Even those of us who truly enjoy gardening have to admit that having a perfect garden requires time. Late summer and fall is the right time to wind things up and do the final preparations for the cold season.
This is the time when we all get a break from constant mowing, watering, and weeding. However, nobody would like to find their garden a mess when the spring comes so there are a couple of things you can do and ensure this does not happen.
Aerate and fertilize the ground
Aeration is something that your lawn will enjoy as it has been walked on for months. It can be as simpleas poking random holes in the ground and that is sufficient if you are not experiencing any major issues with your lawn. The most convenient tool for doing this is the garden fork. Prior to aeration, rake your lawn to make sure you remove leaves and thatch. Once the poking is done use the fertilizer of your choice and spread some sand.
Remove withered plants
Go through your garden and remove any dead plants, most of these are annuals but if you see that one of your perennials is dead with no chance of springing back up, you can dig it out as well. Add this organic material to your compost bin.
Pruning and weeding
What you need to do now is take care of the remaining plants. First of all, take out anything you do not want in your garden. Not digging weed up will either result in it spreading or it will end up not surviving the cold and you will have to deal with it in spring.
Once you get rid of the weed, move onto perennials as they can also threaten to take over your garden by spreading. You sure like them but you like them at the spot you have selected for them. Collect the weeds and the pruning clippings and off to the compost pile with them.
Replant and protect bulbs, rhizones, corms and tubers
If you have noticed over their blooming season that some of your perennials are struggling for water and sunlight, replant them to an appropriate location. Also, if you have noticed that certain patches are overcrowded, you can make a selection by removing or replanting some of them.
Target those perennials sensitive to cold and leave them in your cellar to keep them safe during winter. Please be gentle when handling the plants which are still alive.
Pamper your tools
Your gardening tools will be out of work for some time. Once you are done using them, make sure you wash and dry them carefully. Once that is done you can remove any traces of rust and sharpen those that need to be sharp.
Just before you put them away for winter, make sure you oil them up with machine oil to protect the metal. Every Australian garden tools supplier advises that basic gardening tools can be long lasting if you take good care of them. Do not get rid of any piece of your equipment just because it is not sharp or it is a bit crooked until you try fixing it first.
Fertilize your garden
Once you have decided who is staying and who is leaving, fertilize the soil. After fertilizing the raised beds, cover them up to make sure the rain does not wash out the fertilizer.
Also, seek professional advice on which cover crop is best used in your region and plant it. These are usually legumes and they can help add nitrogen to the soil so they are your natural fertilizer.
Protect and cover
Protect the young perennials by adding a coat of mulch to help keep the ground around them warmer. If you use solid-fuel heaters you can even use ash to keep the certain plants warm.
Cover up your pond or any other body of water you have in your garden unless you have an actual river in your backyard. The cover will protect the water from debris piling up. Birdbaths are best emptied and covered up as if you are from an area with fierce winters, you can expect for any water left in it to freeze and break the bath.
One last piece of advice is to try and find evergreens which can fit your garden, particularly the ones that bloom. You do not want your garden to be a gloomy prospect so make sure there is some color in it all year round.
Taking on the immense challenge of homeschooling is not to be taken lightly, it will take a level of dedication and commitment rivaled only by the vows we took with our spouse.
However, if we’re certain we need to do this, then there are a couple of options out there that will help us achieve the level of excellence we’ll ask of our young one(s).
The trick here is to make the most out of everything we can afford to alter in order to stimulate learning in all fields, free of distractions like the TV, pets, the PC etc.
Make a plan
When we’re set on the notion of homeschooling, we need to take a step back and figure things out. If we intend to essentially take the place of every single teacher, we need to be prepared…or at least seem prepared in front of our child.
Take time to research all the courses you want to teach and buy the necessary materials. After you’ve done that, it’s time to hunker down and create a course plan.
Every day of every week – you need to know what you’ll be doing and what they need to get out of it. Difficult? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.
Set up a supply area
Simply put, the coming months will be nothing short of excruciating until both you and your child get the hang of this homeschooling thing and all the different ways your child can benefit from it.
The least you can do is alleviate the pressure a bit by buying school supplies in bulk and storing them away. This copious amount of, essentially, office supplies will need to be housed somewhere, so consider cleaning out a closet to make room for all the stuff you’ll need.
This will eliminate the need to go to the store during lessons with an already tight schedule as you’re juggling your child’s education and the rest of your obligations during the day.
Keep it functional
With so much stuff to take care of and things to keep in check, it can be pretty easy to fall into the trap of throwing things around in hopes of cleaning it up later. Avoid this way of thinking at all costs. The whole idea of homeschooling is to give your child a quality education from home – how are you supposed to manage that if you can’t find your supplies, your pen, his books?
Make sure everything is labelled and has a designated place, just like in public schools. Above else, make these rules crystal clear to the little one so you won’t have to go on scavenger hunts each time little Timmy needs to read from his English book.
Technology is your friend
Ah, the wonders of the information age. If you own a tablet or anything that is remotely movable, you’re in luck. Using a laptop or a tablet for books and any other need you might have will minimize the space your teaching will take up and will also have the added benefit of your child working in a familiar digital environment.
The only downside of this is that the very same laptop and tablet will still have all the games and “fun” things on it, so maintaining focus for the entirety of the class might prove a tad difficult.
Go outside once in a while
One crucial thing to remember is that kids still need PE. Take them out for a ride on their bike, go for walks in the woods, whatever floats their boat essentially. They need some physical activity in the day to spend their energy and get rid of the feeling of being bolted down in a chair for hours and hours (like in school).
A good middle ground for this would be to organize classes outside, this doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it can be just a simple lesson in the backyard. Spending the day outside and learning will come as a welcome change of pace and will more than likely revitalize their willingness to learn.
Clear out unused space
Ah, now comes the hard part – clearing out a room. Make no mistake, this is absolutely necessary to do and will greatly affect your child’s ability to absorb the knowledge he’s supposed to.
When you find a nice room you can make into a temporary classroom, throw everything out. Jokes aside, if you’re not able to move your furniture elsewhere within the house, there are plenty of super easy storage options out there.
This will keep everything safe and sound and let you focus on your child’s future.
Now that you’ve taken care of everything around the house and made a plan so you know what you’ll be doing and when, there’s only the small issue of getting our hands dirty and getting to teaching.
Teaching truly is one of the noblest professions and the joy experienced when passing on knowledge to young ones cannot be compared to anything else.
That said, dealing with children unwilling to learn is a whole other ballgame we’ll let you find out for yourselves, good luck!
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We all need to get some sleep and rest. Sleep helps us in so many ways, keeping our mind and body working at top performance. It is critical to our health and wellbeing.
Best of all it keeps people from being cranky and unhealthy. If you're the type of person that has a tough time getting to sleep, this information might help.
Here are the do's and don'ts of getting a good night of sleep.
Create a Relaxing Sleeping Environment
If you want to get to sleep, then you must relax. So, having a relaxing sleeping environment is key to sleeping well.
You create a relaxing sleeping space by turning off the lights and eliminating all noise. Turn off your cellphones, tablets, computers, TVs and the radio.
Relaxing Bedding and Sheets
Bedding is very important to get a good night’s sleep. The right type of bedding will make you feel comfortable. Soft sheets bed sheets will help you to unwind and relax.
You can buy cotton sheets for the summer time to keep cool during those warm nights. Flannel sheets are best for the winter if you tend to be cold.
The right form of pillows, covers, and sheets are also essential for sleep.
Establish a Sleep Routine
You should establish a sleep routine to make it easier to fall asleep. A sleep routine will help you to rest better because your body will get used to the schedule.
Every day your body will recognize that it is time to shut down and rest. Consistency is the key to making this work.
Figure Out What’s Keeping You Awake at Night
If you can not fall asleep easily, it may help to figure out why. Write down what is running through your mind and then address it in the morning or next day, during daylight hours.
You may find that you have a different perspective this way, and perhaps some clarity or a new way of thinking about the issue. Once you find out the problem, try and resolve it. If you are worrying about something, then figure out how to stop. The point is to deal with anything that is keeping you up at night.
Stress not only puts a damper on your ability to fall asleep, but it also can affect the quality of sleep that you get when you eventually doze off.
Don't Eat Before Bed
Do not eat before you go to bed for at least 2-3 hours. If you do, eat a light meal or snack.
Eating, especially before bed, has been known to keep people awake because your body is at work digesting.
Avoid Caffeine, Medication, and Alcohol
You probably already know that caffeine and drugs will keep your body and mind active. If you take these substances before sleeping, then you will probably stay up all night long. Unless medication is specifically for the sleeping hours, avoid taking it before bed.
Using Sleep Aids
While some over the counter or prescription sleep aids are beneficial, you should first try natural remedies. There are teas and elixirs to drink before bed that can relax you, essential oils, sound devices, and breathing techniques that may assist with helping your body to shut down.
Hot Water and Sleep
Hot water works wonders for relaxing the body and inducing a sleepy mindset. People that take a hot shower or a relaxing bath may find that they more easily go to sleep.
Are you napping during the day? If you are doing this because of a lack of sleep at night, you may be feeding right into the problem. Napping could worsen the problem if you are doing it at the wrong time, but done properly; it can offer the benefits of relaxation and improved mood and performance during the day.
However, if you can take a quick nap during the day, you may not be affecting your nighttime sleep.
Exercise During the Day
People that exercise in the day and regularly have had better results sleep at night. You should exercise to help you sleep better as well as to reduce anxiety and stress that may be keeping you awake at night.
Even moderate activity on a regular basis will help with sleep disorders, and it has been found to beneficial to addressing a variety of sleep deprivation issues.
Whether it’s partial or complete deafblindness, when they’re home people with hearing and sight difficulties need to feel comfortable, safe and completely in charge of their surroundings.
Acquired deafblindness can be frustrating and scary. It forces people to rethink their habits, their needs, and their environment.
To help deafblind people gain their independence, we’ve hand-selected 7 ways to adapt your house in order to accommodate them.
1. Lighting Changes
Whether they live in a studio, apartment or house, one of the first and most important changes for a deafblind person’s environment should be lighting.
Changing the placement of light fixtures can also help better illuminate dark spaces:
• Choose the brightest light bulbs. These will come in handy in darker spaces where accidents tend to happen such as the bathroom or on the stairway. Invest in fluorescent bulbs – they emit a more powerful light and they last longer.
• Be generous with the light fixtures. Illuminate the house entirely, including the hallways, closets, and outside.
2. Interior Design Adjustments
The home of a deafblind person should be a safe haven. Here are some tips to help you create exactly that.
Electrical items can be tricky to get used to. But it’s not impossible for deafblind people to use them.
Here’s how you can make it go smoother for them.
4. Bathroom Adaptations
This type of adjustment is essential for safety.
Here’s how to adapt a bathroom for deafblind people:
5. Hallway Adaptations
Hallways shouldn’t be overlooked when you are working on adapting a home for a deafblind person.
Here’s what you should know about corridor adaptations:
6. Outdoor Adaptations
To make it easier to deafblind people to go out or access the garden, here’s what you should keep in mind about outdoor adaptations:
7. Security Adaptations
There are special alerting systems designed for people with hearing and sight difficulties that keep them informed about what is happing: phone ringing, smoke alarm going off or someone at the door.
About the Author:
John Stuart works on behalf of raisedfloor.co.ukin outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd
There are millions of people in the world who live with some degree of sight loss either from birth, or caused by an injury or old age. All of those people want both their indoor and outdoor spaces to be completely safe and secure so that they can be independent in them.
When it comes to outdoor spaces, visually impaired individuals need a space that’s free of clutter, well-lit and well-marked. Designing such a space doesn’t have to be difficult and expensive. It only needs some careful planning and a few useful tips that will allow their inhabitants to live and move more comfortably outside. Here’s how you can do it for your outdoor space.
Use Color as a Guide
Many legally blind people can see up to a certain point, and they can see bright colors and changes in lighting. These can help them as guides through their outdoor space.
The use of bright contrasting colors is especially helpful to partially-sighted people to differentiate between different areas and spaces. For instance, garden paths can be made out of red or orange pavers to provide a good contrast with green lawns.
You can also opt for outdoor furniture in different colors and textures to prevent bumping into it. If you have a green thumb, make sure all of your gardening tools are painted in bright colors that will make locating and identifying them much easier
Good organization and tidiness is the key safety element for people with complete blindness or visual impairments. If everything is nicely organized it’s easier to remember where everything is located.
You must always know where all your sharp gardening tools are, and you can even consider creating a database of your garden inventory. If you love to take care of your plants, you can create neat little labels for them in Braille or use vivid colors to make signs.
This way, each individual plant will get exactly the right care. Also, always know exactly where your fire extinguishers and telephones are when you’re outside.
In order to eliminate as many hazards as possible, make sure that your front yard and your garden are well maintained to avoid any inconvenience. Your outdoor paths should be wide and perfectly flat. As soon as you notice some bumps or broken pavers or bricks, have them removed and replaced. Additionally, try to keep your greenery well maintained, and avoid letting your plants overgrow and cause obstructions in the path or on the stairs. It’s way easier to move around without all these obstacles blocking your way.
Another thing you should consider is removing all cables and watering hoses from pathways. They can be hard to spot if you leave them on the ground, and you can easily trip or slip on them.
Lastly, you can secure the slippery surfaces with non-slip rubber matting and be sure that no matter the weather, the outdoor living space will be hazard-free.
Get Smart with Lighting
Visually impaired people greatly benefit from good lighting, so make sure to incorporate it in your outdoor spaces. If nothing else, at least illuminate your pathway and the entrance.
Also, pay extra attention to your stairs. Make sure to install LED lighted handrails and lights on each step. The best solution for your stairs are linear lights that are easy to install and offer great illumination.
Also, use better lighting near your outdoor furniture to make it easier to spot and avoid it.
The Importance of Handrails
Every set of stairs in your outdoor space should have sturdy handrails. You can even use linear lights and gently illuminate the handrail so you can spot it more easily.
Another great way to ensure outdoor safety is to put up rope handrails along your garden paths or use them to make barriers. Ropes look amazing in any garden, plus they can give you an additional sense of security.
If you implement these safety tips into your outdoor space, you or your visually impaired family members can enjoy it without any worries.
About the Author
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.