How to Prep Your Garden for Spring Now

Most avid gardeners can’t wait until the snow and cold of Midwest winters finally move on. And while you’re waiting for the sun to peek out of the clouds and shine its rays on the ground, take the time to brainstorm, design, troubleshoot, and prepare your garden for the spring season to come. Whether your plot is for growing fruits, veggies, flowers, or herbs, taking early action can get you closer to your overall goal. And to get you started on planning ahead of time, here are a few ways that you can prep your garden for spring now.

Pay Attention to Sunlight

Sunlight is a vital element for young plant shoots, and depending on the size and shape of your garden, some areas of land can receive a greater amount of sunlight than others. And knowing which sections are more likely to bask in direct light can help you decide where to dispense seeds. Be sure to periodically check where the snow and ice on your property begin to melt quickly to see where the sunlight is most ample.

Consider Watering Methods

Use the dreary days of winter to review your current irrigation techniques. Although a garden hose might seem like the easiest way to get moisture to your plants, it can waste a lot of unnecessary water. And if you’re looking for a new method to try out in your garden, consider a drip irrigation system. This process will save you time in both watering and weeding your plot of land, as only the immediate area around your plants will receive water. And with a system that can be tailored to any type of garden, it’s definitely something to consider before the springtime comes.

Prepare the Soil

When the winter snow and ice begins to recede, start preparing your soil for planting and have a soil test done on your garden’s pH level. If your soil is low on pH, take this time to spread limestone over the land to decrease the ground’s acidity. Since winter temperatures tend to linger in the Chicago area, you might have to wait a little bit longer to turn the soil over and extract unwanted roots and bulbs, but as some plants will need de-rooting right away, you might need to plant seed boxes as soon as the ground is thawed. Many plants, especially vegetables, can take up to two months to become transplantable and will need to be worked on right away.

Clear Away Debris

While you’re waiting for warmer temperatures, start prepping your garden by clearing away all unwanted debris from around your plot of land. The fall and winter seasons can be full of storms, high winds, and harsh weather, and can bring trash, tree limbs, and leaves into your garden area. And the sooner you get rid of all the scrap and rubble brought in from the previous months, the sooner your plants will be able to sprout from their cleared up garden bed safely.

8 Tips for Relocating to Chicago

The city of Chicago can be an exciting adventure for those who’ve never experienced it before. With some help from our friends over at Cheap Chicago Movers (site |, we’ve put together a list of the top things you should keep in mind when relocating to the Windy City:

1. Choose the Right Neighborhood

Chicago is a unique city with several different neighborhoods that take on a life of their own. From the contemporary art scene of Bridgeport to the bustling streets of Chinatown to the northern suburbs of Evanston, it’s essential to choose a region that’s a good fit for you and your family. As you’ll most likely find your daily groceries, go-to shopping, and entertainment in whichever location you choose, it’s best to do a little research before moving into a Chicago neighborhood.

2. Embrace the Cold

There’s no getting around the stormy weather and consistent snow-worthy temperatures when living in Chicago. Instead of grumbling and complaining about being cold and wet, try finding ways to get the most out of the weather, such as engaging in winter activities, investing in warm coats and jackets, and finding plenty to do indoors.

3. Use Public Transportation

Most Chicago residents prefer taking public transportation over driving a car around the city. And because maintaining a car can be more expensive than taking public transit, you might want to consider buying train, bus, or subway passes once you move into the city.

4. Research the Real Estate

Chicago has many styles of housing that are sprawled across the city, including single-family homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments, and townhouses that are either for sale or rent. Before choosing the type of home you want to live in, consider how you want your home to look, how much space your family will need, and how much money you’re willing to invest. After you’ve decided on what you and your family need, spend a significant amount of time researching and visiting any property that you’re interested in.

5. Indulge in Local Cuisine

With deep dish pizzas, Italian beef sandwiches, and juicy street hot dogs, Chicago is known for its delicious cuisine. To get better acquainted with the city’s culture and vibe, it’s worth indulging from time to time.

6. Learn the Famous Landmarks

Getting around town can be much easier when you know Chicago’s historical monuments and famous attractions. Take a day to explore the streets and locate places such as Millennium Park, Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute of Chicago. You’ll have a better understanding of the city’s direction and streets when learning where the important buildings are located.

7. Take Full Advantage of Summer

With a winter that stretches on and on, Chicago natives understand the value of getting out and enjoying sunny days. Take time in the warmer months to attend community festivals, gatherings, and farmers markets, and meet new people in your neighborhood. It’s a great way to feel more connected to the city and others around you while enjoying a beautiful day outside.

8. Respect the Tradition

Finally, remember that the city of Chicago is filled with many beloved traditions. From St. Patrick’s Day to sporting events to cultural holidays, residents take pride in their annual celebrations. Learning to respect the culture of those around you will help you to appreciate and love the city of Chicago more and more.

Find Sun with These Fun Travel Getaways

As a resident of Chicago, you’re probably used to shoveling snow and staying indoors during the long winter season. If you’re looking to head somewhere a bit warmer as cold temperatures drag on, you’ll find plenty of affordable getaway options from one of Chicago’s airports. Below are a few sunny destinations that are a mere flight away from the Windy City.

San Diego, California

Break away from Chicago’s frigid winter weather and take the four-hour flight to the West Coast city of San Diego, California! Here, you’ll find the quintessential SoCal experience packed with food, culture, and fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. And with winter temperatures averaging in the mid-60’s, it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sun.

The city’s winter climate provides plenty of excitement for thrill-seekers and beach-goers and includes year-round kite surfing, wake boarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. And if you’re looking for a taste of authentic Mexican fare, look no further! San Diego is known for its delicious carne asade fries at Lolitas and fry-stuffed California burritos at Nico’s Mexican Food.

Honolulu, Hawaii

This dream vacation spot offers a unique blend of urban living with a tropical, jungle climate that creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for visitors. And with gorgeous sandy beaches and clear blue skies, what more could you ask for when escaping from Chicago’s dreary streets?

When arriving in Honolulu, we recommend heading straight to the world-famous Waikiki Beach, which is the best location for swimming, canoeing, and surfing in the beautiful ocean waves. A hike to Diamond Head (a gigantic volcanic crater) is also a must-see in Hawaii and provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the city’s beaches, bays, and stunning natural scenery. Travel time from Chicago to Honolulu is approximately eight and a half hours by plane and is definitely worth the trip.

Miami, Florida

With the hottest winter temperatures in the United States mainland, Miami is a hot spot for travel during the colder months of the year. And with an average flight time of two and a half hours from Chicago to Miami, it’s an easy destination to get to!

Miami’s unique mix of ethnic backgrounds makes it a mecca for international cuisine and is known for its spicy New World dishes that combine elements of Latin American and Caribbean food. Visitors will also have no problem finding delicious restaurants that are infused with South American, Japanese, Chinese, and Middle Eastern influences, and is a great city for foodies and adventurous eaters alike.

Besides eating like royalty, most visitors love spending time at Miami Beach, which is perfect for laying out your towel, soaking up the sun, and listening to the ocean waves hit the shore. And for those of you who are looking to experience Miami’s famous party scene, head on over to the South Beach area and Biscayne Bay, where you can meet other tourists while enjoying fun recreational activities.