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January 3, 2018

What to Know Before You Blow Your Snow

It only took one winter of clearing snow with a shovel for me to know that I needed a snow blower. Beyond taking way less time, snow blowing has saved me from my annual tradition of throwing out my back after the first snowstorm of the year. But only after I began shopping for a snow blower did I realize that I knew nothing about snow blowers.

To save you the headache of digging around online and pestering Home Depot employees with questions, here’s everything you need to know about buying a snow blower of your own.

Buy Before the First Snow Hits

You’ll want to begin shopping for a snow blower before the first snow starts to fall. Most stores will see a run [...]

 
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December 19, 2017

Holiday Hosting: Quick Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

With the holidays coming, don’t forget to decorate the outside of your home as well as the inside. Give the outside the warm holiday feeling from the curb to the door and then go on inside and sit by the crackling fire that’s in the fireplace. Sprucing up outside and decorating too can lengthen the holiday feeling even after the season as the decorations linger.

via Southern Living

From the curb

Before you start the decorating process, step outside and look around. Are their papers and trash stuck in the bushes? Does your grass need to be mowed if you live somewhere warm? Do sidewalks need to [...]

 
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December 5, 2017

Winter Gardening

Winter gardening might seem like an oxymoron to some folks, akin to jumbo shrimp or being busy doing nothing. But the winter months can be a wonderful time to explore growing plants in a quieter, more controlled setting than you will find in your summer garden. Unless you live in a very warm climate, most winter gardens will be indoor gardens by necessity. But the lack of garden pests and slow-growing cycles due to low light can be the perfect setting to explore new flowers, shrubs, herbs, evergreens, and succulents. You don’t have to give up your passion for growing things in the cold winter months. Plan out an indoor garden for fun and beauty all winter long! Just remember [...]

 
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November 23, 2017

Winter-Hardy Trees That You Can Plant in Your Yard

Many gardeners and homeowners shrink from winter just because they can no longer have the pleasures of a garden. No more daffodils, no more tomatoes, no more rustling of the branches of deciduous trees. Winter yards are grey, brown and cold, right?

Well, not necessarily! They might be cold, but some trees look beautiful in a yard during winter. You can have the same pleasures of looking outside at a muted palette, dotted by the vibrant green of trees and enjoying the architecture of tree branches as birds hop on them.

Many trees are hardy enough to withstand winter. Just make sure you check out the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map [...]

 
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November 16, 2017

Winterizing Your Landscaping and Garden

An experienced homeowner knows you need to winterize certain aspects of your home, your HVAC system, and your car or RV, but what about winterizing your landscaping and garden? Although some plants will do fine left to their own devices, you can maximize your plants’ survivability and growth next season by helping them prepare for the cold winter months.

Plants are annuals (which die off after one year), biennials (which last two years), or perennials (which live more than two years). Your annual plants, which include marigolds, daisies, petunias, impatiens, geraniums, and most herbs, are going to die off no matter what you do. You may be able to gather some of their [...]

 
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October 24, 2017

Helping Your Lawn Survive the Winter

You’ve worked your butt off through spring and one of the hottest summers on record to ensure your lawn is lush and green moving into the fall. So the last thing you want to see is dead, yellow grass peeking out from the melting snow next year. That’s why the next few weeks are the most important part of your annual lawn care regimen.

Check out this action plan from a fellow lawn-obsessed homeowner (me), and you can stop worrying about getting your lawn through this winter.

Know Your Grass

If you didn’t plant your lawn, you might not know what kind of grass you have. In general, there are two types – cool-weather and warm-weather grasses. Here’s [...]

 
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October 19, 2017

5 Exterior Color Combinations for Fall-Friendly Curb Appeal

Use nature's vibrant array of yellows, oranges, reds, and more as inspiration for year-round color. If you're ready to take on one last home improvement project before winter weather hits, try one of these five color combinations to spruce up your home's exterior.
 
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October 5, 2017

Why Backyard Beekeeping is Good for You and Your Home

If you’ve ever spoken to a backyard beekeeper you’ve probably already heard this, but – you should raise honeybees! No, not every home is going to meet the requirements for a hive, but most people have the time, resources, and skills necessary to get started with their own backyard beehive, even if they’re allergic to bees.

As a backyard beekeeper (or more accurately, assistant-to-the-beekeeper – my mom), I can attest that the benefits of beekeeping far outweigh the time requirement and low costs. They improve your (and your neighbors!) gardens, allow you to get closer to nature, and of course provide delicious raw honey. Take a peek below to see what the [...]

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