Where did Summer go? By Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle, inc.

That delicious summer season - it’s almost gone. In the New North – Minnesota – there’s a whole series of activities that start once summer is winding down.

1) Outdoor plants come in or go to the compost pile.

For a last few weeks we cover our plants to extend the garden. Sometimes I wake up to “garden ghosts” levitating over our planting beds and oversized pots. That’s when there is only a week or so left in the season.

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2) Drain and clean the pool.

If you are lucky enough to have a pool – it’s time to winterize. Boats come out too and get shrink wrapped for winter. It’s when the geese fly south and there’s a possible overnight freeze that signals the end of all the water sports for the season.

3) Clean windows before it freezes.

There is a race around here to clean windows before it’s too cold to do so. Late September to early October we try to fit into the schedule. Do it now before you have to wait until next April!

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4) Pack up the patio including umbrellas, cushions, etc.

There’s a whole Tetris philosophy in our garages and basements where we pack the most savored season of the year in preparation for spring. Stacking chairs are the best along with battery operated candles and lanterns. Remember to take the batteries out so they don’t degrade in the light fixture.

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5) Savor any late harvest foods.

Tomatoes will still try to produce until the first hard freeze. Sometimes we even bring the last of the herb plants in for a fresh burst of flavor post growing season.

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6) Enjoy bonfires and BBQs.

Until it’s so howling cold even a fire can’t keep you warm, continue to BBQ as much as possible. Heck, most of us just move from land to the icehouse villages on our 14,000+ lakes for the next few months. Happy Fall everyone!