Real Estate February 24, 2018

Spring has Sprung and my thoughts are of Gardening

Make Gardening A Family Affair
As adults, we often assume that gardening is designed exclusively for us. Believe it or not, children also love to garden making this popular past time a wonderful family-oriented activity. If you are interested in making gardening a family affair, consider the following ideas to help make your goal a successful one.
Why Children Love To Garden
Children love to create and there’s no better way to do so than by sharing in the fun of planting a garden.  Because little ones also love color, they are naturally drawn to the landscape of a garden.  In addition to that, they also can enjoy the pleasure of watching something grow that they had a hand in preparing.
What To Plant
If you want to enjoy gardening as a family affair, try planting something that the entire family will enjoy.  Everyone loves strawberries; they are pretty and they taste great on a hot summer day.  Planting strawberries is a terrific way to get your children to join in on the fun of gardening.  In addition, watermelon, apples, pears, oranges and other colorful foods will entice your family into the project.  Don’t forget to plant pumpkins for Halloween!  Not only will your children love to watch them grow, but they will also enjoy carving them for decoration.
How Your Child Can Benefit From Gardening
Gardening is a fun way to enjoy an activity with family, but it also teaches your child responsibility.  If he/she is responsible for planting something, it will provide a lesson in patience as the seed turns into a mature plant.  As they water the garden, they will also learn responsibility in that taking care of something is necessary for its health and survival.
Make Gardening Fun For Everyone
If you want to make any family activity fun, everyone in the family must have a specific interest in the project.  In other words, just because you want to plant roses doesn’t mean that your child will share in your enthusiasm.  As a family, go out to the store and choose something specific for each individual to plant.  By allowing everyone the freedom of choosing their own project, they will be more likely to enjoy watching it grow and be proud of their achievement.
The Importance Of Sharing A Family Activity
One of the greatest things that a family can do together is to spend quality time enjoying a common interest.  Instead of getting lost in a television program or a video game, your family can benefit from gardening by learning one of life’s most important lessons – sowing seeds is required to reap a bountiful harvest.
Landscaping Design Tips
As a homeowner, you can use a number of landscaping design tips to make your house look just as polished on the outside as it does on the inside.
Create A Path
One of the first things that a guest will notice as they walk up to your home is whether or not there is a defined path.  Instead of simply allowing the lawn to be trampled down and act as a pathway to your front door, consider installing a stone walk.  Not only will this be more visually appealing, but it will also keep both you and your guests from walking through the mud on a rainy day.
Make Your Mailbox Marvelous
The way that you maintain your mailbox says a lot about how you feel about little details.  An appealing design might include the family’s last name, the street number or address and a colorful display of flowers surrounding the base or possibly even a decorative flag or covering.
Add A Touch Of Color
No landscape would be complete without the addition of a little color in the way of flowers and plants.  Make sure to choose plants that will thrive in your particular region, making sure to keep in mind their tolerance to various temperatures and moisture levels. Before planting, check the soil to make sure that ample sunlight is available to promote a healthy life for your flowers and plants.
Curb Appeal
Nothing says curb appeal more than an attractive water feature.  Whether you choose a do-it-yourself kit, which is available at most home improvement stores, or you hire a professional landscaper, a pond or waterfall is sure to be an asset to your landscape.  If you really want to be the envy of your neighbors, consider adding a goldfish pond to your yard and building a decorative arched bridge for added accent above the feature.
Start A Kitchen Herb Garden
There is nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden to give your health and taste buds a treat.  Starting a kitchen herb garden is a great and easy way to give your food the fresh taste of summer all year round, and it is easy and inexpensive, too!
Pick A Spot That Gets Good Light
Most herbs require a good amount of sunlight to grow, so choosing a spot where they get direct light is important to making sure your herbs flourish. If your kitchen doesn’t get sufficient light, consider moving your herbs to a room that gets better light or purchasing an indoor herb garden kit that has a grow lamp.
Choose A Good Selection Of Herbs
While there are great herb garden starter kits that offer a useful selection of herbs, if they are not herbs you use often in cooking they are probably not the best choice.  Also be sure you choose herbs that are compatible with the kind of light available in your space.
Know The Right Conditions For Growth
As mentioned, herbs need a considerable amount of sunlight, but they also require rich moist soil to grow to their full potential.  Having your indoor herb garden by the kitchen sink is ideal.  Also, making sure the soil gets proper drainage by planting herbs in pots with draining holes and adding stones to the bottom can make a big difference.
To Fertilize Or Not
There are a number of resources on indoor herb gardens that recommend you use fertilizers to give your herbs the maximum growth potential. However, there are many great natural choices that will not affect the taste or nutritional value of your herbs, and are better for the environment.
A kitchen herb garden is a great way to boost the nutritional value and taste of your food, and will bring some of summer’s taste and feel into your home all year!
How To Care For Your Lawn
If you love your lawn, it’s only natural that you would want to give it the proper care to help give it a healthy appearance.  After all, your landscape is one of the first things that people will notice when they arrive at your home.  Your lawn can either make or break your curb appeal.
If you have weeds, remove them with the proper tools or by pulling them out of the ground manually.  An important part of grooming your lawn is mowing it regularly to give it a manicured appearance.
Feed Your Lawn
Yes, even your yard gets hungry and what it craves more than anything is water.  Most experts recommend that one thorough watering each week is preferable over a light misting every other day.  When it comes to feeding your lawn, the best time of year to fertilize is during the spring. This is when your lawn begins to grow and its beautiful shade of green begins to come alive, which is why it’s important to make sure that it has all of the nutrients that it needs to enjoy the warm months ahead.
Treating Bald Or Bare Spots
What happens when your lawn begins to dry out or shows signs of brown spots?  It could mean a number of things, but treating it properly will help to get your yard sparkling again.  One way of doing this is by planting seeds so that new grass can grow.  Before doing this, make sure to loosen the soil so that the seeds will have a healthy start.  Your other option is to bring in sod, which is commonly used for larger areas that are in need of a quick fix.  Just as you would loosen the soil for seeding, it’s important to do the same for sod so that it can properly attach to the surface of the lawn.
Pest Control
Your lawn is a reflection of your home, but it’s also a potential haven for pests.  It’s important to pay close attention to the plants and/or flowers that you choose for your landscape as certain types can deter pests, while others may actually attract them.  If in doubt, ask a local gardening expert or a representative at your local home improvement store for more information on this topic.  If you develop a pest problem, there are products designed to protect your landscape and permanently rid the pests of your space.


Valerie McKean GRI, ABR
Century 21 Sterling Real Estate
Tel: 910-430-9494
February 24th 2018