Caring For Your Summer Landscape

Ask any homeowner that has one and they will tell you, “A beautiful lawn doesn’t create itself”; its requires more than thatching, aerating, seeding, spraying, fertilizing, raking, watering, weeding, mowing and edging. A lush green summer lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood requires applying the right treatment at the ideal time for the right reason.

Seemingly taking care of a lawn would be easy, however unless you put in the research, effort and time to learn the trade and learn you lawn, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. A vibrant green lawn is only half the story. For your landscape to look its best, flowerbeds must be planted, cultivated, mulched and maintained. Trees, shrubs and vine must be pruned, fertilized, weeded and watered.

Sound like a lot of work doesn’t it? Why waste the precious hours of summer working on the lawn when you could be having fun camping, fishing, boating or just relaxing in the shade with a cold beverage? Turning your lawn care over to an experienced professional lawn maintenance service frees you to spend precious time relaxing with family and friends. So what are you waiting for? No matter it is for beauty, utility or property appreciation, maintaining a thick, velvety lawn is easy than you think. It’s time to call a pro.

Your landscape contractor will meet with you to discuss your lawn care preferences and develop a personalized care and maintenance program that helps you have the landscape of your dreams. With a bit of planning and the help of a professional service, you can attain and maintain a landscape that meets your objectives without all the headaches, hassles and backaches of trying to do-it-yourself.

Regular scheduled professional lawn care will help “nip problems in the bud. One of the most important components of summer lawn care is controlling weeds. Your lawn professional will be on the lookout for weeds and will design a treatment and control program uniquely designed for your lawn including both pre-emergence and post-emergence applications. The weed control program will target treatments for weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions, common landscape problems.

During the hot, dry months of summer, many types of grasses become semi-dormant, leaving them vulnerable to disease and insect infestation. Common types of lawn diseases include leaf spot, brown patch, red thread, powdery mildew, blight and other unpleasant lawn fungus. Your lawn care professional can identify problems and then decide on an appropriate method of treatment that is best for your type of lawn.

Like edging and mowing, watering your lawn sounds simple enough, but many homeowners are uncertain about the frequency and amount of water required as a part of their total summer lawn care program. Water demand is dependent on temperature, soil composition, drainage and the total amount of sun and shade your lawn receives. Most lawns require at least one inch of water a week. If you’re confused as how much water is required to supplement dew and rainfall, your lawn maintenance contractor can remedy the situation with the installation of landscape irrigation.

When you employ a trusted and reputable lawn maintenance contractor to care for your landscape, not only will you have a gorgeous lawn to come home to, you won’t have to trouble family, friends or neighbors to help maintain your lawn while you are out of town, enjoying your newfound leisure time.

Shorten The Time It Takes To Clean Your House

Take the dread out of housecleaning room by room. Mornings are good times to clean your house, particularly because there’s generally plenty of natural light streaming through windows, making it easier for you to see. You’ll also likely be more rested.

But, don’t try to clean your house alone. As a first tip, recruit each member of your family to help with weekly housecleaning activities. For example, you could assign your son to clean the bathroom and your daughter to clean the den. More time saving housecleaning tips include:

  1. Clean your house one room at a time, avoiding walking back and forth from room to room.
  2. Spray the oven and stove top with a cleaner first thing in the morning to loosen hard stains. Soap drip pans in liquid soap and water. Better yet, align the bottom of your oven with a nonstick oven liner, and wipe the liner down each week.
  3. Next, spray bathroom shower tiles with a bleach or a mixture of baking soda and water. Let the sprays work while you clean the rest of your house.
  4. Wash bed linen separate from clothes to give the linen a thorough clean, and to save time by eliminating the need for additional loads.
  5. Use a baking soda and water mixture to wipe the edges of you dish washer clean. This can prevent the build of hard stains, which saves time in the short and long run.
  6. Remove throw rugs from floors, then shake and hang them over an outdoor or basement clothes line. Depending on the types of throw rugs that you have, you may be able to clean them in the washing machine and lightly dry them. Leave rugs off floors until you finish cleaning the rest of your house to avoid having to clean rugs twice. This also clears your floors for easier sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.
  7. Wash your shower liner once a month, saving the time of having to scrub stains off the liner. An added plus is that this step could keep your shower linen mildew free.
  8. Clean dishes while you cook. This is a daily rather than a weekly habit. For example, wash pots and pans after you finish using them. Try it and see if it doesn’t save time. After you finish dining, you’ll only have plates and eating utensils to wash and rinse. Speaking of saving time cleaning dishes, let pots, pans and dishes dry naturally in drainers, as it saves times and utility costs.
  9. Sweep, vacuum and mop floors last, after you complete all other cleaning activities. Use vacuum cleaner extensions to clean corners before you vacuum the rest of the floor.
  10. Store shoes, boots, hats and other accessories in organizers. The more clear floors and furniture are, the less time it takes to clean them.

Be open to multi-tasking. For example, if the telephone rings, consider placing it on speaker, so you can clean while you chat. And teach each member of your family to clean up after her or himself daily. By performing small daily housecleaning steps, you can save time on weekly and monthly cleanings.

Assembling Your Buyer Team

Buying a home is a big decision and it will most likely become one of your greatest investments. In order to help navigate through the process you will want to assemble the right team.

Think of  a group of experienced professionals as your real estate buying team. Here is a list of some of the professionals that you might want to add to your team:

Real Estate Agent

The real estate agent will represent you and your interests. Always make sure to discuss your agency relationship with your agent so you fully understand the relationship. An experienced agent can help guide you through the process to a successful closing.

Mortgage Advisor

Unless you are paying cash you will need a loan to buy your home. Your mortgage broker or loan agent who will arrange financing. Your mortgage advisor will search for different loans that match your financial situation.

Real Estate Attorney

This is the only member of your buying team who can give you legal advice. You should hire an attorney that specializes in real estate to review any contracts. An attorney can usually solve any surprise legal problems before the closing.

Home Inspector

A home inspector’s job is to go through your prospective home a complete physical. A home inspector is an objective third party who will produce a report detailing the condition of the structure and systems of the house.

Putting the right team together is critical. If you need help assembling a team your real estate agent can provide you with a list of names or ask your friends and family for referrals.