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10 Steps for Putting Your Garden to Bed
By Jennifer Whipple
9/21/2016 9:30:00 AM  

Winter is coming…follow these timely tips for preparing your yard and garden for the cold months ahead – and for making spring cleanup easier!

 

  1. Dig up annuals and summer bulbs. If you haven’t done so yet, dig up summer annuals and use them to nourish the compost heap. You should also dig up your summer bulbs and store them in peat moss for the winter.

    EZ Digger Handmade Metal Hand Plow With Wooden Handle

  2. Clean the vegetable patch. Done harvesting? To keep pests from using your vegetable garden as a hibernation hot spot, make sure to weed and remove all debris before winter sets in.

    Vertical Cherry Tomato Garden


  3. Cut back and divide perennials. Now is a good time to rearrange plants if they haven’t been flourishing in their current location.

    Kneeler/Seat

  4. Bring container plants indoors. Nurse cherished plants through the winter in the garage or basement. Remove dead leaves and break up any hardened soil before bringing them inside.



    Incredible Plant Stand

  5. Provide protection for plants that are sensitive to cold. Shrubs, roses, and perennials that might succumb to blasts of cold should be protected with mulches or screens. Place these protective barriers after the first freeze.

    All-Weather Outdoor Furniture Covers


  6. Rake fallen leaves. Don’t let fallen leaves stay on your lawn all winter – left unattended, they’ll suffocate grass and other plants. You don’t need to let them go to waste, either – shredded leaves make great mulch.

    EZ Leaf Hauler


  7. Plant spring bulbs. To ensure colorful springtime blooms, it’s best to plant bulbs in the fall. It’s best to get your planting done before the earth freezes.

    Tree Ring Garden Planter


  8. Mow the lawn and feed it. It grows more slowly in the fall, but do cut the grass before winter sets in. Be sure to lower the lawn mower and cut it short to help it dry out more quickly in the spring. Follow up that last cutting with a feeding – the extra nutrients will help it to survive the winter. After the last cutting, drain the gas from your gas mower.

  9. Clean your gardening tools. Wash off caked dirt, and coat both metal parts to prevent rusting, and add linseed oil to wooden handles to keep them from drying out and cracking. Drain your garden hose before putting it away.

    Smart Trak Hideaway™ Hose Reel


  10. Decorate for Autumn. Your outdoors needn’t be dull just because the growing season is over! Add fall color with pumpkins, potted mums, and a seasonal wreath on your door.

    Spooky Spider Pumpkin Holders


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Tags: Fall prep, gardening, yard & garden, lawn care, outdoor storage, garden tools
Categories: Outdoor Solutions
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Mosquito Control: Take Back Your Patio!
By Jennifer Whipple
7/6/2016 11:17:00 AM  


While the bite of a mosquito comes with an annoying itch, it can also come with the risk of Zika virus and West Nile virus. That makes reducing mosquitoes (or at least keeping them from biting you) as important for your health as it is for your comfort.

Here are some tips for keeping mosquitoes from bugging you and your family here:

Prevent Them




Leaf Shifter Gutter Guard


• Eliminate places where water collects in your yard (i.e. buckets, rain barrels, tarps, patio furniture and grill covers, birdbaths, rain gutters, pet water bowls, etc.)

• Eliminate mosquito larvae in ponds, pools and birdbaths
• If you have a pond, install a fountain and stock it with fish (goldfish, guppies and other small fish are better than koi for eating mosquito larvae)
• Keep your swimming pool clean, aerated and chlorinated
• Rinse and refill birdbaths at least every other day
• Keep your lawn, shrubs and trees well trimmed – mosquitoes roost in shady, while well-trimmed landscape decreases moisture and increases wind and sun (both of which deter discourage mosquitoes)
• Encourage bats by putting a bat house in your yard, and they’ll dine on the mosquitoes and other insect pests



Bat House

    
Deter Them

• Use bug lights, LED lights and sodium lamps along a pathway or patio, and around doors and windows so you don’t attract mosquitoes. What are bug lights? They have yellow bulbs, but also LED lights and sodium lamps can be considered bug lights because they don’t attract mosquitoes the way ordinary lights do.
• Because carbon dioxide attracts mosquitoes, candles can attract them: use battery-powered or solar-powered lights instead
• Avoid floral or fruity fragrances, including those in candles and perfume
• Wear light colored clothing (and remember, the more skin you cover, the smaller the target)
• Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid, so you become a more attractive meal to them when you eat foods high in salt or potassium, or are exercising—be sure to use a repellent or cover your skin


2-in-1 Table Lamp & Mosquito Repeller


Chase Them

• Mosquitoes don't like breezes – use an outdoor fan to create one on your patio
• Place a chunk of dry ice in a bucket of water and place it at least 15 feet away from where people gather—the carbon dioxide released will draw mosquitoes away
• Fill a pie plate with water and add a few drops of lemon-scented liquid dish soap and place it away from your sitting area (mosquitoes will be attracted to the scent)
• Lemon-scented geraniums and marigolds tend to discourage mosquitoes, so plant them in pots on your deck or around the patio
• Make your own nontoxic repellents using lavender, eucalyptus, or coconut oil

Trap Them

Here are a couple of great ways to trap pesky mosquitoes and protecting your space:



DynaTrap™ Mosquito Trap



3-in-1 Lantern & Bug Zapper



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Tags: mosquitoes, bugs, bug control, insect control, pest control
Categories: Outdoor Solutions
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