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GREAT BEDROOM DECORATIONS FOR KIDS
THE PERFECT VEGETABLES TO GROW THIS FALL
STAGE YOUR HOME BEFORE LISTING
CAMPING WITH DOGS
HOME IMPROVEMENT Don't Let It Control You!
7 SIMPLE TIPS FOR A CHEAPER ENERGY BILL
GARDEN PLANNING USING A CALENDAR
BROCCOLI CREAM SOUP
GREAT BEDROOM DECORATIONS FOR KIDS
THE PERFECT VEGETABLES TO GROW THIS FALL
CANDY CORN PARFAIT
DON'T LET HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTROL YOU!
5 THINGS TO CONSIDER FOUR REASONS TO STAGE YOUR HOME BEFORE HIRING A BEFORE PUTTING IT CONTRACTOR ON THE MARKET
BEEF AND CABBAGE CASSEROLE
SIMPLE HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS
CAMPING WITH DOGS–CAMPGROUND ETIQUETTE D E C O R AT O R
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executive publishers Hal G. Fox & Suzanne Polk Fox
managing editor Suzanne Polk Fox
copy editor Christian Dischler
contributing writers Quentin Arthur Leigh Burgess Wanda Grasso Casey Jones Katina Lewis Liddy Mancie Carrie Miller Nellie Palmer Gerry Rogers Gennie Sanford
design/production Claire Thomas The information contained in Home/Garden Decorator is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Home/Garden Decorator for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Home/Garden Decorator, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Home/Garden Decorator and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Home/Garden Decorator. Readers should not use the information in Home/Garden Decorator for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem. V4
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7 SIMPLE TIPS FOR A CHEAPER
ENERGY BILL ENERGY BILLS CAN SKYROCKET DURING THE FALL AND WINTER MONTHS, BUT THERE ARE PLENTY OF EASY STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. WHEN IT COMES TO ENERGY BILLS, THE LITTLE THINGS REALLY DO ADD UP, SO IT PAYS TO DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. BY CARRIE MILLER
TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR WATER HEATER AND HOT WATER USAGE. If you have an older hot water heater, you may save money by replacing it with a new model that probably has a much better EnergyGuide rating. Insulating your hot water heater will also help save. You can cut back on hot water usage by washing more loads of laundry in cold water. Consider installing a tankless water heater, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, as they provide hot water only as it is needed. They don't produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money.
RETHINK YOUR LIGHTING. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFL's. These bulbs are much more energy efficient than regular bulbs while producing the same amount of light. You may also want to put some of your light fixtures on timers. You can reduce your outdoor lighting energy usage by putting exterior fixtures on motion sensors.
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THINK ABOUT YOUR FLOORING. Many homes lose heat through the floor, especially if you have an older home with wood flooring and not much insulation. Rugs or carpet can help prevent heat loss through the floor.
KEEP THE THERMOSTAT DOWN. Set it at 68 degrees and remember to turn it down when you leave. There's no need to keep your house cozy when no one is home to enjoy it.
TRY NOT TO RELY ON SPACE HEATERS. Nothing will run up your power bill like a space heater. Use them sparingly and always remember to turn them off.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR LAUNDRY. Make sure you turn the dryer off as soon as the clothes are dry. Always clean out the lint filter after each load, as it helps your dryer run more efficiently.
These are some of the least expensive and easiest ways to cut back on your home's energy usage. Following these tips will make a noticeable difference in your bill during the chilly months.
USE DRAFT DODGERS FOR DOORWAYS. Draft dodgers are long strips that sit on the floor blocking the small open space between your door and the floor. They really do keep a lot of cold air out, and they are inexpensive. You can even make your own.
great bedroom decorations for kids BY GENNIE SANFORD So, your little ones have outgrown the baby sheep and puffy cloud mobiles of the nursery, now what? How do you spruce up an older child’s room without it being tacky or too childish? KITES ARE GOOD DECORATION. Buy or make several brightly colored ones and mount them on the wall. They add a touch of color and fun to a kid’s room and you can always take them down to use on a windy day!
HOMEMADE POSTERS. Take your digital camera and get some shots of your kids favorite things. Anything is a go, from a triple decker ice cream cone to the neighbor’s mangy mutt. Have your children help you choose the best ones and take them down to a print shop to have them turned into full-size posters. These make wonderful additions to any room and you can change the posters as your children grow up. BLANKETS CAN MAKE WONDERFUL, INSTANT WALL ART. Choose a quilt or fleece blanket that portrays some image that your child likes. You might find a big fleece blanket with Shrek on it, or maybe a dolphin blanket. These can be tacked to the wall to form a huge piece of art, which also helps dampen sound in echoing rooms.
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SHADOW BOXES. Why not use a shadow box or two for displaying your child’s collections? Whether he hoards action figurines or something a bit more eclectic, shadow boxes are the perfect way to display them. Another nice advantage is that you can change the contents of the boxes as your children grow and their interests change. COVER THE CEILING. You can add a whole new dimension to a room by changing the ceiling. Fabric is a great way to do this, simply tack it up on one side of the room and then have it fall in short swags across to the other side. For light fabrics, thumbtacks work great. Try brightly colored scarves, a giant flag, or even a quilt top! Fabric is easier to switch up than wallpaper or paint, too.
HANG PHOTOS. Putting up pictures of friends and family can be a great way to decorate a child’s room. Try individual frames or make your own “Wall of Fame” with a large poster board, and have your child stick up all their favorite pictures from camp, family get togethers and any other special event. Hang a clothes line of pictures. This works for any age.
There are plenty more ways to decorate your children’s rooms, just use your imagination. Children usually have some pretty good ideas, too, so be sure to ask their opinions.
BY LEIGH BURGESS INGREDIENTS • 1 box vanilla pudding • 1 box banana pudding • 1 can pumpkin • 1 tsp cinnamon • 1 can Cool Whip • Halloween or Thanksgiving sprinkles or candy corn
DIRECTIONS I n separate mixing bowls, make the two boxes of pudding as directed. Add half the can of pumpkin and cinnamon to the vanilla pudding. Add the banana layer to serving glasses (water glasses, wine glasses or martini glasses work best) Followed by a layer of the pumpkin pudding. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkles or candy corn.
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garden planning Using a Calendar BY KATINA LEWIS You can start planning the garden before spring arrives. There are many methods you can use to start planning the garden. Use of a calendar is one popular method. This calendar should revolve around your hardiness zone.
SO, WHAT IS A HARDINESS ZONE? You probably hear this a lot if you are a gardener. If you are first starting out, you might not know much about the hardiness zones. So, what is a hardiness zone? The hardiness zones are areas that determine when (and sometimes what) you plant. These zones are
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based on climate. That includes weather conditions and average temperatures. The zones are number based. The higher numbers mean the area is warmer. For example, most of Ohio is in hardiness zone 6. The further south you go, the higher the number. Tennessee is zone 7 and northern Florida is in zone 8 while the southern tip of Florida is zone 12. The hardiness zone is often called a growing zone or grow zone. Your hardiness zone can be found through contacting the National Arboretum, your local garden club, the local agriculture department or local greenhouse. CREATE A GARDEN CALENDAR Now that you have looked up your hardiness zone, create a garden calendar to help you plan when you will start the garden planting. When you look up your hardiness zone, you will also be able to ask and look up a few other important dates that are determined by the hardiness zone. These include the last frost date (also called the frost free date), the last hard freeze date and the first frost date (of Autumn).
LAST FROST DATE The last frost date of spring is the very last date that a frost may occur. These dates are based on averages and will vary from region to region (according to the hardiness zones) but are fairly accurate. Keeping an eye on local forecasts can help determine this date. Typically, an average date can be given. This date is usually the very end of spring. LAST HARD FREEZE The last hard freeze usually occurs in early to mid spring. This is the date that a hard killing freeze will occur. Most plants will not tolerate a hard freeze, thus the freeze is often called a killing freeze because it kills most plants. FIRST FROST DATE The first frost date of Autumn is the date that the first frosts come. This will usually signify the end of many warmer weather crops. But certainly some plants that can tolerate light frosts will still survive.
FILLING OUT YOUR GARDEN CALENDAR When you find the last frost date, last hard freeze date and the first frost date of Autumn, put these dates on your garden calendar. These are the dates that you will be working with. Remember, these dates are an average. You will still have to keep a close eye on the weather and temperatures locally. A simple home weather station should be sufficient to provide you with the information you need. ORGANIZATION HELPS PLANNING Planning your garden is just one step. With a little patience and organization, you can welcome spring and summer with bountiful gardens.
BY GENNIE SANFORD
The Perfect Vegetables To Grow This Fall
Summer is considered to be the prime time for a garden. Warm, sunny days make us think of crops growing and fresh vegetables on the table. But, you can keep that freshness going into the cooler months too! When planning your fall garden be sure to find out the average date of the first frost, and the number of days each of your plants needs to mature. This tells you when you need to plant your vegetables. Your frost date can be found in gardening resources for your zone. The amount of time needed for each plant to mature is usually listed on the seed packet. Some plants do better than others in the fall garden. Here are 5 vegetables that are perfect for cool weather.
1. Broccoli Seeds need to be started 10 weeks before the first frost. After the plants are 3 weeks old you can transplant them to the garden and mulch well to keep the soil cool and moist. Be sure to use low-nitrogen fertilizer to feed your plants. Broccoli can survive very cold weather, not below 20ºF. Simply cover with a blanket or plastic if the temperature will be below that. The plants take about 70 days to mature.
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2. Cabbage Cabbage seedlings should be planted in the garden 6-8 weeks before the first frost. The plants need rich, moist soil to thrive. They take 70 days to mature and can survive cold temperatures if protected with a cover. You will need to provide sun protection if you have to plant your cabbage while the weather is still hot.
3. Lettuce Lettuce needs 45 to 60 days to reach maturity depending on the variety you are growing. These plants need protection from the afternoon sun in warm months. Be sure to give your lettuce consistent water and harvest according to the instructions on your seed packet.
4. Spinach Spinach plants love cooler weather. They will even grow when the temperature is down in the 20's. Sow your seeds in fertile soil 45 days before you plan to harvest. If the frost does come make sure you cover your plants to protect the leaves from freezing.
5. Carrots Carrots take about 70 days to mature and grow very well over the winter. Sow the seeds and then thin the plants to let the carrots grow larger. They are ready to pick when their color is fully developed. You can pick them and store them for the winter or leave them in the ground, but be sure to use plenty of mulch. With proper planning and care, you can grow a productive fall vegetable garden that will keep your table fresh beyond the summer months.
Don't Let It Control You!
BY CASEY JONES
love my wife, I truly do. Marriage has its ups and downs, and fortunately our ups have been far more plentiful than our downs. However, I fear our happy relationship is under attack by nefarious forces. Namely, Netflix home improvement shows. My wife is ambitious, for sure. And undeniably talented. But she can also be a little, how do I put this, flighty? Easily distracted? Prone to daydreaming? One minute she's watching a Netflix home improvement show, the next she's undertaking a brand-new project.
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To date, she's attempted: • Backyard beekeeping • DIY stucco facade • Snap and lock flooring • Concrete stamping • Bathtub upgrade • Kitchen cabinet staining • Ad infinitum These projects always start out on the right foot. She gathers her tools and supplies, marks out some time over the weekend, and gets to work. At some point, she'll realize that the project she's undertaken will take far longer than one weekend to complete. Then she gets discouraged and overwhelmed.
Here's where I come in. Now, I take my weekends seriously. For the most part, I enjoy lounging on the couch, lounging on the back patio and lounging in the garage, AKA my man cave. Inevitably, no matter where I'm holed up in the home, my wife finds me. And she is frantic, paint on her clothes, plaster in her hair, wielding a roller brush or wrench or sander. She smiles, maniacally, on the razor's edge of sanity. "HONEY, I NEED YOUR HELP!" I love my wife. More than anything. Marrying her was the best decision I've ever made. But I need my weekends. I have to have my weekends. I tell her this. Her face falls. I feel guilty. I help out. I'm not what you'd call handy. In fact, my un-handiness is legendary among friends and family. I once ended up in the hospital after trying to change a light bulb in the hallway. I was perched on a laundry basket, which gave out under my weight. I ended up fracturing my ankle in two places and bruising a couple of ribs. But this is marriage, right? Sacrificing your weekends and your well-being. Doing things you don't necessarily want to do, but doing them anyway to see a smile on your partner's face. This weekend we're tackling a koi pond installation. Right now it's just a large hole in our backyard, and I don't honestly know if it will ever be hospitable to fish. But I keep digging, because it makes her happy.
Broccoli Cream Soup BY NELLIE PALMER
INGREDIENTS • 1/2 stick salted butter • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions • 1 quart heavy whipping cream • 8 oz sour cream • 4 oz cream cheese • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets • white pepper • salt INSTRUCTIONS P lace broccoli in a microwave safe bowl. Add a half cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 1 minute. S aute onions in butter until clear. P our in heavy cream. Heat until hot, not boiling. A dd sour cream and cream cheese. S immer and stir until creamy with no lumps. D rain broccoli and add to cream. S eason with white pepper and salt. A dd 8 oz cheese and simmer until melted.
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THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE HIRING A CONTRACTOR
BY LEIGH BURGESS
CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION. A GOOD CONTRACTOR IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE AND A TOTAL DISASTER. BUT HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPANY? READ ON FOR FIVE THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSIDER BEFORE YOU HIRE A CONTRACTOR.
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LICENSED • Always hire a licensed contractor. Why does licensing matter? In order to obtain a builder license, a company has to prove that they are highly knowledgeable in all aspects of construction. Additionally, holding a builder license usually requires the company owner to pass a background check, which is comforting. By being licensed, a company demonstrates that they do things the legal way and follow building codes.
INSURED • Before hiring a company, check to ensure that they have business liability and worker's compensation insurance. What does this mean for you? Security. In the unlikely event that something should go wrong on your job site, the contractor's insurance would cover the cost of any damages. When reviewing bids for your project, keep in mind that hiring an uninsured contractor leaves you, the homeowner, responsible for any injuries or damages that occur on your property.
REPUTATION • Check review websites like Google or Angi for reviews of the company. Just don't discount a company entirely due to one bad review; although not every bad review is false, sometimes good companies do come across bad customers. You should also check out the company's website to make sure that they have pictures of projects similar to the project you intend to have completed. This will ensure that they have the required experience for your job.
COMFORT • It is important that you feel comfortable with the person who will be in charge of your project. A good relationship with your contractor will ensure open communication throughout your project, which usually means satisfaction with the end result of the work. COST • Only after considering the above should the thought of cost come into play. While everyone wants to feel like they got a good deal, keep in mind that there's usually a reason that the cheapest is the cheapest. Paying a little bit more for a better job completed in less time and with less hassle is probably worth it. That's not to say that the best company's bid will always be the most expensive. Just don't let money be the driving force in your decision.
A company should be licensed, insured, have experience with the type of project you are looking to have done, have a good reputation and make you feel comfortable before you consider their bid. While price certainly has to be taken into consideration when undertaking a project, don't choose a company that you're not confident in just because they offer the lowest price. That is a surefire recipe for disaster. Instead, go with the company that demonstrates its commitment to quality by meeting the benchmarks set above.
Four Reasons to Stage Your Home Before Putting It on the Market BY QUENTIN ARTHUR
hen you list your house on the market, your real estate agent may ask if you want to have your home staged. Staging a home means that your personal furniture and belongings are removed from the house and the staging company brings in their own collection of furniture. Staging your home can create a positive impact on selling it. Here are four reasons to stage your home. S TART PACKING E ARLIER In order to stage your home, you first need to pack up your belongings and remove them from the house. You want buyers to imagine themselves living in the house, which is hard to do when your personal items are still around. When you pack up early, it saves you time when it comes time to move out later.
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S TAGING MAKES T HE HOUSE SEEM BIGGER Staging companies are experts at using the space in a room correctly. First off, clutter is removed to open up space. Then, appropriately sized furniture is placed to maximize the amount of space throughout the house. When buyers walk through the house, they will be amazed at how the rooms flow and how they can move around easily. S TAGING GIVES E ACH ROOM A PURPOSE When you live in a house, you may have rooms that serve different purposes. For example, your home office may also serve as the guest room when family comes over to visit. Staging a house creates a defined purpose for every part of the house. When buyers visit a staged home, they will be able to see everything that the home has to offer.
BE AT T HE COMPE T I T ION In the current market, there is a lot of competition for selling houses. There may be other homes for sale that have similar features to yours. How do you make your house stand out against the competition? You can make your house memorable to buyers through staging. When buyers see a well-staged home, they will think that it has better value compared to other houses. IN CONCLUSION Staging a home can make your house stand out and get it sold more quickly compared to the competition. You will leave a great first impression on buyers and it will be nice to see your home in a new light. If you are selling your home, talk to your real estate agent about how to get it staged before listing it.
beef and cabbage casserole BY NELLIE PALMER
INGREDIENTS • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 tsp sugar, optional • 1/2 cup sour cream • 4 oz cream cheese • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 1 head cabbage, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds • 2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese INSTRUCTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 I n a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, add ground beef, chopped onion, and chopped green bell pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink, drain off fat. S lice cabbage into thin ribbons. Add the cabbage to the saucepan and simmer until wilted. A dd sour cream, cream cheese and 1 cup Monterey jack cheese and stir until blended. Simmer until melted. S tir in minced garlic, diced tomatoes with juice. S immer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring frequently. R educe heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. S prinkle one cup of cheese over the casserole and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top.
CAMPING WITH DOGS– CAMPGROUND ETIQUETTE
BY GERRY ROGERS
amping with dogs is popular these days, especially if you stay in a camper or RV. This type of camping is like home away from home so, of course, the dogs are coming along. Whether you are visiting a campground or have parked your camper for the season, certain campground etiquette is expected of both you and your dogs. Being unaware of these expectations, whether written rules or accepted courteous behavior, will quickly earn you scowls and dirty looks from the experienced campers. If the infractions are serious, your dogs may be banned from the campground. Barking Dogs You will probably find an entire section on this in your camping contract. Barking dogs will not be accepted and ignoring this rule repeatedly will surely result in your being asked to remove your dogs from the campground. Once your dogs start barking, the dogs next door will bark which will cause a chain reaction right down the line. Now you have caused your neighbors to violate the no-barking rule.
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Keep Your Dogs On Leashes Even if your dogs are well behaved, campground etiquette requests that you leash your dogs to show that you are controlling your animals. Other campers may have dogs of their own or children and are watchful of situations that may cause your dogs to react. Seeing leashes on your dogs relieves them of the responsibility of watching until you and your dogs have passed their campsite. In addition, many people are afraid of dogs. The use of leashes will offer reassurance that the dogs will not approach them. Clean Up After Your Dogs This task usually receives another section in your campground contract. You are expected to clean up all dog waste at your campsite, especially if your location is heavily trafficked, such as lakefront locations or close proximity to bathrooms or playgrounds. If you are walking your dogs and they decide to do their business on a campsite other than your own, be prepared to clean up
the mess. Repeated complaints about your lack of responsibility can result in a decision to ban your dogs. Do Not Assume Your Dogs Are Welcome If you are invited to visit the campsite of another camper, your dogs are not necessarily invited as well. If the other camper also has dogs, the two of you will spend your time controlling your dogs instead of visiting. Ask yourself if you would take your dogs along if you were invited to this persons home. If you think this would inconvenience them, leave the dogs in the camper. Hopefully, your friends will display the same good manners when they come to visit your campsite. Campground etiquette is mostly common sense. Controlling your dogs is key and presenting the appearance of control is polite behavior among campers. Not all people are dog lovers but they will respect the fact that you and your dogs understand the good manners that are expected of you.
Separating Perennials BY LIDDY MANCIE
SUMMER IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE AND FALL WAITS AROUND THE CORNER. YOUR SUMMER BLOOMS PUT ON A BEAUTIFUL SHOW IN THE WARM WEATHER AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR YOUR AUTUMN PERENNIALS TO DISPLAY THEIR COLORS. POPULAR CHOICES FOR LATE-SEASON PERENNIALS ARE CHRYSANTHEMUMS, BLACK-EYED SUSANS, ASTERS AND SHASTA DAISIES. WITH EACH YEAR, THESE PLANTS GROW FULLER AND THEIR CLUMPS SPREAD OUT FURTHER, OFTEN OVERTAKING AREAS OF YOUR GARDEN. WHEN THE CLUMPS BECOME TOO LARGE FOR THEIR LOCATION, IT’S TIME TO CONSIDER SEPARATING PERENNIALS INTO MULTIPLE, SMALLER PLANTS. As every good gardener knows, there is right time and season for everything. It’s important that separating perennials is done at a time that won’t cause damage or inhibit their natural growth. Spring perennials are best separated after they’ve bloomed, so late summer or early autumn is an ideal time to tackle that task. The springtime is a perfect time to split up perennial clumps. Start planning ahead now for that task next year. Separating perennials in a manner that doesn’t damage their root system and ensures future blooms requires following a few
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key steps. The more times you do these steps the easier they become until you’re splitting up your flowers and expanding your garden regularly and effortlessly. DIG UP CLUMPS Carefully dig up the clump of flowers you want to separate. As you pull it out you’ll see that there are several new plants growing around the original plant you placed in the ground. These are what you want to separate off and replant.
REMOVE EXCESS DIRT Gently shake the dirt off of the root systems so you can see what you’re dealing with. Some of the smaller plants might fall off when you do this but that’s okay. CAREFULLY SEPARATE Place the clump on a tarp and put any smaller plants that fell off with it. Gently tug off the smaller plants and lay them out on the tarp or bag. For plants with roots tightly wound around the main plant, employ the use of a trowel or garden fork to forcefully separate them. As long as a majority of the plant’s roots are still attached, you haven’t caused any
major damage. Once you’re done separating perennials into individual, smaller plants lay them all out and take stock.
SHARE PLANTS After separating perennials it’s quite possible you’ll have more flowers than you have room to replant. Place the extra plants in a cardboard box and cover them with damp newspapers to prevent their roots and leaves from drying out. Share your extra plants with family, friends and neighbors. Any plants you can’t give away should be planted in pots within a few days of separation.
WATER AND FERTILIZE Recently separated perennials require ample water and fertilizer to help them expand and strengthen their root systems. Make sure the soil drains properly because swampy soil doesn’t equal healthy plants. Compost is an ideal fertilizer for replanted perennials but use whatever you’re most familiar and comfortable with. By keeping your new, smaller plants well-nourished you can increase the number of amazing blooms in your garden each season.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FEW NEW DECORATIONS TO PUT OUT THIS HALLOWEEN, THEY DON'T NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE. JUST TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOUR HOME FOR ITEMS YOU NO LONGER NEED AND TRY TO COME UP WITH A FEW IDEAS. ALL YOU NEED IS THE DESIRE AND A LITTLE CREATIVITY TO MAKE A FEW FUN HALLOWEEN CRAFTS.
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BY WANDA GRASSO
aking Halloween more affordable is as simple as looking around the house for a few rarely used items that you can easily turn into decorative displays. Even if you aren't handy with crafts, you should be able to handle a few of the Halloween-themed ideas presented here.
Gather some old white pillowcases, string, newspaper, rags, large balls and markers. Stuff at least 20% of the pillowcase with rags or newspapers, unless you prefer to use a ball. Tie the pillowcase directly beneath whatever you used to stuff it. Draw a spooky face on the stuffed part of the pillowcase. Hang it from a tree or porch.
Search your home for an old pair of pants, shirt, hat, safety pins, suspenders, newspapers, rags, masking tape, markers and a large ball or gallon-sized milk jug. Stuff the clothing with newspapers or rags. Pin together the pants and shirt or use a pair of suspenders to join them together. Use the markers to draw a face on the ball or milk jug and tuck it into the opening at the top of the shirt. Attach the hat using safety pins or masking tape. Sit it on the porch rocker or step.
Save a few metal cans from your coffee, soup, or vegetables. If you don't use canned items, ask a family member or neighbor to save them for you. Use a hammer and a pointy screwdriver or chisel to pop out a pattern on the outer edge of each can. If you need to, trace your pattern using a marker first. Place sand or dirt in the bottom of the can and add a votive candle to the center of it. You are ready to light a path along the driveway for your trick-or-treaters.
Clean an empty one-gallon sized milk jug. Spray paint the jug a green color. When it is dry, paint a face on, making sure that you use the bottom of the jug as the top of the head. Once the paint is dry, take two bolts and screw them into the sides of the jug. Attach a piece of cloth to the spout or handle of the jug. Attach a large rope or plastic chain to the top of Frankenstein's head and hang him from a tree or porch.
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