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6 Garden Tips To Transition From Summer To Fall

Summer isn't over yet, but it's time to start thinking about the upcoming transition to fall. We've put together 6 tips to keep your garden looking beautiful into the foliage season.

 

Before you do anything, take lots of photos of your current garden and landscaping. Take notes on which plants did well, which didn't and where you would like to see changes next year. Put together a binder, or digital photo album to look back on next year when spring rolls around. 

 

Now the real work begins. It's time to remove any annuals that are past their prime, rake the soil and add fresh mulch where necessary. This is also a good opportunity to trim bushes, and prune perennials. 

Fall is the time to look at your perennials and divide any that may be getting too large. This is a great opportunity to re-plant in other areas, or trade with friends to diversify your garden!

Fall doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your flower garden! There are lots of hardy plants that will thrive this time of year. Mums and pansies add a vibrant pop of color and look wonderful planted in your garden, or in pots by your entry!

With the change of seasons comes a change in temperature. Invest in some frost covers for planted flowers and bushes, and prepare to move potted plants indoors at night. 

 

Last but not least, fall is the time to think ahead to your spring garden. Remember those photos you took? Re-purchase any bulbs that did especially well, because now is the time to get those in the ground for next season. If you're not sure which bulbs will do well in your garden, this site has a comprehensive list with planting tips. 

Grill marinades to make your BBQ the talk of the neighborhood

There's still plenty of summer left, and that means there will more barbecues and fun gatherings to be had this season! We have 2 delicious marinade recipes to take your upcoming cookout to the next level. Enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients: 

- 1 Cup crushed pineapple

- 1/3 Cup soy sauce or coconut aminos

- 1/3 Cup honey

- 1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar

- 1-2 Cloves crushed garlic

- 1 Tablespoon fresh crushed ginger

- 1/2 Teaspon crushed cloves

- 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional - adjust to taste)

Directions: 

Mix honey, cider vinegar and pineapple juice together thoroughly. Add other ingredients individually making sure that each spice is well combined and thoroughly dissolved. 

For chicken or pork: thoroughly coat meat and refrigerate for 6-8 hours in marinade. Bake or grill and enjoy!

For fish or vegetables: Coat in marinade and allow to sit for no longer than 30 minutes before baking, grilling or sauteing. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients: 

- 1 Cup red wine vinegar

- 1/2 Cup olive oil

- 1/4 Cup worcestershire sauce

- 1/4 Cup brown sugar

- 4 Cloves crushed garlic

- 2 Tablespoons paprika

- 1 Tablespoon sea salt

- 2 Teaspoons ground black pepper

- 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (Optional - adjust to taste)

 

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients, combining thoroughly. Place brisket in plastic bag or tupperwear container and coat with marinade. Refrigerate for up to 14 hours (the longer the better!) before grilling. Feel free to add any of the dry ingredients directly to the meat before grilling. Prepare to allow the brisket around 5 hours to cook (internal temperature should reach at least 195 degrees). The less you flip the meat, the better. Cook it on slow heat and let it be. Enjoy!

5 Tips to take your patio to the next level

Is there anything better than relaxing outside during the warm, sunny summer months? We've put together 5 tips to make your outdoor space the perfect place to unwind and entertain. You may even increase your home's value in the process!

 

 

 A few well placed pops of color can really tie a room together and make it look expensive. You don't have to spend a fortune, or overhaul your existing furniture to achieve a more cohesive look. Pick up a few outdoor throw pillows , a fun rug and a coordinating umbrella  and your patio will be instantly refreshed! Think of your potted plants as accessories and display them around the area for added interest. 

 

 

No need to head inside once the sun sets! Add some festive lighting to your patio and we're sure you'll find yourself hanging out there long into the evening. You can find tons of fun string lights, lanterns and even outdoor lamps at any hardware store these days. You can even add in a few citronella candles and torches to keep the bugs at bay. 

 

 

Add a stylish outdoor rug to your patio to make the area feel more cozy and pulled together. It's amazing how an area rug can make the space feel like an extension of your home! There are tons of inexpensive options available online

 

 

Turn your patio into a real retreat by adding a privacy fence and some tall landscaping around the perimeter. These plants are great for creating natural screens for your yard. 

 

 

Add a fire pit, hammock, outdoor bar or lawn games to your patio for added entertainment and fun! You may find yourself spending more time outside than inside this summer!

Tick Prevention Tips

In recent years, ticks have become a big nuisance in Vermont. We've put together some facts about these pests to keep you safe while you enjoy the outdoors this summer. We've thrown in some prevention tips and information to help if you find one on yourself or your pets. 

What are ticks anyway?

Ticks are parasitic creatures of the arachnid family; they have 4 long legs on either side of their rounded body. Thankfully they cannot jump or fly, but they do crawl onto hosts to feed. Ticks spread Lyme Disease, which can cause serious, long-term issues for the infected person or animal. 

Where do ticks live?

Tall grass, shrubs, wooded areas and low brush are havens for ticks. If you're going for a hike, be sure to keep as much skin covered as possible, and stay near the center of the trail to decrease exposure. Hunters should be warned that ticks also live on other animals, such as deer, and will move from the animal to a human if given the opportunity. According to the CDC, it is best to use a bug spray, or combination of lemon and eucalyptus oil to discourage ticks from biting. 

How do I avoid getting a tick?

In addition to keeping as much skin covered as possible, you should avoid walking in tall grassy areas as much as possible. Rake and remove loose leaves from your yard, and clear away any tall grass or brush that you can. Placing wood chips or gravel between any shrubbery and your yard will provide a barricade and keep ticks away. Make sure to keep play areas away from shrubs and vegetation. 

If you've spent any time hiking, hunting, or in known tick havens, wash your clothes in hot water and shower as soon as possible. The CDC suggests that showering within 2 hours of possible tick exposure reduces your risk of contracting Lyme Disease. Do a thorough tick check while you're at it; they love to hide so be sure to check your hair, ears and in between fingers and toes. 

If ticks are of major concern, tick repelling chemicals are available to homeowners. According to the CDC, one application of acaricide during the spring time reduces the tick population by 68-100%. Pest control companies will be able to assess your property and give you a personalized suggestion to best deal with the threat of ticks. 

What if I find a tick?

If you discover a tick on yourself or a loved one, take a pair of tweezers or a tick removing tool, and pinch the tick as close to the head as possible. Pull straight back, doing your best to remove the entire pest, and most importantly, the head. If you are unable to do this yourself, go to a doctor's office as soon as possible. 

If you've been bitten by a tick, be alert to any rashes, pains or fevers that develop in the subsequent days and weeks. If anything seems unusual, see your doctor immediately. Lyme Disease is an infection with chronic, and potentially debilitating, life long symptoms. It is best to air on the side of caution and have yourself tested for Lyme Disease at the time of exposure. 

How do I keep my pets safe?

Unfortunately, pets love to play in areas that are appealing to ticks. Ask your vet about oral and topical medications for dogs and cats that will aid in tick prevention. There are also collars and shampoos available which are effective prevention supplements. It's best to check your pet for ticks daily during the spring and summer to be safe. 

We hope these facts and tips are helpful to you! 

 

 

4th Of July Celebrations In Our Area

 

There are lots of fun activities happening locally for the 4th of July! Check out the list of events in our area: 

 

Bay Day Fireworks & Great Race - St. Albans Find more information here

4th Of July Celebration & Ice Cream Social - 195 Central School Drive, Williston  Find more information here

4th Of July Festivities & Fireworks - Rte. 116 Hinesburg  Find more information here

Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks - 1 Lake Street, Burlington  Find more information here

Fireworks Extravaganza - 44 Knight Point Road Find more information here

4th Of July Celebration - 75 Maple Street Park, Essex Jct.   Find more information here

4th Of July Celebration  & Fireworks - Lakeshore Drive, Colchester  Find more information here

4th Of July Celebration & Fireworks - 43 Bombardier Recreation Park, Milton   Find more information here

Old Fashioned 4th Of July - Main Street, Stowe   Find more information here

4th Of July Festivities - East Main Street, Richmond   Find more information here

 

Wishing you a fun, and safe, holiday!

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Tips to get your grill ready for summer

 

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and with it comes a time to remember the sacrifices made by so many to defend our freedom, as well as the official kick-off to the summer season! We hope you'll be enjoying some rest and relaxation with friends and family. In fact, this may be the perfect opportunity to whip out your grill if you haven't already this season. Here are some tips to make sure your weekend festivities go off without a hitch!

 

If you have a gas grill:

 

First, get the outside of your grill looking brand new using a solution of 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts warm water and a microfiber cloth, and soft bristled brush. The vinegar will help cut through any grease stains, and the soft cloth will ensure you don't scratch the metal. 

Next, move onto the inside of the grill, where you can be a little more aggressive. Remove the grates and place in a large container filled with warm water and dish soap. Using a stainless steel grill brush and some elbow grease, slough off any residue that's baked on, and rinse well. If you forgot to clean the tray out at the end of last season, remove it and brush any remnants into the trash. 

After you've replaced the tray and grates, be sure the gas tank is filled and secure before closing the lid of the grill and turning the heat on high for 15 - 20 minutes. This last step will ensure any leftover cleaning residue has been removed and help keep your burgers from sticking the next time you grill.

If you have a charcoal grill:

The first step is the same as if you have a gas grill -  using a solution of 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts warm water and a microfiber cloth, and soft bristled brush. The vinegar will help cut through any grease stains, and the soft cloth will ensure you don't scratch the metal. 

Next take a look inside and be sure there is no remaining charcoal left from last season. Remove the cooking grate, and leave it to soak in a solution of warm water, vinegar and dish soap. While that's soaking, take a look at the bowl of your grill - if you grill a lot, you may see some peeling, which is most likely carbonized grease. Using a stainless steel grill brush, and warm soapy water, scrub the inside until all of the layers have come off. Now that the bowl is clean, the soap solution should have loosened up any debris on the cooking grate. Go after that with the stainless steel grill brush and it'll look like new before you know it!

 

You're officially ready to start grilling!

 

If you're looking for a new home with a great backyard for barbecues, check out these listings!