Clean Out Garden Beds While You Can

Now’s the time to clean out #garden beds if you want them to flourish and flower next spring. Pull out annuals and any other plants and shrubs that have died back. Cut the grass one last time, and make it short — shaggy lawns left under snowpack can develop brown patches, Cleveland.com says. Rake up the grass trimmings, dead leaves and other detritus and compost them if they are disease-free; burn or trash suspect material. Mulch flower beds to discourage the growth of weeds in the spring. Finally, clean and sharpen your garden tools — and then relax around the fire pit.

Enjoying the Fall Foliage (And Cleaning Up After It)

Every year at about this time, deciduous trees start to change color and lose their leaves. The rainbow of colors is a spectacle many enjoy will viewing on a crisp fall weekend, as the changes progress southward through October alongside cooler temperatures.

Optimum viewing depends upon your location. Fall colors are already starting to peak in the New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, TripSavvy says, as well as the northernmost reaches of Minnesota and Michigan. Other locations are just beginning to see the leaves turn.

While fall colors come with colder weather, the good news is that thanks to an exceptionally wet spring and summer, 2019 may have some of the most vibrant fall foliage ever seen in many locations. Most areas of the country will see a range of yellows, oranges and reds in the next six weeks, according to a fall foliage forecast.

To make the most of fall leaf-peeping, says Yankee magazine’s Jim Salge, check the timing in your area online. Plan on a doing a couple of hours’ drive to chase the peak colors, he notes, and try to sample a few other fall activities such as harvest festivals along the way.

Those stuck at home, of course, may find the leaves changing color and falling to be more of a nuisance. To clean them up effectively, get the right tools, says The Spruce. Attach a bagging system to your mower, use a leaf blower or get an ergonomically designed rake to collect all of nature’s seasonal detritus in one pile or place.

Then — instead of bagging those leaves and setting them out for garbage pickup — a thriftier and more ecofriendly option is to use the organic material to amend the soil in your garden and lawn. Use shredded leaves as mulch or add them to a compost heap to reintegrate their nutrients into new growth, the site says.

Shred leaves for the best results in composting, Compost Guide says, and turn the heap at least every three weeks to ensure that the organic matter gets the chance to break down by the time you plant again. Or simply gather your leaves in a heap and let them decay into a nutritious mulch.

Whether you like to look at the leaves change colors or want the satisfaction of getting them off your lawn and out of sight, October offers plenty of options. Enjoy the season!

Try These Ingenious Car-Cleaning ‘Hacks’

Need a few good car-cleaning “hacks?” Business Insider suggests using cola to remove dead bugs from your windshield, getting into hard-to-reach areas with a paint stick or screwdriver, and using the static of a blown-up balloon to pull pet hair off of upholstery. A can of compressed air is great for dusting out vents, and an old blanket can provide a handy (and washable) way to curtail messes from kids and pets. Finally, try lining your car’s cupholders with silicone baking cups, the article says, to prevent moisture, dirt and grime from building up inside them.

Keep Your Car Clean the Lazy Way

If you’re too lazy to clean your car on a regular basis but still hate the mess, Jalopnik says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. First, don’t eat in your car so that trash and stains never get the chance to build up inside. Don’t let kids inside your car, and if you must, be vigilant against the spills and trash they can bring. Waxing and garaging a vehicle reduces the need for exterior washes, and having a trash bag handy inside can keep detritus to a minimum. Finally, each time you exit the car, take something with you; whether it’s a piece of trash or something useful that shouldn’t be in the car anyway, it will help keep the car’s interior clean and clutter-free.

Deep-Clean Your Car’s Interior

Has summer done a number on the cleanliness of your car? Kids’ activities, road trips and visits to the beach and dog park can add to interior dirt. With the weather turning cool and winter on the way, now’s the time to give your car’s cabin a thorough scrubdown. Start by grabbing two garbage bags, A Mess Free Life suggests; use one for trash and the other for things in your car that really belong elsewhere. Then “go to town” with the vacuum cleaner to get into cracks and crevices, the article says, and wipe all surfaces. Finally, clean the glass with a cloth or newspaper, using a reach-and-clean tool for slanted windshields.