8 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Garden Now!

gardening tipsSpring is a time of rebirth and new possibilities, especially when it comes to all things outdoors. You’ll be noticing very soon that the trees will start budding and that springtime flowers will peek out of the ground to greet the season. Things will begin to look much greener and more alive once more.

Spring is also a good time to begin growing and digging, Even though it can be intimidating for any beginner, a bit of gardening can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal! If you’re ready to make your first garden this spring, just follow these 8 tips below, and you’ll have your own little garden in no time!

Make Your Mark – As soon as you have an idea of where your garden is going, mark it out. Feel free to give it a fun shape with flowing curves, or make it echo the lines of your home with a more rigid structure. You can use a hose at first for a basic outline and then switch to sand or flour to make it more pronounced.

Get Rid of the Grass – If grass is growing in the spot you want your garden to be, get ready to dig it up with a spade or sod cutter! If you have the time to wait for your garden, break out the mower and cut it the grass as low as you can. Then cover it with several newspaper sheets and many inches of soil or compost. In a few months, the grass will die, and you will have richer soil!

Dig In the Dirt – Time to roll up your sleeves and don your gloves – it’s time to start digging! Till or dig the dirt of your new garden, and remove any roots, rocks, or other debris standing in your way. If your soil isn’t the best, take the time to work in some organic matter like compost while you dig!

Give It an Edge – Now that you have a spot for your garden, it’s time to put an edge on your garden! After all, you’ll want the rest of your lawn and other invaders to stay away from your garden. A trench of 8 inches deep and a few inches wide will do just fine!

Place the Plants – Don’t confuse this with the actual act of planting! It’s much better if you take the extra time to place your plants in the areas you’re thinking of putting them. It will allow you to get the spacing just right and help make your plants work really well in the designated garden area. Besides, planting and digging up plants again is no fun and exhausting!

Start Planting – After you’ve determined exactly where your plants are going, go ahead and plant them in the ground! Try to loosen or tease the plants’ roots before you put them in the ground to encourage healthy growing. You can choose annuals, which will stay around for one year but will provide beautiful blooms nearly all season long, or perennials, which may die off a little early but will be back in your garden every year.

Spread Some Mulch – Now it’s time to protect what you’ve planted from weeds, pests, and other baddies! Mulch will help keep your new garden healthy and low-maintenance and will do wonders in stopping weeds, all while helping your soil contain moisture during a drought. A 2-inch deep layer of mulch will do perfectly!

Add Water – Finally, all you need to do to complete your garden is to give your plants a nice soaking. Remember in the future that if your mulch is dry, it may also absorb some water before you plants are able to do so. Soak the dry mulch well to ensure that your plants get enough moisture, hang up the hose, and sit back and admire your handiwork – you deserve it!

Want more tips on how to give your house some great curb appeal? You’ve found the experts! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!


10 Easy Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

spring decorating tipsIt seems as if this harsh, freezing winter will never end, but in just a few short weeks spring will be here! It’s time to think about color, lightweight materials, plants and flowers, and getting rid of the stale winter air in your home once again!

What can you do to properly welcome back the spring season? Just tackle these 10 small projects to give your home a small facelift and make a big impact for spring!

Change Outdoor Lightbulbs – Take to the outdoors and clean all of the light fixtures outside! Be sure to replace all burned-out bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.

Spruce Up the Walkway – The snow, ice, and cold from the winter season can really take a toll on your walkway. Take the time now to patch up cracks and replace loose pavers and bricks before the weather gets really nice! Go the extra mile by renting a power washer to make your concrete, stone, and even the exterior of your house shine like new!

Clear the Gutters – Before the notorious spring rainstorms come, inspect your downspouts and gutters, clear them of leaves and debris, and make sure that they’re draining properly. Clogging will typically occur at the elbow in the drainage system, so be sure to take it off and check it for clogging!

Freshen Up Your Door – Make your door shine this spring (literally)! Polish the hinges and knobs of your door and treat it to a new coat of paint or stain. Make it stand out with a bold color like a bright blue or yellow! Add the finishing touches with a new, clean welcome mat to welcome in visitors!

Lay Down Mulch – Get your backyard ready for the new season! Grab a rake and hoe, take up all the debris from the fall season, and lay down some fresh mulch in your plant beds. This will give your garden a jumpstart in the growing season!

Clean, Clean, Clean – Of course, spring calls for some spring cleaning! Get rid of all the gunk, grime, dust, and stale air from a winter’s worth of weather on your windows, ceilings, fans, walls, air conditioner unit, floors, and much more! Take a step further by decluttering and purging items you no longer want or need.

Add Plants and Flowers – Be bold and add some living color to your home and yard! Head to the local nursery and pick out some of your favorite flowers. Plant some bulbs and seeds in your garden outside, buy freshly cut flowers for your home, and check out a few colorful houseplants, too! Commonly chosen flowers for the spring include peonies, white roses, hydrangea, tulips, and daffodils.

Love Your Furniture – With all of the snow and ice we experienced this winter, you probably were cooped inside while road crews tended to the roads. Give your furniture some extra love by spraying a fresh coat of paint and replacing and cleaning the cushions. Get your outdoor space ready for summer by filling the empty spot on your porch with a modern swing or chair!

Change Your Bedding – It’s time to put away your heavy comforters and quilts and make way for lighter fabrics and softer colors for spring! Choose something with pastels or at least a hint of yellow and bright colors to give your bedroom that spring-like feeing! While you’re at it, strip the bedding and flip your mattress – it will help you sleep better and increase its lifespan!

Brighten Up With Prints and Color – Once you’re done with the bedroom, take to the rest of the house and change up your tablecloths, throw pillows, hand towels, and area rugs with brighter colors and fun prints! Try something different in the kitchen and dining room by purchasing some colorful dishware for spring and summer. If nothing else, try using some cloth napkins or invest in a beautiful statement table runner.

Spring is also the time that potential homebuyers take notice of the homes in their area. If you’re selling your home now and want to attract homebuyers, we can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyteam.com to learn more about us!