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By Candice Morris

 

In the South, we don’t see much cold weather during the fall and winter seasons, so we tend be a little more relaxed with our gardening. But just because the leaves on trees are gone and the flowers aren’t blooming doesn’t mean we should neglect our yard and gardens. Check out these tips to help get the yard and garden ready for the colder temps.

Insulate

Just as we flock to scarves and sweaters on cooler days, our plants need a little insulation from the weather too. One of the most cost-effective methods involves spreading mulch around flower beds. Spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch around your plants will help to not only keep the cold from getting to the plants but it will also help to retain moisture during drier months.

Fertilize

Fall is also a great time to get the lawn ready for the spring. Be sure to fertilize it well with lawn food and reseed thin spots around the yard. To add some color during the winter seasons, planting annual ryegrass seed on top of the warm-season grass will do the trick. Using a mower to chop fallen leaves can also be beneficial; leaves will break down and add nutrients to the soil. 

Inject Color

If flower beds are looking a little sparse, try planting colorful fall flowers that are perfect for cooler temps. Mums and pansies are a great choice, but also consider fall flowers such as aster, helenium, or goldenrod for a garden bursting with color. For perennial beds, fall is the time to pull those weeds and cut back perennial flowers; this will help to ensure better growth in the spring.

Plant Bulbs

Spring-blooming bulbs should be planted approximately six weeks before the ground freezes, but here in Alabama we often don’t have this worry. Bulbs such as crocuses, tulips, and daffodils can be planted well into November and sometimes December. These hardy bulbs will grow best in well-drained soil. If you’re unsure about your soil’s quality, work in some sand and compost.

Before the weather gets too chilly, be sure to take advantage of the mild fall days to get the yard and garden in shape for the colder temps. With these simple preparation techniques you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful yard and garden even on the chilliest of days.

Photos (all are stock)

Mulching.png: Spread mulch around flower beds to help keep plants insulated during chilly months.

Mums.png: Mums are a great planting choice for fall to inject color into the landscaping.

 

Article sponsored by Pants Store.

Find them on the web at http://www.pantsstore.com.

 

There are some amazing pumpkin spiced recipes out there, but with so many options,  it is hard to find the best ones.  So we put together a list of the top 5 pumpkin spiced foods in Alabama.  Mmmm!  Enjoy!

                                                                           Sponsored by: 

By Candice Morris

 

As a new homeowner, one of the first things I wanted to purchase was something for my front door. I love the look of monogrammed door décor, but wanted mine to be special, something that was uniquely “me.”

With most of my new home budget going towards things like paint and home-repair supplies, I knew I needed something for my door that was inexpensive and could easily be updated each season. I loved this rustic frame I found at Hobby Lobby. Between hitting Hobby Lobby on the right sales day and a having a digital coupon, I managed to get all of my supplies, which included burlap ribbon, some fall décor, and a wooden “M,” for around $20.

The trickiest part of this project was fashioning the bow. If you’re unsure how to make one, a pre-made bow would be perfect for this project. You could also tie your ribbon into a simple bow. I attached the bow to the top of the frame by using the ends of the bow to tie it on. I then tied the fall décor, which were fall-colored jingle bells, to a smaller ribbon and attached to the back of the frame. I left the letter unpainted and glued it onto the frame using small dots of wood glue. After adding a loop of ribbon on the back, it was ready to be hung!

This versatile door décor is a simple afternoon project that is sure to look great on your front door. You can always put your own personal touches on it, too – paint the letter your favorite color and voila!

Happy Fall, Y’all.

 

Article sponsored by Russell Lee Flooring.

Find them on the web at: http://www.rslee.com

 

By Tori Linville

 

The South’s fifth season is approaching: football season. Do you have the right tailgating gear? We’ve found the best tailgating coolers for you to add to your arsenal before it’s too late.

 

Coleman 62 Quart Xtreme Wheeled Cooler, $50

(photo: Kmart.com)

 

This puppy can carry all the essentials and then some. Get it on the ground and see it fly with you on your way to keep your tailgating spot on the quad. The wheels make the cooler easy to move before and after the tailgating events. Complete with extended handle and cupholders, there’s no real reason not to invest in this tailgating must.

 

Cooladio Cart, $112

 

(picture: get yourgifthere.com)

 

If you’re really serious about tailgating with some tunes, the Cooladio Cart might be something for you to check out. It’s price pays for the quality speakers that keep  a party going long after your tailgate DJ has checked out. Throw in some beer or soda, add some football and you’ve pretty much got it made.

 

Picnic Time Collegiate Vulcan BBQ Grill, $300

(photo: walmart.com)

 

For the grill master in your family, this cooler will check all the boxes. The insulated cooler comes with a propane grill, along with a three piece barbeque set. Throw in some extra pockets, and you’ve got a small tailgate already going on with just one piece of equipment.

 

Yeti Tundra 45 quart cooler, $350

(picture: academy.com)

 

This line of cooler has long been lauded as THE tailgating cooler, so it’s a no-brainer for our list. With a  dry goods rack and dry ice compatibility, the Yeti cooler offers tons of insulation for all your tailgating hydration needs.

 

Wagan 10.5 Liter Personal Thermo-Fridge/Warmer

 

(picture: walmart.com)

 

If a cooler just doesn’t cut it for you, a personal fridge could be another option for your tailgating needs. It keeps things cold in the summer and warm in the winter, added jealousy from friends at no extra charge.

 

Article sponsored by the following: Nancy and Co., Plus One Tactical, and Russell Lee Flooring.

Find Nancy and Co. on the web at:  http://www.nancyandco.com

Find Plus One Tactical on the web at: http://www.plusonetactical.com

Find Russell Lee Flooring on the web at: http://www.rslee.com

 

By Tori Linville

 

Autumn calls for an explosion of colors. Copper, reds, browns, golds and more. Mother nature’s finest moments can be found in fall foliage. Trees change colors and the summer plants you placed in your beds in May can no longer stand the weather. Replace them with some of our fall plant suggestions we’ve gathered for you here.

 

‘October Glory’ Red Maple

 

(southernliving.com)

 

Producing some of fall’s most breathtaking colors for the South, these trees can be found at most garden centers. September is the best time to plant these beauties for best results. The trees grow upwards from 50 feet.

 

Confederate Rose

 

(southernliving.com)

 

This rose keeps a pop of color going through late summer into the fall. Most times, three colors appear on this shrub as different blooms turn from white to pink to a darker pink. These shrubs can be found online and cuttings do well in water.

 

Bluestars

 

(pinterest.com)

 

Straying just a little from the normal autumn colors, Bluestars are perfect for those who don’t have green thumbs. While schedules become even more busy during the fall, Bluestars are low-maintenance, so there’s no reason to be worried about wasting money on landscaping.

 

Spanish Bluebell

 

(southernliving.com)

 

These beauties grow up to 20 inches tall and come in white, pink and blue. Perfect for a fall flower bed, they’re sure to surprise as not many people seem to know about the quality of the Spanish Bluebell

 

Pitcher Plants

(southernliving.com)

 

These exotic-looking flowers can be just the pop of different you need to set your bed apart from the neighborhood. Not only are they unique in appearance, they’re unique for a reason. These special plants live on a diet of bugs – perfect for a gardener’s needs. Add some sun, acid and moist soil, you’ll be sure to stun with these plants.

 

Article sponsored by the following: Applico, ERC, and Bradford.  

Find Applico on the web at:http://www.applicoapplianceandlighting.com

Find ERC on the web at:http://alabamaroofingexpert.com

Find Bradford on the web at:http://bradfordhealth.com

Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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