Change Your Landscape

Not only does landscaping make your yard look nicer, it can also increase the value of your property and help you save on energy, not to mention it's great exercise. Other benefits include stress relief and tax deductions.

Property Value Increases: When you spend money on doing your property up, it's only natural it will raise the value of your property.  But what most people don't understand is that doing work to the house not only adds value on paper, it increases the property's value in potential buyers' minds. People will pay more for a home that looks better than the rest of the houses on the street.

Save On Energy Costs:  By using proper landscaping techniques, you can keep you home warmer in winter and cooler int eh summer, lowering your energy bills. Much of the cold that comes into your home in winter is caused by wind.  Adding a row of conifers, white pines, or hedges around your home and your windows can help keep the wind out and the heat in.  In the summer, you can keep your home cooler by planting trees that provide shade over your windows.

Effortless Exercise:  Backyard landscaping is a great way to get your daily exercise, not to mention the fresh air.  And gardening is known to be a great stress reliever.  Getting outside and getting your hands dirty calms the body, and it's a great way to relax after work or on the weekends. Tax-Deductible Landscaping:  It's true, you can get money back for adding value to your home.  Home improvement (not home repair) is a tax-deductible expense in America.

Container Landscaping:  But what if you live in an apartment or a condo and don't have space to landscape?  Not a problem.  Planting in containers is the obvious solution.  There really isn't much difference between traditional gardening and container gardening except for on every important fact:  Traditional gardens rely heavily on nature for their basic needs, but container gardens rely almost solely on you.  You must provide them with the nutrients they need.  Container gardens can dry out quickly.  The good news is you can grow almost anything in containers, from edible plants to decorative shrubs and flowers.  You can even grow trees, though they will never get to their intended size, since their roots are confined.  It's also a good idea to select hardy plants that can survive in drought conditions. When it comes to selecting containers, the most popular pots are terra cotta and stone.  However, be careful with weight restrictions if you are putting your containers on balconies. Taking care of a plant in a container is primarily a matter of making sure it has adequate water and good soil and that you prune when needed.  Repot them when plants get too big for their containers, and don't forget to fertilize as needed.  If you want to slow the growth of your plants, prune the roots.

Courtesy of The Memphis Flyer, Issue 1104, April 22 - 28, 2010 Read Full Article

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