Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 2/14/2017

Growing your own vegetables is a wonderful thing. You get to choose which seeds to sow, spend time outside, put in some hard work and then reap the rewards all summer and fall. In spite of this, many new gardeners find themselves planting too much or too little of different vegetables. There's much appeal to going to the store to pick out seeds. It almost seems like magic: these little seed packets will turn into baskets full of food, all for just a few dollars. Follow these tips to learn how to grow what you want the first time around so you won't find yourself begging neighbors to take all those extra zucchinis off your hands. What do you like to eat? Experimenting with new recipes is great. And so is the temptation when you see seed packets for an exotic vegetable you've never tried before. But before you dedicate a whole row of your garden to hybrid turnips, think about whether or not you'll really eat all of that. Instead, plant the veggies you and your family love to eat consistently. Before you start planting, think carefully about the amount of space you have in your garden (I usually draw a diagram and label the rows). This is going to involve some necessary research on your part. If you love summer squash, you may think you need a whole row. Squash plants, however, tend to creep outwards vigorously, producing a ton of fruit and also encroaching on other rows if you're not careful. Similarly, you may find that you simply don't have enough room for some vegetables. We all love the first sweet corn of the season, but most of us don't have enough room in our backyard gardens to feasibly grow corn. Plan for next year Once you've tilled the soil, planted the seeds, and taken care of your plants all spring, you may think the only thing left to do is harvest the vegetables. This is a crucial time, however, to think about next year. What did you have too much of? Too little? Did you find that some vegetables simply wouldn't grow in your garden? (I tried twice, with little luck, to plant pole beans but found that they just didn't like my soil.) Take note of these findings for next year. If one part of your garden receives more sunlight, try rotating crops to see if you get different results. Don't worry if your garden isn't perfect the first time around. In fact, it's best to just let go of that image of the perfect garden. Tending a garden isn't another chore to cause stress in your life, it's a simple and relaxing way to get outside more.  





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/4/2016

Homeowners have different amounts of time they can spend in the garden; for most of us, it is never enough. If you have a busy schedule and cannot devote a lot of time or energy to caring for your landscape, you can still have a beautiful, eye-catching garden. With a bit of research and planning, you can discover plants that thrive in your garden and require little in the way of care or maintenance. Consider about the configuration of your garden, making a sketch of areas that are sunniest and those that receive shade. Note the content of the soil. Likely some areas of your property have soil that is loamier or sandier than others. Take several soil samples from your yard, marked with the location, to your local county extension office for soil analysis and advice on what you need to do to supplement your soil and improve growing conditions. Creating a low-maintenance garden and landscape is about more than selecting the right low maintenance plants. It is important to factor in your United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone, your unique gardening environment and then working with it. Matching plants to the conditions in your garden and the plants requirements when you plant them, and you will have save time later. Group plants with similar water requirements together, keeping all your thirsty plants in one spot for ease of watering. Consider installing a drip irrigation which is an inexpensive and healthier way for plants to obtain moisture and a lot less work for you. Low Maintenance Plants When looking for low maintenance plants for the garden, choose perennials that you only have to plant once. Perennials and annuals that self-seed grace the garden every spring with bursts of color and fresh greenery; all without effort on your part. It is best to choose perennials rated for your USDA hardiness zone and growing conditions. If a plant grows in the wild in your “neck of the woods” it will grow in your garden. If established in the wild, the plant is acclimated to your make it through the winter where you live, tolerant of rainfall amounts, soil quality, and climate. Hardy Perennials Gardener’s in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 6 suggest peonies, butterfly weed, daffodils and tulips for sunny, permanent spots in the garden. The many different striking varieties of geranium are perfect for borders, pots, baskets, and containers, but must be dug and stored or brought indoors in areas subject to freezing. In these same hardiness zones, ferns, hostas, and bleeding heart are hardy perennials that tolerate shade and cold temperatures.




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