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.

How to Start Your First Garden

Gardening can be an exciting new hobby. There’s no better feeling than watching as something you planted grows and matures into beautiful flowers or yummy vegetables. But for those who don’t have any experience, it can be hard to know how to start a garden.

What Will You Grow?

The very first thing you need to do is decide what kind of garden you want to grow. Are you going to go down the aesthetic path of a flower garden, or are you going to go a more functional route with a vegetable garden? Both types are wonderful options. With flowers, you can have a colorful, bright garden and gorgeous flowers to put around your home or gift to friends and family. With a vegetable garden, you get to eat the fruits of your labor, which can help you save money at the grocery store. Just pick which one appeals more to you, and if you’re feeling up to a challenge, you can grow a small garden of each. 

Getting the Right Tools

Before you can learn how to plant a garden, you need to make sure you’re armed with the right tools. A good pair of gardening gloves is going to be your new best friend. Gloves will help keep your hands clean and protect them from thorns, splinters and prickly plants or weeds. 

Another important tool to have is a garden shovel (to the right) or spade. This is a necessity if you want to be able to dig the holes to plant seeds or bulbs. In order to keep your garden tidy, you’ll want gardening shears to trim plants and a rake to collect leaves and debris.

Don’t forget about your water supply. Flowers and vegetables need to be well-watered in order to grow. Make sure to have a watering can or garden hose on hand. Consider getting a portable hose caddy so you can always have a hose nearby when you need it. 

Finding the Right Spot

Whether you want to know how to start a vegetable garden from scratch or how to begin a flower garden, you need to find the right spot to plant in. Most vegetables or flowers are going to require plenty of sunlight to grow, so take some time to figure out which areas of your yard get hit with the most sun. It’s also a good idea to find a spot that has some protection from the wind, such as near the side of a building or a hedge. 

Be sure to take foot traffic, by both humans and animals, into consideration. You don’t want to plant your garden in an area where people or dogs are likely to walk through it. Setting up garden fencing (on the right) is a good way to help with this.

Space and Plan

You can’t go around planting seeds all willy-nilly. You need to figure out how much space your flowers or vegetables will need to be able to grow and plan around it. If planted too close together, flowers and vegetables will compete for the sunlight and nutrients they need to flourish. Most seed packets will come with a guide on spacing, so make sure to follow this carefully. 

How to Plant a Flower Garden

If you’ve decided to start a flower garden, there are a few different directions you can go in. You can begin your garden with seed packets, flower mats or potted plants. 

Individual seeds from packets are going to require the most time and effort, but you might them the most rewarding. You’ll have to dig, plant and bury the seeds and wait weeks to months for them to bloom. A seed mat will still have the same growing time, but it involves less backend work. All you have to do is roll out the mat instead of hand-planting seeds. 

Another option is to take potted flowers and replant them into a garden. You’ll need to dig a hole big enough to fit the flower’s roots and carefully transport it from pot to ground. This allows you to have already bloomed flowers that you can nurture and watch grow even more.

No matter which planting method you choose, make sure to pick the flowers you would like to see around your garden and home. 

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden

Before starting your vegetable garden, take some time to consider what vegetables you will actually eat. There’s no point in growing the vegetables if they’re going to go to waste. As a beginner, you will also want to consider trying the easier vegetables to grow before moving on to more advanced ones. Some great vegetables for beginners are radishes, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. 

Once you’ve picked the vegetables you want to grow, it’s time to get to work. There are two ways you can get started: seed packets or transplanting seedlings. With seeds you start from scratch while transplanting allows you transfer an already started vegetable from pot to ground. Make sure to follow the planting instructions on either the seed packet or transplant container. 

Nurture and Love

After you’ve planted your seeds or transplant, you need to take care of your vegetables or flowers to help them grow. This means making sure they’re watered, removing weeds that grow near them and keeping any dangerous pests away. A garden is an investment that requires a lot of attention, so you can’t just plant the seeds and forget about them.

Garden Supplies and Decorations

For affordable garden supplies and cute decorations, make sure to visit Miles Kimball. We have gardening tools, plant pots, garden flags and more!