Outdoor Living

Spice Up Your Porch for Fall

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Football season has started, so you may be dreaming of sipping cider on your porch in cooler weather. Fortunately, if you like to spruce up your space for each season, you can get your porch ready for fall without spending a fortune. To get you started, I talked with Lindsey Frost, owner of Frost Designs, Inc., who shared some of her ideas and inspiration for fall decor. 

First, Lindsey suggests you clear off your porch. Put away any summer decorations, then give it a good sweep so you can start fresh. Then, walk out to street level and look toward your house. “Before you decorate, get a good sense of just how much space you’re working with and what’s actually visible from the street,” Lindsey said. 

She also suggests choosing your color scheme based on your home’s exterior and landscaping. “It doesn’t all have to be orange and brown,” she said. “For example, if you have pansies or mums, you can pull out the yellows and whites. The main thing is to complement your home’s look while dressing it for the season.” 

Spice Up Your Porch for Fall

Decorate to Scale 

After you’ve done all that, consider the size of your space to understand what your porch and steps can handle. 

For a smaller area, you may be working with your front door, sidelights, and a few steps. If that’s the case, Lindsey suggests focusing on what’s going to make the biggest impact. She recommends starting with the door. “If the door is the main focus, you could put garland around it, hang a large wreath, or flank it with tall corn stalks tied with burlap ribbon.” In a smaller space, she suggests also adding a pop of color, like a bright ribbon or painted pumpkin that will be visible from the street.

For a larger area, you can play more with layering to fill the space at various heights and with different colors and textures. And don’t just limit yourself to pumpkins and squash! There are plenty of other fall vegetables you can use. Layer and stage them at different heights to balance each side, and fill in the big spaces with mums, larger pumpkins, a big battery- powered hurricane lamp, and a basket of firewood or pinecones. 

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Go Natural

Fall decorating lends itself to a more rustic look that you can achieve by using natural materials. Think apples, squash, pumpkins, leaves, pinecones, ornamental cabbage, hay bales, and corn stalks. You can even clip some branches when the leaves start to turn, then tuck those into urns or pots. 

Related: How to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table

Then, get creative! Those pumpkins and gourds don’t have to be orange and white. You can paint them different colors, add patterns, or wrap them in fabric for a modern twist on a traditional look. 

Image by Emily May @gohausgo

Image by Emily May @gohausgo

Use What’s On Hand

Lindsey suggests using things you already have, so you don’t have to spend a fortune make your fall porch cozy. Look around for things like a vintage ladder, throws, and tea towels in fall colors, gardening tables, or baskets, crates and old crocks. These different items can work together to help you mixing textures, heights and colors to fill your space. “I like to use galvanized olive baskets in the fall, and just put pieces of firewood in the basket at the front door,” Lindsey offered. 

If you’ve got one prop up a wooden “Welcome” or “Gather” sign, or look for a hand-lettered “Happy Fall, Ya’ll” sign. The rustic farmhouse look is popular now, and any of those wooden signs with friendly saying create that warm feeling of friends and family we associate with fall. 

When you’re done with those finishing touches, all that’s left is to pour some wine or cider, and relax with your neighbors and family.

WE HOPE THESE IDEAS AND TIPS ARE INSPIRATIONAL. PLEASE CALL ME WITH ANY OF YOUR HOME BUYING OR SELLING NEEDS AND QUESTIONS. (423-421-9192)

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Seeing Spots in Your Yard?

Source: Lawn Doctor of Chattanooga

Source: Lawn Doctor of Chattanooga

Get tips for preventing brown patches in your lawn

This summer’s weather has been hot and humid, a perfect recipe for Brown Patch Disease in local lawns. Fescue grass prospers when it’s 65-75 degrees, so fescue is especially vulnerable to the fungus that causes Brown Patch Disease when the temperature rises and grass stays moist. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your grass healthier (and greener!) this summer.

We talked with Renata Clark at the Lawn Doctor of Chattanooga and learned these tips for preventing brown patches in your yard:

Photo by  Anthony Rossbach  on  Unsplash

change your watering routine

IF THE GRASS STAYS WET, YOU’RE INVITING FUNGUS TO DEVELOP.
  1. Water your lawn in the morning, and never water after 3 p.m. You want to give the grass plenty of time to dry out again after being watered.

  2. Water 20-30 minutes per zone, but water less frequently than you would in drier weather. Don’t water every day.

  3. Check for pooling or drainage problems. Any spot in your yard that stays moist can be a breeding ground for fungus.

Photo by  Daniel Watson  on  Unsplash

mowing: less is more

IF YOU CUT FESCUE GRASS TOO SHORT, IT WON’T SURVIVE THE HEAT OF SUMMER AND WILL TURN BROWN.
  1. Mow the grass as high as you can, and mow less often.
  2. Don’t mow when the grass is wet.
  3. Mow every 2-3 weeks.

If the brown spots have already taken over, contact the Lawn Doctor for help! They can treat the fungus once it has started growing in your yard. They also offer a preventive fungus application during May and June, so put a treatment on your calendar now for next spring.

For more lawn care tips, read 5 Tips for a Beautiful Lawn this Spring, or visit the Lawn Doctor of Chattanooga online.

WE HOPE THESE IDEAS AND TIPS ARE INSPIRATIONAL. PLEASE CALL ME WITH ANY OF YOUR HOME BUYING OR SELLING NEEDS AND QUESTIONS. (423-421-9192)

5 Tips for a Beautiful Lawn this Spring

Spring is around the corner. If you want to make this the year for a beautiful yard, it’s time to start planning now. We asked Allen Clark, owner of Lawn Doctor for his best tips on what you can do now for a lush, green lawn later. 

(Readers receive 50% off First Lawn Maintenance service and 50% off first Mosquito, Flea and Tick Treatment when you mention this article)

1.    Feed Your Lawn

“Fertilizing is one of the most important things you can do for your lawn this spring,” says Clark. “It replenishes nutrient reserves that were depleted over the winter.” While general turf fertilizers are available, it’s best to understand what kind of grass you have and the condition of your soil. For example cool season grasses (fescues, ryegrasses) need to be fertilized at different times than warm season varieties (bermudagrass, Zoysia). “Every lawn has its own, unique fertilization needs, so hiring a service takes the guess work out of it,” he says. “We can create a customized plan for optimal growth and minimal weeds.”

2.    Wipe Out Weeds

Beautiful spring days are meant for more than pulling weeds, and sprays can be harmful to children and pets. February and March are the best time to stop weeds BEFORE they start by using pre-emergents. This helps prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds from taking root (and taking over). It’s also important to maintain your landscaping beds so that weed seeds aren’t spread across your lawn.

3.    Give it Room to Breathe

Over the winter, soil becomes compacted and thatch builds up from months of not mowing or raking. “This restricts your grass’s access to much-needed nutrients,” says Clark. The answer is aeration and spring is the time for Bermuda and Zoysia grasses. (Fescue Grass is aerated in the fall).

4.    Banish Bare Patches in Warm Season Grasses (Bermuda and Zoysia)

Late spring is the perfect time for overseeding or sodding as warmer weather and spring rains can create ideal growing conditions. To prep your lawn, mow at the lowest setting. Follow with a rake to remove dead grass and loosen the soil. Broadcast new warm-season grass seed or place sod and water daily until established. Limit activity on the lawn until grass is mowing height.

5.    Consider the Critters

Warm weather also brings unwelcome pests such as mosquitoes and ticks. The Lawn Doctor’s Yard Armour Program (applied April through August) is designed to eliminate mosquitoes and ticks currently living in your lawn and prevent future infestations. “This is especially helpful after a mild winter like we had this year,” says Clark. The Lawn Doctor also has solutions for common lawn pests like fire ants and moles.