5 Best Ways to save Time This summer

ResaleOC_May2014.indd5 Best Ways to save Time This summer

Spring is here, with that long winter finally behind us, we can start planning summer events on the patio. Your yard can be a sanctuary for relaxation and an extension of the actual home for dining and entertaining, surrounded by trees and plants.

With a shortened season, it’s more important than ever to maximize our time spent enjoying the outdoors during these sunny days. Carson Arthur, the well known Outdoor Design and Lifestyle Expert says, “We know that by making your outdoor space more appealing, especially in the area of the front door, will increase the value of your home by 7%. First Impressions are important”.
Arthur can be seen on CityLine; Better Homes; Home, First Home; HGTV’s Critical Listing and is the Outdoor Expert on The Shopping Channel. He offers insight into how home owners can enhance their outdoor spaces. He says that updating your outdoor space is as important, if not more important than updating your kitchen and bathrooms today.
With that thought in mind, Arthur suggests five tips to save maintenance time in the garden this summer, so you can spend more time enjoying your outdoor space.
1. Arthur encourages homeowners to purchase colourful plant containers, but rather than buy high-maintenance and thirsty flowers, try sticking with lush green plants. Green plants typically require less TLC, so they’ll last longer with less commitment. The container will still bring vibrant colour to your space.
2. Everyone hates weeding. Arthur suggests covering the areas around existing plants in flowerbeds with newspaper, then burying it in mulch. Weeds need sun, which the newsprint blocks, acting as a barrier to weed seeds. Completely biodegradable, the paper will start to break down after six months. By doing this, Arthur says you can keep weeds away for up to three years. For a little more money, Arthur suggests pairing rubber mulch with the newspaper trick for a weed-free garden for up to ten years. The newspaper is not harmful to the environment in any way.
3. Instead of planting flowers around trees, Arthur suggests putting “inanimate objects, such as garden art, wooden obalisques or tall pyramids around the base of trees. “As the art ages moss or vines will grow on it, creating an attractive patina for the garden”.
4. If you are looking to build a deck or platform, try a type of pressure treated wood available on the market called Micro Pro Sienna. Without staining, the wood has a warm brown hue and looks just like cedar, but at a fraction of the cost. It is treated with micronized copper preservatives that will protect your decking from fungal decay and termite damage, plus it’s completely eco-friendly. “It is the first wood of its kind that has been environmentally certified and is the exact same price as pressure treated wood,” said Arthur. You can find this wood at Home Depot and Lowes.
5. Often we put the lawn mower away in the fall and bring it out in the spring without sharpening the blades. “You have to get your tools sharpened,” said Arthur. Dull blades will shred the grass that causes the grass to require more nutrients and also takes longer to mow. With a dull blade you will likely need to cut some spots multiple times.
Sharp blades will save you time and will increase the health of your lawn.
– Written by Chris McGowan