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Nicely mowed lawn at a residential property in Alton, IL.

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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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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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