the views and opinions expressed in the following program are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of KS mq public service media incorporated or it’s a signs we’re looking from the outside what does the curb say about your place we’re talking tips you may want to know stay with us you’re watching garden connections welcome to garden connections I’m Vicki land girl thank you for joining us I’m happy to introduce Randy and Tom who are to hit here to help us understand curb appeal call in and ask your questions the numbers there at the bottom of your screen Randy let’s start with you what improves curb appeal it’s a very good question Vicki a number of things can really improve curb appeal plants hardscape or walkways and so on let’s talk about what curb appeal is and where it came from leave it was coined by realtor’s as they would approach a home that was for sale with people that had never seen it before they they witnessed a reaction people would come to the home for the first time and they would take a look and they would have an immediate feel whether the home was inviting whether it was pleasing or whether they weren’t really sure if they wanted to go in or not so curb appeal kind of evolved from that arena and now which with home and garden TV and so on it’s become very very popular to improve your curb appeal so to speak and there’s a number of ways to do that some are expensive some are not it doesn’t really matter the size of your yard it could be just a tiny yard or you know a huge yard just the smallest thing can make a huge difference as far as making changes to your yard what’s the the most efficient say cheapest way to make the biggest impact well you know the easiest ways are probably the ways that require more of your labor you know it’s assuming that your labor is free there’s a lot of things you can do some of us maybe just maintenance keeping stuff that you have trimmed up maybe keeping the lawn mowed maybe you know fertilizing the lawn just to green things up just to give it a little more just kind of a well-maintained look doesn’t necessary have to be a lot of stuff out there just some nice stuff that’s why maintained what do you think the incentive is to spruce up your yard I think everybody likes to to feel like their home just gives kind of a homey feeling as well as when you invite people over people / you know it’s kind of cool when people go maybe slow down when they go by your house or say oh yeah I notice that you you added this or boy that really looks good or what’s that growing or how to do that we just kind of like that when people like what we have are just kind of human nature like to impress people a little bit right yeah and then there’s also that incentive of adding thousands of dollars you know sometimes to the home’s value by just simple things we can do when did a good time to get started on fixing up the front yard in Minnesota I would say anytime that we’re able to get up this year’s been a little bit of a challenge the weather hasn’t been so great but honestly you can do a tremendous amount from very very early in the spring through the entire summer well into the fall and you really need to start just by kind of assessing what you have taking a very objective look at your home your walkways the front of your your house your doors your windows the color of your home and of course the condition of your plants your trees your shrubs and and so on sometimes as Tom mentioned less is more not having over growing plants or plants that need trimming take a real close look at that we often walk past these things day in and day out but yet we don’t really see them as others do so sometimes you need to invite someone else to take a pina at the home get a more objective correct yeah what let’s just start with some of the easiest things to do in the back in the front yard not the backyard that’s like the front yard plants flowers

shrubs you know the easiest thing that comes to mind to me is just taking a like a shepherd’s hook stick in the front yard and put some hanging baskets on there and then you’ve just added color in you know five minutes and it’s you know relatively inexpensive to do it that way you know the negative thing and one thing I think about is then that’s just for this year you know that’s only going to last this summer and then it’s going to figure out do something next year whereas you plan something that’s a shrub or a perennial flower it’s going to be permanent which if you like it is it is maybe a good thing if you don’t like it then you have to know that you know it’s there until you you know cut it out really was a good place to get inspiration for what you like or what what will work in your yard we’ve already mentioned home and garden TV the only thing there is as many of the projects may be unrealistic for four people but garden magazines standing in the checkout at the supermarket there’s many very good garden magazines you can also invite a landscape designer to your home oftentimes the the first visit there’s no fee they’ll come out and do what an assessment or give you some pointers or so on the other thing would be friends and neighbors places you’ve been to that you have found attractive great inspiration you can take a look and say you know I really like what their front looks like i want to make ours similar or simplify it so you just have to look around and kind of get a flavor of what you like what are some things i just say the nice thing about that looking around as you know if you see something in a surrounding area town or neighborhood you know that it does well here right something you know if you go on vacation to florida and you see a house in equal i really like that it’s probably not likely you’re going to duplicate it here so you want to have realistic expectations that way to of what can actually grow in minnesota and some of you notice that gardeners are pretty generous I mean they’re friendly people and they like to share whether you can lot of times you’ll see garden tours in the summertime of people that actually have you don’t bite you into their garden to take a look at different things in different ideas they have and and the other thing I think you have to realize is these bigger and like you see on home and garden TV you know they can do it in three days but you know a lot of places you see around here it’s maybe been 15 years that they’ve been working on this garden and just adding a little bit in a little bit what are some fast rules for foolproof foolproof landscaping or or the composition of how you’d set it up as they’re a set of rules for how you might typically you would like to focus your color on your entryway you don’t want to have color from one end of the house to the other because it becomes to visually confusing so if you can if you can focus color through pots or maybe flower borders or as Tom mentioned a shepherd’s hook with hanging baskets something like that near the area you want people to approach when they come sometimes that’s confusing I don’t know if you’ve been to homes often we go to a number of homes through the business and we will approach a home that we’ve never been to and sometimes we’re confused at which door to go to and that has to do with lack of color or narrow walkways or something like that so you want to designate where do you want your friends and visitors to come that’s a good point so um you know we really do when we walk up to a house you get a feel an instant feel and I remember from a real estate instructor once they said you know if people don’t like what they see on the outside they’re not going to come in you might have the most magnificent house on the inside but if they don’t don’t feel welcomed or feel good when they walk up you know and there’s simple things we can do like paint the front door like you know the front door is important what about the other types of hardware or what do you call it like the address ah mailbox right things like that sometimes I think the gutter is a big thing to you know you have a leaky gutter sometimes it’s hanging off a little bit and it just gives you the approach that you know the house is falling apart which really probably isn’t but that’s how it looks from there from the outside you know by visiting a home center you can see all kinds of different styles and types of front doors and it’s funny how once you develop a theme with the hardware to your front door then there’s matching numbers for the front of the house and then maybe a mailbox and all of these things can tie together either with color or style you can even use yard lights and so on to to light the way so when people come at dusk or in the evening they’re able to see clearly where to go Randy that’s it that’s a good segue to the next that’s going to ask about lighting what are some things that we can do to highlight the you know our yard or

certain plants and walkways what do you suggest all too often we rely on a yard light that has a hundred watt bulb in it that almost blinds everyone really the purpose of that light is to just illuminate that walkway show people how to get there not be so bright that it it shines so much like that it’s actually hard to see so take a look at what you have for existing fixtures make sure that you have correct wattage bulbs in there that will work at night and that everyone can see you can also install inexpensive low-voltage landscape lighting in a path form or using spots or whatever to to light not just the pathway but the front of the house as well it makes it very appealing at night it adds a whole different dimension and a different look to your home you know the other thing even it’s more in the daytime is to make sure you get as much sunlight as you can you know sometimes we we just cover things up and it almost has a dark feel to it so it might be thinning out the tree or making sure things are pruned like they should but I think I think lights a big thing you know you walk into a business or place like that and all these big business now it’s just like brightest can be and that’s the thing you walk into somewhere and it feels kind of dark you just feel a little uncomfortable we like light that’s a very good point you could have an existing home that has a lot of shade trees very low canopies very dense things don’t grow well it kind of feels like you’re entering the Forbidden Forest and so if you can trim things up let a little more light in more plants will grow yeah people will feel more invited as they come so that’s a very good point yeah I like that idea what about okay so we’re going to work just with the landscaping right now not the hardscaping I think is that what you call them use marina but the landscaping spacing light shade all those things what do you say what are some guidelines there as far as them do you want to go smaller do you want to go one color lots of colors different heights symmetry where do you weigh in on that the interesting thing about that question is it’s very broad and everyone’s home is different everyone’s style is different and that’s why landscaping sometimes leaves people scratching their head they’re not really sure how to proceed because there’s such a wealth of plants and different styles and types out there it’s hard to know where to put what often you need some advice it’s very simple these days to take a digital shot of your home bring it into a garden center get some advice from someone that is trained in this and they can easily steer you to you know the right plants for your light setting and something that will enhance the front of your house all too often people tend to choose plants that they particularly like themselves and easy to do that you fall in love with a certain swagger like oh but the front of the house should be neat clean maybe low-maintenance something that always looks good if you decide to have a rose bed a rose garden out front and you have a season where the roses are having a terrible time everything struggling in that garden which all gardeners go through it sometime then the entire front of the house looks a little bit worse for the wear it’s better maybe to go with more permanent plants that are easier to care for and then use that experimentation or you put that rose bed somewhere where you can enjoy it out a kitchen window or something out back well I think the other important thing too is to know what it’s going to look like in five years you know when you plant it today and it might look a little thin but if you get things too close together also in the five years can have two things growing on top of each other and no matter how nice that plan is that usually doesn’t look good I don’t like things over taking each other so know that it’s going to take a little time before it looks like before it’s the finished products you’re more of a fan of maybe going smaller or it small element to you know you could go small but you can use big plants but just know that you have to leave space for them initially so when you in a first plant that you might go boy it looks like we don’t have much out there right but you know things go pretty fast now do you suggest getting the soil ready I mean doing something different bringing in top soil or peat moss or whatever you bring in or do you just go with whatever’s there already I that’s a case-by-case basis we’re blessed with black dirt here in farm rich country and so many homes are fortunate and they have fairly good soil others are not depending on where the home was built or you know what was done as it was built and so on so each area needs to be assessed although there are plants that

can grow in poor soils so taking a look at the soil is important but I think there’s a small amendments that can be done that will allow you to grow a number of different things mm-hmm well what about the you know having minerals or in the soil to keep the water in and you know area you’re you’re speaking about maybe an additive that would help the moisture levels and so on and there are those things they’re polymers that actually hold water but we’re usually fairly well blessed with moisture here and so some watering is needed to in july august maybe but not much well that brings me to my next question is watering you know where we lived in washington many people had the underground sprinklers you know i didn’t see that much around here so is that do you recommend underground sprinklers if somebody starting at the beginning or what when the plants are young is when they’re going to need the most water you need to get those roots to go deep and usually here we like the water maybe less often but deeper so you get the water to go down farther and so those roots will follow that so you know why during a lot of the plants shrubs whatever don’t necessarily want to be watered every day and they also want you know if you can get the more you can water right on them the better sometimes the sprinklers just shoot things in the water you know can can end up wherever specially we get we have a little wind around here sometimes in the summer in that can okay yeah what about mulch do you suggest putting down the malt or maybe even those them you know the liner you can put down to keep the weeds from coming through yeah permanent shrubbery like evergreens or deciduous shrub spirea potentilla white chili of those kinds of plants work very well if you put some kind of underlayment landscape fabric is what you’re speaking of with mulch or rock over the top it’s very common to help hold the weeds down and reduce maintenance and so on perennial plants don’t operate that well under those conditions because perennials die to the ground and come back from the rudd so some of that choice of whether you’re going to use an underlayment or not has to do with what you’re planting and how many and so on but it is a nice way to reduce labor and work on your part and it can conserve moisture and help help the plants that way do you recommend putting in borders around the yard or walkways with the blocks you know resealing the garage of that driveway for to add curb appeal do you think that those are worthwhile I think it all depends on what the person likes you know if you’d like to have that pathway you were talking earlier about kind of leading you to the right spot well a stone pathway can lead you if that’s where you want people to head that can work but you know if you if you don’t like all the concrete stuff then that’s that’s probably not to think mm-hmm what’s the biggest mistake you think you see people make over and over again in your many years in the garden business maybe you’re for me i would say planning too many things too close together that’s why it’s called a nursery is that their babies and so they need space just like common mentioned planning things that did not work in a specific light condition is another big mistake and they always say things like that mistake what I wanted that plan well you might have wanted it but it didn’t work in that light setting so you have to pay attention and get some advice when it comes to planning and maybe knowing how to take care of it tuned on it needs to be pruned if it needs to be cut back yeah how much water it needs you know just making sure that it gets like talking about the right care especially in the first few years when is a good time to get a sale on plants you know when’s the best time to buy it’s always best to buy him a full price well the main thing is health everybody loves the sale everybody wants a discount but the truth of it is is that if you do this correctly you’re done for many years if you do it incorrectly you’re redoing it and redoing it and redoing it so it’s better to maybe make sure your plants are healthy whether they’re on sale or not sales come and go throughout the season depending on what the season is and what the plant is that you’re looking at annual flowers for example typically around sale at this time of the year because we’re getting a little later in the year so there are bargains out there you just have to hunt for them and know maybe why it’s on sale is it something

that you know is sick like he’s saying or maybe doesn’t do so well here so they need to move it you know sometimes you can plant things late in the fall it all depends on we never know what kind of fall we’re going to get or spring or winter so it’s hard to say what if you can wait till this time of the year and get it half price and planet you’ll be great because maybe get it half price and it doesn’t come right I doesn’t make it through the winter or something so so if you timed it right you could have something blooming all year round are practically well knock those you know at least in the and that’s a point you’re around what you need to make some effort to have seasonal interest not just summertime but since a good part of our year is very cold it’s nice to have something there that is going to give you some interest whether it’s an evergreen shrub that would maybe would hold berries in the winter or have an interesting bark or more color dogwood or something yes so you want to pay attention to all of our seasons i I’ve had many requests for people will say well I would like this this and this and make sure that i can put Christmas lights on something and so you know they’re thinking ahead and that that’s good and you know when your when your plan to anything about winter think of you know your ice melt your ice salt that you’re going to use if you’re going to plant some beautiful flowers and then you’re going to dump all the salt on it you know it’s probably not going to be back next year consult will will kill as much as anything right so make sure that it’s in area that you’re not going to you know abuse in the winter time and then expected beautiful in the spring that’s a great point because most of these plants are going to be near this entry for curb appeal and they’re going to be close to a walkway that needs to be shoveled where does the snow go is there something in the snow that’s going to hurt the plans and so all of those things are something that you want to consider do you have a favorite shade plant and a favorite full fun plant that just thrives in this area but maybe you could recommend it you know my favorite Charlie probably plant or actually more of a shrub is would be more of a sentra but it’s the lilac bushes that we have around here they’re just so you know they can just be so full and you can smell the fragrance from three houses away sometimes and just a nice row them they don’t you know they don’t last very long in the early spring that’s another nice thing I’d like as you know it’s spring is here when we got the light like chilling word we should have good weather how about you do you have a favorite shade plant that’s just kind of your go-to oh well it’s got to be hasta hasta is by far the most durable and dependable shade plant that I’m aware of quite a few varieties to it many many many varieties they’re introducing more all the time and often people will say oh I have hasta but until you’ve used them and looked at the different varieties and maybe group them in masses and so on I’m not sure that you can get good color in the shade in any other way other than maybe annual flowers that you have to plan every season so what makes the biggest impact you think kind of one more more one color or a variety of colors or what’s makes the biggest statements to you that’s a little difficult but I think you know when you plant things we want to plant them in at least small groups you know 35 something like that if you plant one of this and one of this one of this it might look a little kind of irregular and maybe like it doesn’t match I think from a distance if you don’t mass plants together it’s visually confusing now whether they’re all the same color or not in our area we probably like to mix them up a little bit many people want color lots of color but grouping them in groups rather than one of this and one of that creates a more pleasing look from a distance if you do want a just just individual plants rather than groups it looks kind of weedy it looks like you went to that sale at the nursery while wanted everything available okay um that one what you just mean I just thought of something I really wanted to say and I don’t remember oh okay maybe we could recap just a little bit about you know what people should do regarding assessing their home okay bring someone in take a look at what your strong points are look at the entire property you can take the digital picture just for yourself we all know that when you take a picture things look different even over your home you may think you know it very well but if you take it and look at it you’ll say oh I didn’t realize this was so overgrown her

whatever look at that your strong points look at your weak points do you need a new sidewalk are there little trippers are there things that could be dangerous for people when they’re approaching and so on and that’s a good one the danger one you know why it could be a safe you want it to be as safe as possible and you want it to be comfortable many houses built in the 50s have a two and a half foot sidewalk you can’t walk side by side with someone else you have to walk in in a goat path fashion so you need to kind of look at that in a logical fashion whether you’re going to sell your house or not curb appeal is very important okay did you help well and even you know what what do I like what’s my favorite part you know maybe have a particular flower bush that was maybe passed down from a family member and you really want to kind of highlight that so you know just kind of see what you can do to bring out maybe what you already have that you really like or if there’s an area that you really don’t like you know either shy away from that or do something to fix that area up okay good all right well we’re just about out of time fellas I really appreciate you coming by I’ve gotten some good tips and hopefully our listeners have learned a few pointers and come back and join us again and thanks for giving us the scoop on basic gardening thank you for joining us and remember for more information log onto k sm q org and click on family on garden connections there you can find past episodes read the blogs where you can submit your ideas now that your garden is on its way tune in next week and we’ll share more tips and talk shop about what’s on your mind and in your garden for everyone at garden connections i’m vicki allegro see you next time