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Outdoor Living & Recreation
The summer is drawing to a close – but, that does not mean you need to say goodbye to your outdoor space. It’s still a great place to relax in the fall when the heat of late summer has given way to milder days and cooler nights. Here are some fun and easy upgrades you can make to your backyard or patio space to get it ready for fall.
Patio heaters are a great way to keep warm and cozy when the cooler nights begin. These heaters are portable, easy to use, and run on a variety of fuels.
There are two important aspects of choosing a patio heater. One is choosing the correct output for the space you want to heat. You can do this by checking the unit’s BTUs. The other is choosing the power source you want to use. The three main heater types are natural gas, propane and electric.
Natural gas heaters, while pricier up front, are cheaper to fuel down the road. They connect directly to your home’s natural gas line that may already be running to your backyard to fuel a grill, barbecue or smoker. While the fuel is cheaper, they are not as portable as heaters with other fuel sources because they need to be permanently attached to the fuel line. However, with that also comes the bonus of not having to refill a fuel canister.
If portability is important to you, a propane heater may be your best option. Propane heaters, while also fuelled by gas, don’t need to be connected to a fuel line. Instead, they carry their propane source on board with them.
Electric heaters’ outputs are measured in wattage, so to determine what kind of heater you need, you’ll need to know how many watts they produce. While electric heaters lack some portability because of their need for an electrical source, they make up for it with the wide variety of styles available. Electric heaters are perfect if you want to hang your heater above your deck or attach it to a wall, all of which cannot be done with gas models.
Take advantage of the bright, crisp, sunny days of fall with a comfortable place to relax by adding a hammock to your backyard. If you’ve added a patio heater, you now have a comfy and warm spot where you can spend the night on your back watching the stars.
If you don’t have trees in your backyard to set up a hammock, don’t worry! A hammock stand is a portable option that comes in handy if you like to move your hammock around the yard or travel with it. Hammock stands are easy to tear down into a small bundle for the road, and just as easy to set up when you’re ready to relax.
If you have a deck with a pergola-style covering, you can even hang your hammock from the posts and lounge on your deck. Or, if lying down isn’t your thing, there are hammocks that attach to the underside of a beam to be used as a chair.
If you want to further upgrade your hammock to make it the ultimate place for comfort, you can buy an underquilt that attaches underneath your hammock and keeps your body heat in. And if you don’t want to get up (and in a hammock, who does?), you can add a gear sling that you can load up with food and drinks, and hang from the bottom of your hammock.
The end of the summer doesn’t mean the end of the vegetable gardening season! There are a variety of vegetables that you can plant in your own backyard in the fall. Some you can even harvest throughout the winter.
Garlic and radishes are two root vegetables that can be planted in the fall. Garlic can take a full nine months to reach full maturity so planting it just before the first frost will bring a great summer harvest the following year. Radishes are hardy enough to survive the cold weather and can be harvested during the winter. These radishes will grow at a slower pace than those planted in the summer but some avid gardeners will say that the increased time improves the flavour.
With some of these backyard upgrades, you can make your space cozy, comfortable and productive, all at the same time.