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Fall Clean up

3 Uses for Your Jack O’Lantern Post-Halloween

By | Fall Clean up, Pumpkin Recipes, Recipes | No Comments

Autumn is a wonderful time of year. All of the colors and traditions make for a great time. A traditional carved pumpkin on the doorstep has stood the test of time as the ultimate and quintessential October decoration. However, once Halloween has come and gone, you may wonder just what to do with your jack o’lantern once trick or treating is over. We’ve got some ideas that are way more fun and productive than just throwing your jack o’lantern away. Here they are:Halloween jack o' lantern background

1. Make a planter out of your pumpkin.

A carved pumpkin can naturally add some beauty and color to your yard. Add some annuals to some soil in the backyard is a great addition of color for a few days. You can just bury the whole thing. The pumpkin will naturally compost and provide fertilizer for your plants.

2. Make a treat post-Halloween.

Trick or treating may be over, but the candy doesn’t have to be. Making pumpkin candy is a Mexican tradition that you can enjoy. Start with a whole pumpkin and cut it in half. Remove the seeds and guts, and cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks and remove the skin with a sharp vegetable peeler. Then cut those chunks into bite-size pieces and place those pieces in a sauce pan with just enough water to cover them. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. After the pumpkin begins to soften, stir in one cup of brown sugar and any spices you want. (Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves work exceptionally well.) Cover again with the lid and boil until the sugar turns to syrup. Let the candies soak in the syrup over night and then place on a wire rack to dry. If you want, sprinkle with some extra sugar for a sweet treat.

3. Mix a pumpkin cocktail.

Flavored vodka has made for cocktails of  any flavor. If you can dream it you can drink it. To make a pumpkin cocktail, fill a shaker with ice and a tablespoon of pumpkin puree. Add two ounces of the flavored vodka of your choice. (We like vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.) Add a splash of lime juice and a squeeze of honey. Shake well and strain into a glass over fresh ice.

Olympic Lawn and Landscape loves autumn, and we also enjoy making the best use of jack o’lanterns post-Halloween. For more pumpkin use and fall planting ideas, call (816) 875-9645 today.

 

How to Protect Your Plants from Frost Damage

By | Fall Clean up, Garden, Gardening as a Hobby | No Comments

The October Frost Doesn’t Have to Mean Your Plants Get Lost

Cold fall evenings don’t have to mean that your plants and flowers die right away. Frost damage can be avoided. Granted, you won’t have a lush, full, fruitful garden in the middle of December, but with the following tips, your garden will last until the weather is too cold to produce anything.Savoycabbage

Methods to Protect from Frost

You can do several things to safeguard your plants from frost:

  • Water the garden thoroughly before it gets dark.
  • Consider using an electric fan to artificially create a breeze to prevent frost from settling. (Be sure to use caution and be sure to protect electrical connections from the elements.)
  • Cover it up before dusk. Your garden’s stored heat is lost before it gets dark. If you can, build a frame around the plants, and drape newspaper, cardboard or plastic tarps over your plants to prevent heat loss.
  • You can use jars to cover smaller plants, but be sure to remove them in the morning so they don’t overheat in the sun.
  • Collect heat during the day by painting plastic milk jugs black, filling them with water, and placing them in the daytime sun around your plants. The collected heat will radiate throughout the night.
  • Move container-grown plants inside. Or, if that’s impossible, wrap the pot in burlap or bubble wrap, or even bury the pot to protect the foliage.

If none of those efforts work and your plants do receive some frost damage, don’t cut the damaged parts off of your plants. The dead leaves and stems will insulate your plants from further damage. (You’ll have to prune your plants in the spring anyway.)

Pay the Cost to Fight the Frost

For more information about safeguarding your garden from frost until winter hits, call Olympic Lawn and Landscape at (816) 875-9645.

Fall Flowers | Best Seasonal Plants

By | Fall Clean up, Seasonal Plants | No Comments

Just because the warm weather of summer has taken a hike, warm colors in your yard don’t have to do the same. Fall is actually one of the best times to add some seasonal color to your lawn.

Color through Fall Plants

For me, one of the great things about fall is the vast array of colors it produces. The deep orange, yellow and red leaves that canvas the skyline on a evening drive can just be breathtaking. Color in general can do so much for a landscape. That is why right now is the best time for fall planting. There are many great seasonal plants that are prime for planting right now.

What to plant in fall

To know what type of plants to plant in fall, you first have to identify if the plants are annuals or perennials. Once the weather consistently stays cold, perennials go into hibernation and are strong enough to make it until the weather turns nice again. They look dead, but their roots do not die. Grass, for instance, is a perennial.

Most annuals, on the other hand, will wither and die once the weather hits about 32 degrees. Luckily there are some annuals that will thrive a little longer in this cooler weather:

Mums

Mums are great fall flowers because their bloom lasts longer than just a couple of days. Mums can bloom and stay vibrant for weeks at a time, even after several nights of cool weather.

Violas

Violas are hardy flowers that really thrive in cooler weather. With a variety of colors including deep purples and blues, violas can add fresh color for the fall.

Pansies

Closely associated with violas, pansies also love the cooler temperatures. Pansies come in many different varieties so it is always best to pick ones that accent your other flowers and plants.

Why to Plant Now

If the first frost hasn’t hit your yard yet, it is just around the corner. When the weather drops it is time to put your garden to bed. Let your perennials hibernate and clear out the leaves in your flowerbed, and while you are at it throw in a few plants to liven up your landscape.

How to Plant Now

There are still a few nice days left here and there. Pick a time that works for you and get to work on your lawn. Some seasonal plants don’t even need to be planted, Mums can especially look nice in a flower pot sitting on your porch or even in your flower bed.

It doesn’t have to be terribly time consuming. And if it does seem like more work than what you have time for, look into using a professional landscaper to add some color for you. Hiring a landscaping business is one of the best ways to get your lawn looking exactly how you want it with little effort on your end.

Don’t allow the fall weather to keep you from having the best looking lawn, start packing up the old flower bed and adding in some seasonal color!

 

 

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