This is the time of year most homeowners begin thinking about their home’s curb appeal and how they can improve it to make their home stand out. Before summer plans blow away lawn and landscaping dreams, let’s take a look at some landscape tips where a little labor or investment can add up to big time curb appeal improvements!
Luscious Lawn Care
Aside from your home itself, the biggest first impression from your home usually comes from the garden maintenance. Grassy areas and turf can shine with a healthy, luscious look – or your grass can look brown, weed-infested or patchy. It’s important to follow a few guidelines when caring for your lawn:
- Fertilize Often – the more dense your lawn is, the less likely it is to grow weeds since weeds generally pop up from patches where exposed soil allows weeds to take root. Help your lawn crowd out the weeds naturally.
- Keep your lawn blade high – don’t mow your lawn less than 3″ for that thick, luscious look. Anything shorter is prone to dry out and look brown. It also encourages weeds to grow by leaving soil exposed. Taller grass gets deeper roots and is more resistant to drought.
- Sharpen your mower blades – dull blades cause blades of grass to tear and leave them susceptible to disease. They also get brown on the ends. It’s recommended to sharpen blades a couple of times a season.
- Mow during the coolest part of the day – grass loses more water when mowed during the heat of the day due to the stress that mowing causes. Your lawn will rebound quicker if you mow when it’s cooler or in the shade (but never mow wet grass).
Cut the grass, assess the situation and take the next step. If grass is patchy and appears to have insect problems, have it professionally aerated and apply the right product to control the pests.
If you are fortunate enough not to have pest problems in the lawn, you will begin by mowing and starting a fertilizer program. We recommend a 2-4 time fertilization program each year. If you are just planting a new lawn, make sure you take time to prep the area well and plant the right seed for the climate and sun conditions.
Gardens are so stunning when meticulously planned and maintained. However, a poorly maintained garden is like waving a flag in your front yard for the world to see that you are lazy, neglectful, or you simply don’t care. Cleanup of debris and dead plant material is a must when improving your home’s curb appeal.
Get rid of weeds that are beginning to pop up and dead leaves and plants. Perennial plants should have a clear path to break through the soil. Prune or shape your bushes and clean up the debris from that too! As seasonal flowers bloom and die, clean them up.
There’s also no faster way to take your gardens from dull to magnificent than to add mulch. It’s no wonder that realtors call it “mulch magic.” You can instantly improve just about any garden just by re-edging it and adding fresh mulch. We recommend Hemlock for a few seasons of color, but any hardwood would be a big improvement.
Finally, a professional landscape design is well worth the investment on any home. Yes, anyone can plant flowers and bushes, but professional landscape designers know how big plants grow, when they bloom or change color, how they grow in your climate and soil conditions, and how difficult or easy they are to maintain. This is a one time expense that will generate ROI on your home and improve your curb appeal dramatically!
Well Maintained Trees
Trees are easy to take for granted if you haven’t had to buy and plant your own. But neglected trees become dead trees that look terrible in your yard and can even be dangerous, so it’s important to check on them at least once a year. We recommend examining the health and safety of your trees every spring. Here are the things to check for:
- Look for new growth and buds to determine if it’s alive and well
- Prune dead branches or awkward growth by following these tips
- Look for insects or bugs burrowed in bark
- Remove “suckers” (new growth at roots or too low on branches) before they grow too large
- Look at leaf health once they grow to check for mutations or signs of insects
If you see any insects like Emerald Ash Borers on your trees, it’s best to call a professional immediately. These little buggers have been spreading throughout Maryland (and other parts of the country) with vigor over the past several years. They quick killers of trees and nothing to mess around with!
Want a Pros Touch?
If you want instant improvement to your home’s curb appeal and all of this sounds a little overwhelming, call a pro! It probably costs less than you think and the results should be stunning. If you are located in Bethesda, MD or Washington DC, give us a call at 301-951-1244 or contact us online. We’d also love to hear your feedback and other ideas in the comment section below!
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