A SUMMER SEND-OFF FOR YOUR GARDEN
3 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for the Changing Season
Hopping on your bicycle for a family bike ride through the neighborhood is a great activity for beautiful summer weather, but nothing spoils a fun day of riding more than a flat tire or dislodged chain. That’s why it’s important to keep up with bike maintenance, even if you typically stay close to home. By following these four tips, you and your family can enjoy a smooth ride all summer long. Give your bike a once-over. The best way to avoid any problems with your bike while riding is to inspect it thoroughly before you head out. Check each component and make sure everything is in working order. If you notice your handlebars are loose or your brake pads are worn, you’ll be able to make adjustments or repairs before hopping on. Late summer is the perfect time to clean up your garden and prepare it for the coming winter. In the next couple of months, the temperature will start to drop, but by putting in work now, you can ensure your garden is healthy and ready to flourish next spring. You can even turn garden cleanup into a fun activity for the whole family. Here are three ways to get your garden ready for the next season, while sharing some valuable outdoor time with your loved ones. More Mulch, Please While most gardeners know the benefits of summer mulching, winter mulching can help lessen water loss, keep weeds out, and regulate soil temperatures during the colder months. It offers an added layer of protection for your plants’ roots, which can be sensitive
to continuous freezing and thawing, by keeping the soil temperature more consistent. Out With the Old If any of your plants didn’t fare so well, take some time to remove them and clear space for future plants. This removal should include any invasive plants or weeds that found their way into the soil. Remember to use gloves, wear long pants and socks, and use caution around thorns or plants that can cause irritation. For daffodils, tulips, crocuses, and any other bulbs that sprang up in the spring, you can now pull them up (if you haven’t already) and divide any bulblets you find into separate plants.
This will help cut down on crowding even more come spring.
Take Cover Cover crops are plants that improve soil health, reduce erosion, and keep your garden healthy, and now is a great time to plant them! Hardy legumes, field peas, certain types of clovers, and warm-season grasses can all work as cover crops, so talk to your landscaper or local nursery to pick out the best choices for your region. While you may not see the fruits of your labors until spring, you can still enjoy preparing your garden for a successful upcoming year and cherish the time you spend with your family outside.
4 TIPS TO MAINTAIN YOUR BICYCLE Ride Into the Sunset
Fill your tires properly. Proper bike tire pressure can seem ambiguous; many people just inflate the tires until they seem plump enough to ride on. But a bike tire will typically have the recommended air pressure in psi (pound-force per square inch) stamped into the side of the tire. For example, your tire might say Min. 85–Max. 135 psi. This may seem like a broad range, but it all depends on what you’re looking for: A higher psi will increase speed, while a lower psi will give you a smoother ride. Keep it clean. Cleaning your bike regularly is essential in preventing premature wear and tear. When cleaning the body of the bike, use a damp rag with window cleaner or diluted dish soap to wipe it down, and take extra care not to get any of it on the
chain. If the chain is dry to the touch, remove any debris that may be caught in it with a small brush or old toothbrush before applying a good bicycle chain lube. Involve your kids. Encouraging your kids to maintain their own bikes will help them understand the importance of taking care of their possessions. Teach them to inspect their bike, clean and lubricate their chains, and regularly check their tire pressure. This summer, set yourself up for cycling success and make bike maintenance a priority.
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