Learning About Embracing The Natural Landscape

3 Exterior Cosmetic Changes To Attract Tenants To Your Vacent Rental Property

As a landlord, even if you only own a single rental property, then you understand how important it is to not have a vacant property. Every month that your space sits empty, you are losing income. So,it’s important to make sure that you have a fast turnover. If your place has sat empty for longer then you feel comfortable, then you should make an effort to make the outside area (house and lawn) look beautiful. If you’ve already taken care to make sure the interior is nice, then it’s important to make sure the outside is nice as well. People make instant judgements on a place, and if prospective tenants arrive to the house and see a messy lawn and chipped paint, they won’t be too impressed, even if the inside of the house is beautiful. So, here’s what to do.

Paint or Powerwash

Nothing will make a house look worse than a faded exterior. If you have wooden clapboard, shakes, or shingles, then you should get them repainted. This is a fast and easy way to make the house look brand new. If you own a ranch style house (or another single story design) then you can even manage it yourself if you don’t mind the effort involved. If it’s a two-story home, you are going to probably bring in professional painters because of the high work involved (painting on a ladder is tricky and time consuming).

If you have vinyl siding, you should bring in a company and have it power washed. This will wash away all of the grime and make the house look clean and new.

Fix Any Bare Spots On The Lawn

The next step is to bring in a landscaper and have them fix your lawn. Nothing makes a property look worse than a dirt yard with some patches of weeds. If your last tenants didn’t take care of the lawn (or you failed to) then it’s time to fix that problem. You can have a landscaper come in and lay new sod so that you have a bright green lawn without the wait that comes with seeding. Then, once the lawn is up and thriving, you need to keep in contact with the landscapers. Have them come by and do routine maintenance (weeding, patch work, fertilizing, mowing) so that you don’t have to spend time at the property yourself and you don’t have to ask your tenants to do it.

Bring In Flowers

Another way to brighten up the property is to bring in flowers. You can have the landscaper create a small strip in front of your house and plant annual flowers. These will already be in bloom, and will stay colorful for the season. They could separate the strip from the main lawn by using cedar chips, or small pebbles. If you prefer to have large plants, you could ask landscapers like Pattie Group, Inc to bring in large potted plants in big planters that can be situated at either side of your front door.

 

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7 Ways to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

You know that winter is always just around the corner, and it might already be snowy in your neck of the woods. If you still have time to prepare your yard for the winter, take these steps to make sure that your yard looks great when spring rolls on in this year.

1. Clear debris from your yard.

This includes dead grass, leaves, and other lawn mess. Otherwise, you may find your yard building up a layer of moss and fungus that may lead to disease for the entirety of your beautiful landscape. Provide your lawn with a solid raking to ensure that there is plenty of air for it to breathe. Want to go the extra mile? Poke holes with spikes for better drainage.

2. Mow it low.

Mow your grass slightly shorter than normal. This will help to ensure that the bottom of your grass gets plenty of attention from the sun. 

3. Pull out dead or dying annuals.

Unfortunately, many flowers die around this time. It is important to pull these out and discard them to prevent rot, but also if you want to keep your yard looking fresh.

4. Turn off sprinklers.

If you live somewhere where it freezes, it is time to turn off the sprinklers. Otherwise, you might end up with frozen and burst pipes. Plus, turning off the sprinklers will help you save money on your water bill. You might also consider draining your sprinkler lines while you are at it.

5. Wrap shrubs that are sensitive to the cold.

It might be time to start warming up shrubs and flower bushes that struggle in the cold. A bit of a cover-up could very well contain heat and keep your plants alive during a particularly harsh season.

6. Introduce winter-resistant plants.

Struggling to keep plants healthy during the cold months? It might be time to invest in some new greenery that will keep your yard looking fresh all year long.

7. Keep sidewalks clear to prevent people from walking on the grass.

Your grass will be especially vulnerable this time of year, so it is important to make it easy to avoid walking on grass. Keep sidewalks around your house clear of ice and snow for this reason.

Still need help keeping your lawn safe this season? Call on a professional landscaper for more ways to ensure that your yard remains in great shape.

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Make Use Of Salvaged Materials With 3 DIY Landscaping Projects

Landscaping your yard can get expensive when you’re purchasing most of your landscaping supplies from a local store. If you have intentions of working on the landscaping of your yard and need to save money due to a limited budget or simply want to divert your money towards various projects around your home, it’s a good idea to look into how salvaged materials can be used.

Purchasing used materials for cheap or even picking them up for free can help you create a yard that feels truly unique without sacrificing quality. If you’re uncertain of how to use salvaged materials for your yard, consider the following three projects.

Incorporate Old Pieces of Wood for Steps

Getting steps installed can allow you to create an interesting walkway in your yard. This can be a fantastic way to have a designated walkway that is affordable to install. Instead of choosing paving or laying down bricks, you can have old pieces of wood laid into the dirt. By digging small holes for each piece of wood and surrounding the area with mulch or grass, you’ll be able to create a look that feels rustic, while serving its purpose as a walkway.

Build a Retaining Wall Using Brick or Stone

Another idea for repurposing used materials in your yard is getting a retaining wall installed. Retaining walls don’t need to be very tall, making it easier to use a variety of repurpose materials to create the look you want. Whether you decide to use bricks or stones for your retaining wall, you can add some separation in your yard and enjoy the look of the repurposed materials.

Try Lawn Trimmings for Quick Mulch

You may not be aware that you can repurpose some of your lawn trimmings as part of your landscaping. Instead of purchasing mulch to spruce up your yard and discourage weeds and other plants from growing in a certain area, you can try using lawn trimmings. This can either be in the form of pine tree needles or even grass that’s been freshly cut.

Landscaping doesn’t need to be expensive, especially if you purchase or pick up salvaged materials for the different features in your yard. Check with a landscape supply store for more ideas and tips for working with salvaged materials. With the above projects in mind, you’ll be able to find a unique look that works for your needs and fits your budget.

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How To Install A Stone Garden Edging

If you want an elegant touch for your garden area, add a stone edging, often called paver edging. Adding a stone edging is attractive, but it also keeps weeds under control, and it defines a mowing edge. You should be able to lay the edging yourself with no landscaping experience. Here are some tips to install a stone garden edging.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • string or hoses
  • landscape spray
  • hand tamper or digging bar
  • shovel, stakes
  • course sand
  • wheel barrow or wagon
  • plastic barrier (optional)
  • landscaping stones

Draw an outline of the garden on paper, and determine a placement for the edging. Outline the area with hoses, or drive stakes in the ground, and place strings around them.

If you use hoses, mark the outline with landscape spray, and remove the hoses. Don’t make tight corners, since it would involve cutting the stones to size.

Measure the area to figure the amount of stones needed. Stones are commonly around one foot, so divide the perimeter by twelve for the number of stones needed. Rock edging can be any shape, but buy rocks of similar sizes to create symmetry.

Dig the Trench

Measure the height and width of each stone. Dig the trench slightly wider as wide as the widest stone, and to a depth one-half inch less than the height of the stone. Toss dirt into a wheelbarrow or wagon.

Tamper the soil that remains in the trench with the hand tamper. If the trench is narrow, use a digging bar to pack dirt. Add sand to the bottom of the trench for better drainage, and tamper the sand.

You don’t have to install a plastic weed blocker, but it helps save time on pulling weeds later. Cut and place the strips on the edge of the trench.

Lay the Stones

Set the stones in the trench backfilling it on the grass side with the soil you removed earlier. If you have multiple size stones, place one of similar size and shape together. Tap the stones with a mallet to make them even.

Fill spaces with native soil until it matches the soil grade. Pick loose grass blades from the soil.

If the edging is being installed between a garden and gravel path or concrete path, use gravel to fill the trench on the gravel or concrete side. Spread mulch on the grass side of the trench until it reaches soil grade, or add it an angle from the flower bed using the same mulch as the flower bed. 

A stone garden edging gives your yard a rustic look, and it is practical. If you don’t trust yourself to do the job, or you need ideas, contact a landscaper (like All Season Landscaping). 

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Four Unconventional Groundcovers To Grow Between Stepping Stones

Few things are more delightful than a tranquil garden path marked by stepping stones, particularly when the spaces between those stones are occupied by soft and colorful groundcover plants. Although most groundcover will struggle to survive under high foot traffic, other species will thrive and flourish regardless of how often they are stepped on — and they are often available to buy as wholesale plants. These are four unusual and beautiful plants that are hardy enough to be grown as part of a walking path while still being comfortable enough to be navigated barefoot.

Dwarf Mondograss

Mondograss, or lilyturf, is a Japanese evergreen perennial that spreads quickly and grows well in partial shade or full sunlight. In summer and fall, delicate white or purple flowers ripen into bright blue berries, which are generally safe for humans and pets to consume. Dwarf mondograss never grows more than a few centimeters high, making it ideal for weaving between stepping stones.

Corsican Mint

Most mints grow tall, wide and wild when given the opportunity, but Corsican mint is unique in that it remains close to the ground for its entire growth cycle. When stepped on, the crushed mint releases a pleasant, refreshing smell similar to peppermint. Corsican mint is particularly useful for dry, shaded walkways, though it will grow in full sun as well. Most of the time, Corsican mint is composed only of small, vibrant green leaves, but it does occasionally break out in small purple flowers in summer.

Portulaca

This South American native is instantly recognizable by its small, vibrant flowers and succulent, cactus-like foliage. It requires full sun but is relatively drought-tolerant, meaning it won’t shrivel up if you neglect to water your walkway for a few days. Portulaca grows somewhat taller than the rest of the plants on this list, but regular foot traffic should be enough to keep it contained. Even better, most members of this family are edible and commonly cooked up or tossed into a salad.

Creeping Mazus

Mazus is a creeping flower hailing from the Himalayan mountains, and its long blooming season makes it particularly popular for garden walkways. Besides being sturdy enough to handle the occasional foot from above, mazus is also known for spreading quickly, so be prepared to prune or contain this plant if it starts expanding beyond your comfort. By choosing one of these groundcovers over a more fragile variety to plant between your stepping stones, you will soon transform your mundane path into an enchanting and sweet-smelling walkway. Talk to a landscaper, like Kauai Nursery & Landscaping Inc, for more ideas.

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How To Build A Faux Rock Waterfall In A Yard Without Ponds

If you want the look of a waterfall in your landscape, but you lack the hills or the ponds, consider building a faux rock waterfall. All you need to do is dig a small basin to serve as a drainage point. It is a task a beginning DIY enthusiast can complete without a professional landscaper. Here are some tips to build a faux rock waterfall in your yard 

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • wheel barrow or wagon
  • shovel
  • tamper
  • two plastic or rubber hoses
  • pond liner 
  • waterfall pump
  • sand
  • spray paint
  • assortment of artificial cascade and wall rocks

If this is your first time digging in your yard, schedule a property survey with your utility company to ensure you own’t damage hidden cables or utility lines. Contact your local water company to find out if there are any water shortages in your area.

Dig the Basin

Choose an area for the basin. The area you choose for the pond should be free from debris and near an electrical source safe enough to run a power cord to it.

Set the pond liner in the area, and spray paint around the liner to mark for digging. Dig the basin as deep as the liner following the spray paint lines. Periodically place the liner in the basin to check for depth. Throw dirt in a wheel barrow or wagon.

Choose the location for the water pump, and dig a trench from the basin to the pump. Fill the trench with the soil you removed from digging the basin, and use a tamper to pack it. Spread a half-inch layer of sand on the bottom of the basin. Install the liner; shaping it to fit around the pump.

Set the pump on a concrete base, and attach the hose from the pond basin to the input valve on the pump. Dig a second trench from the waterfall to the pump. Attach the other hose to the output on the pump; running it through the trench, then fill the trench.

Set the Rocks

Start setting bigger, flat rock pieces around the hose to overlap the basin. Apply mortar or concrete to the rocks to secure them, and let the sealant dry. Try to keep the hose in the center.

Add two layers of smaller rocks on top of the large rocks. Make a lip on the top layer with the opening pointing to the basin to control direction of the water. Add sealant around the hose to guard against leaks.

Hide edges of the liner with rocks or plants. Disguise the pump with a big rock, or pump housing.

Fill the basin with water, and test the waterfall. A faux rock waterfall will enhance your landscape; If you don’t trust your skill, or you need other ideas, contact a landscape architect.

For a landscape architect, contact a company such as Robert Schweitzer

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3 Reasons Why You May Want To Have A Sprinkler System Installed In Your Yard

If you have been thinking about having a sprinkler system installed in your yard but are still unsure whether you would truly benefit from it, you will want to check out the following points.

You Can Reduce Your Water Bill

Do not make the mistake of assuming that a sprinkler installation would cause your water bill to rise more than it already does when you are watering everything by hand. You are most likely going to find that the installation of a sprinkler system is going to save yourself a lot of money on your water bill due to the fact that you will no longer have to worry about over watering your lawn, garden, or flowerbed. The sprinklers will be spaced evenly and you will adjust the sprinkler settings so they only run for a certain number of minutes and only a certain number of times each day. You will be able to turn off the sprinklers if you are expecting rain that day, since the additional watering will not be necessary.

You Save Yourself A Lot Of Time

When you have a sprinkler system in place instead of having to manually water everything with a garden hose, you are going to save yourself a lot of time. You will also not have to worry about finding a friend, family member, or neighbor that is willing to properly water your lawn for you while you are away on business trips or vacations. After all, you would not want to find that all of your hard work went to waste because your lawn was not watered and there was not a drop of rain that fell from the sky while you were away.

Increases The Curb Appeal Of Your Home

The installation of a sprinkler system can add to the curb appeal of your home in two ways. One way is through the plush grass, shrubs, and flowers that will grow beautifully thanks to being watered regularly. The proper watering through the use of a sprinkler system will simply make your landscape look much more appealing. Also, when people notice that you have a sprinkler system in place, they will realize that you are a homeowner that has made an effort to take good care of the property. All of this is important should you ever find yourself in a position where you need to sell your home.

 With those three points in consideration, you should have no trouble understanding why you will want to install a sprinkler system in your yard.

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