Many of us grew up with the chore of mowing the lawn or pulling weeds at our parents’ house. It can seem like common sense that grass mostly just takes care of itself.
However, there’s a lot more to growing a healthy green lawn than just mowing every two weeks. In this article, we’ll talk about some lawn care techniques that you might be forgetting that will help you maintain a healthy lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.
Many people try to prolong the time between cuts by setting their mower to a short height. Others just like the look of their lawn when it is cut very short. The downside of this practice is that it isn’t healthy for the grass for a number of reasons.
First, tall grass is able to develop stronger roots, which you’ll need if you have kids, pets, or plan on using your lawn for anything other than looking at.
Another reason is that grass shades the soil beneath it from the sun. This helps the soil maintain moisture longer which, in turn, helps your grass grow better.
So, how much grass should you cut off? Experts recommend that you remove only the top third of the grass as a general rule. However, different types of grasses have a preferred height, so be sure to find out which type of grass you have if you plan on cutting it shorter than two inches.
Fertilizer is not optional
Soil nutrients are depleted over time. If you’ve noticed what was once a healthy lawn slowly deteriorating over the years, there’s a good chance you need to fertilize.
To determine the exact type of fertilizer you’ll need, it’s a good idea to test the pH of your soil. You can purchase a soil testing kit online and from some lawn care retailers, or you can send your sample to a lab to be tested.
Once you know the pH, you can buy the right fertilizer to help balance the quality of your soil and promote the growth of your lawn.
Aerate your lawn
Lawns take a beating over the years. Whether it’s from the stomping feet of children, the pressure of rain, or just the force of gravity, the topsoil of your yard will become compacted.
This makes it difficult for nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and it makes your lawn work harder to build its root network.
There are a few ways to aerate your lawn. You can buy a hand tool at a hardware store designed for putting small spikes into the ground. But, if you have a large yard you might want to consider renting an aerating machine that will save you time and blisters.
Reuse your clippings
Most people collect the clippings from their lawn in a big pile and eventually haul it away. However, those clippings are filled with nutrients that your lawn could use to grow.
Grass clippings decompose quickly and if you disperse them evenly on the lawn they aren’t noticeable for long.
If you’re trying to decide whether it’s best to move from your current home or to make the necessary improvements on the home, it’s not an easy decision. One thing you may have to consider is how to get the capital in order to have those home improvements done.
There’s a variety of options available to you in order to secure a loan to renovate your home. Whether you need to renovate the kitchen, build out from your current property, or replace the heating system, there’s ways that you can get the money to complete these necessary updates.
One thing to consider about any of the options discussed is that you don’t want to be paying for home improvement loans until you need to update everything once again. If you’re preparing to sell your home, making improvements is a wise choice, as it can increase the return that you’ll get on your home.
Don’t Run Out Of Cash
If you cannot complete the improvements that you started, you may not be able to get another loan to complete them. You can typically borrow between 80 and 90% of your home equity. The downside to refinancing your home or taking out home equity lines of credit is that you’ll need to pay closing costs once the loan is approved. In other words, you’ll need to put out some cash in order to get some cash.
Use Your Own Cash
If you have some cash saved up, it’s wise to just do one project at a time. This can take some time, but can be more economical in the long run. If you don’t need to complete your repairs in a hurry, then using your own savings is a good idea.
Refinance Your Home
If you would benefit from a lower interest rate, refinancing your home can be a great option. As long as the cost of repairs doesn’t exceed the number of years that the updates will last, refinancing makes sense.
Home Equity Credit Line
If your mortgage is locked in and working for you, home equity lines of credit are always a good option. You can draw money out as you need it and pay it back as you go. You won’t need to pay interest until you use the money and the loan is good for 10 years. The downside is that if you don’t make the payments, you could lose your home.
Home Equity Loans
This type of loan allows you to borrow a fixed amount and then pay back the loan with a fixed monthly installment. A 15 year term is typical of this type of loan.
A construction loan can be used to build a house or to make large-scale renovations. These loans are short-term and not always easy to find access to. Not to mention that they are heavily managed and perhaps the least popular option presented here.
FHA 203K Loans
This type of loan is generally used to purchase a home that is in need of much repair. The downside is that you’ll need mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan. Less complicated repairs often offer a more streamlined FHA loan of up to $35,000.
FHA Title 1 Loans
These loans provide up to $25,000 for home improvements. The money is insured by the federal government and can be obtained from approved lenders. Homeowners don’t need access to equity in order to get one of these loans and they are available in 20 year terms.
These are just some of the options that are available to you as a homeowner seeking ways to get cash to make improvements to your home. You can tap into other types of personal loans including credit cards. Really, you need to do what’s best for your finances. It’s good to know that there’s options available to you to improve your home.
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Choosing outdoor furniture for your home can be a challenging task. You might not even know where to start. What type of furniture do you need? What colors should you choose? The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you take it step by step, and look at your own needs, the process will be easier for you.
Pick Your Colors
The outdoors have a bit more flexibility than the indoors of your home. There are no wall colors to worry about, only the natural landscape and the shade of your deck. You can choose from a spectrum of colors to suit the feel you want to create in your outdoor space. Color will provide everything from a fun party atmosphere to a classy, refined outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match as well.
The Outdoors Are Your Indoors
If you have the style of your home down to a science, don’t be afraid to carry that look over to the outside of your home. You can use the same types of fabric textures and colors. Keep in mind that you’ll want a more durable fabric since your furniture may be exposed to the elements.
Use the same design principles outdoors that you would with your indoor furniture. If you have an outdoor fireplace, for example, you can use that as a focal point to gather your furniture around. Don’t be afraid to have a setup similar to that of your living room including a coffee table, sofa-like chair, and other cozy seating.
Keep It Visually Stimulating
Just like the inside of your home, the outside of your home is also a reflection of your personality. You can embrace the feeling of fun, bright colors, and contrasting shades. Use what makes you happy and the rest of the design will fall into place!
Remember one of the simplest design principles when designing your outdoor space- use throw pillows! Throw pillows can add so much to a space. Find colors that bring out the best in your outdoor furniture and desired color patterns. When it comes to the outdoors, know that the bolder you go, the better your space will be!
Forget The Rules
Your outdoor space is a place where you can just “forget the rules.” Go with what feels right for you. The outdoor space is less “stuffy” than the indoors. Not that the inside of your home isn’t comfortable, but the outdoors is a place where an “anything goes” attitude can really work for you.