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2012

PARADE of HOMES EDITION

PLUS:

Cures for the small bathroom

blues

INSIDE:

7

inexpensive home updates


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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

From the editor

In the garden

I’m falling for fall

As snowflakes begin to fly, beware of frostbite

Here we are again, facing down another fall. Many people rejoice in fall, and call it their “favorite Jennifer season... so beautiful... perfect temperatures...” I say who needs fall! I want those last rays of sun to alight upon my face ad infinitum. I agree, the leaves are beautiful in autumn. And there are other benefits as well, such as being able to enjoy freshly-picked apples, taking a run outside without being drenched in sweat with a face as red as a beet and, of course, Halloween and all of the fun events surrounding that holiday. But, unfortunately, the season is all too short. The temperate climate that comes along with the crunching of leaves underfoot and the scent of cinnamon as my mother makes her deep dish apple pie will be but a thing of the past in mere weeks, only to be followed by the gray days of winter. Since I’ve now gotten my seasonal grumpiness out of the way, it’s time for some positive energy and planning for the upcoming months. The apple crop reportedly is rather sparce this year, so our family’s journey to the local orchard will have to be made post haste. Then, there is the aforementioned All Hallow’s Eve. That time of year where my two little trick-or-treaters pick out their costumes, head out into the neighborhood with their jack-o-lantern buckets and return to show off their loot. All too soon, my children will be outgrowing this activitiy, although from the looks of some of the kids that ring my doorbell looking for treats that night, it may not be for a decade or so. As the children rest on their laurels, bellies full of Skittles, Snick-

Wing Momsense

See fall, page 22

is a supplement to: Eagle Newspapers 2501 James St., Suite 100, Syracuse, N.Y. 13206 Phone: (315) 434-8889 Fax: (315) 434-8883 eaglenewsonline.com

Baldwinsville Messenger

Publisher: David B. Tyler Managing Editor: Jennifer Wing Circulation Manager: Lori Newcomb

Skaneateles Press

Cazenovia Republican Eagle Bulletin Eagle-Observer Star-Review

By John Barbano The Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon show featured fast paced language and often quirky references to current events.  In fact many of the lines were adlibbed.  Once, when announcer William Conrad couldn’t finish the closing lines within the time limits, the producer Jay Ward, set fire to the bottom of the script making Conrad finish reading his lines before the flames burned his fingers. Both Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose hailed from the fictional Frostbite Falls, Minn., where they read the local newspaper the Frostbite Falls Far Flung Flyer, and where Bullwinkle attended college at Wossamotta University. Cartoons aside, frostbite can kill or damage tender plants, like tomatoes, or just kill the tops of tender corms, bulbs and tubers, such as tender gladiolas, cannas, and dahlias. The frosts will stop all top growth and signal that the plant should become dormant. After a few hard frosts, when their leaves begin to turn brown, carefully dig them up. With a garden fork, dig several inches back from the base of the plants so you don’t cut off too many roots. For tall plants like cannas and dahlias, loosen the soil all around the plants before lifting the root clumps.  Try to avoid cutting into the roots, corms or rhizomes because diseases can enter through cuts in storage. Gently shake off the soil from the gladiolas corms.  Store the dry corms at 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You may notice tiny baby corms or cormlets attached to the gladiolas. Carefully separate these tiny cormlets and plant them in the garden next summer.  They may take a year or two to flower but are a fun easy way to increase your supply of gladiolas. Cannas grow from rhizomes, or underground stems. Like gladiolas, once frost has killed the canna leaves and stems, cut off the foliage and dig up the rhizomes. Gently brush the soil off the canna rhizomes and store them in a dry place at 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Dahlias are another tender bulb that must be lifted in the fall.  With dahlias and their fibrous roots you may want to gently wash the dirt off with a hose. Gladiolus corms are best left unwashed. Once the dirt on gladiolas corms is dry you can gently brush it off. Before storing any plant material for the winter, carefully look them over for signs of disease or pests. You can dust with an insecticide-fungicide mixture but this isn’t usually necessary. Be sure to label your stored roots, corms and bulbs. Plain brown paper bags make good storage spaces and you can write the names right on the bags. For dahlias and cannas, you can write directly on the roots with a permanent felt marking pen. Let nature take its course and kill the tops of your tender bulbs then dig them up and store them out of the sunlight for the winter.   Next spring you will have fresh plants to put into the garden.   So frostbite isn’t always a bad thing in the garden, though even Rocky and Bullwinkle get away from Frostbite Falls, perhaps to nearby Veronica Lake? Paul Barbano is a former Cazenovia resident, avid gardener and contributing columnist for Eagle Newspapers. He can be reached through the editor at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.


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Home & Garden

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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

Parade of Homes returns to Clay Riverwalk is the site of this year’s event

submitted photo

A dramatic stairway in one of the Parade of Homes models at Riverwalk. By Sarah Hall For the third time in five years, the Parade of Homes will take place in the town of Clay. The 2012 event finds itself at Riverwalk near the Oneida River off Guy Young Road, following a 2011 stint in Inverness Gardens and a 2008 run in Country Meadows. “I think it says a tremendous amount about the town of Clay,” said Clay Town Supervisor Damian Ulatowski. “We are still the fastest growing community in Onondaga County. People like what they see in the town of Clay, what they hear about the town of Clay and what they feel about the town of Clay. They want to live in the town of Clay. The home builders and the organizers of the Parade recognize that, and the put the Parade where people want to be.” Riverwalk offers the many amenities specific to the town of Clay, as well as some unique features of its own.

“At one time they had planned for it to be a canal community, but the Army Corps of Engineers wouldn’t allow for the breaks in the banks on the property,” Ulatowski said. “But they really had quite the vision for the property when they first brought it to the town about 10 years ago.” The property was initially developed by the Bragman Companies, which ultimately donated it to the Central New York Land Trust. In the fall of 2006, community officials from the town of Clay, members of Central New York Land Trust, and Michael Bragman and Michael Bragman Jr. of the Bragman Companies met with 29 third-year landscape architecture students and studio faculty from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to initiate the development of design ideas for a public “Riverwalk” trail located adjacent to the Oneida River and a proposed subdivision. The project was part of a larger piece See riverwalk, page 6


Home & Garden

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FALL 2012


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Home & Garden

Riverwalk

of property owned by the Bragman Companies to be included in their proposed subdivision, but was offered to the land trust upon learning that it is a state and federally designated wetland for which development is prohibited. The goals of the ESF project were as follows: Protect the ecological integrity of the site. Provide inventory about the natural systems and other characteristics of the site to assist in the Central New York Land Trust’s decision about accepting the site. Foster user education through the inclusion of interactive and interpretive elements. Promote pedestrian access into the site for a diversity of users. Promote a cooperative relationship between the Riverwalk and neighboring land uses. Create a design that can be implemented within the financial ability of the Central New York Land Trust. Once ESF was finished with the Riverwalk trail in mid-2009, the property around it was opened up to development. “It’s developed into a premiere home site in the northern part of the town of Clay, and it really is in the most northern part of the town bordering Cicero and Brewerton,” Ulatowski said. “It’s being built in two or three different sections, the first being the Parade section. Unlike Parades of the past, there’s already been quite a bit of interest in non-Parade homes. There might be as many as 20 housing starts right now, which is double the Parade sites. There’s tremendous interest in the area, not just in the Parade homes. submitted photo

A drawing of one of the Parade of Homes 2012 models at Riverwalk.

FALL 2012

From page 4 People are looking to build in that area.” Mary Thompson of the Home Builders and Remodelers of Central New York, which organizes the Parade of Homes every year, said Riverwalk fit the criteria for the builders who take part in the event every year. “The theme this year is ‘Live Where You Play, Play Where You Live,’ and this really plays into that,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of interest in that now. People want to be close to amenities — the river, the lake, Oneida Shores.” In addition to featuring the outdoor amenities of Riverwalk, the Parade of Homes will feature the latest in indoor décor and building technology. “We always have the latest and greatest colors, new paint colors and everything. Cambria is launching new colors for tile and countertops at the event,” Thompson said. “We have some fun bits; one builder’s house has a downstairs room that’s a bar. Another has a room with an all-Yankees theme. Another builder has floating wine racks built into the side of the staircase. It’s very cool.” Parade visitors can also look forward to the usual specialty nights, from Chef’s Night and Ladies’ Night to Date Night, where TVs in the homes will be tuned to romantic movies, and Community Night, where the community will be showcased. There will also be numerous giveaways, including one for a Chevy Cruze Eco. Five hundred tickets will be sold for $100 each; one winner See riverwalk, page 7


Home & Garden

FALL 2012

7

An overview of the Parade of Homes Eight houses will be part of the 2012 Parade of Homes, builders include: JMG Custom Homes; Harrington Homes; Pigliavento Builders; Sciuga Custom Builders; Martin Custom Homes; Merle Builders; Summerset Homes; and SignatureCrest Builders. Riverwalk will have a 100-acre walking trail nature preserve as part of the community. The trails have been designed by SUNY Environmental School of Forestry and will be owned by the Central New York Land Trust. walking, hiking, mountain biking trails and boardwalks

will eventually access the Oneida River where four acres of riverfront land will be developed for recreational purposes. Many of the home sites are bordered with trees, streams, ponds and other natural and wild areas. Riverwalk is close to Oneida Lake and the Oneida River along with the County’s Oneida Shores Park.

Riverwalk

From page 6

gets the car, and nine others win back their money. “It’s a fundraiser for the Central New York Land Trust,” Thompson said. “Your chances are pretty decent, and you’re supporting a good organization at the same time.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of the land trust, so the Parade will celebrate throughout its run. “Because this is one of their properties, we learned a lot about them through this whole process,” Thompson said. “They’re really dedicated to preserving natural areas in community, which does the community good as a whole. And builders are responsible for maintaining housing stock. You might think that those missions would be at odds, but they go hand in hand.” The parade runs from Sept. 8 to 23. The preview party, which is open to the public, is Sept. 7. For more informaOne of the bedrooms in a model home features a dramatic ceiling. tion, visit hbrcny.com/parade.

Directions to the 2012 Parade of Homes From the North: Take I-81 South to Exit 31 / Bartell Road Turn right onto Bartell Road Turn right onto Route 11 (Brewerton Road) Turn left onto Guy Young Road Follow the Parade signs

From the East: Take 481 North to I-81 North Take I-81 North to Exit 31/Bartell Road Turn right onto Bartell Road Turn right onto Route 11 (Brewerton Road) Turn left onto Guy Young Road Follow the Parade signs

From the South: Take I-81 North to Exit 31/Bartell Road Turn right onto Bartell Road Turn right onto Route 11 (Brewerton Road) Turn left onto Guy Young Road Follow the Parade signs

From the West: Take Route 31 East Turn left onto Morgan Road Take second right onto Oak Orchard Road Left Caughdenoy Road Right onto Guy Young Road Follow the Parade signs

submitted photo

Win a 2012 Chevy Cruze ECO

In lieu of a Charity Auction at the Preview Party, the HBR of CNY will raffle off a 2012 Chevy Cruze ECO. Tickets are $100 each, and proceeds benefit the Central New York Land Trust. Nine lucky second prize winners will receive their $100 back! Don’t miss out on your chance to win! Call the office at 463.6261, or stop by the HBR of CNY at 3675 James St. in Syracuse, today to buy your raffle ticket. Raffle tickets can also be purchased Sept. 8-23 on site at the Parade of Homes. Grand prize will be awarded Sept. 23, and you do not have to be present to win.


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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

Why wait to update?

Seven inexpensive ways to improve a home now

M

any times, buying a home opens up a bottomless pit of opportunities for projects and improvements. While some homeowners engage in different repairs and fix-ups out of necessity, many others like to freshenup their spaces out of personal preference instead of need. But even the most well-intentioned projects can be waylaid if budgets are tight. What many homeowners may not realize is that there are many ways to make updates and changes to a home that do not require a major overhaul or a large price tag. The following are seven projects that won’t break the bank.

1

Move around furniture.

You may be able to change the look of a room without spending any money. Interior designers know how to arrange furniture for maximum appeal, but the average homeowner can do it, too. Find a focal point in the room and angle the furniture toward it. Don’t make the focal point the television, however. Try changing the placement of chairs and sofas. Simply moving a curio cabinet from one corner to another may also make a difference.

2

Add lighting.

Lighting at different levels in the room can create a vibrant impact. It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to mistakenly put in a couple of table lamps and think that will be adequate. However if you want to properly illuminate a room it usually means varying the lighting to create different moods at different times. Plus, more light can make a room feel more welcoming.

3

Freshen up with new pillows or curtains.

4

Change knobs or other small accents.

5

Use plants.

Changing a few aspects of a room can give it an entirely new look. If you want to add a splash of color but don’t know what to do, think about incorporating some new throw pillows or change the curtains. An accessory here and there in a bright color also can incorporate a new hue without it being overwhelming.

Give a room a new look by focusing on the small details. Switch out cabinet knobs for something updated and modern. Take inventory of wall outlets and light switches and think about selecting new ones that coordinate with your home decor.

Empty corners or spots you’re not certain how to fill may benefit from a plant. Plants are inexpensive ways to add instant color and visual appeal to a room. Plus, having live plants can help improve indoor air by filtering out contaminants. A home with plants also feels more cozy. See update, page 11


Home & Garden

FALL 2012

  

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Hang new wall art.

It may be time to look at your photos and artwork and make a few adjustments. Finding new prints to hang could instantly change a room’s ambience. And you needn’t spend a lot of money

on professional photography, either. Grab your camera and take a few close-up shots of flowers or take in a landscape scenery. Many of today’s home printers can produce professional-quality prints in minutes.

7

From page 8

Try a new coat of paint.

After you’ve exhausted other avenues, choosing a new paint color may be the new look you desire. Painting is one of the least expensive yet most dramatic methods of changing a home’s interior. With dozens of hues to choose from, and new apps that enable you to take snapshots of things in nature or in your life and match them up to a paint color, you will have scores of opportunities to explore fresh new colors for your home. When you get inspired to make improvements to the home but fear how much it may take out of your wallet, consider inexpensive tricks that can induce a big “wow” factor.

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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

Make the most of small bathrooms

Renovating bathrooms is commonly at the top of home improvement to-do lists. Though some rooms around the house may remain timeless, bathrooms, like kitchens, show their age (and era) much more easily, which could be why homeowners are always on the lookout for new ideas. Although many people may dream about creating a spa-type oasis in their homes, not everyone is lucky enough to have a large bathroom, much less a large budget for a full-scale renovation. Small bathrooms are common, particularly in older homes, but they needn’t force homeowners to compromise on style when renovating. Small bathrooms may be a half-bath on a main home level or even a full bath, depending on the home. By thinking creatively, homeowners can maximize their spaces and redo bathrooms in ways that bring out their best assets. * When space is at a premium, it’s best to look for fixtures and items that fit with the scale of the bathroom. Although you may want a large vanity and cabinet in which to hide all of your toiletries, this simply may not be practical — taking up most of the bathroom real estate. Instead, look for elegant pedestal sinks that have a much smaller profile. They’ll also help you control the clutter in the bathroom because there won’t be anywhere to hide it. * Use optical illusions to make the bathroom appear more roomy. For example, lay tile diagonally to create the impression of space. A large mirror will reflect the room back and make it appear much larger than it really is. * Select lighter hues in paint colors and accessories. Dark paints and fixtures could make the room feel cramped. Dark colors are generally used to make spaces feel more cozy. In a small bathroom, it may make the space feel claustrophobic. Instead, think light and bright and the room will instantly feel more airy. * Minimize wall hangings and keep fixtures smaller. Filling the walls with knickknacks may contribute to clutter and make the space appear closed in. Use decorative items sparingly. * If possible, store towels in a closet outside of the bathroom. This way you won’t have to devote space inside the bathroom to a closet, leaving more room A frameless shower can take up less space in a small bathroom. for other things. fit beneath windows or be able to fit in thin areas between sinks and * While some people like the thought of a separate bath and toilets. Over the toilet is prime area for cabinetry. shower, in smaller bathrooms this may not be possible. Instead, look * Consider a frameless shower. This is a partitioned area of the for a combined shower and bath, or select a walk-in shower with a bathroom that’s set aside for the shower and is typically only cordoned much smaller profile. off by a thin wall or piece of glass. Or a shower with no walls at all is * Windows are often welcome in bathrooms because of the ventilathe ultimate in space-saving. The entire bathroom floor is decked out tion they provide, but they could be a hindrance in smaller bathrooms in tile, and a portion is sloped toward a shower drain. because they take up prime wall space. Cover a window in a shower * Think about installing a skylight if you prefer natural light, but stall to free up space. Just be sure to install a venting fan to reduce there is no room for a traditional window. moisture in the bathroom. Thinking creatively can help turn a cramped bathroom into a * Maximize wall space if you need storage. Find cabinets that will space-saving and well-designed room homeowners desire.


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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

Autumn ABCs Easy ways to winterize your home When summer draws to a close and autumn arrives, homeowners must place a precedent on readying their homes for the winter months. Often referred to as “winterizing,” the process is meant to ensure a home can withstand harsh winter weather while proving a safe haven from the elements. As autumn arrives, homeowners can take several steps to get their homes ready for whatever winter has to offer with the following tasks.

Fix the leaks.

A leaky home will prove an expensive home during the winter months. A home with many leaks will be much colder to inhabit, and homeowners typically turn up the heat to counter drafts that can make a home feel like a meat locker. But turning up the thermostat isn’t the answer. Instead, fix leaks in the fall before the cold weather arrives. Leaks should not be very hard to find. On the first breezy autumn afternoon, walk around the house in search of any drafty areas. These drafts will be noticeable and often occur around doors and window frames, electrical outlets and even recessed lighting. Homeowners have a host of options at their disposal to plug leaks, be it door sweeps that block air from entering under exterior doors to caulk applied around leaky windows. When using caulk outdoors, be sure to use a weather-resistant caulk or, if sealing brick, use masonry sealer.

Add insulation upstairs.

Homeowners who have an attic in their homes might want to consider adding some insulation up there. Experts recommend a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in the attic. That might prove costly, but a poorly insulated attic is akin to opening the front door and letting the heat out. It might be best for less-than-handy homeowners to hire a professional to insulate the attic. But do-it-yourselfers might find it good to know that if the ceiling joists, which are often 11 inches or less, are visible, then the attic is in need of additional insulation. Such joists won’t be visible in an adequately insulated attic.

Put up the storm windows.

It’s nice to open the windows in the spring and summer and let the warm air waft in through the screens. But when summer is over, it’s time to put up the storm windows once again. Storm windows add an extra layer of protection from the elements and are especially valuable in homes with single-pane glass windows. Homeowners who don’t have storm windows should consider upgrading their existing windows. Such a project isn’t cheap, but newer windows will almost certainly lead to lower heating costs, meaning the project will essentially pay for itself over time. Homeowners who can’t afford to replace all of their windows don’t have to replace them all at once. Instead, replace them a few at a time and make the rooms where you spend the most time each winter the first on the list to receive new windows.

Be diligent with the gutters.

Leaves falling from trees is an idyllic image associated primarily with autumn. Unfortunately, when leaves fall they often fall into the gutters. Routinely clean the gutters once the leaves start to fall. Clean

gutters will allow snow and rain to effectively drain through the gutters. If the gutters are clogged, snow might have nowhere to go when it begins to melt, and roof damage might result. Such damage is costly but preventable in most instances. One of the easier preventive measures to take is to routinely clean the gutters of leaves and other debris that accumulate during the fall. When cleaning the gutters, make sure they are properly aligned. Poorly aligned gutters can lead to a host of problems. One such problem is flooding. If downspouts are not properly aligned with the rest of the gutters, then water might not be directed away from the home as it’s intended. Instead, water might be directed toward the home, resulting in flooding or additional water damage.

Have the furnace cleaned.

Experts recommend annual furnace cleanings. Before cold weather arrives, turn the furnace on to make sure it’s still working. An unpleasant odor should appear when first turning on the furnace, but it shouldn’t last very long. If the odor sticks around, turn the furnace off and call a professional. Once winter arrives, routinely replace the filters. This makes the furnace operate more efficiently and can also reduce the risk of fire.


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FALL 2012

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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

Make your yard a haven for birds Bird Feeders of Many Shapes and Sizes Can Add Aesthetic Appeal

When it comes to soothing environments, many people associate certain sights and sounds. Ocean waves crashing, warm, blue seas and the sound of seagulls and other wildlife come to mind. While homeowners might not be able to bring the soothing sounds of the ocean to their homes, especially since fall is upon us, they can bring the lyrical sounds of birds chirping to their yards. Bird feeders make a wonderful addition to any lawn or garden, adding aesthetic appeal and bringing music to your ears. Choosing a bird feeder can depend on where you’ll be hanging it. But whatever the layout Bird feeders come in many shapes and sizes, ensuring homeowners they can find the right fit for their yard. of your property, bird feeders come in so many shapes and however, including doves, quail, sparrows Window feeders sizes that you’re sure to find the right fit. and other ground feeders. However, they Before storm windows and screenedcan certainly dine on any seed that gets in windows infiltrated modern society, spilled over. Tray (platform) birdseed was simply strewn out on an open These feeders are simply a big, open window sill. You can still invite birds to tray that’s easy to fill and easy for birds Hopper feeders your window with a window feeder that to access seed. These have plastic or glass enclosures mounts like a window box. What’s more, they can accommodate that dole out seed as it is needed. Or, there are models that simply sucseveral birds at one time. tion to the window itself. This is a smart choice since seed isn’t Most birds will jump at the chance to wasted and it’s protected when not being feast at a tray feeder. eaten. Tube feeders There are some who will be reluctant, These just may be the most efficient type of feeders out there. They’re self-contained, the seed stays dry, and they hold a large amount of seed, making refilling an infrequent job. They also can feed a good number of birds at one time.

Nectar feeders

Some birds, like hummingbirds, orioles, house finches and some woodpeckers, prefer sweet nectar or sugar water over seed. Use a nectar feeder to satisfy their sweet tooth.


Home & Garden

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Home & Garden

FALL 2012

How to winterize your lawn Every weekend of the last few months you have spent mowing, weeding, edging, and trimming your lawn so that it will look its best. In order to ensure your lawn makes a complete recovery after winter hibernation, you may want to spend the fall taking steps to help your lawn survive the winter months ahead. Winterizing a lawn varies depending on where you live and how harsh a typical winter is. There are certain key tasks to complete before you can rest for the winter season.

Remove fallen leaves and debris.

Leaf cleanup is among the tasks homeowners dread the most. Raking leaves can be arduous, but it is well worth the effort. Fallen leaves can smother the grass and lead to dead spots and decay next season. Wait until the majority of the leaves have fallen from the trees before you begin to rake; otherwise, you could find yourself repeating the process throughout the fall. Mulched leaves can be added in small amounts to garden beds to provide rich organic material for next year’s crop of flowers. Be sure to pick up any twigs and other debris as well. Additional debris can become up trapped under snow and hinder grass growth when spring arrives.

Cut your lawn short.

Unless the season is unseasonably wet and warm, your lawn shouldn’t grow too much in October and November. Continue to cut your lawn until there is no visible growth for about two weeks. It pays to give it a short cut before frost arrives so that long piles of dead grass will not smother any new growth in the spring. Also, long grass tends to bend down upon itself, trapping moisture that can lead to fungal diseases like snow mold.

Aerate the lawn.

Soil can be compacted over time, especially in yards that see heavy foot traffic. You can rent an aerator from a lawn supply store so that water and fertilizer can reach the soil. See lawn, page 22

Raking leaves is a key step in preparing your lawn for the winter months.

Make raking leaves easier and maybe even fun

Include kids when raking leaves to make this chore a family affair.

Raking leaves is an annual event for people in many parts of the country. Some people enjoy getting out in the crisp, autumn air and spending a day cleaning up the yard. Others do not relish the idea of hours upon hours of leaf removal from their lawns. Making the process easier and more enjoyable benefits all involved. The majority of homeowners realize that in order to keep their lawn pristine, leaves and debris must be routinely removed from the yard. Raking leaves is an activity that takes time and energy. It also can be strenuous work. However, by employing a few techniques, the work doesn’t have to be that difficult and it might even be fun. 3 Invest in a quality rake, particularly one that bends a bit with each stroke. This will help maximize the number of leaves that will be collected with each pass. 3 If raking routinely causes aches and pains in your arms, shoulders and wrists, look for ergonomic rakes that are the proper height for your body. See leaves, page 22


Home & Garden

FALL 2012

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Fall

Home & Garden

ers and other sugary sweets, my thoughts will have already turned to Thanksgiving. It is with great relish that I can say I still am not the one in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner; that is left to my mother and mother-in-law. Again, I know a time will come when that will change, but hopefully not for a decade in this case as well.

FALL 2012

From page 2 Following turkey day, one of my favorite traditions, Black Friday, will again be met with the same planning and fortitude as a military exercise. And, though I do cringe at the thought of a long, cold winter, I know that the cold and snow will come along with the opportunity to ski with my family and friends and enjoy yet another

Christmas full of warmth and good cheer. Oh, and I guess I’ll try to do some raking in the fall, some shoveling in the winter and some eating my words when we’re hit with a nor’easter. Jennifer Wing is the Managing Editor at Eagle Newspapers. She can be reached at jwing@eaglenewsonline.com.

Lawn Fertilize.

Now is the time to give the lawn fresh food to overwinter and also replenish the strength of the root system. All summer long the lawn has been depleting the soil of nutrition, but autumn presents a great opportunity to strengthen those roots. Consider a slowrelease formula designed for winterizing that will feed the lawn all winter long.

Edge the garden beds.

Take advantage of the cooler weather and

From page 20 slow-growing grass to re-edge around flower beds. Even though the grass above the surface of the soil will stop growing, the roots will remain viable and the lawn will still be sending out rhizomes and tillers to produce new grass blades in the spring. These can easily encroach on garden beds. Edge now so you will have less work to do in the spring.

Trim hedges and trees.

If there are any overhanging tree branches or shrubbery blocking sunlight from reaching the lawn, cut back these areas once the

foliage has thinned. Take advantage of your town’s leaf and twig pickup services.

Seed bare patches.

Scour the lawn for bare patches and put down some seed in these areas. The cooler weather will enable the seeds to germinate without having to compete with weed growth. Once you have prepared your lawn for the winter you can bring in any lawn tools that need repair and have them set and packed away for the spring.

Leaves 3 Move your legs when you are raking instead of remaining stationary and just using your arms. This will help reduce your risk of back pain. 3 Use smaller passes of the rake to collect leaves. This method is more efficient and less taxing on your muscles. 3 Turn on music while you are raking. Sing along to the tunes or move with the beat, and it just may take your mind off of the task at hand. 3 Be sure to rake downwind; otherwise every pile of leaves you collect may end up blowing around and giving you more work. 3 Rake leaves in groups. Enlist the help of all family members so that it will take much less time. Plus, everyone gets to spend time working together. Talking and joking around will certainly pass the time more quickly. 3 Use a leaf blower sparingly. It may seem advantageous to simply blow the leaves to the curb, but this can take more time and leaf blowers are much more noisy. Use the blower to dislodge leaves from hard-to-reach areas, like behind bushes or under decks. Then rake the leaves into manageable piles. 3 Wait until after the peak time for leaves to be falling before you do the majority of raking. Otherwise, you could spend just about every Saturday and Sunday cleaning up leaves. 3 Create family-centered games while raking. Have contests to see who can rake the

From page 20

It almost seems to be a fall tradition to have the kids jump into big piles of leaves. largest pile in the shortest amount of time. Take breaks so that everyone can enjoy jumping in a giant leaf pile or horsing around. 3 Host a leaf-raking party with friends and family members. Tie it into a day when there is a football game on television, or toss around the old pigskin after the job is done. 3 Use two garbage pail lids to pick up leaves and put them into disposal bags. You’ll grab more leaves in each pass. 3 There are some leaf blowers that can

vacuum up leaves and mulch them at the same time. Put a portion of this leaf mulch into a compost pile or in your garden beds. 3 If your town collects leaves curbside, be sure to keep them in a neat pile to reduce the likelihood of leaves making their way into a nearby sewer. Leaf cleanup is a necessary task, but the task doesn’t have to be tedious and timeconsuming.


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Home & Garden

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Home & Garden Fall 2012