Tips and tricks for fall gardening success
The experts at Bonnie Plants offer tried-and-true tips for fall gardening:
Lift soil levels: Consider raising the soil level about 8 inches to encourage proper drainage. Fill the bed with a soil mix specifically formulated for raised beds or use a mix of native soil and compost.
Know how varieties grow: Pay close attention to plant tag information for light requirements, spacing and "days to maturity" for varieties selected. You'll want to give plants enough light, space and time to produce before a hard frost arrives.
Beat the heat: During hot days, water regularly and mulch with garden mulch or straw. You can also place shade cloths over plants to keep them cool during daytime highs.
Grow for longer: To extend the harvest in colder climates, consider a cold frame, which protects plants long after unsheltered veggies start to fail.Tip of the week
Fighting back-to-school ant problems
There's no way around it: Kids are messy, and ants are perfectly equipped to take advantage of that. Ants have four to five times more odor receptors than other insects, according to Terminix, making them skilled at finding food like the crumbs dropped during snack time in the classroom or lunchtime in the cafeteria.
With over 12,000 species worldwide, these social insects can damage everything from wooden structures to computers and can cause quite the distraction in the classroom. The type of ant also determines what kind of food that species will eat. Carpenter ants, for example, will seek out meat, honey and jelly indoors. A sticky sandwich would make the perfect target for a hungry ant.
A pest management provider can help you handle any infestation in your home if the problem seems too much to handle.Cleaning
Have a spring-clean home all winter long
HouseLogic offers the following tips for cleaning out the dirt before winter comes.
1. Wash and disinfect garbage cans and wastebaskets with a solution of vinegar and water.
2. Wash and disinfect toilet brush holders with a solution like hot water and bleach.
3. Turn over furniture and vacuum the bottoms to get rid of the dust bunnies.
4. Clean the tops of doors, trim, artwork and other horizontal surfaces where dust settles.
5. Vacuum behind the fridge so it operates efficiently.
6. Winterize your entry with items like boot scrapers and outdoor mats.
7. Clean windows with non-toxic cleaner to let the light in.
8. Clean ceiling fan blades with a pillowcase to keep the dust inside.
9. Change furnace filters every few months.Colors
What does the color of your home reveal about you?
Your home's exterior gives off a powerful first impression. A recent poll conducted by vinyl siding brand Mastic by Ply Gem showed that only half of homeowners say their home's exterior reflects their personality. This is surprising since 81 percent say a home's exterior shapes their impression of the homeowner.
The following personality profiles can help homeowners select the perfect color:Blue = Calm, cool, collected: Fifty-five percent believe that blue has the most positive impact on their mood. Neutral = Safe, certain, dependable: Neutrals are the norm when it comes to exterior color preferences. Fifty-three percent of Americans would choose neutral colors such as beige, white, or gray for the exterior of their dream home. Bold = Brave, confident: Fifty-five percent of Americans say homes with bold colors probably belong to people with bold personalities.