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/Absorbine Jr) - As autumn colors set in this season, make sure your all-important home and garden upkeep checklist is ready.
Although the lawn is often overlooked during the fall, it's actually the perfect time to make sure everything is organized before the harsher winter elements take hold. Paul James, host of HGTV's "Gardening by the Yard," advises homeowners to start early -- approximately six weeks before the first good freeze.
Here is a list of some of the tasks and items you should add to your fall checklist
* Maintain the landscape. Tidy up the lawn, flowerbeds, bushes, gardens, etc. Remove unsightly foliage, dead stems, piles of leaves and other debris. Fluff your mulch with a rake so water can seep into the subsoil.
* Plant fall vegetables. Cool-season vegetable gardens can flourish with the right plants -- lettuce, greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, potatoes and loads more. Imagine all the hearty stews and delicious soups you could make from scratch.
* Keep muscles relaxed, and stay hydrated. Don't underestimate the fall sun. Summer may be over, but hours of gardening in the sun can still leave you exhausted, strained and parched. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, take breaks and stretch your muscles. If you suffer from backaches and muscle strains, keep some relief like Absorbine Jr. (www.absorbinejr.com
) on hand. The natural menthol in Absorbine Jr. helps relieve muscle and back pain to make it a must-have for yard work. Its herbal ingredients also help provide relief from sunburn and gnat and other insect bites.
* Make room for indoor plants. Your potted or container plants won't survive the winter outside, so it's time to make room indoors for tropical plants, herbs and succulents. Potted perennials can be transplanted into a garden after trimming the roots and some top growth.
* Clean garage, shed or outbuildings. Once you organize your storage space, you can neatly put away all of your summer tools or patio furniture. Plus, your newly emptied planters will have a home next to all the other stuff families accumulate.