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Tip Of The Week


Nourish the grass

Nourish the grass For truly lush turf, ideally you should start regular fertilizer treatments a year before listing the house. But you can green up the lawn with just a single application.

Spend $45 on a broadcast spreader, which quickly distributes fertilizer over a lawn, enabling you to nourish a quarter-acre lot in about 10 minutes.

For a yard that size, expect each monthly application to cost about $20 (for straight fertilizer) to $30 (with weed killer).


Keep your outdoor kitchen low maintenance

Select low-maintenance materials and equipment designed to withstand the rigors of an outdoor kitchen. "The easier the kitchen is to clean and maintain, the more the homeowner will use and enjoy their investment," Faulk says, noting that high-quality stainless steel provides a sanitary surface, easily cleaned and corrosion-resistant. Counters and patio or decking material should be highly resistant to grease stains and able to withstand high temperatures.

Think about your ceiling

Think about your ceiling. The ceiling or ceilings in your backyard create more atmosphere than you might think. And especially in the areas of solitude, privacy, and noise reduction. Give your landscaping some thought as to how tall should your boundaries grow, would sitting areas have a more secluded feel with a roof, or would a tall tree in the middle of the backyard create a desired canopy, etc.

Cut back the jungle

Cut back the jungle Many everyday yard plants, such as azaleas, forsythia, hollies and rhododendrons, will fill out with new growth after a season or so even if you hack them down to stumps.

Be careful, though, of yews and junipers, which won't grow new leaves on old wood and may need to be removed altogether if they're severely overgrown.


Talk to a pro

Talk to a pro. You may not need to hire a landscape architect or designer to develop your whole project, but $50-$100 for an hour-long consultation is well worth the money if it saves you from costly mistakes later.

Buy in phases

Buy in phases. Few people have the financial resources to landscape their property all at once. Divide your project into phases, and pay as you go with funds on hand. You'll save on loan or credit costs and be able to evaluate your progress and adjust plans before moving to the next phase.

Fence it in

Fence it in. It's nice to wave hello to your neighbors out front, but the backyard should be a private space. If yours feels overexposed, fencing can offer a quick fix.

For each eight-foot section, you'll pay about $100 (for a plain cedar stockade fence) to $300 (for an elaborate Victorian model), plus another $50 to $150 a section for installation.

You can also achieve the same effect at a much lower cost by planting small evergreen shrubs, although you'll have to wait a few seasons for full coverage.

Or, rather than pruning those hulking foundation plants, hire a landscaper to transplant them along the property line. As long as they're healthy and evergreen, it's a great way to maximize the value of the plants you already own.

Consider new angles

Consider new angles Most yards have almost all the plants along the foundation and the property lines. But if you place yours throughout different parts of the property, you'll create a depth of field that makes your home look farther away from the road.

Try putting some near the house's corners to accentuate its shape, others near the street to define the yard, and some in between, where they can block unfortunate views and be admired from indoors. Many nurseries offer free design help to buyers.