Steve Casey
RE/MAX Real Estate Center | 508-341-4464 |

Posted by Steve Casey on 9/2/2019

The decision to mulch is one of the best you can make for your garden. Mulching involves you placing barriers that serve as protection around your plants and bare soil. The mulch composition varies from organic materials like bark, wood chips, pine needle, straw, etc. to unnatural materials like plastic, fabrics, tires, rocks, and pebbles.

Mulching not only beautifies your garden, but there are other benefits you would enjoy from mulching. 

Weed Control

Mulching helps reduce the growth of weeds in your garden and it serves as a barrier against the amount of sunlight the weeds can get to germinate. Even if it sprouts, the mulch will prevent it from rooting, making it easy to remove. So, while your healthy plants grow, it won’t have to compete with weeds for nutrients.

Pest Control

Some mulch serves as an insect repellent; these types of mulch are great for controlling a pest. Mulch like cedar barks have natural oils that repel insects from your garden, other mulch types with a strong fragrance have better effects on a pest. Be careful though when choosing a mulch with fragrance as some scented mulch attract insects.

Moisture Retention

When you cover around your plant and bare soil, you allow water trapped to get into the land, preventing quick evaporation. Organic mulch hold water which means, more water for your plants. During hot and dry periods, you won’t have to worry much about water for your soil – reducing your cost of the water bill.

Soil Temperature 

The mulch also serves as an insulating layer for your soil; It reduces how fast the temperature of the soil changes. During dry the season, mulch keeps the ground cool by absorbing sunrays and slowing the temperature increase of the soil.  During the colder months, the mulch keeps heat for the land, making the plants grow for more extended periods than they would otherwise could not. 

Improves Soil Nutrients

Using organic mulch such as leaves, wood chips or bark will decompose over time. The decomposed organic material adds rich-organic nutrient into the soil, feeding the plants and other living organisms in the ground with nutrients. The covering of the land also prevents soil nutrients from being washed off during rain. 

Prevents Erosion

Mulching helps to keep water in the soil and also prevents your ground from washing over when it rains. Because of the organic and inorganic materials placed around your garden, the force of rain lessens because of these materials. 

Improves Curb Appeal

Mulching adds color to your garden and landscape; it creates a groomed look for your landscape beds, trees, and shrubs around your home. Colored mulches are perfect for complementing the hues of your home and your garden. 

Mulches are beneficial for your surroundings; they give your garden a finished look and makes it easy for you to maintain. 

Posted by Steve Casey on 4/1/2019

Maintaining a healthy lawn and garden doesn't have to be difficult. Anyone can efficiently manage a lawn or garden. There are no prerequisites, and you definitely do not need a degree to pull this off. Yes, it is not the easiest task to take on, but you are sure to pull it off with a dose of patience, quality time, and, of course, these few tips. 

Want to get to them already? Sure!

  1. Go for a Rock Garden. Experts advise gardeners to go for rock gardens because they contain drought-resistant plants. These plants require less care compared to other plants. Also, you do not need to water them constantly because they are drought-resistant. 
  2. Treat Grasses in Shady Areas Differently. Grasses in shady areas receive less sunlight compared to grasses in other parts of the lawn. By extension, they evaporate less and grow at a slower pace. Therefore, it is pertinent to treat them differently. Do not feed them as you feed other. These grasses rarely evaporate, as such, they need less water compared to their counterpart in open areas. They also incline toward growing at a slower pace due to insufficient sunlight. Thus, it is crucial to reduce the amount of fertilizer you feed them. Overfeeding them will result in their death instead of growth.
  3. Apply the Sidekick – Mulch. Mulch, as it is known today, is the gardener's friend (better yet, sidekick). Mulch comes in handy when you run out of other solutions. A simple application of mulch will not only help suppress weed in your lawn or garden, but it will also help reduce the full amount of time you spend watering.
  4. Consider the Environment Before Planting the Tree. Experts advise that you should consider your tree as a full-grown tree when planting. By doing so, you will have a better idea of the best spot for the tree. They may look like beautiful little babies that can do no harm, but that wouldn't be the case when they are all grown. Make sure you choose a good position when planting, not one that you will end up having a problem with the roof.
  5. Reduce Weed Growth with Healthy Soil. It may seem incredible, but weed grows better in unhealthy soil. A nutrient-rich soil is all the herbicide you need to curb the growth of weeds in your lawn or garden. Stuff your lawn with fertilizers instead of weed-killers.

Having a beautiful, weed-free lawn and garden results in higher curb appeal and may increase the value and salability of your home. Ask your real estate professional for other ideas to upgrade curb appeal.

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Posted by Steve Casey on 11/14/2016

Long lasting and exceptionally beautiful, hydrangeas are a festive addition to most any home landscape. Not only do hydrangeas make a dramatic and colorful statement in the garden, the blooms of these unique plants can be easily dried for indoor arrangements. The coloration of several varities of hydrangea flowers can be changed or controlled by regulating the acidity of your garden soil in which the hydrangeas are planted. The majority of hydrangea varieties show a variation in the color of the flowers as the plant matures. White varieties tend to stay white, however blue and pink varieties can be manipulated to change or intensify their color via the pH of the soil. If hydrangeas in your garden currently produce blue flowers, enhancing the soil to make it more alkaline will slowly change blue flowers to pink. Hydrangeas planted next to a sidewalk or concrete foundation often turn pink from the lime that leaches into the soil from the concrete. Conversely, if you increase the acidity of the soil, your pink hydrangeas will turn blue. Aluminum sulfate, available online or from local home and garden centers can be incorporated into the soil around the base of the hydrangea bush to increase acidity. Follow package direction for accurate application as over application may burn roots and damage or stunt the growth of your plants. Hydrangeas are also excellent as potted plants to added color and greenery to the patio, terrace or balcony. United States Hardiness Zones For Hydrangeas Over the past decade, horticulturists have developed several varieties of “ever-blooming” hydrangeas. Commonly known as “mop head hydrangeas”, these plants will flourish and bloom much further north than before. Ever-blooming varieties such as “Blushing Bride” and “Endless Summer” blooms multiple times a year and so well in southern climates as well. “Annabelle”, “Oakleaf” and “Peewee” are other varieties that do well in both northern and southern location. Hydrangeas thrive in United States Hardiness Zones 4 through 11. While the majority of varieties of hydrangeas grow best in a shaded area, there are several that prefer a sunny spot in the garden. Hydrangeas present large, showy blooms in shades of white, pink, blue and lavender. The spectacular blooms typically fade to shades of burgundy, red, or pink before drying to beige. In many parts of the country, the blooms will dry in place on the plant and remain attractive through the winter. Hydrangeas prefer moist, well-drained, nutrient rich soil. To produce the best flowers possible, enhance the soil around the base of the plant will a generous application of well-aged herbivore manure (cow, horse, lama, mule, sheep, or goat.) Pruning Trim your hydrangea blooms as they fade, keeping in mind that the hydrangea plant only blooms on new growth.

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