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How to Maintain Your Backyard During Winter

 

Now that the temperature outside has declined, it is a great time to get outside and to make sure your yard is prepared for the long winter ahead. It’s easy to think that you can leave everything the way it is. After all, the snow has covered everything up. However, properly maintaining your property, your lawn, and your yard items will ensure that everything is in good shape come spring.

Plants

Taking care of your plants not only protects your yard, but also can protect your home as trimming trees and shrubs can prevent ants from entering your home. If you have very delicate bushes or small trees, you can use burlap to wrap them up. This will protect them from frost, ice, and snow. It’s a good idea to have planted your vegetation in early spring. This would have given enough time for things to have rooted down properly before the temperatures dropped.

Lawn

If it’s a sunny winter day, you might see some leaves on your lawn. Make sure you clean them up before the snow completely covers them up, as you don’t want to leave them on the ground for the entire winter. If you do, by the time spring comes around and everything thaws out, you’ll be left with a very thick mess of leaves that has partially broken down. You won’t be able to just mow over them. It’s a lot easier to rake them up when they’re still fairly dry.

Furniture

If you have patio furniture that is unprotected from the elements, you should

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How to Enjoy Your Outdoor Patio All Year Long

If you live in a seasonal climate, you may think your patio is only for warm weather and stash away the furniture and cushions until spring. Many people who live in cold climates don't want to give up their outdoor living just because it's a bit chilly. Here are a few suggestions that will help you enjoy your patio throughout the year.


Bring on the Heat

You can keep your backyard patio nice and toasty during the winter by adding a fire pit, fire table, or table-top heater. This allows you to still enjoy your outdoor space during the cold months. If you want to remove your fabric cushions during the winter, you can replace them with warm, fluffy blankets. Guests can use them to sit on or wrap them around their shoulders. Make sure your patio is covered and has at least two enclosed sides. One may be your house, and the other should be a screened or a glass enclosure. This will help contain the heat generated by a fire pit, barbecue grill, or table-top heater.


Cover Your Patio

Short of a thunderstorm, it's nice to sit outside on a rainy day, provided you have shelter. Even if you live in an area where it rains a lot, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sitting outside any time of year. You can cover your patio with a permanent roof, which will provide shade during the summer. Louvered roofing that can be opened and closed as the weather permits is a popular alternative to a permanent roof. Sliding glass doors on the roof are...

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Three Things to Consider Before Building a Patio

If you're looking for a way to add living space but can't build new rooms in your home, installing a patio may be the right choice for you. Custom-made patios not only add a touch of style to your property but are also the perfect place for entertaining or simply sitting outside and relaxing with family. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you think about constructing a patio of your own.

What's the Purpose?

When it comes to creating extra living space, patios are one of the best options available. Patios can be tailored to suit your personal style and the exact dimensions of your yard. Even the smallest of spaces can benefit from a patio. The exact dimensions and materials used will depend on what you want, your available budget and the size of your yard.

Avoid Breaking the Bank

When it comes to patio installation, concrete styles are probably the most affordable. There are various options to choose from and all of them can be inviting and exciting. Depending on your personal style and finances, you can create the perfect space for entertaining all year long. When determining your budget, keep in mind that most projects that cost over $5,000 are financed. However, also keep in mind that the lifespan of a patio is over 10 years or more, so it can be worth the investment. You can also look into consumer financing when installing a new patio.

Working With the Yard You Have

Depending on the size of your yard, there are a lot of...

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How to Prepare Your Front Yard for Halloween

As Halloween draws closer each year, we begin to start thinking about all the decorations we want to display in our front yards. Both adults and trick-or-treaters take joy in seeing all the spooky and festive decorations presented on Halloween night. However, simply placing any spooky decoration won't do the trick. Therefore, we've compiled some of the best suggestions for decorating your front yard this Halloween.

You Don't Have to Break the Bank

One of the best things about Halloween is that you don't have to break the bank when it comes to decorating. Often, the most ordinary of things can, in fact, be the scariest. A great example is a traditional scarecrow. Gather together a few pieces of hay, a raggedy shirt, and a pair of jeans that you don't use anymore and you're done. Pumpkin prices skyrocket around this time because retailers know that people are looking to carve some jack-o'-lanterns. A great alternative to this is to find some old milk jugs and design them to your interest. They're not only cheap to obtain, as you might already have old milk jugs, but you can also do so much more with them, such as adding different lights within them, painting them, and carving them.

Don't Go Overboard on Decorations

If your goal for your front yard is to have the spookiest decorations possible, then going overboard on your decorations may occur. The fact is that when it comes to being truly spooky, simple is always better....

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Do I Have Lawn Fungus?

How to Deal with Grass Fungal Diseases in Your Lawn

Image result for lawn fungus pics

Lawn fungal diseases take on a variety of forms – from dead-looking brown patches to highly visible spots, threads, rings, or slimes. And once they strike your yard, grass fungal diseases can be difficult to treat.

Fortunately, the right lawn care practices can go a long way toward prevention and treatment; and in severe cases, a fungicide can help eradicate the spores to keep it from spreading. Here are some tips for preventing and treating fungal diseases in your lawn.

Mowing grass in yard with lawn mower

Mowing your grass too low can encourage fungal disease.

Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease

Your lawn is naturally full of fungi and spores, some harmless and some problematic, but the right (or wrong) conditions can cause grass fungus to erupt into a harmful disease. The most common causes of a lawn fungal disease are:

  • Drought
  • Improper mowing (especially mowing too low)
  • Compacted soil
  • Overwatering
  • Too much fertilizer (or using the wrong kind)
  • Wrong grass type for your yard
  • Weather conditions (particularly temperature and humidity)

How To Identify Lawn Fungal Diseases

Signs that your lawn may have a fungal disease include:

Brown patch of dead grass in lawn

Brown patch of dead grass in lawn.

  • White, yellow, or brown patches or rings that grow in diameter.
  • Thin patches of frayed, distorted, or discolored grass blades.
  • Gray, black, red, orange, or purple spots on blades or stems.
  • Gray, black, or pink powdery or threadlike...
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3 Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive on a Budget

Renovating your home can be a costly task. However, there are many ways to work within your budget to make your house feel like a home. Our team can renovate your lawn while you work on the interior design. Here are a few quick tips to help you get the right idea.

Manicure Your Yard

A well-manicured yard can increase the value of your home and can also make it pleasant to see when you pull in the driveway. A skilled team can do something as simple as cutting the grass or planting new trees. You can maintain the grass yourself; however, help from the pros will give you guidelines to not break the bank. No matter what climate you live in, you can benefit from a well-kept lawn. Shorter grass keeps away unwanted pests and provides a great property that you'll be proud to show off.

Clean Your Driveway

When you want to spruce up your driveway, give it a good cleaning and perform regular maintenance in order to keep it looking attractive. You can also look to repave your driveway with asphalt, paver stones, or cement for a smoother ride. The entrance to your house is important and can be taken care of with the help of professionals. A cleaner driveway also gives you more room to have guests park and can boost your social lifestyle. If you have kids, they can play on the uncluttered driveway safely under supervision instead of spending all their time inside.

Prepare Yourself for All Weather

If you're on a strict budget, you can save money in the long run ...

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3 Outdoor Improvements to Make Your Home the Envy of the Block

 

When it comes time to renovate and improve your home, it's easy to forget about the exterior. However, the exterior is the first part of your home that others will see. Taking the time to work on your yard and home, or hiring someone to do it for you will not only make your home more appealing, but it will also increase your home's value.

Manicure Your Lawn

You never have a second chance to make a first impression, and a well-manicured lawn can add appeal to the overall appearance of your home. Begin your yard improvement by removing debris from the yard and evaluating the number of lawn ornaments you have. Repair and freshen up your sidewalks, driveways and patios by pulling weeds, fixing cracks and using a pressure washer on them. Trim the bushes and trees and replace the grass in thin areas, leveling out any uneven areas during this process. Plan an outline for adding decorative flowers and plants that will complement each other and bloom at different times of the year.

 

Ref

Outdoor Entertainment

When people are looking at your home, they will take note of any inviting outdoor areas you possess. A screened porch or patio, pergola, hot tub, fire pit and sporting or play areas all add to the attractiveness of a home. If you are thinking about adding any outside entertainment, be sure to think about the different seasons of the year. You will want your outdoor area to be able to accommodate the right activity even during harsh...

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4 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Garden

Having a home garden can be a great option for anyone that has a green thumb or wants to grow their own produce. While having a home garden can be a great experience, many people will find that keeping pests out can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are four tips that can be followed to keep pests out of your garden.

Introduce Beneficial Insects

While most people want to keep insects out of their garden, they can actually be beneficial when it comes to controlling pests. Direct Energy explains that aster, petunias, polygoniums, and St. John’s Wort are good at attracting hunting spiders, which will remove pests for you. If the idea of bringing in spiders doesn’t sit well with you, then try to attract ladybugs. Ladybugs like cosmos, sunflowers, yarrow, fennel, goldenrod, and marigolds. These insects, and certain types of plants, are shown to be able to help control your pest population. Some of the best plants that can prevent certain pests include marigold and lemon thyme.

Natural Pest Sprays

If you are trying to keep pests out, it can be easy to try to go to the gardening store and buy the most effective sprays possible. However, these sprays are often full of toxins and can be dangerous. Because of this, chemicals should only be saved for professional use. Instead, you should use more natural pest sprays. doTERRA explains that certain essential oils can be used to deter insects when used right.

Homemade Mix

You could also consider...

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3 Ways to Up Your Curb Appeal

Home with lawn care services in Alton, IL.

Your home is your biggest investment, but while it’s tempting to focus on making the inside attractive and comfortable, the exterior needs your attention, too. The kind of outdoor beauty that makes you proud to call a property your own isn’t born, it’s made. It requires a commitment to good maintenance, an eye for design and a focus on detail. If your home's curb appeal needs a boost, try these three top tips.


Lawn Care & Maintenance

Lawn care and maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive or fussy, but experts agree that addressing dead spots on the lawn is a must. Whether it's suffered drought damage or has areas where greenery won’t grow because of shade or leaf drop, the remedy is simple.

For brown spots, remove any remaining thatch, and reseed the area with a grass seed that’s compatible with the rest of the lawn. New growth should show in a few weeks.

Invest in a fertilization and weed control program that includes annual core aeration and overseeding. This, along with proper mowing height, will ensure a lawn that gets noticed.

For areas with little no sunlight where nothing wants to grow, design in a special feature. Rock walls and artificial ponds are good choices. You can also consider growing an inexpensive shade garden with plants that thrive in less light. Remember that native gardens are designed to grow in the local climate. They are a great option for a beautiful, low-maintenance property.

...
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Snow and it's Effects on Plants

Snow and it's Effect on Plants

 

Like many things, too much or too little of anything can be bad. The same can be said of snow. 

On the one hand, snow can be extremely beneficial to plants. A blanket of snow can act as an insulator, protecting the roots of your plants. This can save them from the heave of the freeze and thaw, which happens often here in the Midwest. When the ground fluctuates between frozen and thaw, the roots of many plants can be forced out of the ground, and this will have a detrimental effect on your plants, possibly killing them. 

Another huge benefit of snow is the moisture. Snow provides much-needed water to plant roots, both during the Winter season and well into the Spring growing season. If there is a slow warm up, this water is available for a long period of time and is very manageable for plants to take up. Much of the water soaks into the underground aquifer and becomes available later in the season.

Our last few winters have been seriously lacking in snow, and it was evident once Spring hit. Many plants were weakened from a drought state over the winter and never recovered. So if lack of snow is an issue, don't forget that your plants still need water!

On the other hands, too much snow can affect your plants in other destructive ways. Too much moisture can lead to soggy areas, which in turn are more prone to problems with the freeze and thaw. Laying a heavy layer of mulch before...

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