ABILENE, Texas -

Bees buzz around the purple mums and the brightly-colored pansies at Willow Creek Garden, a sure sign that cooler weather is on the way.

It's time to remove the summer annuals that will die out in the cold and replace them with something hardier.

Plants like kale, cabbage, and pansies can stand up to the chilly air and add a nice pop of autumn color to your yard.

"Plants thrive the best when nights are cool, also day by day, we're getting cooler and that's less stressful on the plants," Adam Andrews, the owner, said.

Applying one last shot of fertilizer to plants before they begin to go dormant is also recommended.

Many trees and shrubs will stop growing above ground but the roots continue to harden below.

This helps them stay alive through the winter and aides growth in the warmer months of spring and summer.

Even if planting hardier winter varieties doesn't appeal to you, consider this. Trees and shrubs should be in the ground already before you get into the warmer months, to better their chances of survival.

Mulch should also be applied. This will help plants retain water through the winter and keep the soil warmer.