(Family Features) — When it’s time to sell your home, you want to do everything you can to make it enticing to potential buyers. One of the most important things you can do is boost your home’s curb appeal.
The National Association of Realtors says that curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes. To help you build curb appeal from the ground up, TruGreen and Jason Cameron, licensed contractor and TV host, have teamed up to give you some simple, doable tips to improve your lawn and landscape.
Improper watering can be a big drain on curb appeal. Check the working condition of sprinkler heads and water lines to make sure they’re working properly. To ensure your manual or automated watering system covers the landscape efficiently, set a one-inch deep empty food can in the middle of your lawn so you can measure the depth of water collected each watering cycle. In addition:
• Don’t over water. Watering too much can result in shallow plant roots, weed growth, storm water runoff, and the possibility of disease and fungus development. Give your lawn a slow, steady watering about once a week. Adjust your watering schedule depending on rainfall, as well as your grass and soil type. Trees and shrubs need longer, less frequent watering than plants with shallower roots.
• The best time to water is early morning, between 4 and 7 a.m. This helps reduce evaporation, since the sun is low, winds are usually calmer and temperatures cooler. The Environmental Protection Agency says that you can lose as much as 30 percent of water to evaporation by watering midday. Always be mindful of local water restrictions.
• Take advantage of rain. Let nature water your landscape as much as possible. Rain barrels are a great way to harvest rain for watering your plants later on — and it saves you money on your water bill, too.
Complement With Color
Create an instant pop of color to help your home’s curb appeal bloom this spring. Consider your home’s exterior when selecting flowering plant combinations for plant beds, window boxes or front porch planters. With a white house, any color combination will work well. With a yellow house, red or pink blooms tend to complement best.
Here are some other colorful tips to keep in mind:
• For a calming effect, use cooler colors like blue, green and purple. They blend into the landscape for a peaceful look.
• Bold colors add excitement to the landscape. Warm yellows, oranges and reds make the garden lively. Yellow reflects more light than other colors, so yellow flowers will get noticed first.
• To brighten up a dark or shady corner, use pale colors, like pastel pinks and yellows.
• Not all color needs to come from flowers. Foliage can be a great landscape enhancer, so look for colorful grasses and plants like silvery lamb’s ear, variegated hostas, and Japanese painted ferns.
Grass vs. Weeds
Weeds are plants growing where you do not want them to grow. They can be unsightly in both your lawn and landscape beds.
Grassy weeds can be subdivided into annual and perennial grasses. Annual grassy weeds, such as crabgrass and annual bluegrass, are generally easier to control than perennial grassy weeds like dallisgrass and bentgrass. Left uncontrolled from seed, crabgrass alone can choke out desired turfgrasses and develop ugly seed heads in the summer and fall that lay the groundwork for next season’s crop.
No matter what your weed problems are, a lawn care approach that works in one region of the country doesn’t necessarily work the same in another area.
According to Ben Hamza, TruGreen expert and director of technical operations, TruGreen will design a custom plan to provide your yard exactly what it needs to give your lawn the right start.
“We offer customized lawn care designed specifically to meet your lawn’s needs throughout the year based on climate, grass type, soil condition and usage. And we back it up with our Healthy Lawn Guarantee,” Hamza said.
To get more tips, and to watch Cameron in seasonal webisodes on curb appeal on behalf of TruGreen, go to www.TruGreen.com.
3 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal for Under $100
Want to add curb appeal, but don’t have much money to spend? Here are some simple things you can do for under $100.
• Clean up the yard. Put away unused items, like lawn furniture. Clear leaves and branches out from under shrubs, other plants, and the house foundation. Make sure the lawn is free from debris and that grass clippings are not left on the driveway or sidewalk. Borrow or rent a power washer to clean off the driveway, steps, sidewalk and porch.
• Trim, prune and divide. Overgrown plants can block light from getting inside the house, and they make the house and yard look unkempt. Trim shrubs, making sure to remove dead branches. Get rid of dead or diseased plants in the landscape. If you have perennial plants that have gotten too big, divide them and plant them in other places around the landscape.
• Add new mulch. Mulch not only helps your plants, but it gives garden beds a neat and tidy finish. Wood mulch comes in different colors, but to showcase your plants the most, consider a dark brown mulch — it resembles fresh, healthy soil, so your eyes are drawn toward the plant and not the mulch itself.