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Sirhornsalot

May Landscapes – Light Up That Curb Appeal!

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Landscape Lighting can make a huge impact on your home!

Landscape lighting provides curb appeal, safety, and enhanced home value

Have you taken a long look at your home’s appearance at night? How much of it do you see? Are there dark spaces everywhere around the house?

You spend a great deal of time and money to make your lawn and landscape look great during the daytime hours. But what about the night time hours? Does curb appeal end when the sun goes down?

I say no.

You can create dramatic appearance on most any home with strategically placed landscape lighting. The beautiful thing about it is – there are multiple values to the homeowner for installing professional grade landscape lighting.

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1. CURB APPEAL – Landscape lighting will give your home a new dimension in the way it looks. It can be just as attractive at night as during the day. Illuminate the best features of your landscape and home’s architectural features and create dramatic effects this way. Realtors will tell you this ads value to your home. Lighting is not just for the front yard either. You can illuminate that back yard living space and use it to enhance your own backyard experience and functionality.

Have a large Oak that you’d like to showcase? Install uprights in the tree for a dramatic effect. Have sharp and deep corners in the house’s contour? Light up those spaces and bring to light what can’t be seen during the day.

2. SAFETY AND PRACTICALITY – Do you have places in your landscape with heavy outdoor use where you entertain guests? Are there areas that you would like to use, but cannot because its dark? Landscape lighting can solve those issues while also being used for curb appeal. You can target downlighting to light up areas of entry walkways, where steps are located – make it as user friendly and safe for guests who come/leave during the evening hours.

3. SECURITY – Dark landscapes around homes are inviting to potential burglars. Those dark spaces make great places to hide. Eliminate that issue with landscape lighting and take away something criminals look for and use. Lighting also increases visibility which allows neighbors or passers-by to see a would-be thief in the act. It is a great deterrent.

Many insurance companies offer a credit or discount for homes with landscape lighting. You can reap further benefits by not ever having to report a claim.

4. ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME – Regardless of the size or style of your home, landscape lighting can increase its value by accentuating the positive features. Even the most dull of exteriors can come alive at night with professionally designed landscape lighting. This provides further attraction for the potential buyer when the time comes to sell the home.

The National Association of Home Buyers (NAHB) names exterior/landscape lighting as one of the top desirable features home buyers look for in their annual survey.

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“BUT I ALREADY HAVE LIGHTS installed on the outside of my house, with a switch inside.”

Many new homes do. And that switch only turns on and off when you remember to do it. Further, the light bulbs in those fixtures are burning 75 to 100 watts of electricity, bumping up that electric bill. 

Low-voltage landscape lighting operates on 12 volts and when combined with fixtures using LED bulbs, you can get 5W (or less) performance while still getting the amount of lighting you’ll desire. So it will likely not even be noticed on the electric bill.

Low-voltage lighting is used with a transformer that has a sun sensor, which allows for automatic function. It’s literally hands-free operation, coming on when the sun goes down and going off when the sun comes back up. You also have the option of programming specific on/off times.

One thing I have learned in this business is to not skimp when it comes to lighting. What you’re looking for is not only performance, but durability. Many of the lighting equipment sold in box stores fits the “not going to last” category. Save yourself the frustration and seek professional grade lighting from your landscape professional.

I am often asked about solar lighting. I’m not a fan. At least not yet. I have found that most solar lighting that I’ve seen marketed is expensive (or very cheap), not as reliable as electric, more expensive to repair, and more delicate (or likely to break). With low-voltage lighting, you get the same predictable performance on an ongoing basis.

Landscape lighting is a great investment for your home and property and enables your home to be attractive both day and night.

ELSEWHERE . . . 

Due to the lackluster winter we experienced in Texas this year, and I spoke on this last month, I expect grub worms to begin feeding during the month of May. They are feeding on the roots of your turf though you can’t see them. They are about three to four inches down below the soil surface now and with the warmer winter, will be feeding earlier than normal again this year.

You’ll want to get a grub treatment on your lawn during the second or third week of this month. If you’re using a retail grub killer, you will want to do two applications, two weeks apart. This will give you a more thorough grub worm kill.

Make sure to water your grub killer product in well before you allow your kids or pets back on the turf. Grub killer granules are normally very small, so they will dissolve upon first watering.

Spring flower planting is in full active mode now that winter has finally stopped sending cold blasts our way. Due to the late cold weather, the nurseries in DFW were a little late with receiving the annual spring flowers. They are in now and are plentiful.

If you did not get your weed/feed applied during April, its okay to still put it down in May. Better late than never. Now is the time to feed the beds, too!

I’ll open the floor up to any questions. Ask whatever you like!

(Mark’s column each month is sponsored by Stagecoach Trailers, Inc., of Naples, Texas. Find them at www.stagecoachtrailers.com)

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I know it is not the time for it but just thinking ahead and preparing.  I have been hit hard with Poa these past two years and have just been using the Lesco 0-0-7 from HD.  In the past you recommended Dimension and Barricade in my yard schedule.  I think I am going to go with those for my next pre emergent treatments (Dim in August and Barr the other times).  Which Dimension and Barricade do you recommend?  I am in Leander and have a Ewing right down the road from me or where can I get it online if not there.  Thanks for all of your help over the years.

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3 hours ago, Tikt B8 said:

I know it is not the time for it but just thinking ahead and preparing.  I have been hit hard with Poa these past two years and have just been using the Lesco 0-0-7 from HD.  In the past you recommended Dimension and Barricade in my yard schedule.  I think I am going to go with those for my next pre emergent treatments (Dim in August and Barr the other times).  Which Dimension and Barricade do you recommend?  I am in Leander and have a Ewing right down the road from me or where can I get it online if not there.  Thanks for all of your help over the years.

You can get the generic version of Barricade (Prodiamine) at Ewing. It performs the same.

The same company that makes the prodiamine makes the generic dimension. Just ask the counter clerk at Ewing about dimension or equivalent.

PM me if you need some help purchasing at Ewing.

If you have Bermuda, you can use a product (liquid) called "Negate" that will kill most poa annua. Its pretty much brand new on the market this year. I have found it at Ewing as well. You would need a sprayer.

 

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