Landscaping Tips and Tricks from the Experts
Maribeth Lynch, Thrive Real Estate Specialists
It’s a very exciting time for THRIVE! With the advent of springtime here in Central Massachusetts – finally! – I am also pleased to introduce two new agents who will be joining us at THRIVE, Michael Aurelio and Tyler Lajoie. In addition to the real estate expertise Michael and Tyler are bringing to our team, both come from a background in landscaping. So I thought that in this blog, I would share some of their insights on landscaping, which is something that most homeowners tend to be thinking about as we cast off winter and head into another beautiful spring.
For many of us who enjoy doing our own gardening, heading out on weekends or after work to the local nursery is an exciting proposition. Michael and Tyler tend to deal with commercial nurseries, but recommend Bigelow Nursery and Garden Center in Northborough as an excellent supplier for residential landscaping materials and plantings. If you’re planning on embarking on any landscaping projects, you should be aware of the pitfalls that can thwart an amateur gardener. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re planning to work on your lawn this spring and summer:
- Mowing. Lawns should be cut relatively tall – taller than many homeowners realize. Especially in the shade, a healthy height is about four inches. For proper mowing timing and technique, it’s a good idea to consult a professional for advice.
- Watering. The best time to water your lawn and plants is in the early hours of the morning. Watering later in the day can result in evaporation and watering at night can invite fungal diseases. Remember to water in accordance with your local water restrictions.
- Pruning. Proper pruning of trees and shrubbery will result in healthier plants. Advice for pruning specific types of trees and plants can be found online or by consulting an arborist or landscaper.
- Mulching. Many homeowners use bagged, untreated wood chips for mulch, and many of us tend to overmulch. A qualified landscape expert can help determine the quantity and type of mulch you will need in the different parts of your lawn.
- Lawn Treatment and Fertilizers. Fertilizers and chemicals require care! In addition to learning proper fertilizer spreading techniques, it’s crucial to the health and safety of people, pets, and wildlife that homeowners understand the chemicals they are using. Make sure to wear proper protection to reduce risk of dermal exposure and inhalation, and educate yourself about the specific hazards of the chemicals you are using.
- Driveways. Keep your driveway sealed. This should be done every few years for optimal results.
- Protecting Your Home. Anything organic that touches the outside of your home can be a pathway for pests to enter your house. Make sure that trees and shrubs are trimmed back from your siding and use treated products if you are placing anything directly against your foundation.
- Location. Buying a plant to put on your property without an idea of where you are going to put it is like buying a gallon of paint before you decide which room you are planning to paint. Pay attention to whether plants are annuals or perennials, how much sun or shade they need, and other important care instructions that will have an impact on their health.
- Maintenance. Your home is likely your greatest asset, and it’s important to remember that your lawn requires just as much maintenance and upkeep as your house to retain its value and aesthetics.
If you aren’t the type of homeowner who likes hands-on lawn and garden care, our experts suggest you hire a professional to do the heavy lifting. Professional landscapers like Michael and Tyler use techniques that are safe, true, and based on experience. And they cannot stress enough how important it is to validate your landscaper just as you would any contractor who is working on your property! Landscaping companies should be fully licensed and insured.
Homeowners who are thinking about selling a house in the future should realize that there are no “quick fixes” in landscaping. Planning is essential. And as Tyler points out, “Why would you set up your house beautifully for the next homeowner and not enjoy it yourself?” The same goes for your entire property. When it comes to landscaping, just as with home design and decorating, don’t wait until it’s time to sell to create comfort and aesthetic appeal.
I look forward to working with Michael and Tyler and they will continue to share their insights and experience with all of us at THRIVE so that we can provide you with the best home buying experience possible.