Backyard family Living

Preparing patio furniture for fall.

Now is the time to clean outdoor furniture and prepare it for the change of seasons.

Stains allowed to sit for a season are often nearly impossible to remove.

By tackling this task before outdoor tables and chairs fall into disuse (and start looking the part), you'll have attractive pieces to pull out of storage and use on those occasional warm fall days or nights.

Here's how to quickly clean away a summer's worth of dirt and grime on everything from outdoor cushions, hammocks, table umbrellas to outdoor tables and chairs of wood, aluminum, resin, teak, vinyl, wicker and wrought iron.

10 fall gardening tips.

Fall gardening should begin when your plants start to notice the chill in the air.

That's the time to start preparing plants for winter.

  • These 10 essential fall gardening tasks, once completed, are virtually guaranteed to get your plants, flowers, and vegetables through the big chill ahead.

If you want your botanical buddies to stick around until spring, these 10 fall gardening tasks are a must.

9 essential garden tools.

Gardens require work. Work requires hand tools (usually).

Planting is no different.

There are dozens of tools that will make your planting life more comfortable -  perhaps even more fruitful.

If you have to draw the line somewhere, however, these are the 9 items you won't want to be without in your backyard garden.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.