Posted in gardening

Gardens4u Creates Curb Appeal

This past summer one of my larger projects was to create curb appeal for a couple thinking of selling their home.  The home is beautiful, but the front yard lacked curb appeal with no landscaping (other than lawn) to attract buyers to the home.  The owners contacted Gardens4U to help them create the curb appeal that their real estate agent suggested to add a welcoming touch and increase the value of their home. These pictures show the process…

Although the red is not my preferred color of mulch, it does match the brick on the house and makes the landscaping stand out, which is the image the homeowners wanted to portray.  The perennials and shrubs planted are well spaced and young, keeping the cost down and the garden relatively maintenance free.  Weeds will be kept to a minimum with the use of mulch, so any that do appear between the plants will be easily identified for removal.  As the plants grow to their mature size, the spacing between them will still be sufficient to prevent an overgrown, neglected appearance.

The front entranceway between the driveway and veranda was reconstructed by the homeowner from a small cement block for the step with boring cement slabs as the sidewalk to a beautiful flagstone design including a large step leading up to the veranda.

This home now looks very welcoming and updated, with the promise of a mature garden in seasons to come.  The homeowners love the look so much, they may decide to stay awhile!

Posted in gardening

Core Aeration: Improve your Lawn and Create Curb Appeal this Spring…

Core aeration is the most effective way to improve the condition of your lawn this spring, creating curb appeal for your home.   Is your lawn patchy and full of weeds with the soil so compacted that you cannot stick a shovel into it?  Under these conditions, the grass you do have cannot compete with the weeds for air and water.

Be sure to use a core and not a spike aerator.  A core aerator removes plugs of soil, leaving holes for water, air and nutrients to penetrate the roots of your lawn.  A spike aerator, on the other hand, pushes plugs into your soil, further compacting it, and doing more damage than good.  You can rent a gas-powered core aerator and aerate your own lawn, or call a landscaping company to do it for you.  Manual aerators are great for small areas as they eliminate the noise and air pollution, not to mention provide good exercise!  I have a small manual aerator and am able to handle most (small) lawns in Kanata.

Do not aerate too early in the spring when the soil is still soggy.  The soil must be thawed and dry; a few days after a good rain is ideal.  If you start a little later in the season when your grass is already growing, cut the lawn shorter than you usually do, and water it deeply (unless it has rained) a few times,  two days before aerating.   Remove (by hand) as many weeds as possible as well as any dead grass.  You are now ready to aerate!…

If you would like to go a step further after aerating your lawn, you can now top-dress and overseed .  Sprinkle your lawn with compost, composted (not raw) manure, or coffee grounds and rake in to provide nutrients for the roots and to encourage worms.   Spread grass seed according to package directions; be sure to use seed designated for sun, shade and/or high traffic areas. Cover the seed lightly with soil, no more than 1/4 inch.

Water your lawn well, and keep it damp until sprouts appear, approximately two weeks.  When the new grass starts growing, water less often, but for longer periods of time, to encourage deep roots.  Do not cut your newly seeded lawn until it is greater than 3 inches long.  Do not apply any weed killers for at least two months.

A lush green lawn significantly enhances the effort you put into your gardens and provides curb appeal.  Core aeration, top-dressing and overseeding are three simple and cost efficient ways to create curb appeal for your home.  Spring will be here any day now, get planning!

 

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca