Backyard Inspiration

Is it time for a backyard upgrade? Here are a few things to consider adding to your yard to give it that special inviting touch.

  1. String Lights- these commercial grade lights are made to withstand all weather conditions so they can last you year-round. The warm glow not only lights up the space in the dark but provides a warm comfortable feeling to the space.

2. Fire pit- there are several different types of fire pits: natural gas, wood burning or propane. Choosing the one that is best for you depends on your needs. Propane fire pits work great on a deck or patio and are easily refilled at a gas station when they run out. Wood burning fire pits are best for bigger yards and for those who crave more of a rustic, campfire feel. Natural gas will add a permanent fire pit to your yard, but require a gas line to be installed.

Source: Nogayla

3. Patio plants- keep the flow to your outdoor space by adding greenery to your sitting area. Potted plants, hanging plants from a pergola or climbing vines on a fence are all great ways to incorporate more plant life to your patio.

4. Texture- adding a rug, throws and pillows to your outdoor sitting area really help make your patio feel cozy and warm and like an extension of your home.

5. Outdoor kitchen- enjoy cooking outside with a built-in kitchen. A bar is a unique addition to the backyard and adds extra seating for more guests.

Fall Maintenace Checklist + Fall Bucket List

With today being the first day of fall, it is a good time to start considering how you will clean up and maintain your home for the cooler temps headed your way. By keeping up with your home’s maintenace, you can ensure long term protection for your investment.

Exterior Maintenance:

  • Power wash your home’s exterior surfaces and windows.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts and clear out wet leaves away from your home’s foundation.
  • Blow out your irrigation system and shut off exterior water lines for the season.

Interior Maintenance:

  • Air out your home by opening windows and letting the cool breeze inside
  • Give your guest room and kitchen a thorough cleaning to prepare for guests that might come for the holidays.
  • Do a closet sweep and store or donate clothes your kid’s have outgrown or clothes that might be out of season.
  • Clean the inside of your windows including frames and blinds. This will let in more sunlight and help to brighten up your home.
  • Check air ducts for dust or lint. You might consider having your ductwork cleaned if the dust seems excessive.
  • Replace your summer sheets and blankets with something heavier to keep you warm throughout the winter.

Tree Planting Tips

It might feel like most people plant their trees during the spring, but there are many advantages to planting trees in the fall. Instead of energy being spent on growing foliage, your tree will spend its energy on root establishment which causes less stress on the tree. Also, the soil has been warmed up all spring and summer long which makes it easier for you to plant and also less work for the tree. Warmer soil allows the tree to succesfully establish roots and gain nutrients before going dormant in the winter.

Here are some tips for planting your tree just right.

  • Find a good location- does it need shade? Sun? Would it prefer more moist or more dry soil?
  • Give it room to grow- dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the size of the pot.
  • Remove the sapling- loosen the edges of the container and gently slide the tree out. Break apart the roots with your hands.
  • Put the tree in position- the root flare (the place where the roots start to spread out from the trunk), should be flush with the soil line. Add a mixture of compost and soil to reach that height. Then place the tree in the hole, making sure it’s straight, and backfill. Lightly tap on the soil to remove air pockets.
  • Mulch and hydrate- give your newly planted tree some water. Then top with a┬ácouple inches of mulch, leaving several inches of the space right around the trunk bare (to prevent rot). For the first few months, leave a hose running directly on the spot for about 10 minutes once a week.

If beautiful fall foliage is what you’re dreaming of in your own yard, then consider planting one of these trees.

  • Sugar Maple- brilliant bright orange-red foliage. New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont all claim it as their state tree.
  • Quaking Aspen- stunning yellow fall color.
  • Northern Red Oak- dark red foliage comes late August.