How To Maximize Your Garage Space

(BPT) – Did you know over half of Americans (59%) feel that engaging in hobbies helps relieve stress? This was one finding in a survey of over 3,000 Americans conducted in 2017 by Kelton Global on behalf of Gladiator, the nation’s leader in customizable garage and household organization solutions.

While work and family obligations may prevent many from pursuing their favorite activities, the survey revealed that another factor acting as a roadblock was having enough space to store equipment or supplies needed for hobbies. Whether you love biking, crafts or other activities, chances are you need easily accessible space to store your gear.

Here’s where your garage comes in. The same survey found that 3 out of 4 Americans prioritize storage as the leading use for their garage – but that 28% of Americans can’t even fit a car in their garage because of the clutter.

What’s the solution? Get motivated to optimize your storage space so you can easily access all the things you love to do. Once you’ve rid yourself of the clutter, you can start clearing out even more floor space for your vehicle, woodworking bench, arts and crafts or drum kit for your garage band.

Here are some smart ways to make the most of your garage.

Figure out your needs

First, determine how much room your vehicles take up, then map out how much floor space you’ll need for any other items, such as a work bench or space to maneuver items you use frequently. Group the items you want to store in your garage according to category, then get ready to create more storage possibilities for all your gear.

Optimize your walls

Take a good look at all the wall space that’s currently being unused in your garage. Fortunately, there are solutions for your walls that don’t involve building bulky shelving that further encroaches on your floor space. For example, the Sports Caddy GearTrack Pack by Gladiator can hold much more than just basketballs and baseball bats. It installs easily on the wall and includes a ball caddy, which holds up to 25 pounds, that you can use for anything from helmets to sleeping bags, bags of potting soil or other bulky items you want kept off the floor. It also has two scoop hooks for heavier sports gear, backpacks, purses, garden tools and more.

Foldaway storage solutions

Another versatile option is to use a storage product that can transform from a wall­-installed storage cabinet to a sturdy work surface. Gladiator’s Ready-­to­-Assemble Foldaway Work Station provides both a space-­saving storage cabinet and a functional work surface that can be mounted to their GearTrack or GearWall for easy wall storage. The versatile work station can be used as a gardening center, paint station or as a cabinet for power tools.

Look up

There’s another area of your garage that is most likely underutilized – the overhead space.

To safely use overhead storage space in your garage, you’ll need a very secure, heavy-duty solution like the steel Overhead Storage Rack made by Gladiator, which has a weight capacity of 750 pounds spread across 96 cubic feet of storage space. The unit is flexible, and its height can be adjusted so you can lower the rack for easier access.

With smart solutions that use every area of your garage both safely and efficiently, you can make the most of your garage this year. Optimizing your garage storage space allows you to make more room in your life – for all the things you really love to do.

Low Maintenance, High Curb Appeal: Top Exterior Home Trends of 2020

(BPT) – Whether you are thinking of selling your home next year, or simply looking to update certain elements, investing in your exterior will deliver a return on your investment in both resale value and enjoyment.

From siding and garage door to the landscape and patio, there are many opportunities to refresh the outside of your home for style and function. The top trends of 2020 are all about bringing fresh ideas to tired spaces, updating with the latest product innovations, and ensuring your exterior gets as much love as the interior of your home.

Indoor-outdoor living

With a strong desire to expand living space, homeowners are investing in decks and patios that have a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor. Products such as Royal(R) Building Products’ Zuri(R) Premium Decking offer all the beauty of real hardwood flooring without the maintenance. Zuri’s variety of rich colors allow homeowners to create intricate designs and inlays that add an upscale look that can be completely customized.

Screened porches with floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors are popular as well as porch/deck hybrids that can be designed to feature built-in kitchens, fireplaces and seating. To further personalize the space, homeowners are mixing textures and materials, including metal, wicker and wood, in outdoor furniture and features to create individualized style.

Mixing styles and designs

Following the popularity of farmhouse styles in the last decade, homeowners continue to create a hybrid look that incorporates select modern farmhouse designs, as well as elements of midcentury modern and industrial influences into the exterior home design. Mixed-use siding is at the forefront of this trend. Board and batten siding mixed with stone continues to gain popularity for a modern farmhouse look. Another popular design is mixing clapboard siding with textures of shake or vertical style of board and batten to create visual interest and balance. Black windows add a modern industrial look along with a sleek metal garage door to pull together the overall design.

Exterior colors and accents

Across the country, darker, more pigmented colors are transforming homes with showstopping appearances that stand out from a sea of beige that was so popular in the past.

The traditional red front door is being replaced by statement doors that define an entryway with style and class. Black and blue doors are trending as well as designs that feature glass and iron elements. Dutch-style doors are also popular for 2020 and beyond. In addition to a statement front door, homeowners are thoughtful about entryway decor, adding personalized doormats, house numbers and door knockers, as well as changing out decor seasonally.

While dark colors are trending nationwide, pastel colors are popular for coastal homes. Light blue is just one example that looks striking paired with white PVC trim in exterior applications. Royal Building Products Celect Canvas, an unpainted version of the brand’s cellular PVC siding, is an ideal low-maintenance option for coastal homes that need durability for harsh weather. The siding can be customized with hundreds of beachy paint color options to suit your individual style.

Minimalist maintenance

Homeowners are continuing to invest in design solutions for their exteriors and yards that require little to no maintenance, yet allow them to fully enjoy outdoor living. They are opting for high quality products using durable materials, such as limestone, gravel and bamboo. Garden bed designs incorporate pavers, rocks, evergreen plants and annual plants, to achieve a low maintenance exterior that still delivers on curb appeal.

Above all else, homeowners are looking to make exterior designs their own in 2020. New builds and home renovations that utilize durable materials are a top trend, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to design. For more exterior design inspiration, explore the photo gallery at www.royalbuildingproducts.com/gallery.

4 DIY-Friendly Projects To Get Your House Ready For Winter

(BPT) – The leaves have changed, temperatures are dropping and pumpkin spice treats abound, which means winter is coming. Now is the time to winterize your home, which can mean up to a 10% savings on your energy bills, according to Energy Star.

“Winter brings unpredictable weather and dropping temperatures, which can test the limits of your home and reveal weaknesses – like drafts – you didn’t realize were there,” said Cathy McHugh, director brand management at DAP. “Taking a few simple steps now to repair, prepare and protect your home through the harsh winter weather will help save on time, energy bills and costly repairs come spring.”

Help your home fight the cold, without breaking the bank, by tackling these four DIY-friendly preventative projects.

Seal windows and doors.

Check for small cracks and gaps between window frames and doors. These are the spots that allow water, insects and cold air to creep inside. Do this yourself by holding a lit candle or incense stick near the potential leak; if the flame or smoke dances around then you know you have a leak. Protect your home and keep it warm by replacing worn exterior caulk with an exterior grade sealant, like DAP Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant. Backed by a lifetime mold-, mildew- and algae-resistance guarantee, this sealant uses exclusive WeatherMax Technology for all-weather protection that provides a strong, weatherproof and crack-proof seal to keep out wind, snow, rain and cold air.

Check your furnace filter.

Did you know the dirtier your furnace filters are, the harder your furnace has to work? In most homes, filters should be changed monthly throughout the heating season. You should also have your furnace serviced periodically to make sure it is working properly. Not only will regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system give your wallet a break, but it can also significantly improve your furnace’s efficiency and longevity.

Defend against pests.

Avoid issues with mice and other pests trying to stay warm this season by sealing up gaps and cracks inside your garage, attic, basement and under sinks or around pipe and electrical cutouts using Mouse Shield. Specially treated to block mice, birds, bats and tree squirrels, as well as ants, roaches, spiders and bees, the foam also works to seal and insulate to help save on energy costs.

Protect your pipes.

Pipes can burst and cost a fortune to replace. Locate pipes in the home that pass through unheated areas, like crawlspaces or basements, and insulate them with foam rubber sleeves. Just cut the sleeve to fit the length of the pipe, wrap it around and secure with duct tape. In extreme cases, put heating tape on first to ensure that the pipe does not freeze. Also, be sure to locate your home’s water shut-off valve just in case a pipe does burst. Better safe than sorry.

For more ideas for your next project, check out DAP’s DIY videos on YouTube.

Winter Is Coming: Be Prepared For Costly, Damaging Storms

(BPT) – Winter weather is difficult to predict. Use these tips to help protect your home from the costly damage winter storms can bring.

Take care of your roof

  • Keep your gutters clear. This keeps ice from accumulating and backing up under the shingles.
  • Trim trees year-round so branches don’t fall on your house.
  • Worn-out, missing or damaged siding and roof flashing can let water and ice into your home. Be vigilant and replace them.
  • If your chimney is leaning or the mortar has seen better days, get it repaired.

Prevent ice dams

  • Eliminate heat sources under the roof, such as lights and heaters in the attic, that can contribute to thawing.
  • Keep the attic cool and ventilated to stop or slow the refreezing cycle.
  • Consult a roofing professional to remove snow or standing water before an ice dam can form.
  • Invest in a roof rake, a tool that allows you to stand on the ground and safely brush snow off the roof.
  • Avoid trying to chip any ice dams off your roof, as you could damage the roof. Ask a roof specialist for help instead.
  • Talk with your roof specialist about sealing the roof deck with a moisture barrier.

Prevent water damage

  • Ventilate the attic and insulate the attic floor to stop warm air in the house from melting snow and ice on the roof.
  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or 2 inches of Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-listed heat tape.
  • Caulk cracks and holes in the home’s outer walls and foundation. Holes left by cable installation can also leave pipes exposed.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around pipes.
  • Trickle water from faucets connected to pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces.
  • Locate the home’s main water valve – typically in the basement or outside near the curb – so you can turn water off quickly if a pipe does burst.
  • If you leave the house unoccupied for an extended period, shut off the water and have a professional drain the system. Turn the heat down, but don’t turn it off.

Clear surfaces where you walk or drive

  • Keep walkways, steps and driveways clear of snow and ice.
  • Treat these areas with rock salt or de-icing products.

For more information on ways to protect your home, visit USAA.com/HomeSafety.

Safety guidelines are not intended to be all inclusive, but are provided for your consideration. Please use your own judgment to determine what safety features/procedures should be used in each unique situation.

USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.

Five Fall Fix-Ups For Your Outdoor Space

(BPT) – After a long summer relaxing on your deck or patio, autumn is a great time to renovate your outdoor space – or build one from scratch. Home improvement expert Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” offers five tips for fabulous fall fix-ups.

Get decked out.

Fall is an ideal time to tackle a deck project, whether it be repairs, board replacement or a completely new build. In addition to offering more pleasant temperatures for working outside, fall and winter are typically slower times for contractors, meaning you won’t have to wait as long to get onto their schedules. Contractors may also be willing to offer off-season discounts on their services or materials, which tend to be cheaper after the spring and summer rush.

“Another big advantage of waiting until the off-season to tackle outdoor projects is contractor focus,” explains Victoria. “Rather than being one of many projects a contractor is juggling, you can be one of the few, which often translates into greater attention to quality and better customer service.”

Think high and low.

Research the best materials available for your budget and be sure to keep maintenance in mind. After all, the last thing you want is a deck that requires constant upkeep. Victoria suggests looking for materials that are both high performance and low maintenance.

“Trex decking is my go-to material for outdoor projects,” explains Victoria. “It’s a composite material that delivers the beauty of wood without the environmental impact, the labor-intensive upkeep or the natural deterioration over time. I love that it’s made from 95% recycled materials and only needs an occasional cleaning with soap and water to maintain its beautiful appearance for decades.”

Raise your railing game.

Railing is one of the most visible elements of a deck and has tremendous impact on a deck’s aesthetic and curb appeal. In recent years, the industry has seen an influx of statement-making railing styles inspired by contemporary architecture and commercial design. Give your outdoor space an instant facelift by replacing your old wood deck railing with sleek, sophisticated aluminum railing. Trex Signature Railing comes in a variety of modern designs, including rod, mesh and glass that can take any deck from drab to dramatic.

Hide and chic.

Nothing dampens the enjoyment of an elegant al fresco gathering quite like the sight of unattractive trash bins or nosy neighbors. Providing function and design, lattice is perfect for concealing storage areas or unsightly views and enhancing privacy. With styles ranging from romantic to deco, lattice panels also can be applied to structures such as arbors and trellises, or used as wainscoting or deck skirting.

Light it up.

“Lighting is a must for any outdoor space,” says Victoria. “In addition to amping up the ambiance, it enhances safety and helps to extend the time you can enjoy your outdoor space.” Outdoor lighting can easily be integrated into deck boards and stairs, as well as railing posts and caps. Trex offers DIY-friendly components that feature plug-and-play installation and energy-efficient LED bulbs that are dimmable and cool to the touch, making them safe for kids and furry friends.

3 Things That Might Go Wrong If You Don’t Winterize Your Home

(BPT) – Fall is here, which means, like it or not, cold weather is just around the corner. While most of us would prefer not to think about turning on our heat just yet, this is actually the best time to check your heating to ensure everything is operating as it should.

Neglecting to winterize your home and letting small issues pile up can have big repercussions. Ahead of the winter season, HomeServe, a leading provider of service plans, repair and installation services for the home, wants to make sure you’re aware of three major things that may go wrong if you don’t winterize your house or neglect your heating system.

Your utility bills may skyrocket.

Utility bills often jump up in the winter due to the increased hours of darkness and the cost to heat your home.

But if your heater is on the fritz or your filters are clogged, you could be in for an even bigger surprise. Dirty filters cause your furnace to work harder, which leads to inefficiency and a shortened lifespan for your heating system. Replacing filters is often an easy task for homeowners. A yearly tune-up is an inexpensive way to help prevent a costly system breakdown in the coming months. Also, keep in mind that some warranties require annual tune-ups, so don’t let your warranty go invalid by skipping this year’s tune-up.

The threat of carbon monoxide is very real.

Do you know how old your furnace is? Do you know how long it’s been since a professional checked it over? Carbon monoxide poses a health threat when the heating system flue, vent or chimney becomes blocked from debris or other material. During a heating system tune-up, a professional service technician can check to make sure all your vents are not blocked and are working properly. Drains and traps also need to be checked and combustion gases should be analyzed and compared to the specifications of your furnace or boiler to make sure everything is running safely. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home is another smart way to help with early detection.

Water pipes can burst.

It’s not just your heating system that needs to be winterized. All too often it happens – we wake up to realize our pipes are frozen, or even worse, leaking. Before the cold sets in, make sure outside hoses are put away and water is turned off. Evaluate which pipes are at the greatest risk for freezing during cold weather. For example, if your water pipes come up from an un-insulated crawl space, or if they are in or close to an uninsulated outside wall or vent, they are more likely to freeze and burst in low temperatures. Inside pipes should be covered in insulation to keep pipes warmer longer. Pipe insulation is easy to apply and available at most hardware stores and home centers.

By having an annual tune-up in the fall, you can catch small issues now, instead of experiencing bigger problems in the dead of winter. A tune-up can also save energy, reduce heating costs and prevent a system breakdown in the coming months.

For more information on National Tune-Up Day, including a heating system check-list, visit nationaltuneupday.com.

Simple Steps To Keep Your Second Home Safe From Costly Repairs

(BPT) – Whether it’s a cabin up north, a villa down south or a quaint cottage near family, many people in the United States own second homes. You spend time at these vacation properties during some seasons, but for much of the year they remain empty. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to ensure your property and belongings stay safe even when you’re not there.

Not only are vacation homes a target for thieves, but empty homes are often vulnerable to the elements and the unexpected. For example, can you imagine the damage that a water leak would cause if it remained undiscovered for weeks … or months? With a proactive approach you can keep your investment safe and give yourself important peace of mind.

To keep your second home secure, consider these smart steps:

1) Create the appearance of a lived-in home

It doesn’t matter if your home is in a well-traveled section of the city or a remote part of the forest, you want it to be secure from criminals. Vandals and robbers scout for empty homes, so one of the best ways to deter them is to make your property appear to be lived in. If they think someone is home, they’re more likely to stay away.

To create the appearance of a lived-in house, stop mail and newspaper deliveries immediately. Nothing screams “empty house” like a few weeks’ worth of papers at the front door. Next, keep the lawn mowed and trim the landscape, so the home is well maintained and doesn’t have overgrown shrubs where criminals can hide. Finally, alert a trusted neighbor that you’ll be gone, so they can keep an eye on things. Don’t know anyone nearby? Or is the property isolated? Consider hiring a property manager to check on the house periodically.

2) Consistently monitor water use

Even small water leaks can cause big damage, and if you’re not living in a home, that damage can multiply quickly. From leaks that cause terrible mold growth to burst pipes that flood entire floors, it’s easy to see why water is a top concern for owners of second homes while away. One simple solution is the Phyn Plus: Smart water assistant + shutoff. This intelligent device is installed on the main water line after the meter by an authorized Uponor Pro Squad team plumbing expert. Once installed, it uses programmed data and learns the home’s water-use habits, so it can proactively detect leaks and water problems in real time.

If a change is detected, you are alerted through a smart app on your phone, so you can take appropriate next steps. Phyn Plus will even shut off the water when an emergency is detected. You then can monitor or turn the water back on from any remote location. Learn more at www.phyn.com/installation.

3) Implement multiple security measures

Of course, you want to ensure you secure all doors, windows and other points of entry. But to really keep tabs on your second home, consider investing in a security system with an app or program for easy remote monitoring. With a live-monitor feature, you can check your home at any time. Additionally, programmable lights that turn on at set times inside give the illusion of people being home, and motion lights outdoors eliminate dark corners.

Finally, you might consider registering your home as vacant with the local police. Some cities offer a free service where an officer will come periodically to check your home while you’re away. Keep in mind this might not be available in your area and there may be a time limit for how long you can request these checks, but it’s worthwhile to call your local law enforcement and ask.

Put worries aside and keep your second home safe and secure by following these simple steps. That way you can feel confident that every time you visit your vacation property, you can enjoy it to the fullest.

3 Stylish Ways to Personalize Your Kitchen

(BPT) – From cooking to conversing to entertaining, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s also a space that homeowners often dream of renovating. A growing trend in kitchen design is personalization, where thoughtful updates go beyond stainless-steel appliances and standard cabinetry to incorporate a host of interesting design elements.

By adding splashes of personality to your kitchen, you make the space one of a kind, and you’ll enjoy it more because it reflects your preferences and style. Consider these key ways to breathe new life into any kitchen.

1) Switch up your cabinets

Want to give your cabinets a fresh look and add pizzazz without refacing or installing new ones? Try replacing existing hardware. Just as jewelry completes an outfit, hardware adds a finished look to cabinets. The variety of styles and materials for drawer and cabinet pulls – metals, ceramics, crystal, glass, stone – makes it easy to update your cabinets with little cost and effort. Don’t be afraid to mix and match hardware styles or experiment with shapes to add character.

Another idea is to update a few key cabinets. For instance, you can paint the cabinets above or directly beside the stove in black chalk paint, allowing you to add fun words and phrases – or even a favorite recipe – with chalk markers. You could also remove the face of several cabinets from the frame and add a clear or opaque glass insert for added visual interest and an unexpected touch of beauty.

Don’t forget about the often-overlooked toe-kick space – the recessed area just below the cabinets – which can be enhanced with subtle styling. Consider painting this area a statement color or adding tiles for a clever update you won’t see elsewhere.

2) Add vintage-style appliances

While stainless-steel appliances are popular in modern kitchens, distinctive appliances are a great way to add personality. Elmira Stove Works offers several vintage-inspired appliance lines in a variety of designs and colors. Whether you opt to update all your appliances or choose a single statement piece, your kitchen will feel inspired.

For those who lean toward a retro or midcentury modern look, the Northstar line delivers conversation-worthy style to any kitchen. Add a fun pop of color with classic hues like tropical blue, mint green and candy red, or choose from a broad selection of custom colors. Learn more at www.elmirastoveworks.com.

The Antique line features intricately detailed appliances with historic styling. These appliances are available in a range of traditional and custom colors, and can complement any vintage home design, including a rustic cabin, country cottage or lake house. For a turn-of-the-century feel, the Fireview stove has a visible wood-burning component that can also be used to heat rooms.

3) Light up the room

Proper lighting is essential for performing kitchen tasks, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Lighting provides an opportunity to get creative and bring touches of personality to the kitchen. By blending practical task lighting with decorative ambient lighting, you can inject the right balance of function and fashion.

Overhead and under-cabinet lighting make it easy to chop, cut, cook and more. Add a bit of flair with a layered approach – for example, strategically mix pendant and wall lights with recessed lighting. The globes that surround light fixtures are another great place to sprinkle in some character. From glass designs in vivid hues to textured metal looks, these surrounds come in myriad shapes and sizes.

You can find your favorite kitchen lighting options at local home improvement stores or boutique lighting shops. For something truly one of a kind, visit antique shops, flea markets and home decor reclamation stores. Whether an amazing art deco chandelier or an adorable Victorian decorative table lamp, you’ll discover unexpected gems for your kitchen.

When you add personal touches, you’ll enjoy an updated, customized space that will have you cooking and entertaining in style.

Top Tips To Protect Valuables From Extreme Weather Disasters

(BPT) – Natural disasters cost Americans $91 billion in damages in 2018, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With parts of the country in the midst of peak hurricane season, and other regions of the country approaching the dangerous wildfire and flooding seasons, experts emphasize the importance of safeguarding key assets, especially those irreplaceable personal and financial documents.

“As the number of extreme storms in the U.S. continues to rise, so does the importance of protecting your assets like sentimental family photos, wills, insurance/tax documents and more,” advises Cheryl Nelson, a certified instructor at FEMA’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC). “We can’t always predict exactly when natural disasters will strike, but we can take proactive steps to safeguard the things we deem irreplaceable.”

In observance of National Preparedness Month in September, the Master Lock Company and Nelson partnered to offer insights and advice for safeguarding valuables from the unexpected.

Safeguard your irreplaceable belongings.

Whether you’re waiting out a storm or must quickly vacate your home, your most important papers, records, photos, valuables and heirlooms will be more secure when stored in a fire- and water-protected safe, such as the durable SentrySafe Combination Fire/Water Safe or portable SentrySafe Fire/Water Chest.

Maintain digital copies.

Plan ahead for contingencies by storing copies of your most essential documents safely in the cloud, as well as portable flash drives. Free apps for Android and iOS phones make it easy to scan documents for that purpose.

Consider moving expensive artwork, antiques, wine, cars and/or other possessions to a temperature-controlled, generator-protected storage facility built for that purpose.

Secure your yard and home.

Make sure your trees are properly trimmed and ensure your yard is clear of lawn furniture, landscaping equipment and other loose items. Strong winds can also open doors to storage areas and sheds if not properly locked. Consider a durable Master Lock padlock, such as the new “Now Even Stronger” Laminated Padlocks, to keep outdoor storage areas secure.

Close interior doors.

Taking that step may preserve your roof in high winds, since it compartmentalizes the pressure inside the home into smaller areas, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Prepare for insurance claims.

Inventory and photograph your belongings as they’re purchased, attaching receipts and including appraisals when applicable.

Establish a lock box.

You never know when you could be trapped inside your home and/or need someone else to check on it during a disaster. Options like the durable Master Lock 5400D Portable Lock Box or easy-to-use Master Lock 5440D Portable Bluetooth Lock Box provide access via combination or smartphone.

A trusted name in security for nearly 100 years, The Master Lock Company offers a full suite of security solutions offering enhanced durability, reliability and security in myriad circumstances caused by natural disasters. For more information, visit www.masterlock.com.

Tips For Late Summer Gardening

(BPT) – Summer may be winding down, but a new opportunity to garden is just beginning. Plenty of vegetables and flowers can be grown successfully in late summer and into fall, so it’s a great time to refresh with plants that either thrive in slightly cooler weather or are easy to bring indoors once the temperatures start to drop.

Savor the flavors of fresh grown herbs.

With Pesto Party basil from Burpee Plants, you can have your own actual pesto party! Bring the basil indoors when there is danger of frost and keep the plant handy in a sunny spot in the kitchen so you can simply snip off leaves as you’re cooking and entertaining. Just be sure to leave some foliage on the plant so it will continue to grow. If you make a bigger batch of pesto than you can use in one recipe, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays to pull out and cook when desired.

Enjoy seasonal, fresh from the garden vegetables.

Kale Storm from Burpee is not only tasty, but it’s lovely to look at in your garden with its purple, green and blue-tinged leaves. It can be planted either in the ground or also works well in a decorative patio or porch planter for those with limited space. Unlike some plants, colder temperatures enhance and sweeten kale’s flavor, so it can withstand a hard frost or two.

Like a bit of variety in your salad? Burpee’s Gourmet Blend offers a long harvest range, and it includes five different types of lettuces in one plant for a truly varied and delicious salad selection. A raised garden bed in a sunny location is the best spot for successfully growing these varieties of lettuce during the fall.

A stunning new Brussels sprouts called Redarling has a vivid red hue to offer even more color to your cool-season edible garden. It has a mild taste and is a rich source of vitamin C and folic acid because of its unique red color. They stand up to cool nights and frost, so they’ll be popular at the dinner table late into the season.

Add color and a festive look to your porch, patio or garden.

Available in a variety of autumnal hues, Cool Wave Pansies are a great choice to brighten your outdoor space for the season. Cool Wave’s Sunshine ‘N Wine is a vivid, bold yellow flower with decorative deep burgundy on the petals’ edges, while Raspberry Swirl sports a gorgeous raspberry-colored design. In early fall, plant your favorites in a gourd, like a large pumpkin, to add a fun, festive touch to your front steps, porch or patio. Cool Wave Pansies are easy to maintain and offer long-lasting, colorful blooms to ensure your outdoor space is looking refreshed and vibrant for the season.

To get some colorful perennials thriving in your garden, late summer is a great time to grow flowers like fragrant Lavender, frilly Dianthus or pollinator favorite Echinacea (a native coneflower). Lavender plants can be grown in the garden or large planters and withstand drought well. You can use the florets in scented DIY projects. Dianthus thrives in sunny locations and can tolerate a light frost. They make excellent cut flowers to enjoy indoors. Echinacea colors range from white and yellow to shades of orange, pink and red. All are great choices if you’re trying to attract bees, song birds and butterflies to your yard.

Don’t give up on gardening just because summer is coming to a close. There’s plenty of time left to plant and enjoy the most colorful – and delicious – season of the year. For more tips and gardening ideas, visit burpeehomegardens.com and wave-rave.com.