Around the house
Opting for a staycation this summer? You can still feel like youre sleeping in an expensive hotel room every night by paying attention to your bed linens.
High-quality, luxurious-feeling sheets and plump pillows can go a long way in making your bed feel resort-worthy, said Cariev G. Doll, Annas Linens chief merchandising officer. She offered these tips for how to re-create the hotel bed experience in your own home:
Upgrade your existing mattress with a topper. Placed atop a mattress, a mattress topper is a soft, padded element that provides extra cushion for comfort and support two key ingredients of a luxury hotel bed, she said. Choose a topper that fits your budget and level of back support. Those include quilted mattress pads, pillow top mattress pads or featherbeds.
Remember to treat the topper as part of your mattress. Just as you flip or rotate your mattress every so often, rotate the topper, too, to make sure it wears evenly.
Opt for Egyptian cotton. There really is a difference, Doll said. Egyptian cotton is known as the one of the finest grades of cotton in the world. Its a sign of quality, strength and, most importantly for a luxury bed, softness. A 400- or 500-thread count will retain its strength and softness for years.
Dont skimp on the toppings. Choose a soft, yet voluminous comforter. Fills such as down, down alternative and cotton are great picks, depending on your budget. If opting for a duvet, make sure it is machine washable.
Keep the comforter or duvet color light and elegant, Doll added. Stick to ivory, cream, white or gold.
Plush pillows are a must. Whether for your head or just décor, pillows should be large, soft and luxurious in feel. Keep your preferences in mind (such as firm or soft), but opt for pillows that are hypoallergenic and have a high thread-count cover.
Hotel beds often use down or down alternative fills for their pillows, Doll noted. Or customize your sleep experience with a memory foam pillow.
Around the garden
Harvest tomatoes, beans, squash, pepper and eggplants to prompt plants to keep producing
Give your plants a deep watering twice a week, more if they look droopy or grow in containers.
Consistently moist but not soggy soil is key to good vegetable production. Tomato plants need about a gallon of water per day during hot weather. Also, consistent moisture can help prevent blossom end rot.
Also, give tomatoes a boost with phosphate-rich fertilizer to help fruiting. (Always water before feeding.)
Get started on the fall vegetable garden. Plant seeds for beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, head lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas and turnips.
Plant lettuce and spinach in flats in partial shade, then transplant to sunnier spots in the garden for fall salads.
Start asters, salvias and violas indoors for fall transplanting.
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