Fall Gardening in Middle Tennessee — 4 Simple Tips You Need to Know

Fall Gardening in Middle Tennessee — 4 Simple Tips You Need to Know

The fall weather is slowly, but surely, approaching. As kids head back to school in just over a week or so, we’ll begin to experience cooler temperatures and the beautiful fall weather our area is known for. With the introduction of this weather, our gardening and lawn care practices need to adapt to accommodate cooler weather, less ‘sun time’, and even different insects!
 
You can never be too prepared for the fall weather, especially when it comes to tending your garden. Keep your Middle Tennessee garden and yard looking lively all throughout autumn with these gardening tips.

Aerate Your Lawn and Garden

In order to thrive, your lawn must be aerated to the water and nutrients to properly reach the roots. At the beginning of autumn, you can either use a garden fork for smaller yards or a walk-behind aerator on larger sized yards.
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Image via Flickr

 

Should you forget this crucial step, you’ll find that your yard won’t look quite as nice and your grass will ultimately be unhealthy.

Plant Shrubs

The best time to add any type of tree or shrubbery to your landscape is in the fall. This allows the roots to grow and take root throughout the fall and winter months. By the time spring rolls back around, you’ll be pleased with the beautiful results!

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Take Advantage of the Weather

Fall is the perfect time to reconstruct or remodel your garden. Due to the workable soil and warm temperatures, you can use the beautiful autumn weather as an excuse to add all sorts of items to your garden, including:

 

  • Fountains
  • Rock Gardens
  • Concrete Pathways
  • Ponds
  • Additional Plants
  • Statues and Decorations
  • And More

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Remember, if you add these items to your garden, you must properly care for them throughout the year to ensure an aesthetically appealing yard.

Not Spring Cleaning — Fall Cleaning

Throughout the season, trees will begin to wither away for the winter, leaves will fall, weeds will grow; it’s a part of nature’s plan. This means that you have to do your due diligence and maintain your yard. Common yard maintenance tasks include:

 

  • Raking Leaves
  • Mowing the Lawn
  • Trimming Trees and Shrubbery
  • Weeding
  • Fertilizing the Lawn
  • Applying Mulch

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When you garden in the fall, what tips and tricks do you use to keep your yard looking pristine all year long? Let us know on Facebook!
 
 

5 Kid-Friendly Activities You Have to Do Before Summer Ends

5 Kid-Friendly Activities You Have to Do Before Summer Ends

5 Kid-Friendly Activities You Have to Do Before Summer Ends

 

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Whether we like it or not, the school year is almost here. In addition to buying school supplies and picking out a new backpack, make sure to spend the last few precious weeks of summer with your children doing one or more of these fun and entertaining activities. Luckily for Middle Tennessee residents, our region is packed with plenty of awesome summer activity options!

Take a Hike Through Middle Tennessee

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The beautiful summer weather only lasts for so long! There are plenty of places to go hiking in the Middle Tennessee area. Bring your children to one of these great hiking options before school starts:

Educational Summer Fun

While school may be out for the summer (for a little while longer, anyway), your children can still have a blast learning about all types of subjects.

 

Visit the Adventure Science Center to get your children psyched about science! Now through the end of the summer, visit the center to take part in all sorts of events, programs, and entertaining educational exhibits. From the Sudekum Planetarium to learning all about the human body, your children will have a great time at the Adventure Science Center.

 

If a trip to the science center isn’t in the cards this summer, visit their website for some crazy science experiments your kids can do right from home.

Adventure Science Center, Nashville

Image via Adventure Science Center — Facebook

 

Are your children interested in animals? If so, the Nashville Zoo is the place to be this summer. With new animals, exhibits, events, and programs for children, you don’t want to miss a trip to the zoo before school starts. In fact, the Nashville Zoo has a new animal resident — a baby giraffe!

 

Bring On the Thrills

If your family loves an adrenaline rush, a trip to an amusement park should be part of your summer schedule. There are plenty of amusement parks and other thrilling options close to the greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee area, including:

  • Nashville Shores — Be sure to check out the new ride for the 2015 year, the Big Kahuna!
  • Dollywood — Just a short trip outside of Middle Tennessee, this amusement park is a summertime classic.
  • Kentucky Kingdom — Did you know this amusement park was recently featured on the Travel Channel?

 

If you prefer to make a weekend or week long trip of it, there are several great amusement parks located within a day’s drive from Middle Tennessee.

Dollywood Amusement Park

Image credit: By McDoobAU93 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Set Up An In-Home Movie Theater

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Unfortunately, the Middle Tennessee summer weather can get a bit wet and even thunderous! Even when the weather is dismal, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Create a fun memory for your children by making an in-home movie theater.
Step 1) Make tickets to “purchase” from the ticket booth. You can let your kids create these however you wish. Let them show their creative side on a rainy day!

 

Step 2) Time to pop the popcorn. Whether you show your kids how to make popcorn the old-fashioned way or decide to pop a few bags in the microwave, delicious popcorn is the key to a great rainy day movie experience.

 

Step 3) Choose the movie! Find a movie you know all of your children will enjoy watching. Make sure they give you their tickets first!

 

Step 4) Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Get Creative in the Kitchen

Does your child have a favorite meal? If the summer weather isn’t ideal, you and your child can spend quality time together putting together their tasty meal. Remember, safety first in the kitchen, especially with little ones around.

Make a Summer Scrapbook

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Eventually, your children will have to go back to school and the summer will be over. But that doesn’t mean you have to forget all of the wonderful memories you made. Making a scrapbook with help from your children is the perfect way to end the summer!
What exciting activities do you plan on doing with your kids before the school year starts?  Let us know on the PARKS Facebook page!

5 Backyard Games for Unforgettable Summer Fun

5 Backyard Games for Unforgettable Summer Fun

There is simply no better time than the summer to enjoy an outdoor activity with friends and family. The warm Middle Tennessee weather in the summer months is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while engaging in some friendly competition.

 

There are plenty of options for backyard games that everyone can enjoy regardless of age or skill level.

 

Are you looking for your next excuse to get outside and enjoy the pleasant summer weather? Here are some low-maintenance options that will provide you with hours of fun!

Bocce Ball

A beautifully simple game, bocce ball only requires a bocce ball set and a yard! Bocce sets can be found in a variety of materials from metal to plastic. It will always consist of eight larger balls with one smaller ball (called the “Jack”) and usually a carrying case and instructions.

 

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The game itself is pretty simple: start by throwing the “Jack” to a certain part of your yard, then the teams take turns tossing or rolling the larger balls at the “Jack” with the goal of landing it as close as possible to the “Jack.” You can utilize your entire yard and throw from any direction, so you can play for hours!

Cornhole

Even if you have never heard of cornhole, you’ve probably seen it in action. Cornhole has been a staple of barbecues and tailgates for years and will always be a classic thanks to its simple setup and execution.

 

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Cornhole requires two cornhole “targets” (tilted platforms with a circular hole cut out at the top end) and 6-8 bean bags. The targets are placed directly across from each other (modify the distance to accommodate younger players) and two teams of two people take turns tossing the bean bags at the platforms with the goal of making it into the cutout hole.

 

There are different point values for different situations, such as a beanbag just landing on the platform. It is up to you how to score the game and how it is won though most people play until one team reaches a certain score.

Badminton

A classic if there ever was one, badminton has always been around. Essentially, badminton is a backyard friendly mix of tennis and volleyball.

 

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The rules of badminton are simple, use your racquet to send the birdie to your opponents’ side of the net (in bounds!), and don’t let the birdie touch the ground on your side.

 

Most games are played to 21 points, but this can easily be changed to suit your needs. Badminton sets are sold at virtually every sporting goods store in a variety of sizes, materials and colors. Most sets will include everything you need, but make sure that your set includes stakes and tie-down ropes.

Horseshoes

Another classic game that has stood the test of time, horseshoes can provide unlimited hours of fun. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never played horseshoes, and even if you did, it would take you no time to explain the concept to them.

 

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The game involves throwing horseshoes at a stake from an appropriate distance. The closer the horseshoe lands to the stake, the more points are awarded (similar concept to cornhole). Just like most backyard games, it is sold in sets in all sorts of varieties.

Ladder Golf

One of the newer lawn games, ladder golf is quickly emerging as a favorite amongst families all over the country. While there are sets you can buy, some people have turned this game into a project and made their own ladder golf equipment.

 

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In ladder golf, you take turns tossing bolas (two golf balls connected by rope) at the “ladder” style targets that will contain three horizontal bars. The goal is to toss the bola so that it wraps around one of the bars and it must come to rest while staying on the bar. One point is awarded for a bola wrapped around the bottom rung of the “ladder”, two points for the middle bar and three points for the top bar.

 

The game can be played to whichever point value you decide, but 21 points (while not going over) is the most common goal.

 

Make these games a part of your outdoor time this summer and create lasting memories with your friends and family!