Landscaping is the first thing a person sees when they pull up to a house. Landscaping helps form the first impressions that people get when they first see a property. These first impressions are called "curb appeal." Homes that have good landscaping and thus good curb appeal are easier to sell and often are valued higher than homes that do not.
Basic Landscaping Maintenance Tips
When landscaping a property, the homeowner must take into consideration the tidiness of the property, the colour of the shrubs and flowers and the health of the overall plants. Watering, fertilizing and trimming regularly can help make a property more attractive.
Homeowners who want to improve their home's landscaping can establish a regular care regimen, prune back overgrown shrubs, replace dying annuals with healthy perennials and remove any debris from the lawn. What's most important about improving landscaping is that it must be done on a regular basis. Landscaping grows healthier with time and special care. If regular care is not given, the landscaping will not thrive. Homeowners who do not have time to care for their own landscaping can overcome these problems by hiring a professional.
Landscaping and Gardening Safety Tips
Spring has arrived and if you have the gardening itch or are planning a full-out yard renovation project, here are a few important safety tips that you should keep in mind. Not only will these tips keep you safe but they can also prevent you from making decisions that could cost you a lot of money should things go wrong.
Call The City Before Digging
Even small areas in your yard require a call from you before you start to do any digging. There may be electrical or natural gas lines running right underneath the area you're about to dig. Don't assume that just because you're planning on piling out only a square foot of area that you can take your chances.
Of course, digging in the garden for regular planting doesn't require a call since you're not going to be going down deep enough to matter. For major yard renovations you'll need to get approval first from the city before having any excavation done. In rare cases the permit to dig may be denied if the excavation looks like it may be too dangerous to carry out. For most lawns and yards, however, this usually does not come up to pose a problem.
Stay On The Lookout For Critters
If you see any evidence of wild animals burrowing under your home or garage you may have to call up a pest control company to get them handled. Raccoons and other small critters like skunks can end up damaging your home and are not safe to have around especially if you have children. You can phone a local pest control company and have them humanely trapped and placed back into the wild where they belong at a relatively inexpensive price.
Watch For Poison Ivy
Before hitting the garden take a quick look around for poison oak and poison ivy. You should also take a quick walk around your yard and the perimeter of it to make sure that these plants didn't decide to make their home in your space during the later months of fall last year.
Get Rid Of The Pesky Insects
Look for any signs of instant infestation such as termites, wasps and bees. If you happen to run across a nest and don't feel like you can handle the threat on your own it's time to call in an exterminator to get rid of it for you. Finding these nests during the first few months of spring is quite common. Keep your eyes open for any insects that want to call your home their own and get rid of them quickly.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
If you're the type of person that has been hibernating all winter you probably haven't been keeping up on your exercise. Take things slowly at the beginning. You certainly don't want to get any type of muscle injury right at the beginning of this beautiful season -especially when you consider all of the plans you have to make your home exterior look its best.
Maintaining Your Yard’s Tools and Systems
It's springtime here in Calgary and time to think about getting the systems and tools in your yard checked out for the upcoming season. If you have a contract with a sprinkler company already, now's a good time to book your appointment. Don't wait until the last minute as others do to get your sprinkler system examined. Do it now to avoid the spring rush!
Maintaining Your Home Sprinkler System
Although it is another expense of home ownership, it's one that you really shouldn't avoid. When the technicians come out to take a look at your underground system they'll be able to make sure that the pipes are free-flowing and that all of the sprinklers are in working order.
A clogged pipe line can quickly do damage to the entire irrigation system that you have installed. In most cases the price is extremely reasonable for a fast check-up and won't take any longer than 15 minutes. If something is discovered during the course of the investigation the trucks will have extra parts on them and a quick repair can usually be done on the spot.
Installing a Home Sprinkler System
If you don’t have one, now is the best time to get one. The lawn care companies are just starting their advertising campaigns and soon new homeowners are going to be scheduling an installation. If you're seriously considering an irrigation system for your lawn it's best to start shopping around now will before the mad rush begins.
An underground sprinkler system is a real timesaver when it comes to lawn maintenance. You won't have the hassle of dragging out the hose, attaching the sprinkler and then moving it around the yard every few hours to make sure that the entire area is covered. You'll be able to control the maintenance with a few simple buttons and can pre-set the controls to have your lawn watered on a certain schedule.
The Technological Advances Are Amazing
You don't even need to know when to water your lawn anymore - the system will handle that for you! Some of these systems use satellite weather forecasts to decide when your lawn should be watered. Most of the newer models can tell when it has been raining and will automatically turn off the sprinkler so that your lawn doesn't end up getting too much moisture and you end up saving money on your water bills.
Maintaining or Upgrading Your Lawn Mower
It's been a while since we last fired up our lawnmowers to do the grass and while there is still some time left before you'll need to dig it out for use, you may want to take a second look at it now before you need it. How was it running last year? Will it need any repairs or a simple tune-up for the spring? Do you need to invest in a brand new lawnmower?
The time is now to step into the garage or shed to test your lawnmower for the upcoming season. If you know that you're going to be in the market for a new lawnmower you may want to consider getting a battery-powered one and ditching the lawnmowers that are powered by gas altogether. These are the newest mowers on the market and according to most reviews they are definitely worth the initial cost of investment.
Battery Powered Mowers
If you're going green you'll want to scrap your gas mower that significantly contributes to air pollution. You won't require any oil or gas at all to run the new machine and will be reducing your carbon footprint on this planet as a result.
Quiet As A Mouse
If you're tired of getting strange looks from your neighbors as they peek out from behind the blinds on an early Saturday or Sunday morning while you're mowing your lawn, these glares will become a thing of the past once you make the switch from gas to battery. You'll be able to mow your lawn late at night or in the early morning without disturbing your neighbors and you'll be giving your eardrums a break as well!
Easy To Maintain
You won't need to worry about any tune-ups, air filters, spark plugs or oil changes any longer with a battery-powered lawnmower. The only thing that you'll have to do is replace the battery every 5-7 years and the good news is that these batteries are recyclable.
The Battery Power
The batteries will stay charged for about 2-3 average mows so you'll need to make sure that they get recharged on a regular basis. Some people just make a habit of recharging them after every mow to make sure that they are always ready to go. Other people invest in a second battery and keep it charged so that the batteries can be rotated on a moment's notice. This will save you the hassle of finding out at the last moment that you forgot to recharge your battery right in the middle of mowing your lawn. Of course, while operating your gas mower there may have been times when you ran out of gas right in the middle of the mowing as well!
Mowers that are battery-powered are also very lightweight and easy to store. If you still have some concerns about investing in these newer mowers you may want to talk to a few of your neighbors that have one to find out whether they think the investment was worth it or not. In most cases you'll probably find that they love them!
Installing a Calgary Backyard Greenhouse
If you're thinking about putting in a greenhouse in your backyard, you should realize that it carries quite a bit of responsibility with it. It's kind of like owning a pet - you'll have to be committed to taking care of it on a daily basis for the long time. If you're an avid gardener though, the rewards are great and it just may be what you need to fulfill your year-round craving for gardening.
It's not too expensive though, since you can find reasonably priced kits that can get you started for less than $500. Of course, like everything else in life, there are luxurious versions of backyard greenhouses available that can cost thousands of dollars.
One of the largest suppliers for greenhouses in Canada is Backyard Greenhouses. Here y
ou can purchase a greenhouse online and have it delivered to your home. They offer a complete supply of greenhouses and kits that are great for a beginner or a seasoned green thumbed enthusiast. You can also purchase this type of planting home at some local home improvement and gardening centers.
There is a lot of information about working with these houses on the Internet but you must be careful about getting the right data. The information supplied should be available for different types of climates. Here in Calgary, for example, the mean annual temperature is 4.1°C, there are cyclonic summer weather patterns that raise the risk of hail and there are less than 100 days that can be considered to be frost-free. Precipitation levels average about 500 mm, which includes snow.
One of the benefits of having a greenhouse in your backyard in Calgary is the long days that we experience during the summer. As well, even though the winter is cold, most of the days are sunny. For these reasons, the solar potential here in the city is almost the same as what you would find in Florida.
Two of the biggest considerations to take into account when you're planning to start a greenhouse are light and heat. There will be a learning curve involved in both the planning and the implementation of a greenhouse, and you can expect it to be time-consuming. For avid gardeners that like the idea of getting dirt under their fingernails at all times of the year, this can be a positive aspect of setting up a greenhouse. It will definitely be a challenge but when you see the fruits of your labour, and your vegetables, sitting on your kitchen table, it will be well worth it!
It's time to book your spring checkup if you already have tools, structures, and systems in place in your yard, and it’s time to start shopping for one if you don't. Once you have one installed, you'll question why you didn't do it earlier!
Common Landscaping Mistakes
A home for sale should look good, both on the inside and the outside. Inside, proper staging can help potential buyers see the home at its best on the inside. However, outside staging and curb appeal are just as important.
Investing time and money into a home’s outside landscaping can be a good way to boost curb appeal and make a home look more desirable to potential buyers. However, there are quite a few different pitfalls that homeowners may accidentally stumble into without realizing it. Here are some of the different common landscaping mistakes many homeowners make and how they can be avoided.
Too Much To Maintain
When it comes to gardens, less is usually more. While gardening may be an excellent hobby for some people, it’s easy to go overboard, and not everyone has the time or desire to keep up a massive garden. Using minimalism can mean the best of both worlds: a beautiful garden that doesn’t require constant attention. Instead of filling a garden to the brim with flowers, instead try using low-maintenance bushes that only need the occasional pruning. Native plants can also be good additions to a garden as they won’t have any special needs to make sure they grow properly. Adding stepping stones can also be a good way to take up space while still looking good.
The Home Obviously Needs Repairs
Before selling a home, all homeowners need to make sure that the home is in a sellable condition. Most buyers don’t want to spend extra money on a home that needs extra repairs after they’ve already agreed to spend so much money on the home itself. Plus, having a home whose exterior is obviously in need of work may keep some buyers away. A home’s exterior is its first impression with all buyers, so it’s important to put its best foot forward, and that means fixing up anything that needs a little extra attention.
The Home Doesn’t Fit the Neighborhood
In most neighborhoods, there tends to be an overarching theme across all the homes that are in it. Whether it’s the style of the home or the colors chosen for paint, everything should look like it goes together without appearing jarring. If a home sticks out in a distracting manner, it can be off-putting to potential buyers. Here are some different things to avoid:
- Too many lawn and garden decorations.
- Exterior paint that doesn’t fit the neighborhood’s color palette.
- Large additions such as garden boxes on the lawn.
Deciding what fits and what doesn’t will vary depending on the Chaparral neighborhood, and while a pink home may stick out in one area, it may not elsewhere. Take a look around the neighborhood and keep note of the popular styles, and try to work within them.
Dead and Dying Plants
Plants die, and sometimes that’s inevitable. However, when trying to sell a home, it’s important to put in extra effort to make sure flowers, bushes, trees, and the lawn all stay as green as possible. A little lawn care and garden care goes a long way when it comes to impressing buyers, so homeowners should try to stay on top of upkeep whenever possible. Remember, even an empty garden looks better than a dead one, so when preparing the home for visitors, go through the garden and rip anything out that has already died. If the garden looks too bare after this, try laying down a fresh layer of mulch or some large stones to take up space.
It can be easy to stumble into pitfalls, but as long as homeowners know what to look out for, it can be just as easy to avoid them. Keeping these common mistakes in mind can help set homeowners straight when it comes to preparing their home’s exterior for selling.
Where can you Learn About Gardening in Calgary?
If you want to start a garden and you want to do it right, there are plenty of opportunities in Calgary to learn about gardening. Consider one of the following organizations to learn more about how to take care of your plants.
The following locations offer frequent classes to help teach Calgarians how to garden.
The Calgary Horticultural Society
The Calgary Horticultural Society is a great resource to use for all your gardening needs. They provide all types of choices from garden shows to workshops and more.
This charity is dedicated to supporting and cultivating the gardening community of Calgary. They provide a network of over 5,000 members and more than 100 community gardens. Whether you're looking for a workshop to attend or a garden of your own, you can find it with the Calgary Horticultural Society.
Poppy Innovations Gardening Classes
The Poppy Innovations group is a group in Calgary dedicated to educating people about where their food comes from and teaching individuals to be more self sustainable through the use of gardening.
Poppy Innovations hosts a community garden as well as a number of different educational courses, including a Kid's Garden Club, starter kits for new gardeners, and education on how to grow perennial vegetables, reducing food waste, and growing hardy vegetables. They also offer education about nutrition for all age groups.
Golden Acre Home and Garden
The Golden Acres Home & Garden Centre is a local Calgary gardening center dedicated to serving the community since 1967. They carry thousands of unique plants and tools for Calgary gardeners to experiment with, and they offer educational seminars and workshops for those trying to learn how to garden in Calgary.
These are just a few of the many events happening throughout the year. If you love gardening or you want to get into gardening, learn more today at one of these great organizations.