Fall Cleanup Tools and Tips

With fall on your mind, you may be looking forward to preparing your gardens, lawns and outdoor areas for winter. Fall cleanup is not only a good idea because it helps tidy your spaces and get them ready for the cold-weather season, it also can help prepare your outdoor areas for spring, giving them a jumpstart and preparing them for success next summer.

Fall Gardening Care Made Easy

Gardening experts agree that now is the time to care for both your flower beds and your yard. Raking and collecting those leftover leaves, aerating your lawn and overseeding is part of this process. Until that first frost, you’ll still likely be caring for your lawn, too. At Miles Kimball, we’re always on the lookout for innovative lawn and gardening tools that will help making these sometimes-tedious chores more efficient. From leaf-gathering and composting to aerating, storage and choosing the right product to overseed, we’re highlighting some of our handy tools and products. We’ll also discuss some tips that will help your lawn, garden and outdoor spaces thrive by using some of these products, many of which are exclusive to the Miles Kimball brand!

Leaf-Gathering and Composting

Your outdoor lawn care arsenal probably contains some of the tried-and-true go-tos, such as rakes, shovels, hedge trimmers and other tools that are created to help you maintain and gather yard refuse, waste and fallen leaves. Although these tools work great, there are often alternative, must-have tools that will make yard work easier, such as our garden hands.

Our set of two Garden Hands™ and Gorilla Garden Hands are fantastic at those awkward tasks, such as gathering leaf piles and putting them in compost bags. They’re also great at gathering those fallen leaves, grass clippings and other organic matter to help create environmentally friendly composting areas in your yard. Another way to make those leaf-gathering chores easier is to find a handy product that will help you gather yard refuse in one spot, making cleanup a breeze. A durable leaf collecting bag with handles makes collecting and discarding leaves and other materials quick and easy.

Tool Organization and Outdoor Cleanup

If you’re looking to add tool organization and garage and outdoor structures tidying to your to-do list, we have a great selection of organizational products in our outdoor Storage and Maintenance category for your home, garage and shed. Don’t miss our corner garden tool organizer, which wisely utilizes those overlooked corners in your garage or shed and keeps all of your shovels, tools and rakes in one spot. Fall is also the time to keep your outdoor furniture protected from the elements. Not everyone has a covered structure in which to store their outdoor furniture and essentials like grills, lawn chairs, outdoor sofas and tractors. Be sure to check out our outdoor furniture covers for high-quality protective products that will protect your investments from rain, snow, UV rays and other inclement conditions.

The Easy Way to Aerate Your Lawn

Throughout the summer, grass clippings and other organic matter may create “thatch,” which is a layer of dead grass that can prevent moisture from reaching the roots of your lawn. A layer of thatch also can prevent nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass. Thinning grass and weeds also can cause soil compaction, which is another way that your lawn may not be getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. In the long run, both thatch and soil compaction can be detrimental to your yard’s health. The remedy to both of these issues is called “aeration.” This involves essentially poking holes in the thatch and the compacted soil, allowing the roots to gain access to nutrients, rain and oxygen. Aeration also reduces water runoff, improves air exchange and strengthens turfgrass roots.

Professionally aerating your yard can cost hundreds of dollars. However, clever lawn and gardening tools are available that allow you similar the benefits for a fraction of the price. Lawn aerator sandals are a fantastic way for you to strap on some special shoes and get that aerating done in your yard. Better yet, buy a couple of these clever lawn aerator sandals and have your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews get some exercise and play (carefully, of course!) while they aerate your lawn for you.

Overseeding

Along with aeration, overseeding is one of those tasks that will help keep your lawn in top shape, getting it ready for winter and ultimately giving it a kickstart in the spring. Along with aeration, this is one fall task that can be pricey. A great option is to use a proven grass seed option yourself, again at a fraction of the price of a professional lawn care service.

Check out our Quicklawn® Grass Seed, available at Miles Kimball. This evergreen “Wonder Seed” can be spread quickly and easily over your yard with an inexpensive seed spreader (available at any hardware or retail store) and sprouts in as little as five days. This shade tolerant, insect-resistant and easy-grow grass seed is just what you need for those thinning areas to give them the boost they need. This product works in all kinds of soil — from clay to sandy.

Fall Cleanup, Organization and More

Fall cleanup, organization and winter prep doesn’t have to be a chore. Neither does spring cleanup and summer gardening! Miles Kimball has everything you need, no matter what time of year it is. Check back into Kimball Corner throughout each season of the year to find tips, tricks and highlighted products that will help you get your work done more efficiently. We would love to hear from you about any fall cleanup tricks or tip you may have. Leave a comment below and share your ideas about how you handle fall cleanup and/or which tools you can’t live without.

Gardening Tips for Success

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your garden. Before the ground thaws and the weather warms, you need a plan to make this year’s garden your best yet. Follow these gardening tips and tricks to help you succeed and watch your garden flourish.

Using Raised Beds

Raised beds gardening tips are popular because raised beds offer many benefits when it comes to gardening. One of the main ones is that they allow you to start the season a little earlier. Because these beds aren’t dug into the ground, the soil is warmer, which means you can begin planting seeds earlier than you would with a traditional garden. 

The height of garden boxes and raised beds allows for better drainage to help keep plants and vegetables healthy. Plus, since the beds aren’t at ground level, tending your garden will involve less bending over and less back strain. If you want the benefits of height without investing in or building a raised bed, you can use pots for container gardening and place them on a garden stand.

Hand-Weeding like a Pro

Nobody likes weeding, but it’s necessary if you want to keep your garden healthy. Weeds can steal nutrients, sunlight and water from the plants and vegetables you’re trying to grow. Plus, they can be unsightly. 

A common mistake novice and experienced gardeners alike make is deep hoeing to cut down the time it takes to weed. However, hand-weeding is the way to go. Hoeing the soil can cause more harm than good by bringing weed seeds to the surface and spreading them, which results in more weeds. Hand-weeding allows you to have more control and causes less of a disturbance.

You don’t necessarily have to be on your hands and knees to hand-weed, though. You can still get the control you want with a no-bend weed grabber. This device allows you to easily pull weeds without disrupting the soil like you would with a hoe and without straining your back.

A New Use for Long-Handle Tools

Do you have a long-handle tool you use often? Maybe an extendable garden shovel (Pictured to the right) or a rake? If you do, we have a creative new use for that tool that will make your gardening life easier. All you need is a ruler and a permanent marker. 

This is one of our best gardening tips for beginners, experts and anybody in between. Take the ruler and mark off inches, feet, centimeters or whatever measurement you prefer on the handle of your tool using a dark permanent marker. Now, you have an easy-to-access measuring stick on hand. This will help when it comes to measuring the distance between seeds while planting or how deep a hole you’ve made is. 

A Comfortable Gardner is a Happy Gardner

We cannot stress enough how important it is to stay comfortable while gardening. If you’re straining joints, hurting your back or just feeling uncomfortable in general, you’re likely to rush through your work and risk making mistakes. That’s why we have some comfort-focused gardening tips for you. 

Gardening can involve a lot of bending over, sitting and kneeling. Whether you’re hand-pulling weeds, planting seeds or admiring what you’ve grown, you’re going to end up spending quite a bit of time close to the ground. Luckily, there are ways to make this easier and more comfortable.

A gardener’s knee rest is the perfect way to take some of the stress off your body while gardening. The padded rest is gentler on your knees than the hard ground and it will be easier for you to get up after spending time planting seeds. Another great option is a garden seat (Pictured to the right) that can be adjusted to your desired height. This lets you kneel or sit and helps take the strain off your back from bending over. 

Keep Your Tools Organized

An often-overlooked gardening tip is the importance of tool organization. There’s nothing worse than spending time searching through shelves and drawers in your shed or garage in an effort to find that spade you need. 

Keeping your gardening tools organized will make it easier to find the tool you need when you need it. Consider purchasing a corner garden tool rack (Pictured to the right). This rack fits perfectly into the corner of a shed or garage and can hold up to 20 tools, including rakes, shovels and shears. It’s the perfect way to keep your tools neat and easy to access.

Save Time with Seed Mats

When it comes to planting vegetables, you’ll definitely want to take the time to make sure your seeds are spaced out and buried in the right amount of dirt. When it comes to flowers, however, there are some shortcuts you can take. 

Pre-seeded flower rolls are a great way to save a little time and effort during your gardening adventures. Flower mats contain hundreds of seeds that you simply have to roll out. There’s no digging or hand planting. It’s quick and easy and gives you more time to focus on other gardening tasks. 

Finding the Right Tools and Supplies

A gardener is nothing without their tools. At Miles Kimball, we have a wide selection of affordable gardening supplies to help you kick the season off right. From planters to flower rolls, we’ve got what you need.