs.
Perhaps you have a small tree or shrub that you no longer want in its current spot. This is the time of year to move it. Prepare the new area, amending the soil as needed. Then dig out the old shrub or tree, and carefully move it to the new spot. Backfill the hole as needed then take the remaining soil removed to make the new hole and use it to fill the spot from which you took the shrub or tree.