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Spring Home garden 051311

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  • Real estate agents can be as pleased with exterior curb appeal as they are with a well-maintained house on the inside.When it comes to residential property value, this book is indeed judged by its cover.

    Exterior trouble areas include peeling paint; rotting wood on window frames; buckled roof shingles; overgrown shrubs; ignored lawns; and weeds growing through interlock paths, steps and the driveway.

    The lawns and landscaping that frame our home are as important as the quality inside, says Reinie Drygala, lawncare products manager for Clear Choice, a leading name in innovative garden prod -ucts. And the good news is: when it comes to first impressions just a few little tips and tricks can make a big difference quickly.

    If youre frustrated about overgrown weeds, for example, the newest herbicide

    Top Tips for theBest First Impression

    technology is tackling that, Drygala con -tinued. Now there are alternatives to tra -ditional herbicides that effectively kill weeds, but also provide the homeowner with options if they are looking for ways to have less impact on the environment. The formulation for our Clear Choice selective herbicide, for example, contains up to 85 percent less active ingredients as com -pared to other products using the same ingredients. As importantly, microtechnol -ogy built into the formulation creates much smaller droplets that more effi -ciently deliver the herbicide to the plant.Clear Choice is effective on over 60 varie -ties of broadleaf weeds, killing them quickly while being friendly to your lawn.

    In addition to beautifying your lawn, try these quick tricks to give your home instant curb appeal:

    Scrape and spot-paint problem areas.This might be a temporary fix, but even a touch up is better than peeling paint.

    Add colour by planting some annuals in the front yard flowerbeds.

    Replace or paint rusty fixtures like the mailbox, railings, house number, and more.

    Tackle pesky weeds on interlock paths and driveway. Use hand sprays for tar -geted jobs, or larger jugs for a big surface area.

    Install lighting along your walkways and steps, or to spotlight the shape and architecture.

    Its called curb appeal, that good impression people get of your home when they pull up in a car, or when walking by.

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    12 Friday, May 13, 2011CITIZENS NEWS

  • CITIZENS NEWSFriday, May 13, 2011 13

    SpringSpringHOME & GARDEN&

    Many homeowners equate a beautiful landscape to rolling acres of pristine lawn.But changes in the climate and wide -spread seasonal restrictions on water use each year could change the way people think about outfitting their yards.

    There are many reasons people choose to forgo grass and opt for different orna -mental elements in their yards. Cost is one factor. While grass seed is relatively inex -pensive, the upkeep, including mowing,fertilizing, re-seeding, and watering,requires a significant investment of both time and money. Many homeowners choose to lay down sod to create a beau -tiful lawn, an expensive option for home -owners with vast landscapes.

    The environment is another reason homeowners look for grass alternatives.Grass requires a lot of upkeep, much of which is not environmentally friendly. For example, maintaining a pristine lawn requires the use of a gas-powered mower and oftentimes the application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Seeking alter -natives to grass can be friendly on both the wallet and the environment.

    Grass-Free Landscaping AlternativesFor those who are ready to say goodbye

    to grass, there are many alternatives. Ground cover: Homeowners who still

    desire the look of green can choose among different types of ground cover that will quickly fill in the landscape. Clover, low-growing evergreen plants and ivy are some of the more popular ground cover

    Grass-Free Landscaping a Viable Alternative

    alternatives. Rocks: Decorative rocks intermingled

    with native plants can add dimension and color to the yard. Once rocks are placed,there is little upkeep except for pulling the errant weeds.

    Mulch: A less expensive alternative to rocks is mulch. Mulch is available in differ -ent colors and types and can even be cre -ated by a homeowner by chipping trimmed branches from trees in the yard.It helps lock water into landscaping beds,decreasing the need for frequent watering.

    Water features: Think about installing a pond in the yard that can be bordered with stones and mulch. This will take up a good amount of space and can create a natural habitat for wildlife and even some low-maintenance pond fish.

    Concrete or patio stones: Although theyre not all-natural materials, patios can take up areas normally consumed bythe lawn and create expansive outdoor entertaining areas. It will require an initial investment of the patio material, but once installed, patios dont require significant maintenance. Homeowners can offset the concrete jungle feel by placing plenty of potted plants and container foliage around the perimeter.

    Decking: Another alternative to con -crete and stones is a wood or composite material deck. Again, this structure will increase outdoor living space and wont require the level of routine maintenance needed to keep a lush lawn.

    Vegetable gardens make great additions to any home garden, but home gardeners should know that not all vegetables should be planted year-round. Vegetables vary as to their optimal growing conditions, which often hinge on climate.

    For example, tomatoes are popular among home gardeners. For the best tomatoes, the soil should be warm and the sun above should be hot. If planted in the winter, tomatoes arent likely to ripen and they could very well attract harmful gar -den pests. Some vegetables, however,actually prefer colder climates.

    Cauliflower, for instance, is not com -forted by hot summer sun and will likely wilt before reaching maturity if planted in the summertime. Instead, cauliflower often thrives with colder soil and steady rainfall.

    When planting vegetables in a home garden, homeowners should always con -sider seasonal changes. Such changes enable gardeners to have fresh vegetables at their disposal almost year-round.

    Gardening Tip

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    BEAC_051311_p12.pdfBEAC_051311_p13.pdf

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