Fall lawn care tips

Fall is the perfect season to spend some time caring for your yard.  Although you might not see the fruits of your labor just yet, come springtime you will be glad you put in the extra effort.

If you’re looking to add some color to your yard, now is the time to plant those spring-blooming bulbs. Daffodils, allium, glory of the snow, tulips, lilies, hyacinth and pansies are all spring bloomers.

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Perennials can be planted in the fall, especially specimens with large root balls. If you have hostas in your yard, fall is an ideal time to divide and replant plant them.  Peonies should also be planted or transplanted in the fall. Avoid planting them too deep, no more than 2 inches above the bud on the root, or they won’t bloom.

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Any fall-planted perennials should be carefully watered until the ground freezes to keep their roots healthy and strong. Don’t overwater, but make sure the plants get at least 1 inch of water one time per week.

Fall is also the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. The weather is cool but the soil is still warm enough for root development. Before digging, check with your local utility companies to locate any underground lines. Always plant trees and shrubs at their natural soil lines. Keep newly planted trees or shrubs well watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going into full dormancy during winter. Find more detailed instructions here.

Last but not least, for lush green grass come springtime, the time to fertilize is now!  See some helpful tips from The Home Depot below.

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Simple & non-toxic ideas to repel mosquitos this summer

If  you’re looking for a safe, non-toxic alternative to store-bought bug sprays/candles, here are a few simple ideas to help you keep the bugs at bay this summer.

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* These luminaries are made with essential oils, fresh fruit, rosemary, water and tea lights.    The Cedarwood, Lavender, Lemon and Thieves essential oils keep the bugs away and they can last 2-3 days outdoors.  Find the full instructions here.

* Having a bonfire?  Throw some Lavender, Mint, Sage, or Citronella branches on the flames and enjoy the relaxing aroma as well as a bug-free zone.

* Consider planting some herbs in your yard to ward off mosquitos.  Lavender, sage and basil will work well and help your yard smell amazing.

* Make your own homemade bug spray!  Store bought bug spray can be sticky, stinky and expensive.  This recipe works great and is easy to make.  And BONUS, you don’t have to shower after dousing yourself in this!  Mix 8 oz. water with 8 oz. witch hazel.  Add 10 drops Citronella essential oil, 10 drops Lemongrass essential oil, 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil, 5 drops Lavender essential oil and 5 drops Peppermint essential oil.  Pour into a spray bottle and shake well.