TIP OF THE WEEK
Summer’s arrival brings longer days and more sunshine. This season also means more of your favorite outdoor activities, such as relaxing in the backyard or working in the garden. In fact, there is no better time to refresh your outdoor space.

“The secret to a well-manicured yard is preparation,” says Chris Lambton, yard and garden expert for Fiskars. “Once the weather warms up, your lawn and garden will need a little extra TLC to be ready for outdoor activities or entertaining. Having the right tools on-hand is essential to making the process simple and enjoyable.”

Lambton offers his tips and tools for making your yard beautiful and easy to care for all season long:

Prune strategically. If you turn your back for too long, Mother Nature can take over your yard in the spring growing season. Trim and shape your plants by cutting 1/4 inch above a growth bud at a 45 degree angle to promote healthy growth.

Plan your planting. Summer is a great time to plan your outdoor space and give it a fresh new look. When plotting out your yard or garden, be sure to leave extra space around plants to account for their growth or plant in containers to easily move them around, if needed.

Mulch carefully. Shallow layers of mulch work to keep your soil cool, cut down on weeds and slow the loss of moisture. But be careful not to mulch too deeply, as too much mulch can inhibit oxygen from reaching plant roots and encourage mold. As a rule of thumb, mulch only two to three inches on top of the soil.

Water wisely. A healthy lawn and garden will have deep roots that can tap reserves of moisture way down in the soil. Water deeply - but not too often - and you’ll encourage plants to develop even deeper roots. The best time to water is between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. when the air is cooler and there is less risk of evaporation from heat and wind.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember to spend time outside in your yard and garden when the weather is nice and enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables you grow.
— Brandpoint

HOME-SELLING TIP
More than meets the eye
With more than 90 percent of home buyers starting their searches on the internet, pictures of your home can set you apart. Quality pictures can set you up for a quick sell, while poor quality photos can drive buyers the other way. If you can’t afford a professional photographer, you can make your own pictures standout by using the natural light of a room, taking trial photos (vertical and horizontal) to make sure nothing looks out of place, using wider shots and lower angles, zooming in on desirable details (original molding or big windows) and avoid taking pictures of ceiling fans or any nail holes or cracks.
— More Content Now

DECORATING TIP
Playing with color
Just a splash or a wall full of color can give your home that extra spice of your personality. Whether you use it in a small, almost unnoticeable space or end up using an entire gallon across the expanse of a wall, the colors you choose can make a statement. On the subtler side, painting the sides of a door adds a pop of color for any room you enter. Painting the sides of a dresser bright colors gives your kids a reason to want to put their laundry away. On the bolder side, you can paint one wall or many in colors such as lilacs and purples can add a level of sophistication. If you’re stuck with vinyl or laminate flooring, you can spruce it up by painting with stripes of blue.
— More Content Now

GARDEN GUIDE
Weed your garden with fire
No one likes seeing those pesky weeds poke out of their driveway or pavers. Flame weeding with a torch like the Bernzomatic JT850 Lawn & Garden Torch, is a fast, effective way to kill weeds without applying chemicals to your lawn. The torch has a 36-inch extended reach so you don’t have to bend over and strain your back. Simply clear the area of loose combustible materials, sweep the flame over the roots of the weeds, then sweep away the extinguished remnants from the area. Remember, never burn poison ivy or other poisonous plants. The smoke can cause serious allergic reactions. Use safety precautions and make sure the weed is wilted at a minimum before you torch.
— Brandpoint