Fall Home & Gardens

Page 1

Supplement of Paynesville Press & Eden Valley-Watkins Voice


Geers reflects on his summer garden

House Powerwashing Tips Page 2

“...a peaceful way to enjoy the summertime”

How to Create a Winter Friendly Outdoor Living Space Page 4

“This year has been below average,” commented Dick Geers of Paynesville about the 2019 gardening season. “A few crops have done well – kohlrabi, cucumbers, and tomatoes – but the late spring slowed down the others.”

Secrets to Making Your Home Look Like You Hired a Design Pro Page 5 Protect Your Plants From Winter Weather Page 8

Geers grew up in the area attending school in Richmond and Eden Valley, and he bought his current homestead in 1978 after serving in the Vietnam War in 1966 and living in the Twin Cities. Geers worked at an auto dealership through most of his career and has gardened as a hobbyist for more than 30 years. In his mix of sand, clay, and heavy soil, Geers’ best crops are “potatoes, onions, beans, tomatoes, and peppers.” His favorite crop to grow, however, is asparagus.

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September 2019

Geers also organizes and directs Paynesville’s farmers market, which he helped found in 2006. “I’d say about 75 percent of what I grow goes to the farmers market,” Geers commented, noting that his wife also processes and cans produce. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Page 2 | FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019

House powerwashing tips Powerwashing, also known as pressure-washing, utilizes a high-velocity water spray to remove dirt and residue from the exterior surfaces of a home. It is frequently used on vinyl siding, concrete and sometimes wood decks to treat mildew and other growth that accumulates over time.

powerwashing machine. The high-velocity spray can tear through skin. It is key to get a feel for the washer, and try less pressure first to get a handle on the magnitude of the tool.

Don safety gear prior to using a pressure washer. Gloves, eye protection and Powerwashing can be a great ear protection can be handy. way to remove grime without Most units will connect to having to scrub by hand. But a standard garden hose. it requires a delicate touch to Choose old clothing and expect to get wet. Never point a get it right. Sometimes it is powerwasher hose at anyone best to leave the job to proand do not attempt to rinse fessionals. But homeowners feet or hands in the spray. willing to give it a go can try powerwashing themselves, The renovation resource The as various stores rent power Family Handyman suggests washers. starting with a wide-degree nozzle to test out the spray on The home improvement website ImproveNet says that, the surface that needs to be cleaned. A 15- or 25-degree until very recently, pressure nozzle is usually the wand for washers were almost exclugeneral cleaning and paint sively commercial machines sold to professionals or rented stripping without damaging the surface of the home. to do-it-yourselfers. Lately manufacturers have targeted Experiment with an optimal distance of the washer wand homeowners looking to buy to get the desired cleaning with lightweight options. For those who see powerwashing effects without causing any as a routine venture, purchas- damage. Work using a horizontal and slightly downward ing a unit may be worth the angle to avoid driving wainvestment. ter up under the siding of a It is important to exercise home. caution when operating a

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Avoid spraying any electric wires or components on the home. Also, try not to spray upward, and angle the spray away from doors, windows and vents.

need to be covered while the washing takes place.

Avoid the use of ladders when operating a powerwasher. The push-back from the wand can cause falls. Instead, opt for an extension wand to Some washers have reservoirs that will hold a detergent address the upper reaches of a home. solution. Choose the right detergent for the job. Keep in Powerwashing a home is an mind that cleansers containeffective way to remove stubing bleach can damage surborn grime and refresh the rounding plants, so they may look of a home’s exterior.

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FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019 | Page 3

GEERS - FROM PAGE 1 As director of the farmers market, Geers is in a position to advise other gardeners and share advice from his decades of experience. “If you want to start a garden, start small and with things you like to eat,” Geers said with a chuckle. On a more technical note, Geers recommended gardeners pay attention to soil health. “If you have problems, have your soil tested. You need to study your soil and fertilize it right. Send some samples to a lab, and they’ll test for acidity, NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium), and micronutrient deficiencies,” Geers said. “Soil is a living, breathing organism. You need to nurture that.” Geers describes his years of gardening as a peaceful way

to enjoy the summertime. “It’s more a hobby than anything else,” said Geers about his involvement with the farmers market. About gardening in general, Geers added, “I do it because I enjoy it.”

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Page 4 | FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019

How to create a winterfriendly outdoor living space For many homeowners, the arrival of fall and winter marks an end to time spent lounging and dining al fresco on the patio. But cold air does not necessarily mean patio furniture must be packed up until flowers bloom anew in spring. In its 2017 Home Design Trends Survey, the American Institute of Architects found that consumers continue to emphasize practical features that expand the functionality of their homes via heavy investment in outdoor living spaces. The survey found that the popularity of outdoor living spaces increased by 72 percent between 2012 and 2017, highlighting just how much homeowners enjoy spending time outdoors. By taking measures to make their outdoor living spaces winterproof, homeowners can enjoy these areas of their homes even more.

to provide a cooling effect in summer) and allow residents to sit outside and watch snow fall without getting wet. · Plant the right trees. Coniferous trees prevent wind, which can be especially harsh in winter. Homeowners who are unsure about which direction wind typically comes from can consult a landscape architect to determine where to plant the trees to ensure they’re most effective. · Fire up the patio. A firepit or fireplace can warm up an outdoor living area, making such a space warm and cozy even on a cold winter night. A patio with a built-in firepit can cost a pretty penny, but such an addition can withstand winter weather better than a standalone firepit, which might be vulnerable to being tipped over by winter winds.

· Install lighting. The sun sets early in winter, so homeown· Cover your deck. A covered ers won’t be able to rely on deck may appear to make the natural light to illuminate their space less enjoyable during outdoor living spaces well into spring and summer. However, the evening like they do in covered decks can protect summer. Heat lamps can be residents from the sun on used to both warm and illuespecially hot days while also minate a space, serving dual, making the space more funcbudget-friendly functions. tional in winter. An overhead With the right adjustments, shelter on a deck can be outoutdoor living spaces can be fitted with heaters (and fans enjoyed throughout winter.

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• Sweetened dried cranberries,

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• for garnish

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• 1/2 shot of triple sec • 10 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and frosty. Serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with dried cranberries and a lime wheel.

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FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019 | Page 5

Secrets to making your home look like you hired a design pro Photo spreads in home design magazines can be aweinspiring. Quite often homeowners wish they could lift the looks right off the pages of magazines and transform their own homes into pictureperfect retreats. It takes an eye for design to pull a room together - even with inspiration - and make it both functional and attractive. While hiring an interior designer is one way to go, homeowners can use some of the tricks and techniques the designers employ to do a remarkably good job of improving the interiors of their homes without such help.

often utilize various textures to create aesthetic appeal. A single color scheme can be enhanced by various fabrics. Consider a leather sofa made more cozy with chenille pillows next to a rustic side table. Figure out ways to incorporate a few different textures to add depth to the room.

color for larger accents, such can be any colors, but the most muted tends to be the as couches and chairs, and then a third color that pops in more abundant shade. accessories such as flowers, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 pillows and collectibles. These

Be careful with color Many high-end homes showcase neutral shades that are enhanced by pops of color. If you like a rich, royal purple, leave room for other colors as well. Add touches of purple in vases, throw pillows and other accessories.

Also, many designers work in shades of three for room colors. There may be one The colors used in a home can add impact, but designers main color for walls, another

Embrace texture

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Come out to the flower farm this fall and take in a succulent pumpkin class! We will be making these tabletop centerpieces on Sunday afternoons, Friday evenings, some Saturday mornings. Everyone will be able to pick out a collection of succulents to fill their unique squatty pumpkin with. There will be a variety of different pumpkins and succulents to choose from. Classes will last about an hour and a half. Registration is required. Cost is $40 and includes all supplies.


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Page 6 | FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019


Add a bit of bling Glittery items and metallics can add a touch of luxury feel to any space. A shiny table lamp, mirrors, a sparkling chandelier, and the like are easy ways to produce a highend feel. Reflective surfaces also will cast light around the room, giving the illusion of a larger space.

Choose a big statement piece Many homeowners make the mistake of filling a room with several small pieces of furniture that only contribute to clutter. Instead, look for a statement piece, which can be a cabinet, armoire or chaise.

Mix and match large and small elements for a sense of balance.

Accessorize Finish the room with accessories and flowers. When placing and hanging knickknacks and wall art, oddnumbered groupings often look the most cohesive and interesting. Experiment with different scales and heights for even more dimension. When inspiration hits, take some cues from interior design pros to make spaces look like they belong on the pages of your favorite magazines.

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FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019 | Page 7


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PROTECT YOUR PLANTS FROM WINTER WEATHER FROM PAGE 8 Warm-climate annuals also should be covered with polyspun garden fabric when light frost is expected. Seeds of cold-hardy annuals can be planted for extended winter bloom, while gardeners also can collect seeds of warmweather plants that will breed true to type. Even though you’re winterizing, Better Homes and Gardens recommends that gardeners continue to weed and water their plant beds and plants while also keeping an eye out for pests. If organic mulch has decomposed or thinned out, replace it with a new layer. Get Busy Gardening!TM notes that the bulbs of tender plants like dahlias and tuber-

ous begonias can be dug up and overwintered in their dormant state. All dead foliage should be removed after the bulbs have been dug up, and the bulbs should be allowed to dry out a little before being stored. Container gardeners can overwinter their tender bulbs in their pots inside, but be sure to remove their foliage and store them in a dark, cool place that maintains temperatures above freezing. Winterizing may mark the end of gardening season, but it’s an important task that can ensure a healthy, beautiful garden next spring, summer and fall.

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Page 8 | FALL HOME & GARDEN | 2019

Protect your plants from winter weather For the majority of gardening enthusiasts, gardening is a warm weather activity. While some people live in climates that make it possible to enjoy gardening year-round, those who don’t often lament the end of the gardening season.

temperatures dip below freezing overnight. When that occurs, annual plants and vegetables are killed off and perennial plants, which grow back year after year, begin going dormant.

Better Homes and Gardens notes that perennials are the Winter might not be condueasiest plants to prepare for cive to gardening, but the winter, as they require just a arrival of cold weather does little cutting back and mulchnot necessarily mean a gardener’s work is done until the ing to be safe from cold following spring. Taking steps weather. But no two perennials are alike, so homeownto protect plants from winter weather is an important part of ers should consult their local maintaining a healthy garden gardening center for advice that thrives from year to year. on how to prepare their particgarden fabric when light frost ular perennials for the coming is in the forecast. In addition, Timing is of the essence months. Better Homes and Gardens when winterizing a garden. recommends pulling dead The steps necessary to winThe online gardening reannuals and adding them to source Get Busy Gardening!TM terize annuals depends on a compost pile after a killing which type of annuals, cooladvises gardeners that the frost. Any annuals that develor warm-climate, you have. best time to winterize is after oped fungal disease should the first hard freeze in the fall. Cool-climate annuals should be discarded. Mulch annual be covered with polyspun A hard freeze occurs when


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