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4 Tips on Preparing Your Home for The 4th of July

Prep Your Home for a Party

Using the upcoming 4th of July holiday as a deadline is a great way to motivate yourself to complete any exterior home projects. Here are 4 exterior home tips on preparing your home for the holiday weekend ahead.

 

This patented one-piece gutter system features a built-in cover with a rounded edge that deflects leaves and other debris while allowing rainwater to flow freely into the gutter bottom and downspouts.
LeafGuard® Brand Gutter’s patented one-piece gutter system features a built-in cover with a rounded edge that deflects leaves and other debris while allowing rainwater to flow freely into the gutter bottom and downspouts.

1. Lawn Maintenance

It’s amazing how you can transform the look of your home with a few simple landscaping chores like mowing, weeding, mulching and trimming. Your lawn is one of the first impressions that the guests will notice. With proper care, your lawn will look and feel great for all the barefoot holiday traffic.

 

Mowing tip: set a mowing schedule so you never remove more than one-third of the total leaf surface of a single blade of grass.

 

2. Enhance Landscape

By adding fresh greenery and colorful flowers, you can enhance the curb appeal of your home. In addition, by planting marigolds, lavender, and basil, you can naturally drive away unwanted mosquitoes.

Garden ideas for planting and maintenance that you can try around your home this season.
Being strategic about the flowers you plant can ultimately keep away unwanted pests.

3. Outdoor Lighting

It’s safe to say that most guests won’t be leaving the party until dark, after the much-anticipated fireworks show. If you have any obstacles in your yard, lighting will be key for everyone’s safety on their way out. Kill two birds with one stone by creating outdoor mood lighting with tiki torches filled with bug-busting citronella oil.

 

Take back your yard from mosquitoes. Tiki torches are one of the many methods used to repel mosquitoes.

 

4. Gutters

After countless hours of effort and money are poured into preparing your home, don’t let it go to waste because your home’s gutter system isn’t functioning properly. Poorly functioning gutters can cause water damage to your roof, siding, windows, landscape, and foundation. Additionally, standing water in your gutters attracts unwanted pests and can become a health hazard.

 

Clogged gutters in spring in Oklahoma
Clear out any sticks or debris blocking your gutters and allow water to run freely and safely away from your Oklahoma home.

 

Get LeafGuard® Guttering

LeafGuard® Brand Gutter’s one-piece design is highly effective at channeling water into the gutters while deflecting leaves and other debris to prevent clogging. We know what a pain gutter maintenance can be, so go maintenance-free and worry less about cleaning your gutters year after year, when you have our gutter system in place.

 

Keep leaves, twigs, debris, and pests out with LeafGuard® Brand gutters protective hood.
When you’re deciding what gutters you want to have installed, it’s crucial to choose a gutter system that will provide lasting performance. In other words, don’t settle for anything less than LeafGuard® Brand Gutters.

 

For a free estimate, contact LeafGuard® of Oklahoma at 918-827-7900.

It’s Officially Spring!

Pantone® Color of the Year

We are celebrating the first day of spring with color! We are excited to share Pantone’s color of the year. 2019 is the year of Living Coral! Pantone describes its color as, “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. This vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment” (Pantone®).

 

Add a Pop of Color to Your Home

It can be a challenge to introduce a bolder color like Living Coral to your home. We decided to pair our GAF Timberline Ultra HD charcoal asphalt shingles and white LeafGuard® Brand Gutters with Living Coral. The charcoal color is calming and neutral allowing it to be the perfect backdrop when combined with this spirited color. Not sure where to introduce the color to the exterior of your home? Here are a few tips on ways you can incorporate this year’s pop of color, or any pop of color for that matter into your home.

 

Living Coral with GAF shingles and LeafGuard® gutters.
We paired GAF’s Timberline Ultra HD® charcoal asphalt shingles and white LeafGuard® Gutters with Living Coral.

 

Outdoor Furniture

If you have an outdoor living space, here is a great place to introduce the color by adding accent pillows, seat cushions or rugs. This is an option that when you feel like switching things up, it’s a simple and inexpensive replacement.

 

patio furniture
Photo credit: www.sullivanbandbs.com

 

coral rug
Photo credit: www.target.com

 

Lighting

Lanterns and lamp shades are an easy and attractive way to add a splash of color and lighting to an outdoor space.

coral lamp shade
Photo credit: House of Sofia

 

Landscaping

Adding flowers and various plants to your landscaping are a great investment, add curb appeal and a splash of color at the same time. For example, Dahlia’s offer an assortment of coral-colored blossoms.

 

Dahlia flower
Richards, F. D. “Dahlia Happy Single Date.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 10 Aug. 2009, www.flickr.com/photos/50697352@N00/3808890322.

 

Is your home in need of more than just a new color theme? LeafGuard® of Oklahoma is a GAF Master Elite® Roofing Contractor and the only LeafGuard® Brand Gutter installer in the state of Oklahoma. For all your exterior home maintenance needs, contact us today.

Fall leaves resting on the roof and in open style gutters.

Tackle Home Improvement This Fall

Steps to Take This Fall in Oklahoma

It is important to take a few steps to prevent any home breakdowns. It’s time to check off any last minute home improvement tasks and we are here to help you with our handy list of home maintenance chores for this fall.

1. Clean and repair the siding. After a long summer, siding can become dirty or mildewed. This month is a great time to use a pressure washer to clean it up and inspect for more serious problems. If your siding has seen better days (think missing, bent, or cracked pieces), consider replacing it.

When power washing on wood or vinyl siding, set it at the lowest pressure setting to ensure it does not damage or remove paint from the siding.
When power washing on wood or vinyl siding, set it at the lowest pressure setting to ensure it does not damage or remove paint from the siding.

 

2. Make sure windows are sealed tight. All double or triple-pane windows should have a tight seal around their perimeter that separates the individual panes of glass and traps inert gas between them, providing a break between the temperatures inside and outside your home. If you notice that your windows are frequently foggy, that’s likely a sign of a failed seal.

3. Change the air filters and tune up the furnace. This one really should be a maintenance task you do every month. Dirty air filters can lead to higher energy bills and irreparably damage your HVAC system.

4. Inspect the roof and gutters. It’s generally fine to wait until most of the leaves have fallen in autumn to clean out the gutters and downspouts, but giving these areas a quick visual inspection now is a good idea. Pull out any sticks or other debris blocking the gutters, and make note of any worn-out seals around vent pipes and chimneys.

Make sure to take precautions when climbing ladders this fall when attempting gutter and roof maintenance.
Make sure to take precautions when climbing ladders this fall when attempting gutter and roof maintenance.

 

If you do not feel comfortable on a ladder, or have a home of two or more stories, hire someone to do a quick inspection for you. Schedule any needed repairs now so that your home will be buttoned up for the changing seasons.

For your free LeafGuard® Gutter or GAF® Roofing estimate contact us at LeafGuard® of Oklahoma today. 918-827-7900

By February, everyone is sick of being cooped up indoors. One antidote for cabin fever is planning out backyard improvement projects, so you can enjoy that warm, springtime air. In addition to upgrading your gutters to LeafGuard’s top of the line, maintenance-free gutters, check out these ideas to make your backyard your favorite warm weather hang out.

Cabin Fever Getting You Down? Start Planning For Warmer Weather!

Upgrade your backyard.

By February, everyone is sick of being cooped up indoors. One antidote for cabin fever is planning out backyard improvement projects, so you can enjoy that warm, springtime air. In addition to upgrading your gutters to LeafGuard’s top of the line, maintenance-free gutters, check out these ideas to make your backyard your favorite warm weather hang out.

 

By February, everyone is sick of being cooped up indoors. One antidote for cabin fever is planning out backyard improvement projects, so you can enjoy that warm, springtime air. In addition to upgrading your gutters to LeafGuard’s top of the line, maintenance-free gutters, check out these ideas to make your backyard your favorite warm weather hang out.
By February, everyone is sick of being cooped up indoors. One antidote for cabin fever is planning out backyard improvement projects, so you can enjoy that warm, springtime air. In addition to upgrading your gutters to LeafGuard’s top of the line, maintenance-free gutters, check out these ideas to make your backyard your favorite warm weather hang out.

Outdoor Fire Pit
If you’re just itching to get outdoors, consider a fire pit. One can tolerate lower temperatures if you’re sitting around a fire. As long as the snow has disappeared, you can create a space for a fire pit (unless you plan to dig a pit–then you need the ground to thaw). Here are a few ideas and tips to help you make a plan to cozy up by the fire.

Option 1 – Create space on our deck for a portable fireplace. Many may rule this option out, because of the whole wood deck and fire dynamic, but don’t fret. A few stone blocks will provide the insulation against the heat that will protect your deck. Find a portable firepit that you like, a few comfy chairs or seating and get yourself some firewood.

Option 2 – Build your own patio or brick/stone fireplace. Easier said than done, but these options can create the space your tiny oasis deserves. Many fireplace kits are now available and with a little DIY spirit, a permanent fireplace can anchor your hideout. Obviously, this option will require that the ground has thawed.

Option 3 – Create a fire pit space away from your home. Those with a medium to large-sized space have options of where you might want to place those future fires. With a bit more space to work with you may want to create a secondary space in your yard for entertaining. You can either build your fireplace or purchase a portable pit. Here are some pictures to get you inspired.

DIY Outdoor Lounges
Backyards are an extension of your indoor living space. During summer months, take your indoor entertaining outside. There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of friends and enjoying dinner and adult beverages al fresco. There are tons of DIY hacks out there to help you up your comfy furniture game without breaking the bank. Follow either of the links under the photos, and pick out the couch that works for you. Bonus: people will be super impressed that you made your own patio furniture. Some important tips for your outdoor lounge: match your indoor and outdoor aesthetics, measure–make sure that your furniture will fit, and hunt for free stuff–pallets can often be found for free in dumpsters of businesses or from homegoods stores.

Shade Providing Plants and Structures
Maybe you already have the perfect furniture for your deck or patio, and you have a firepit that you love. Awesome, now all you need in order to enjoy maximum outdoor time is to escape that afternoon sun. Shade is extremely important, and you might not think about it until the sun is beating down on you. When there are no clouds around or trees in site to bring some kind of shade, you’ll have to retreat indoors to escape the sun’s harmful afternoon rays. If you don’t like to DIY, you could go with a manufactured solution such as a canopy or a pergola.

Plants are also an excellent, green way to create your own shade.  Some tips for your DIY plant areas are to create some natural green shade. You can even use old rain gutters (Hey! How about the ones you replaced with LeafGuard® gutters) to create a container garden that also doubles as a privacy wall. There are some exceptional choices of plants you can use that not only grow tall to help with shade, but come back year after year that are cost effective. I would also suggest choosing plants that help the environment including: the Black Eyed Susan that is a vibrant yellow with a black middle that attracts butterflies and bees, varieties of phenomenal types and colors of Roses, an assortment of Grasses, and variations of Lilies that attract humming birds, the list goes on and on. If you need a larger source of shade you could go with a vibrant Burning Bush, if you need something even bigger you could go with different types of ornamental trees such as the Oklahoma Redbud or larger yet maybe you would like an Oak tree.

Simple updates to make your guests feel at home. Guest room decorating ideas.

Simple Updates To Make Your Guests Feel At Home

Host guests at home with ease.

One of the best things about owning a home is that you are able to host guests at your house. Now that the holidays are over, and the obligatory family visits have ceased, plan for a good friend to hang at your place during one of those three day weekends coming in up January and/or February. Hosting friends is much less stressful than hosting family, but there are still some measures you can take as the host(ess) with the most(ess) to make sure that your guests are comfortable and happy. Most of these considerations won’t even cost you a red cent–just a few minutes of your time.

Simple updates to make your guests feel at home. Guest room decorating ideas.

Post your wifi password

This is a simple thing that makes a huge difference for your guests. They can walk in, drop their bags, and save their data by connecting to your wifi. Let’s face it: most of us totally forget to connect to wifi when we’re a guest in someone’s home. We pay the price for that in excess data usage or incredibly slow internet until the next month. Your guests will feel like you’ve gone the extra mile by anticipating their needs. Also, if you’re the crafty type, you can let loose and get your craft on by making cute and functional signage for your home.

Provide Linens

Help your guests out by making linens available to them without having to find you and ask where the towels are stored. No one wants to miss their morning shower. Keep your bathroom storage open and save your guests some guesswork by keeping extra linens in your guest bedroom. If you have a full closet that you can dedicate to linens, great! You won’t have to invest in storage furniture, like an armoire or ottoman. If you don’t want to purchase any storage furniture, there are tons of smart storage hacks you can use to make your guests feel at home. And at the very least, just lay out some clean towels on the foot of the bed for your guests.

Provide extra blankets and a fan

Keeping extra blankets is kind of a no brainer–especially during the cold winter months. We all know that some people run a little colder than others, so make sure that you make the bed with a couple layers. But what about those poor people who sweat all night long? Set up an oscillating fan in the guest bedroom, and your warmer guests will thank you.

Stuff a cute glass jar with little toiletries

There is probably nothing worse than knowing you’ll be away from home for a while, digging in your bag, and realizing you forgot something essential. Take care of that for your guests by providing some small toiletries.Every time you visit a hotel and don’t need the mini shampoo, add that to your guest room jar! It’s as easy as that, and makes your guests feel right at home.

Think about your bedside manner

No matter how often guests have stayed at your house, they’re still away from their home and far from the muscle memory of their own floorplan. You should always have an easy-on light that’s easily accessible from the bed. Try your best to have the nightstand next to an outlet (for charging phones). Also, do you have a TV in your guest bedroom? If you don’t you might want to consider leaving a few magazines on the nightstands in case insomnia hits your guests.

Reward yourself

You just put in a lot of effort to make your guest room homey for your friends. Check into time-saving maintenance-free LeafGuard gutters. Never clean a gutter again and put that extra time into entertaining your friends in your on-point guest room.

Without well maintained gutters water can seep into the basement, causing mold or mildew, and can damage the structure of your home.

Home Projects That Protect Against Water Damage

Don’t let water damage your home.

Even if you know next to nothing about being a homeowner, you know that water damage in your home is serious. Any kind of excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and mildew growth, which not only looks disgusting, but can be hazardous to your family’s health and the integrity of your home. Water enters the home in one of three ways: through structures and materials, such as a foundation; through air; and by heat transfer. At Leafguard®, avoiding water damage is our bread and butter, and we’re here to help you protect your home with info on how doors, windows, and gutters can keep your home safe and dry.

Without well maintained gutters water can seep into the basement, causing mold or mildew, and can damage the structure of your home.

Why do well maintained gutters, windows, and doors keep moisture out of the home?

Doors:

The main way moisture enters through doors is by heat transfer. Moisture forms in the home when there are cold surfaces (such as the outside of a door) that meet with warm, indoor air. Properly maintained storm doors provide a buffer between the cold winter air and your main door to your house–eliminating or reducing a cold surface in the home.

Windows:

Similar to doors, well maintained windows (especially double or triple paned windows) keep the inner window pane well insulated and warm by blocking out cold air. Other ways that windows can keep moisture out of the home is by their basic function: ventilation. Homes need to breath, and having maintained windows that actually work can help air out your home. Lastly, many modern windows are actually equipped with a well that directs rainwater away from the house–like a tiny gutter. How great is that?

Gutters:

Gutters and downspouts route rainwater and other moisture away from your home. This prevents water pooling around your foundation, roof, and fascia (what your gutter is attached to). Without well maintained gutters water can seep into the basement, causing mold or mildew, and can damage the structure of your home.

Suggested Maintenance:

Doors:

Doors are made to withstand the elements, so their maintenance couldn’t be easier. To maintain your door’s aesthetics, keep your doors clean; chip or brush away any loose paint and wash with a mild dish soap. A pressure washer could work to keep doors clean as well. To maintain its function, lubricate all hinges with a silicone spray. If you notice a draft coming in from the bottom of the door, you can purchase or make a draft stopper for a short-term fix. You might want to check any caulking around your door, and add or replace any weather stripping. Not only will that keep you warmer, lower your heating bill, but it will drastically reduce moisture due to heat transfer.

Windows:

Similar to doors, keep windows clean and lubricate any moving parts–the hinges on casement windows are especially in demand of this kind of maintenance. In addition to these basic maintenance tips, it’s extremely important to be an observant homeowner. If you notice any of the following, you’ll need to do some maintenance, repairs, or replacements on your windows:

  • Condensation between window panes
  • Window frame wood rot–press a flathead screwdriver into the frame–if it leaves a mark, you probably have wood rot
  • Loose weather stripping

Any of these above items and you’ll need to call a handyman to take care of the issues.

Gutters:

If you had LeafGuard® Brand, maintenance free gutters, you wouldn’t need to do any maintenance at all! But for the standard gutter, you should clean the goop out of your gutters every spring and fall. Get those leaves out! Pay special attention to the downspout–if leaves are clogging it you can end up with mold or mildew inside your downspout; additionally, water won’t drain properly. Check your gutters for any cracks or holes that could lead to leaks. A leaky gutter is ineffective and doesn’t protect your foundation from water, so this is very important. Lastly, if your gutters are rusting you have incredibly old gutters. Rust grows fast and leaves huge holes in its wake. You’ll want to look into new gutters for sure. All newer gutters are made out of aluminum or vinyl. Better yet, replace those rust buckets with LeafGuard® gutters, and never clean your gutters again!

Prep your backyard fire pit for cool summer nights.

Bonfire Season: Prep Your Backyard Fire Pit

Fall season means bonfire season!

Now that the dog days of summer are nearing their end, bonfire season is almost here!  The upcoming fall season is a favorite for many Oklahomans and as the cool nights enter, so do the backyard fires.  At Leafguard®, we want you to maximize the bonfire season, so here are some tips on where to put your fire, how to build a simple pit and some safety tips.

Prep your backyard fire pit for cool summer nights.

Image via public-domain-image.com

GETTING STARTED (LOCATION & DESIGN)

Check to see if it’s legal!

It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re not breaking the law, so it’s probably a good idea to call your local fire department and ask.

Pick a location

This is important for two main reasons.  One: safety.  Two: you need to make sure that you pick a spot that will maximize everyone’s enjoyment.  Stay away from wide open areas that could be too exposed to the wind.  If possible, find a spot that is secluded enough where you are being safe, but gives you that backwoodsy-feel.  But of course, safety first.

  • 10 feet away from all property lines, including your house, garage or any other large combustible units (shed, tent, etc).
  • Do not position your fire under low-hanging branches or a canopy of any type. This includes powerlines.
  • Keep all your outdoor furniture at least 3 feet away from your fire.
  • If you are using a portable fire pit, do not put directly over grass or on your deck. Use stone or metal patio blocks to protect from the heat.

Build your fire pit

Depending on your set-up, specifically the space your have in your yard, you may decide to purchase a portable pit, build a permanent one or create a semi-temporary fire pit for the occasional bonfire.  Whatever the case, there are many options for you.  If you already have one, skip ahead to “prepping your fire”.  If you are interested in building a fire pit by yourself, here is a quick step-by-step guide.

  • Measure the pit (4’ to 5’ diameter).
  • Dig a hole 10” to 12” deep. Using your shovel slightly angle the side walls.
  • Fill your pit with lava rocks or sand.
  • Get yourself about 30 standard sized bricks and arrange them around your pit.
  • Shovel away the grass around the pit (10”-12”).
  • (optional) Find some large flat rocks and position around the pit.

 

PREPARING FOR YOUR FIRE

Now that the hard work is over and your pit is ready to go, make sure you are prepared to build and maintain the bonfire your guests have been waiting for all summer.  No one wants to be the guy or gal who can’t get the fire started or is constantly at war with maintaining a flame.  So.  BE PREPARED.

Prepare extinguishing tools

Always prepare for the worst the burden of hosting a bonfire is that you are responsible for the safety of your guest.  So make sure you have at least one of these on the ready.

  • Hose with the water turned on.
  • Use a shovel and sand or dirt to smother any flame that may find its way out of the pit.
  • Fire extinguisher. Especially, if the hose doesn’t reach.
  • Bucket of water.

 

Gather tinder and kindling wood

A real firestarter DOES NOT use lighter fluid or gas, but builds that fire from the ground up.  You can use newspaper or other flammable paper products as tinder and then add some twigs  as kindling.  A few matches or a long handled lighter should do the trick to get that fire started!

Stock up on wood

While it seems like bonfire 101, make sure to stock up on your firewood.  Don’t be the one to run out of wood.  Just don’t…

PUTTING OUT YOUR FIRE

Don’t ruin a good evening by forgetting to properly extinguish your fire.  There is a simple saying that will help you make sure the fire is out.  For good.

SOAK IT.  STIR IT.  SOAK IT AGAIN

The 4th of July is a time for fireworks, food, and friendly family get togethers. Preparing your home to entertain can feel like a huge undertaking. Choose maintenance free gutters and make your home look inviting and ready for guests.

July 4ᵀᴴ House Cleaning Checklist

The 4th of July is a time for fireworks, food, and friendly family get togethers. But before you can fire up the grill and light up those sparklers, you might need to spend some time preparing your home to accommodate a group of people. Here’s a simple checklist of must-clean items that you don’t want to miss before your guests arrive.

The 4th of July is a time for fireworks, food, and friendly family get togethers. Preparing your home to entertain can feel like a huge undertaking. Choose maintenance free gutters and make your home look inviting and ready for guests.

Image via Chandler Erisman on tumblr

INDOOR AREAS

No matter what kind of party you’re having, everyone ends up in the kitchen. Be prepared by making sure your kitchen is clean and safe for food prep.

Microwave

Perhaps the most used kitchen appliance can be one of the most irritating to clean. A quick and natural way to clean your microwave is to fill a glass bowl halfway with water. Slice up some lemons and toss them in the bowl. Microwave for four minutes, and then wipe your microwave down. Still have some stubborn stuck-on food? Repeat. There you have it! A food-ready, clean microwave.

Wooden cutting boards

With all hands on deck helping to prepare food, you want to make sure that all cutting surfaces will be safe. The last thing you want is for your Fourth of July gathering to end with any kind of food-borne illness. Wooden cutting boards can be sneaky boarding houses for germs. Still have those lemons from the microwave cleaning? Great! You can sprinkle salt on your cutting board, rub half a lemon all over it, let sit for a few minutes, and rinse. Once your cutting board is completely dry you can rub coconut oil over its surfaces to keep it in pristine condition.

Garbage/Recycling

If you’ve ever hosted a large gathering, you know how quickly your garbage and recycling can fill up. Make sure that yours are empty when people arrive. If you are a proactive host, you can label your recycling bin with what is recyclable in your area. This might help your guests feel at home by eliminating the need to ask where they should toss their bottles, cans, or cardboard.

OUTDOOR AREAS

Outdoor living spaces are truly an extension of the home, and it’s very likely that your guests will spend most of their time gathered together outdoors. Don’t neglect cleaning these spaces! No matter the kind of seating you have it’s a must-do to clean them before you plan to have people over. Here are some tips to keeping your outdoor seating areas looking on point and ready for the party.

Cushioned Seats

Cushioned seats are especially inviting in an outdoor seating area. The only problem is that they are also inviting to dust, pollen, and dirt. A few days before your gathering takes place, you should consider doing a deep clean. You’ll need ½ Cup of Borax, a squirt of dish soap, a scrub brush, and about a gallon of hot water. Add the Borax, water, and soap, and get to work! Scrub around your cushions until they are looking spotless. Give a rinse with a hose and leave to dry in the sun. Have some extra time on your hands? You can also use this exact procedure on any outdoor rugs you may have.

Deck

Wood surfaces need a little TLC from time to time. Keeping your deck maintained will offer you not only peace of mind, but it will look so much better when you entertain. All you need to do is sweep, spray off your deck with a garden hose, and then clean with a vinegar solution. Just pour about one gallon of water into a bucket and add a cup of vinegar. Use a mop with this solution all over your deck, and then spray with your garden hose one more time. This quick fix will make a world of difference.

Preparing your home to entertain can feel like a huge undertaking. If you already have LeafGuard® Gutters, you can put the time you’re saving with maintenance free gutters into making your home look inviting and ready for guests. No matter what you do to prepare for the Fourth, a little work before your guests arrive can mean a more relaxed and happy hosting experience.

DIY yard decorations that you can easily achieve with things around the house to help make your yard more visually appealing.

Creative DIY Yard Decorations

Decorate your yard with refreshing new DIY ideas.

As an Oklahoma home owner, you likely find new ideas refreshing each year when it comes to creative yard décor. It’s always nice to spruce up your property to give it more curb appeal. Here are some DIY yard decorations that you can easily achieve with things around the house. Making your yard more visually appealing has never been easier!

DIY yard decorations that you can easily achieve with things around the house to help make your yard more visually appealing.

Image via Uriah Welcome on Flickr

Bottle Border

If you’ve been collecting old glass bottles that have been sitting in your basement, now’s the time to pull them out. If you have a garden that needs edging, you don’t have to invest in expensive wood or crushed natural stone to form the border. Plant those bottles upside down into the soil to form a colorful bottle border for your garden. Check it out here.

Stacked Tires=Instant Planter

Everyone has old tires lying around taking up space in the backyard or shed. If you’ve got an artist’s touch and a green thumb, this project is for you. Start with flowers already planted in the ground or even a potted plant will do. Paint the tires in brilliant hues of yellows and blues, floral patterns, rainbows, and lady bugs, then let dry. Stack two together over the flowers so they stick through the middle. Now you’ve got yourself an instant repurposed planter.

Repurposed Walkway

If you have old wood pallets lying around, take them apart so they’re just individual boards. Lay them horizontally through a garden area for a rustic pallet walkway. Line with mulch and stones as well as flowers and shrubbery for an instant conversation starter. You can also repurpose wood pallets into table tops. Find table legs at a garage sale, attach the two together and you have a no-cost table for entertaining.

Picnic Basket Planter

This is a great accent for a farmer’s porch. Fill an old wicker picnic basket with your favorite blooms and sprigs of green and place it on a small wrought iron table in the corner for added charm and vintage appeal.

Wooden Spool Hose Organizer

Wooden spools, available in bulk at craft stores or individually at antique stores and rummage sales, make for a rustic addition to the front of your house. Mount three in a pattern of your choosing then drape your garden hose over them. The result is a natural looking addition to the surrounding décor yet a functional element of your garden.

Need more curb appeal DIY projects? Check out this HGTV video for inspiration.

Now that you have those creative yard decorations handled, turn your attention to the state of your gutters and roof. Do your gutters get clogged frequently? Are they pulling away from the house? Is your roofing material peeling and buckling? We can help here at LeafGuard® of OklahomaContact our professionals to install quality, seamless gutters and a protective roofing system for your peace of mind.

You can nurture a successful garden in your Oklahoma backyard in no time.

Vegetable Garden Planning Tips

Plan for your garden.

With frosty mornings in the rearview mirror, it’s time to plan your garden for the summer. Here are some tips for Oklahoma residents that you should follow when considering garden planning for the upcoming summer months. We’ll also share some vegetables that tend to be particularly successful for Tulsa-area gardeners.

You can nurture a successful garden in your Oklahoma backyard in no time.

Image via Jennifer C. on Flickr

Site Selection

First off, you have to select the site of your garden. Ideally, you want to look for an area that’s exposed to full or nearly-full sunlight featuring deep, well-drained, fertile soil. Make sure a water supply is close by, such as a garden hose, irrigation system or other water feature. This will make it much easier to water your plants through the summer months without having to lug around a watering can. Position your garden away from trees and shrubs that also need light, water, and nutrients. You don’t want one or the other to be neglected.

Vegetables

Plant perennial vegetables such as asparagus and winter onions to one side or at the end of your garden. Plant hardy veggies together so you can easily follow up with late-season plantings later. In addition, group like vegetables together for easier care and maintenance. They are grouped as hardy, semi-hardy, tender, or very tender, according to Oklahoma State University. If you decide to go with a shaded area that only gets a couple hours of sunlight a day, you’ll have luck with the following in Oklahoma:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

Tips

Here are some quick takeaways when planning your garden:

  • Sample and test your soil every few years
  • Apply fertilizers only in recommended amounts stated on the bag
  • Use organic materials like compost whenever you can
  • Thin plants out when they’re small
  • Conserve moisture, prevent weeds and reduce rot through the use of mulch
  • Don’t water your garden too much
  • Do frequent weeding
  • Be on the lookout for signs of disease, critters and insects
  • Wash and clean your gardening tools after using them
  • Rotate crop families each year so insects and disease don’t prevail
  • Harvest your vegetables during cool hours
  • Don’t cultivate too deeply, as this can do irreparable damage to your plants

By following these tips and heeding the recommendations of your local nursery or garden center, you can nurture a successful garden in your Oklahoma backyard in no time.

Once your garden planning is well underway, it’s time to take a fresh look at your roof and gutters. Let LeafGuard® of Oklahoma help you install quality, seamless gutters this summer for the ultimate in efficient drainage systems.