Boosting curb appeal
Start from the ground up when enhancing your home
When you sell your home, one of the most important things you can do is boost your home's curb appeal. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says that curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes.
Whether you are selling your home or staying put, here are some tips on improving your lawn and landscape.
Complement with color
Consider your home's exterior when selecting flowering plant combinations for plant beds, window boxes or front porch planters. With a white house, any color combination will work well. With a yellow house, red, purple or pink blooms tend to complement best. Keep in mind:
- For a calming effect, use cooler colors like blue, green and purple. They blend into the landscape for a peaceful look.
- Bold colors add excitement and drama to the landscape. Warm yellows, oranges and reds enliven a garden. Yellow reflects more light than other colors, so yellow flowers will get noticed first.
- Not all color needs to come from flowers. Foliage can be a great landscape enhancer, so look for colorful grasses and plants like silvery lamb's ear, variegated hostas, and Japanese painted ferns.
Proper watering can go a long way toward keeping your lawn looking good. Check the working condition of sprinkler heads and water lines to make sure they're working properly. To ensure your manual or automated watering system covers the landscape efficiently, set a one-inch deep empty food can in the middle of your lawn so you can measure the depth of water collected each watering cycle. In addition:
- Don't overwater. Watering too much can result in shallow plant roots, weed growth, storm water runoff and the possibility of disease and fungus development. Give your lawn a slow, steady watering about once a week. Adjust your watering schedule depending on rainfall, as well as your grass and soil type. Trees and shrubs need longer, less frequent watering than plants with shallower roots.
- The best time to water is early morning, between 4 and 7 a.m. This helps reduce evaporation, since the sun is low, winds are usually calmer and temperatures cooler. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that you can lose as much as 30 percent of water to evaporation by watering midday. Always be mindful of local water restrictions.
- Take advantage of rain. Let nature water your landscape as much as possible. Rain barrels are a great way to harvest rain for watering your plants later on — and it saves you money on your water bill, too.
The above tips were provided by TruGreen, a lawncare company, and Jason Cameron, a licensed contractor and television show host. For more lawncare tips, visit www.TruGreen.com.