register | confirm account | forgot password
Karen Jardine
CIR Realty
#100 707 10 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta
P: 403-874-2712  F: 403-000-0000
Photo and business card details widget
Karen Jardine
Agent Photo
Email MeEmail:
Latest Blog Button
Button advertising your blog
MLS® Search Button
Button advertising your MLS® Search page
Map-based MLS® Search

Monday, April 13, 2009 - Spring things for your Home and Garden

Compliments of HomeCrafters Home Inspection Services: 

Spring Tips for your Home and Garden 

We've all had the winter blues at one time or another. Thankfully, that horrible feeling of being confined indoors and wondering if you're destined to a life of hot chocolate and flannel pajamas has a cure. A dose of spring is on the way, as you peek out the window and see that the piles of snow are finally melting and the birds are starting to return from their trip down south. Soon it will be time to kiss that sofa goodbye and lounge on a lawn chair on the deck instead. 

Every spring as the weather warms up and the BBQ's start getting fired up, LAWNS always come to mind. The winter can take its toll on all of your lawn, and us but there are some steps you can take to get the perfect lawn. Raking or power raking your lawn is one of the most important things you can do in the spring to get a healthy lawn. Make sure the ground is relatively dry and isn't soft and squishy. By raking, you pull out all the old dead grass and lift up some of the matted grass to keep fungus problems to a minimum. It does take a considerable amount of elbow grease, but it really is the best thing you can do from your lawn. A good annual raking effectively acts like basic de-thatching so you don't need to some expensive de-thatching process. 

Doing a little over-seeding of your lawn is a great way to thicken it up a little. Grass seed is quite inexpensive and it's easy to apply. It grows best when seeded early in the year, or very late in the year - anytime there is an "r" in the month, which makes April ideal. Under ideal conditions, the seed should be covered with a little soil, but applying the seed and a little raking is usually sufficient. When over seeding, use half the rate listed on the package. Too much seed just causes excessive competition so keep the rates down. Pick a shade mix for shady locations and a sun mix for sunny locations. 

If you have dogs and get tired of those little spots on your lawn, LIME can be added to help counter the acidity. It also can help counter the acidity of evergreens and sometimes cedar mulch, which makes it equally suitable for flowerbeds as it is for lawns. For salt damage, try using GYPSUM to help sweeten the soil. If you have leftover gypsum, it's a great addition to your vegetable garden and prevents bud-rot. All in all, you end up with a better vegetable garden with a little bit of gypsum added. 

When it comes to FERTILIZING, we're into another category. Traditional synthetic fertilizers have very high nitrogen, which green up your lawn quickly. As good as they are, the overall direction of growing methods is changing. Moving to more natural solutions and less concentrated fertilizers does take a little more effort but produces a hardier and healthier lawn. There are certified organic fertilizers for your lawn. It's a three-step program for spring, summer, and fall. It seems quite effective as an organic fertilizer. It's comprised mainly of feather meal, bone meal, blood meal, lime, and a few other ingredients. One great advantage of these natural sources of nutrients is the staying power they have. Unlike high-dose synthetics which can leach out of the soil, these other sources tend to hang around the plant roots a little longer, though you do need multiple applications. Applying a traditional slow release fertilizer high in nitrogen once the lawn begins to grow. Do not fertilize before mid-May or if the soil temperature is below 20 Celsius as the fertilizer will not activate. Nitrogen is the first number so choose a 3:1:2 ratio (e.g. 21-7-14) or 4:1:2 ratio (e.g. 20-5-10). Weed and feed type products are not recommended. 

Spring Tips 

• Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer 
• Examine your roof carefully, looking for worn, curled or missing shingles. 
• If you can't inspect your roof easily, your attic is the next best place to check for problems. Look for moisture or surface discoloration -- and do this every time you go into the attic. The earlier you find a roofing problem, the better 
• Turn on the exterior hose bibs that are shut off in the basement. 
• Check all hoses and lawn sprinklers for cracks and leaks. 
• Lawn sprinkler heads should not spray on the walls of the house. This moisture can lead to unwanted growths, wall failure and other destructive moisture problems. 
• Tune up and sharpen your lawn mower. 
• Make sure downspouts are sloping away from the house and carrying water at least five feet away from foundation walls. 
• Examine window and door flashing, seals or weather stripping. If sealants around those openings are no longer pliable and continuous, reseal, caulk and paint them. 
• Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks to help provide a level walking surface 
• Check all the fascia and house trim for damage 
• Check your water heater and furnace. 
• Shut off and clean your humidifier 
• Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter 
• Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer 
• Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms 
• Check all exterior electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs they are an indication of a worn out receptacle. Worn receptacles should be replaced as they cause overheating and fires. Also check electrical outlets and switches to be sure they work properly. If any switches, outlets or receptacles do not work, have a qualified electrician determine the problem and fix it. 
• Replace all exterior extension cords that have become brittle, worn or damaged 
• Run through a severe-weather drill with your family 
• Always have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible. 

Vacationing in the summer -- Before you leave, it's always a great idea to: 

• Have newspaper and mail stopped or regularly picked up by a trusted neighbor • Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home 
• Make sure a neighbor knows where the water main shut-off is located in the event of a broken pipe 
• Set timers on interior lights to deter burglars 
• Unplug TV, computer and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges • Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended vacation 
• Turn off water valves to your washing machine, icemaker and dishwasher

posted in General at Mon, 13 Apr 2009 22:23:53 +0000

This site's content is the responsibility of Karen Jardine, licensed REALTOR® in the Province of Alberta.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

© 2023, All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Mobile Site | REALTOR® Websites by RealPageMaker