PREPARE YOUR GARDEN AUTUMN STEPS FOR A BETTER SPRING GARDEN
With fall just ahead, it’s a good time to think about your spring garden. For a beautiful garden next year, begin preparing this fall. Here are a few ways to get a head start! PLANTING BULBS If you want beautiful flowers in April, you should start planting bulbs now. Many flower bulbs need to be in the ground before winter settles in; this helps activate the bulbs’ biochemical process that allows them to bloom. Getting the bulbs into the ground before it freezes allows their roots to grow deep enough to protect them from the biting winter weather. Among the flower bulbs you should plant soon are tulips, daffodils, irises, and hyacinths. CHICKEN WIRE After you’ve planted your bulbs, there’s a risk that uninvited guests will dig them up. There are a few ways you can ensure that your bulbs remain undisturbed throughout the fall. One way is to place chicken wire over your bulbs after they’ve been planted. This keeps rodents from digging them up and allows the plants to grow through the gaps in the wire. KEEP YOUR GARDEN TIDY Once you’ve harvested your best fruits and vegetables, go back through and harvest the rest, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Make sure your garden is clear of old vegetables, fallen leaves, and weeds. Leaving decaying plants in or on top of the ground can spread diseases into the soil and attract unwanted pests to your garden. HEALTHY SOIL Pulling up weeds and all of your vegetables can help keep the earth free from rotting plants, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your soil stays full of nutrients. Pick up a kit to test the pH levels of your soil. Most gardens thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5. Add compost to your soil supply now to give it time to break down during the winter months.
With another school year starting up again, many people are concerned about saving money. If this includes you, here are a few ways to budget to better avoid the stress of pinching your pennies. BUYING SUPPLIES LATE The 2018 school year has just begun. Supplies, books, clothes, and athletic gear have been purchased and gears are already in motion. However, this is still a great chance for you to start saving for next year. After the price of school supplies drops, it’s a great opportunity to purchase them as soon as they go on sale, whether to save them for next year or ensure that you have plenty of stock throughout the fall and spring semesters. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES If your child is eager to join a sports team, drama club, or band, they need to have the proper equipment. To save money, consider renting or buying used equipment or instruments. For example, purchasing a brand new musical instrument can run into the thousands, but renting for a semester can cut that amount significantly. Buying used is a great way to introduce your child into an activity without the possibility of them losing interest. And if they outgrow their rental equipment, you can easily replace it next year. LOOKING YOUR BEST Clothes are one of the highest purchased items when the school year approaches. Everyone wants to look their best on the first day of school. One of the best ways to prevent spending too much on clothing is to space out the time purchasing new outfits. Purchasing clothes all at once can leave anyone winded. Waiting to buy clothes will save you from losing your money all at once and also guarantees that your children won’t outgrow all their new outfits during the year. Taking advantage of the sales that spring up after the school semester ends can help you save money throughout and even into the following year. Planning ahead for the school year is one of the most secure ways to save your cash. Knowing When and What to Buy This Year KEEP THE BIG PURCHASES TO A MINIMUM
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