Fall Yard prep? Really? Yes, really.
As the growing season comes to a close across much of the US and fall sets in fully – it is time to think about next year and some steps to take now to ensure a successful growing season next year. A key date you’ll be working backwards from for fall yard prep is date of first frost, if you don’t know when that is you can look it up here . Start with a good general clean up a good lawn raking to remove debris and any built up thatch will let fall moisture and air get to the roots. I would do this about 8 weeks before the first frost. Once cleaned up and de-thatched you’ll want to give the lawn a good week of watering, then aerate and fertilize making sure to get this done at least 4 weeks before first frost. Once this is done water and normal for the remainder of the season.
As the leaves continue to fall keep them picked up and debris in the yard to a minimum so that sun light can get through to your plants and let them naturally harden off and go dormant for the year. Leaving significant amounts of leaves on the ground is a big no-no in fall yard prep because it causes anything under they blanket to die off.
For winter pruning give dormant plants at least 6 weeks before any pruning to properly harden off or if possible wait until very early spring and prune before bud break.
If you live in an area where the ground can freeze or you risk a pipe bursting due to freezing temperatures have your sprinklers blown out within a couple weeks of first frost at the latest, ideally sooner.
That is about it for the fall, keep debris under control, aerate, prune and close up the sprinklers. This type of fall yard prep will foster a good environment for over wintering and help spring growth get off to the right start.
Traveling can and often does take a lot out of you be it for work or pleasure – and these days given the indecency of TSA checks, long security lines, added time at airports and even more cramped planes it can be enough to make you think twice about that vacation or decide to drive on your business trip instead. It does not have to be that bad though – we have compiled a list of travel hacks that will save you time, reduce your aggravation, and get you more comfortable seats.
Our travel hacks:
Travel hack #1 – this gets broken out because it is so important: TSA Pre-Check + Global Entry + Clear = TSA hassle minimization.
– If it seems weird to have these three overlapping services – hear me out first. Global entry and TSA pre-check almost speak for themselves given their ubiquity and low cost. Layering in Clear on benefits in a smaller (but growing) group of airports. So you might ask why it helps? Unfortunately the TSA has a nasty habit of granting pre-check to people who don’t have it which means you can have pre-check lines full of travelers who are not seasoned and as such are very slow, you know pretty much defeating the point of pre-check. In my home airport of Denver we routinely see TSA lines near as long as the regular check-in lines. Lines full of people who don’t actually know what TSA-Pre is. Layering Clear on over this lets you skip all those folks then duck into the “keep your shoes on” line just for screening.
Ok on to the shorter list:
1.) Get a more comfortable seat:
– Use a site like seatguru.com to book this will guarantee that you have the most comfortable seats in your selected class and warn you before you do something like book a non-reclining seat.
2.) Minimize Jetlag:
– You’ll always get the usual “lay off booze and caffeine” advice but outside of that making sure you are well rested before a flight and even shifting your sleep pattern a couple of hours towards your intended destination will massively reduce jetlag.
– Food: Not everyone thinks about how much what, how, and when you eat affects Jetlag and recovery from it but it is probably the second largest factor. Much like sleep shifting your eating patterns towards your destination will significantly reduce jetlag as will eating lighter healthier foods inflight.
3.) Airline Apps:
– This isn’t a huge hack but it is smart to have your airline app on your phone with push notifications enabled – if it saves you just once from showing up for a flight that is delayed 4 hours it is worth it.
4.) Stay juiced up:
– Keep a set of charges and cables specifically for travel in your bags so that you are never without. If something goes wrong though fear not most hotel front desks have a drawer of chargers and cables that have been left behind, borrow one from them rather than buy a $30 cable at the airport.
– Batteries not included: If you have the space look at external battery boosters and at upgrading the internal battery on your laptop. This will give you hours of backup juice but it does come at a cost, added weight.
5.) Be a cookie monster:
– When booking flights and hotels online enable private browsing. Travel sites often track your visits and will raise the price when you’ve visited before.
the last and certainly not least of our travel hacks – Read The Points Guy’s Blog for all the latest ways to maximize your rewards.