Updated: Saturday, October 01, 2016
Lawn Care For The Fall: Essential Tips to Follow
All summer youve been watering, cutting, trimming and feeding your yard in the hopes of having the greenest plot of land in the neighborhood. So what should you do to get your lawn in shape for the cool breezes of autumn? These six steps will help you get a head start on the colder weather.
Aeration and Overseeding
If you live in a climate with cool-season grass, fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn because the air is cool and the soil is still warm from the heat of summer. The earlier you can do this, the better the results will be for your yard. Depending on where you live, September or early October is the best time to tackle this project. Youll pay around 120 for lawn aeration.
Aeration removes small plugs of soil from your lawn, allowing greater amounts of air, nutrients and water to reach the root system of your grass. It also reduces soil compaction in the process. Following aeration, you might want to overseed your yard. Overseeding makes it easier for seeds to germinate while the soil is loose.
Feed Your Yard
Fall is the prime season of the year to fertilize cool-season grasses. Unlike warm-season grasses, which often go dormant in the fall and winter, cool-season grasses can actually hit their peak growth rates during the fall. This means they need a full dosage of nitrogen to help boost the health of the soil and your grass. Most importantly, this will help prevent the growth of weeds, which choke out the grass over time.
Cut Down on Mowing
Throughout the summer, youve gotten into the habit of mowing weekly. But if you have cool-season grass, its time to start cutting back on the number of mowing events each month. Generally speaking, every other week should be your maximum. If you have too much leaf coverage on your yard, you can mulch those up, but remember to leave your cutting deck high so you arent cutting off too much of your grass in the process.
The professional recommendation is not to cut off more than one-third of the total blade of grass each time you mow. Doing so can result in scalping the lawn, which stunts the growth of your grass. If you live in a warmer climate with warm-season grass, you can likely skip mowing altogether because your grass is going into its dormancy cycle.
There are two approaches you can take when dealing with falling leaves. At a bare minimum, you should remove any fallen foliage within seven to 10 days because it blocks sunlight from reaching your grass. But, if you get a >
Sow and Reseed
Believe it or not, but fall is a great time to reseed the bare patches of your yard and sow new sections of lawn for cool-season grasses. Applying fresh soil and some new seed to barren patches of your yard can help prepare your lawn to bounce back in the fall. As mentioned earlier, this time of year is often the strongest for cool-season yard growth, so take advantage.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you have an underground sprinkler system to help you keep your yard green all summer, it could be the biggest threat to your utility bill and soil during the winter months. If you fail to blow out your underground system, the water left in the pipes could freeze, expand and burst the pipes. This could lead to a water leak in your yard that could compromise the integrity of the soil and cause serious damage. If you live in a cooler climate, its important to winterize your sprinkler system immediately.
With one weekend of work, you can accomplish most of these tasks and have a yard that looks great for the coming fall months.
Andrea Davis is the editor for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find home improvement professionals in their area at no charge to ensure the best service in the shortest amount of time.
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Fitting Every Design in One: Creating an Eclectic Interior Design for Your Home
Designing an eclectic home is both challenging and rewarding. Throwing together unlike pieces requires an artistic knowledge of design. Although the design process can be confusing and stressful, these tips will give you the power to put together creative and coherent rooms. By using white space, experimenting, and focusing on color harmonies, its possible to create a noteworthy and wonderful home that shows off your eclectic taste.
Consider Minimal Walls
Sometimes, the best way to make a room shine is through the use of white space. By leaving walls open and bare, its possible to devise a room that shows off your more eclectic furniture pieces. Minimalism and eclectic >
Dont get discouraged if your initial conglomeration of eclectic furniture seems to clash. Its normal, and the only way to make a winning design is by taking things one step at a time. Experiment, try out different pieces, and see what works best. In fact, some of the most powerful and innovative design choices come from experimentation and combining unlike things. For example, Z-AXIS DESIGN created an apartment by throwing together both Parisian and Taiwanese design elements for a wide-ranging mix of furniture that ultimately looks unique and >
Take Things Step By Step
The easiest way to go from a chaotic mess to a room that shines is to ask yourself the following question: "What one thing can I change that will improve this room?" By focusing on individual design choices, everything seems more manageable and less overwhelming. Is your lamp clashing with the tabletop? Add accessories or alterations to artfully combine the two. Does your room seem like its lacking something special? Maybe you need a bold, solid rug to tie everything together. With incremental decisions, interior design becomes more of an experimental process and less of an exasperating ordeal.
Using Color to Your Advantage
Color is the great unifier of design. When it comes to your room, you can easily match eclectic pieces by paying attention to color harmonies. One of the most important things to remember is not to overdo the color. While a few bright pieces look great, saving saturated colors for smaller accents is a wise design choice.
Modern hardware or furniture can look great when you combine pieces of more sophisticated browns, greys and neutrals with colors that stand out. Robins egg blue paired with sunset orange will look >
Create an Art Wall
One of the best ways to showcase your eccentric taste is through an art wall. By combining mismatched frames of different materials and colors, you can combine art of all >
These items can define the tone of your room and turn it into a stylish success. By using white space, paying attention to color, and experimenting with design choices, your entire home is bound to look eclectically wonderful.
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New Regulations Make Drones a Home Seller and REALTORs Best Friend
Look, up in the sky. Its a bird. Its a plane. Nope, its a drone, and its coming to sell your house.
"Your local real-estate agent might have a new trick up their sleeve very soon: Using drones for aerial photography of sprawling properties," said Fast Company.
New regulations just >
The growing popularity of these unmanned aircraft influenced the new rules - drones for commercial use were deemed illegal in 2014. The new regulations will help pave the way for drone photography to become standard practice for real estate listings, which would be a win-win for agents and clients thanks to the adoption of new technology and greater exposure.
"Drones already are part of our world," Pasadena, CA agent Steve Clark told the Register. "If youre not hiring a drone operator that is top notch, then youre losing and more importantly, your client is losing."
Key to what drones can deliver is a view of the surroundings - good for properties with large parcels of land where the homes placement is important, but also for any house where emphasizing the yard, street, neighborhood, or proximity to area amenities could help illustrate its value.
"There are aerial videos and still photos that you cant get any other way, said Clark. "Unlike conventional photography, drones can help home hunters see the homes surroundings. Theres a way to tell the story, and I think the drones have captured that."
And its not just in California, either.
Knoxville, TN-based The Voigt Group found that drone photography helped differentiate them in the market and boost interest in their properties for sale.
"These cameras allow us to capture images not often seen in our market," said Business Manager Robert Voigt in the Knoxville News Sentinel. "Larger markets like Los Angeles and New York see brokers using this technology pretty often. We wanted to offer it here."
The aerial photography taken from the drone "offers a unique perspective of the properties that Voigt markets," said the News Sentinel, and helps to create widespread interest, especially when promoted on social media. The Voigts Facebook showcasing aerial photography of a West Knoxville listing "reached about 8,337 people, with 1,367 clicks," said Brittany Voigt. "I had a ton of people ask me about the property."
Central Indiana agent Jimmy Dulin told 24-Hour News 8 that the amount of information buyers can get from drone photography - "how neighbors take care of their properties, how close the home is to a road and if theres a church or school nearby," said News 8 - is critical to the decision process. "All that collaborative information - its become an essential piece," he said.
Dulin also said that "drone photography is now the standard for large, expensive homes," but he expects it to eventually "become expected for homes of all sizes and price points."
Thats in line with industry expectations. The FAA has predicted that real estate will comprise 22 percent of drone use by the year 2020, and not just from real estate agent use. Greg B. Mays, owner and operator of Flying Fish Aerial Photography, LLC, a licensed drone operator since 2015 and a REALTOR Appraiser for over 25 years, points to drones as the real estate appraiser s "next great tool" on the National Association of Realtors NAR blog.
"This booming and exciting new technology is making its debut in many different fields of commerce and real estate is no exception," he said. "An interesting question arises from all of this. Should real estate appraisers consider using this technology when appraising real estate? The simple answer is, absolutely."
Drone use for appraisers could reveal: "pictures of a new roof system installed on an older improvement; large acreage tracts that the client wanted in order to know more about forestation and topography; proximity to surrounding properties or features such as rivers, lakes, commercial buildings, and power lines -- just to name a few," he said.
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