Archive for the ‘Home tips’ Category

August Newsletter

The Victory Garden | Live Green | Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Budding up behind houses and on rooftops across the country is a blast from the past called the victory garden.

During WWII, victory gardens were promoted by the U.S. government to save fuel and other transportation costs so more supplies were available for the troops. Patriotic citizens were encouraged to live on locally-produced food.

Homeowners planted fruits and vegetables in their ‘victory gardens’ to feed their families and to exchange surpluses with neighbors.  The effort was successful and many people remember with nostalgia the camaraderie of sharing in a common goal.

Today, many homeowners feel there is another war to be won – against high cost, lower quality foods — and they’re reviving the victory garden concept with a few modern twists.

So what’s driving the spade for victory gardens today?

Click the link below to read the entire article.

The Victory Garden | Live Green | Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

Spring is coming, are you getting the itch to plant?

Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday March 11th, temperatures are beginning to get warmer, the grass is starting to get green and the daffodils are starting to bloom. I don’t know about you but I am starting to think about planting things in my vegetable and flower gardens.

When is the right time to plant? When is the last frost? When do you plant what vegetables? Here is a great publication by Virginia Tech that will help you answer all those questions.  http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-331/426-331_pdf.pdf.

5 Ways to a “Greener” Lawn and Garden

Just because the gardens in the front and backyard of your home look green doesn’t mean they are environmentally sound. According to experts, typical homeowners are unaware that they usually apply seven times more chemicals per acre to their gardens than those used in agriculture, much of which has the potential to run into local lakes and leach into groundwater. There are ways, however, to make sure you are living green and making your landscaping as environmentally sensitive as possible. Here are the top five “greener” landscaping ideas:

Plan

In order to have environmentally friendly landscaping, it is important to take the appropriate steps. By hiring a landscaping service to conduct a thorough site analysis at the onset, you’ll be better able to use elements like sun exposure, wind, drainage and the impact of different soil types to your advantage. This step will likely lead to a more natural, healthier garden, and reduce your dependency on fungicides to prevent disease and stimulate healthy growth.

Water

Develop your landscaping to use water efficiently. This practice is referred to as “Xeriscape,” and is pronounced “Zera-scape.” Xeriscaping refers to creating a landscape that limits the need for irrigation. This originated in arid regions of the U.S., but is catching on across the country as water use becomes restricted in many areas. One way of limiting water use is to group plants with similar water needs together so water isn’t wasted. Additionally, you can plant shrubs and trees in your yard that require little water. Some annual flowers require substantial water each week.

Proper Planting

In order to be certain your plants are resistant to drought, insects and others issues, soil preparation is essential. Prepare your planting beds by digging to a depth of more than 12 inches and using enriched organic matter, which will result in stronger root structure for all types of plants. Make sure you loosen the root ball of plants from containers to ensure the roots grow outward allowing for proper water penetration.

Appropriate Maintenance

Once you’ve utilized the appropriate soil and properly established your plants, you still have to consider the ongoing water needed to sustain them. Drip irrigation and soakers are most appropriate when trying to conserve water. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests sprinklers can waste up to 50 percent of water used. If you need to use a sprinkler, run it during off peak hours, either late in the evening or first thing in the morning.

Use Organics

Due to their limited impact on the soil, environment and household pets, organic fertilizers are becoming increasingly popular. They are available in many areas, both in dry and liquid form, and have many of the same benefits of harsher chemical fertilizers. Whichever you use, remember that over-fertilizing (especially with chemical fertilizers) is the cause of many problems in lawns and gardens, such as burnt brown lawns. Using organic fertilizers is as simple as sprinkling grass clippings over your lawn—a perfect alternative to chemical fertilizers—as grass clippings contain high nitrogen levels and can supply your lawn with a third of its nitrogen needs.

Feel free to call or email me with any questions!

It’s Time to Spring Forward Again

This Sunday at 2am we start Daylight Saving Time (no ‘s), of course if your like me you will set your clocks ahead before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Have you ever wondered why we change our clocks every spring and summer? It was started back during WWI in order to save electricity, it allows us to take advantage of the later hours of daylight between March and November. The dates that we change our clocks have changed over time as well, it used to be spring forward in April and fall back in October. We now change our clocks in March and November.

To learn more about daylight saving time go to http://goo.gl/gtoft.

Ways to save energy in and around your home.

Are you thinking about ways to save energy in and around your home? The department of energy has a new interactive site to give you tips on just that. Click here for the site http://goo.gl/Zfr4G.

Daylight Saving Time, Interesting Facts

Ever wonder why we turn the clocks back every fall (the first Sunday in November at 2am) and turn the clocks forward each spring (the second Sunday in March at 2am)?

The main purpose of daylight saving time was to make better use of daylight in the summer by moving one hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. There have been studies that show that electricity is saved by setting the clocks ahead in the summer, but automobile accidents involving pedestrians increase the week after we change the clocks back.

Today approximately 70% of the world observes daylight saving time in at least a portion of the countries except for Japan, Indian and China. To read more about all the interesting facts go to http://goo.gl/UWLli.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back this Sunday morning at 2am, or if you are like me do it before you go to be Saturday night.