Fall is the best time to plant garlic, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says. Prepare the soil for garlic by tilling thoroughly and adding compost or manure. Plant individual cloves from a head of garlic with the point end up 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, and mulch the bed with straw or leaves. Like onions and leeks, garlic will mature around the summer solstice, sending up a curled, edible flower stalk known as a scape. Harvest garlic about six weeks later, when its above-ground leaves turn brown. Hang the plants in a shady spot to dry for about a month before cleaning and storing the bulbs.
While most garden tasks are done in the spring, fall is a great time to do some planting, too. For best results, start planting at least six weeks before the first frost, Better Homes & Gardens says. Spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils and winter aconite must go in before winter, and leafy greens such as Swiss chard and most root vegetables thrive in cooler temperatures. Plant new grass, trees and shrubs now to help them get established ahead of the dormant season. And perennials such as peonies should be planted in the fall, alongside groundcover plants such as hostas.
Now that it’s fall, you should #declutter your garden so that it can encourage healthy growth next year. Remove any spent plants; if they are free of insects and diseases, till them under or compost them to replenish the soil, says Earth Easy. Remove any invasive plants and weeds and dispose of them, since they can re-establish themselves in garden plots even after composting. Trim perennials such as fennel, rosemary and rhubarb, and divide and redistribute bulbs so that your flower garden will sport fresh blooms all year long when spring arrives.
Even though the temperatures may still be muggy outside, the Labor Day holiday marks the symbolic end of summer break. Now complete, the kids are back in school throughout the country and the leaves will soon be starting to turn in the northern climes. Fall is on the way.
Also synonymous with fall is the start of the football season. When the players hit the gridiron in earnest, it’s time to hole up indoors in front of the TV — or bundle up at the stadium — and root for your favorite team. But you may still be ill-equipped to have people over for game day.
For one thing, your home may be too cluttered to entertain in, even in the most casual beer-and-chips kind of way. The answer is to gather up all of that extra stuff that’s lying around and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. Once clear of clutter, you can have people over without having them trip over your old junk.
With summer nearing its end, you can get rid of the T-shirts and shorts that didn’t get worn, and store or toss those bathing suits and pool toys. And once you start to get those fall sweaters and coats out of storage, you may find a few things that you know you won’t be wearing in the seasons ahead. Get rid of them now, before they can take up valuable closet space.
You may need some fan gear to cheer on your favorite team or teams. Thrift stores supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org can be a good source of lightly used jerseys advertising your team preference, as well as housewares to help you welcome gametime guests. Thrifts can also be a good source of cold-weather gear that you’ll start to need in the next few weeks.
Think of clutter as the opposing team — the immovable object that you must continuously advance against to score a “win” on the playing field of your home. Unless you are a football player yourself, outdoor activities will be less of an option as the weather gets cooler, so the time to start reclaiming your space — yard by yard — is now.
Many adults look at the end of summer as an occasion for sorrow, as if the onset of cooler weather negates the possibility of fun altogether. But while summer Friday office hours and pool time may not be in the cards for many Americans as fall arrives, there are ways to “reframe” the change of seasons in a positive light, the Huffington Post says. You can look forward to sweater weather, football and apple picking, as well as new seasons of your favorite TV shows. If all else fails, plan a trip — the anticipation alone will keep your spirits high as the daylight hours dwindle.