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8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

Have you been admiring your neighbors foliage and landscaping talents for years? Maybe you’re lacking the green thumb or your budget for a bountiful garden is limited. If you begin to plan and prepare now, you will have the best garden on the block this spring and into the summer. These tips are easy ways to spruce up your exterior view whether you’re into rustic or manicured.

1. Fresh Sod for the Spring

The foundation to a beautiful yard is healthy, green grass. If you really want to impress the neighbors, consider laying down sod this spring. Home and Garden suggests that sod should be laid in the Spring or early Autumn. Cooler temperatures with some rainy days help sod to root much more quickly. You can prepare the area for the sod yourself or get professionals to do it to ensure you get a healthy, thriving lawn.

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2. Preparation in Winter

You can begin pruning the hardy hedges if you have them as well as winter shrubs that have stopped flowering. If you’re planning to grow vegetables, you can prepare the bed if the ground isn’t frozen.

3. Map Out Your Garden

If the weather outside is still bitterly cold, stay inside, and create a diagram on the computer or by hand to determine how you want your garden to look. Think about where the sun hits on your yard and choose which sun-loving plants you want. You can also create a spot for your shade-loving plants. If you want your shade lovers to be in a sunny spot in your yard, you can conceptualize a creative way to block the sun. This is a great indoor project that will get your geared for the upcoming gardening season.

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4. Order Summer Flowers and Seeds

Let the creative part of you flow as you choose what summer-flowering bulbs you will want for your garden. Lilies and Gladiolus can be planted in early spring, giving your garden color. Looking through gardening catalogs can help to inspire you when it comes to how you want your garden to look. Based on your map of how you want your yard to look, you can order now to get them in time for spring planting.

5. Prepare Your Soil

Good soil is the lifeblood to any thriving garden and preparing it in the winter months is the best practice. Creatures that assist in the ecosystem of your garden by converting dead material into that of organic matters. Earthworms, centipedes and fungi assist in making your top soil perfect for growing. Your top soil should be about 12 inches deep but this depends largely on whether soil has been well cultivated. One of the best methods to improve your soil is to cultivate deeply as it open soil up for air and water. Dig 6-12 inches in the winter months and add organic matter such as seaweed or leaves.

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6. Sow Slower Seeds Now

The garden experts recommend you begin sowing seeds that need a longer growing season in the months of January and February. Now is the time to sow your Geraniums, Begonias, Peppers and Aubergines. They will need to be grown under a heated propagator or something that promotes growth.

7. Collect Rain Water

If you’re in an area where it rains a lot, collect this natural water while you can. Rain water is best for many plants such as Camellias, Blueberries and Rhododendrons. A lot of tap water is slightly alkaline which plants may be sensitive to. You can have a water barrel or install water butts that are right under your downpipe in order to catch as much rain as possible.

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8. Garden Decor

Garden decor can really spruce up your yard appeal and it takes no effort. Create a theme that matches with the flowers you have decided to go with. Even little pockets of themes are a fun way to bring your yard to life. For instance, if you plant tulips, you can put a garden windmill in the same area. Voila! You now have a mini Dutch garden. Decks and law furniture give a welcoming area for visitors that come for a BBQ or just to admire your yard. The good news, lawn ornaments and furniture aren’t so pricey so you can achieve a great looking yard for very little money.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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