Plant in the Fall, Enjoy in the Spring

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The seasons may be changing, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your green thumb away. In fact, fall is one of the best times to plant bulbs that will sprout into beautiful flowers come springtime. The process can be tricky, so we’re sharing our tips for two ways you can tackle your planting like a pro.

Planting Bulbs in a Pot

First, choose the right pot. You will plant your bulbs close to the surface, so if your pot is tall, consider placing pinecones at the bottom or using another lightweight space-filler. Cover your choice of space-filler with landscape fabric, then fill the rest of the pot with soil up to a few inches from the rim.

Place your bulbs in the top layer of soil. Bulbs can be planted very close together, and actually should be to get the prettiest arrangement come springtime. Place them pointy side up to make it easier for them to grow.

Top your bulbs off with a layer of soil and water well. Finish off the pot with a layer of mulch for a little protection. Then, leave your pot outside to chill during the winter. The colder the bulbs get, the better the bloom!

Planting Bulbs in the Ground

Start by loosening the soil with a shovel and getting rid of any weeds in the area. Then use a rake to smooth, grade and level the spot where your bulbs will be planted. Tap the soil to remove air bubbles, but be sure not to completely compact the area.

If you are planting your bulbs directly in the ground, plant them about four or five inches deep. If you’ve created a raised bed, plant them about six inches deep. Place the bulbs in the ground pointy side up, and give them a good drink of water.

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Cover the bulbs with peat moss and water again. Finally, cover the area completely with topsoil. Make sure the surface is smooth, and you’re done! Get ready for some beautiful blooms in the spring.

Got questions? Need help getting started? Stop by your neighborhood Orchard and let us help with all your bulb planting needs.

Prep Your Yard for Fall in 6 Easy Steps

With the fall weather approaching, take advantage of the last warm days of summer to tidy up your backyard. You'll be able to relax better inside knowing your yard outside is ready for the cold weather. And Orchard is here to help with six tips to get your yard prepped for the fall.

1. Sharpen your chainsaws, pruners, and loppers

Keeping your blades sharp is important year-round, so why not use the changing seasons as a reminder? Orchard makes it simple– just bring your dull blades to our Workbench and we'll sharpen them for you right then and there.

2. Get to the gutters with a ladder

Don't wait until it's windy and rainy to clean those gutters! Carefully climb up there with a ladder and remove all the debris that has collected during the summer. Thinking ahead will help you avoid clogged gutters when the wet weather hits.

3. Break out your pruning, raking, and leaf-gathering equipment

The same goes for the debris that has gathered on the ground. Give your yard a once-over with a rake and prune away dead plant growth. Now is also the perfect time to make sure you have the appropriate leaf-gathering equipment before they start to fall.

4. Keep the lawn and hedges trimmed and tidy

Trim around the edges of your lawn and hedges to make sure you start the season ahead of the game. Cutting your lawn slightly shorter in autumn also helps prevent the grass from matting down under leaves.

5. Re-seal your deck to protect it from rain

You've enjoyed your deck all summer long, and now it's time to make sure it stands up to the harshest weather. Repair sun damage and general wear and tear from those long summer days by re-sealing your deck before fall begins.

6. Stow your outdoor cleanup equipment in a storage shed

Once you’ve tidied up your yard, you’ll need a place to store all of your equipment. A storage shed will provide organization and allow you to easily find your equipment again should you need it during the colder months.

Don’t wait until the cold weather hits to tidy up your outdoor space. Instead enjoy a hot drink and some peace of mind knowing your yard is ready for the changing seasons.

Pork Butt Burnt Ends & BBQ Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Don’t just serve the same old thing at your next tailgate. Change it up and get a little smoky with our favorite Pork Butt and BBQ Brussels Sprouts recipe.

Ingredients

3 ea 3-4 lbs boneless pork butt

2 lbs ​halved brussels sprouts

10 oz of your favorite pork rub

2 bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce​

Instructions

  1. ​Liberally coat the pork with ½ of the rub
  2. Smoke or roast the pork at 250°F, rotating every couple hours (4-5 hours)
  3. Season the brussels sprouts with ½ of the remaining rub and place in a foil pan in the refrigerator
  4. Once the pork has reached an internal temperature of 170°F, remove the pork and cut into 1 x 1 in cubes
  5. Place cubes in foil pan and toss in BBQ sauce and the remaining rub
  6. Increase smoker temperature to 375°F and place pork back on the grill (in the foil pan uncovered)
  7. Place the brussels sprouts on the grill in the foil pan, uncovered
  8. After 30 minutes, lightly sauce the brussels sprouts with the BBQ sauce
  9. Stir both the pork and the brussels sprouts every 10 minutes so they don’t burn
  10. Cook for another 30-45 minutes to tighten the sauce and crisp them
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Our mouths are watering just thinking about this juicy, hearty recipe. Try it out for yourself and post a picture using #OSHmoment. Yum!

Top 10 Garage Organizing Tips

Nothing’s better then going in to fall knowing there’s a place for everything in your garage and everything is in its place. So take the time now while the weather is still nice and save yourself a bunch of time in the future. Don’t know where to start? That’s where we come in! Here are our top ten tips for getting the garage you’ve always wanted.

#1: From the ground up

Start by coating your garage floor to protect it from the elements and make it look a little better.

#2: Peg it to the walls

The name of the game in garage organization is getting everything up off the floor. Use pegboard and hooks to hang everything from tools to towels.

#3: Hang hooks everywhere

For heavier objects, attach hooks directly to the walls in order to secure them for safekeeping.

#4: Stick it to the ceiling

Garage ceilings offer so much storage space that often gets overlooked. Hang racks or a storage lift on the ceiling and make use of the extra space.

#5: See what you store

Stash items away in clear storage boxes so you can easily see where everything is next time you need it.

#6: Mason jar magic

Use mason jars to store everything small, from loose screws and nails to paint samples.

#7: Labels, labels, labels

Label everything! Use a label maker or a sharpie and duct tape to make sure you know exactly what every container holds.

#8: Put it on wheels

Make your garage mobile. Attach wheels to workbenches, storage chests, and anything else that must sit on the floor. 

#9: Invest in organization

If you want to go all out, think about investing in an organization system. Choose the exact drawers and cabinets to suit your needs.

#10: Childproof your garage

If you have kids, the final step in creating your dream garage is to childproof. With the potentially dangerous assortment of things we keep in our garages, taking this extra step is essential.

And there you have it! Ten simple steps to your dream garage. Happy organizing!

Yes You Can! A Beginner’s Guide to Canning

Looking for a creative gift idea or a way to store your homemade jams? Learning the art of canning is a fantastic way to do just that. While there are many canning methods, waterbathing is the easiest and most recommended method for those just starting out. Here’s our step-by-step guide to what is sure to be one of your new favorite hobbies.

Supplies Needed

Waterbath Canning Steps

Step 1

Place the canning rack in the pot, and fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars by an inch or more. Heat the water to simmering, then turn off the heat, cover the pot and set it aside.

Step 2

Wash your jars in hot water. Leave them in a water bath to keep them warm.​

Step 3

Prepare your recipe! Make your favorite jam or marmalade, or try something totally new.

Step 4

Dry your jars and fill them with your prepared food. Don’t forget to leave room for potential food expansion.

Step 5

Remove air bubbles from your food by using a non-metallic spatula to press the contents against the sides of the jar.

Step 6

Wipe off the rims of your jars and screw the lids on. Make sure they are snug but not too tight. If the lids are too tight, air will not be able to escape during the sealing process.

Step 7

Use the jar lifter to place jars onto the canning rack in the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.

Step 8

Boil the jars for the amount of time specified on your recipe.

Step 9

Once the time is up, turn off the heat and let your jars stand in the water for five minutes.

Step 10

Use the jar lifter to remove your jars from the water. Allow jars to cool on a wire rack for twelve hours.

Step 11

After your jars have had time to cool, check the lids to make sure they don’t pop up and down.

Step 12​

You’re all set! All that’s left to do is label your jars and store. Or give them to your loved ones as gifts.

Ready to gear up for your first go? We’ve got all of your canning needs covered at Orchard. Stop by your neighborhood store and give canning a try today!