Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/17/2016

planting flowersWe all want our yard to look perfect, or at least better than the neighbor's. But taking care of the yard takes a lot of work and many of us come to depend on harsh weedkillers or insect deterrents to keep the yard looking pristine. What many don't know is that there are other, more eco-friendly options that will keep the pests at bay. Better yet, many of these solutions are easily made from household items. Follow these tips to keep your yard looking great without filling the ground and air with chemicals.

Killing weeds

What is a weed? Ralph Waldo Emerson lovingly describes a weed†as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." While this may be true, it doesn't mean we have†to let them take over our grass each year. Weeds are invasive because they spread--quickly--and kill off the plants and grasses we want in their place. To combat weeds there's no need for harsh chemicals that harm your yard and†break your wallet. Instead, try diluting some white vinegar with water and pouring it on the weeds. This should take care of most of the weeds. However, the vinegar will drastically change the pH of your soil, so you don't want to rely on this for the rest of the season. The next time you see a weed popping up, pour some boiling water directly on it. It will kill the weed but keep your soil healthy so your grass or flowers can keep growing normally.

Insect deterrent

Having bugs in your yard is a good thing. They're part of the natural ecosystem that helps maintain your soil and pollenate your plants. Sometimes, however, insects can become invasive and destructive to the vegetation in your yard. If you notice beetles eating all of your plants' leaves, dilute some plain Dawn dish soap with water and spray it onto the infected leaves. The soap won't harm your plants but it will drive the beetles crazy, sending them off to someone else's yard. Nature has its own insecticides that few of us take advantage of. Plant marigolds, for example, around the perimeter of your property†to deter scores of insects and other pests from ever entering your yard. See this helpful list for many other pest controlling plants.

Bug Repellant

We've talked a lot about protecting your yard from invasive pests. But what about protecting yourself?†Whether it's pesky flies or biting mosquitos, there are many natural ways to keep the bugs away when you're out in the yard. Most effective commercial insect repellants contain DEET, a strong smelling chemical insecticide. We've all heard about the dangers of DEET, which was developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s for use in warfare. The chemical compound has been approved and re-approved for use by the EPA since then, but studies have raised questions of its safety. Many people object to using DEET based on its potent smell alone. So, what are the alternatives? Many have taken the bug spray conundrum into their own hands, mixing various herbs and essential oils to keep the bugs away. Check out these recipes and†let us know which one works for you!

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 7/3/2016

Curb appeal is an important aspect for a homeís value. It is also crucial for drawing in buyers. A large piece of your curb appeal is your lawn. Getting the perfect lawn will take work and there are vital things that must be done in order to get and maintain luscious, bright green grass. Here are a few tips for getting the perfect lawn: Spring Clean Up: Spring clean ups are essential for obtaining and maintaining the perfect yard. A spring clean up involves yard clean ups, dethatching, raking, mowing, edging, mulching and weeding. This preps your lawn for the seasons ahead. Weekly Mows: Weekly mows help keep the grass healthy. Regularly mowing your lawn helps your grass grow stronger and recover better and quicker from irritants. Fertilize: Fertilizing is very important as it gives your grass the nutrients to grow and be healthy. For best results fertilizing should occur about 5 times a year. However, itís best to consult a professional to know exactly how often to fertilize your lawn. Water: Your lawn needs water in order to grow. Installing a sprinkler system or manually watering your grass are both ways to accomplish this. Itís important to try to water as early in the morning as you can and for a couple of hours at a time, but no more than an inch of water a week. Aerating: Aerating opens the soil to allow for air, nutrients and water to seep into the grass roots. Aerating is important because it helps the grass roots grow deeper, allowing for your lawn to grow strong. Fall Clean Up: Fall clean ups include the removal of fallen leaves, cutting back any perennials or annuals that need it, and doing a final mow. Fall clean ups prep the lawn for the winter and ensure that nothing deters your lawn from a successful spring clean up. Add charm to your yard with new mulch, shrubberies, flowers, and hanging plants. For added lawn appeal, mow in rows starting in one corner and then mow in rows diagonally from the other corner. The end result will be an impeccable lawn, as if you hired a professional. It takes a good amount of work and effort to create the perfect lawn and a good amount more to maintain it, but the end result is worth it. The perfect lawn doesnít happen overnight either (unless you go and buy the roll out grass). Be patient and treat your lawn with care and you will end up with the perfect lawn.

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