Maintenance5 min

Fall Landscaping Tips & Tricks

Fall landscaping chores are your last opportunity to prep your yard for the next growing season while also protecting it from winter damage. So grab your tools, pull on your gloves and follow these tips to ready your landscaping for the off-season.

  • Groom the lawn. Before your lawn is covered with winter snow for weeks at a time, give it a good grooming. Rake and remove leaves and other debris. Toss some grass seed on the bare spots. Lightly compact the seeds, then water thoroughly and continue to water every other day for two weeks.
  • Plant new shrubs. Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees because the soil is still warm enough to promote root development while the weather is cool. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be regularly watered until the ground freezes so they get a good start before going dormant during winter.
  • Fertilize now for a healthy spring start. If you want your lawn to be green and relatively weed-free in spring, fall is the most important time to fertilize. Slow-release winterizing fertilizer feeds grass all winter long, so use a spreader to apply an even layer of fertilizer over the entire lawn.
  • Mow short. As long as your lawn is growing, keep mowing into the fall to keep the grass healthy, strong and well-fed as it gears up for colder temperatures. When you are ready to mow for the last time, cut the turf down to around 1.5 inches. Short grass resists matting, making it better able to resist disease and damage from ice and snow.
  • Stow summer furniture and equipment. It’s best to store outdoor patio furniture in a shed or garage in cold months. Metal, wicker, patio umbrellas and cloth seat cushions don’t hold up well to extremes in precipitation and temperature. Clean gardening tools before placing them back in storage so they will be ready for spring. After the last mowing, empty gas and oil from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and trimmers.

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Trends5 min

Using the Right Siding for a Modern Farmhouse

In recent years, designers have offered new visions of this classic style and have dubbed it the “modern farmhouse.” Chip and Joanna Gaines from the home improvement show Fixer Upper were relentless promoters of the modern farmhouse aesthetic, which helped make it chic and add “shiplap” to more people’s vocabulary. Last year, Builder magazine named the modern farmhouse one of the top 5 trends in floor plans. While craftsman homes still account for about 25 percent of all house plans, the modern farmhouse is rapidly gaining ground and now has about 15 percent market share.

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How to Keep Your Shed Cooler in Summer

In many parts of the U.S., a shed can get unbearably hot in the summer unless you take steps to ventilate it and prevent the sun’s radiant energy from penetrating. Too much heat in a shed is a bad thing, as it can damage liquids like paint or chemicals, sensitive equipment and items affected by humidity.

Outdoor Living6 min
6 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Summertime Oasis

Who says you need to travel to get away? Look no further than your own backyard to offer a setting worthy of your staycation this summer. If your backyard could use some sprucing up before then, follow these six steps to make it worthy of all your free time this summer.

Maintenance5 min
Straight from the Pros: Exterior Home Improvement Projects for a Better Investment

Your home’s exterior serves as an important first impression and may make or break your property’s value. So, sometimes it is what’s on the outside that matters most. With summer in full swing, it’s time to take on those much-needed outdoor projects that were neglected during the winter months. You may have several home improvement projects you want to tackle, so how do you know which will provide the best value?