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Supersize Your Curb Appeal: Spruce up your yard a cinch!

Ray Monczka Painting, Your Metro Detroit Painter.

Admit it: You’re not exactly trying to keep up with the Joneses, but you do admire their landscaping.

Or at the very least, you know your own yard is due for an upgrade. Not only is landscaping important to the overall beauty of your home, it also impacts resale potential.

Consider these money-saving tips when giving your home’s surroundings that much-needed face-lift:

Take measurements of your space and know where the sun is

First, measure your space, and then draw it out to scale on grid paper, which will be very helpful when placing plants. Next, ask yourself how much sun or shade each area gets. Keeping in mind whether the area faces north or south, etc. is also important: Putting a shaded plant in a spot with plenty of sun will likely kill the plant.

Choose Your Focal Point

What is the focal point of your landscape? Whether it’s a large tree or a wide picture window, knowing your focal point is the first step of ensuring the flow of your entire landscape.

Consider Plants Native to Your Climate

Visit the gardening center of your local home improvement store for recommendations. When in doubt, always choose a native plant.

Use Coupons (online codes and apps!) and Buy on Sale

Coupons can save you tons when food shopping – and the same goes for landscaping. The process of designing, preparing and installing your new landscape might take several months. And it’s no secret that it can be costly – even if you do it all yourself. Before you dive in, be on the look-out for coupons and specials from local retailers.

Don’t Over-crowd

When the time comes to roll up your sleeves and get to work, always remember to give plants the proper space that they need. Do not crowd the plants together. This is an easy mistake to make when plants are small, but it won’t be long before they grow to their determined size. If a plant tag says that it will grow 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide, allow for that space.

Use paper collars to identify plants

On the heels of the advice above, try this tip: Cut cardboard tubes from toilet paper into one-third sections to encircle the seed. This will keep you from plucking out your young plants. When you sow seeds, it can be hard to tell little weeds from the young sprouts.

Bury stones to make a mow strip

This nugget of wisdom will save time on yard maintenance for years to come: If you’re building a fence, a retaining wall or a planter, set a course of protruding stones in the soil beneath it. That way, your mower can cut all the grass—no trimming by hand needed. The stones should protrude about 4 in. from the wall and stand at least an inch above the soil so grass doesn’t creep over them. You will still have to pull out grass from between the stones occasionally.

Recycle laundry detergent containers

Got laundry? Then you’ve got a watering can. Instead of throwing away empty laundry detergent containers, rinse them out thoroughly and then recycle them for watering plants. Drill 1/8-in. holes in the top of the cap, and a 1/2-in. hole just above the handle to relieve pressure so the water flows freely.

Happy landscaping!

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