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Gardening in the Winter

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Just because winter is in full swing, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue gardening.  Of course you may have to brave the cold, but having plants, fruits, and vegetables growing year round certainly adds to the flavor of your home, especially during those bleak winter months.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to winter gardening.  Clearly, the rules are a bit different, and even what you plant is going to change drastically.  You may have to worry about winterizing your plants or just making sure they get what small amount of sun they need everyday.

Click here for more information on winter gardening.

Gazebos and Pergolas

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Are you looking to spice up your yard?  Maybe you’re interested in creating a new shady place so you can enjoy the outdoors without baking in the sun all day.  You may be interested in building a new gazebo or pergola.

A new gazebo can certainly add class and character to any home.  They offer a nice nook away from the house but still covered so you can enjoy your time in there.

Pergolas come in many shapes and sizes, but lately, they have been used as off-shoots of the home to provide some shade over a patio or deck.  Don’t expect to get much shelter from the weather with a pergola, but the aesthetic side of it is surely a nice bonus.

You can find some nice gazebo and pergola ideas here.

How to Plant a Citrus Tree in a Pot

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Although it’s not quite the season to be thinking about citrus trees, it’s never too early to be planning ahead.

There are several options and thoughts when it comes to planting a citrus tree; however, I feel the best method is to plant it in a pot.  For nothing less than if you want to alter the layout of your lawn, you can just “pick up” the tree and move it to where you would like it.  Aside from that, you can also pick out a pot that complements your landscaping and the look of your home and yard.

For more on citrus trees, check out Better Home and Gardens.

Winterizing Your Lawn

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Depending on where you live, it is that time of year when you need to start thinking about winterizing your lawn.  Of course, the further north you live, the earlier this should have happened.  For a brief description of what winterizing your lawn consists of, please view the video below.

As you can see, the process isn’t overly difficult, but it is important if you are looking to have a beautiful lawn year-round.

Learn to Build a Shed

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No home is complete without a shed.  Of course, that’s grossly incorrect to say.  However, if you ever feel the desire to add a shed to your home, you can hire a professional or you can watch this video and learn how to build one yourself.

Landscape Lighting

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When it comes to brightening up your yard, landscape lighting is often one of the simplest ways to do so.  Adding lighting to your yard can create an impact unlike anything else.  Whether you want to add some lights in your pool, create a lounging area on your deck, or just accentuate your yard, there are many ways to create a warm and inviting environment around your home.

Lighting can be the difference between an empty space of nothingness in your yard and a beautiful area to be lived in and enjoyed at night.

landscape lightingOutdoor lighting can provide many uses, not just make your yard look amazing.  You can also use it amplify your security and add safety around your home.

For starters, if your looking to beef up security, a well-lit home can act as a great way to deter an uninvited guest from thinking about entering your home.  Whether you just have a great and beautiful lighting design or you have lights on timers or motion sensors, a few bright lights here and there, mostly focused around entry points, is the best way to add security to your home short of an actual security system.

step lightingAs for safety, there are countless ways to create a safer environment around your home.  Any paths or walkways can be lit up with path lights to guide you from one end to the other.  You can use step lights to illuminate, well, steps.  Preventing trips, falls, and spills is as easy as flipping a switch.  Better still, many of these lights  are offered in solar versions.  All you have to do is install them and let the sun take care of the rest.

Lighting up your deck or patio can also create a safer environment in your outdoor living space.  Between standard rail lighting, spot or flood lights, or even selectively placed uplighting, you can make your deck or patio the most comfortable “room” outside of your house.

At the end of the day, regardless of your desires, a little landscape lighting can go a long way in making your home safer, more secure, and a lot more pleasing to the eye.

One last note: many lighting fixtures imply that the installation is relatively simple, and often, that may be the case.  Just keep in mind that some larger-scale installations should be performed by a professional landscape lighting installer.  Some installations require power sources other than batteries or solar power and must be installed by a certified electrician.

Cheap and Easy DIY Landscaping Ideas

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If you’re looking for some do-it-yourself landscaping ideas for your home, take a look at some of the videos below.  Some offer actual tips while others offer a handful of photos to get your brain percolating a little.

How to Properly Mow Your Lawn

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Let’s start with the most basic of landscaping needs – a well-maintained and mowed lawn.  There are only a few things you need to keep in mind to have a wonderfully manicured lawn.

Contrary to popular belief, you want to mow your lawn on a higher mow setting.  If you cut the top third of the grass and allow the clippings to decompose, they will return nutrients into the soil.  Mowing at a higher setting allows to grass roots to grow stronger and develop deeper which in turn allows for a cleaner and better looking lawn while keeping the weeds at bay.

If your lawn is overgrown, you want to mow at a higher setting and return a few days later with a lower cut.Two times you want to try to avoid mowing are during the heat of the day and when the grass is wet.  The former can damage the grass while the latter can damage your mower and leave clumps of grass rather than dispersing the clippings.  While mowing, you want to mow in different directions and patterns.  You want to change it up so the the soil can remain loose thereby keeping the lawn more healthy.

When turning the lawn mower, you want to do your best to avoid sharp turns.  Use your driveway, the road, or any other hard surface when available to turn the mower.  You can damage the crowns of the grass by scalping it with the hard turns.

It’s important to keep your mower blades sharp.  Every four to six weeks, you should sharpen the blades, as sharp blades make cleaner cuts.  It also does not hurt to have an extra set of blades on hand if you notice that your blades are harming your lawn and you want to continue mowing.

There are several fertilizers and other growth and helpful formulas you can add to your lawn.  If you have added any of these, stray from mowing for at least twenty-four hours.

Lastly, as winter approaches, your final mow for the season should be short as your lawn is heading in to a “hibernation” for the season.