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Landscape & Foundation Damage in Oklahoma

Landscape & Foundation Issues?
Look Up At Up Your Gutters.

Many Oklahoma residents are experiencing landscaping and foundation damage from recent rain. This can be a serious problem that is both time-consuming and costly to fix. More often than not, homeowners don’t consider this problem affecting their home until it does, at which point it is unfortunately too late to prevent. The most common cause of landscaping and foundation damage is a faulty gutter system, so having the right gutters is key!

Don’t underestimate the danger of clogs, that cause water to spill over your gutter and pool on the ground below. The overflow from clogged gutters can lead to surface erosion, which occurs when rainwater continuously hits the ground in a concentrated area beneath the roofline. Over time, this repeated contact will move the dirt and create a trench that usually will run the length of the gutter system. These trenches can potentially seep into the foundation, causing damage.

Rainwater is overshooting the gutters and pounding agains the ground below causing landscaping damage and could lead to foundation damage.
Rainwater is overshooting the gutters and pounding against the ground below causing landscaping damage and could lead to foundation damage.

For Gutters That Are Effective and Durable,
Turn to the Experts at LeafGuard® of Oklahoma

At LeafGuard® of Oklahoma, we pride ourselves on offering LeafGuard® Brand Gutters to homeowners in Tulsa, McAlester and throughout Oklahoma. Whether you’re looking to replace your gutters because they are no longer functional or you’re tired of having to unclog them on a regular basis, you can count on the professionals at LeafGuard® of Oklahoma to provide you with the options you’re looking for.

We can help determine which option is most suitable for your needs during a free consultation at your home in Oklahoma. To learn more about our gutters, contact LeafGuard® of Oklahoma today: 918-827-7900.

 

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

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.

Take little steps to make your dream patio a reality. From new planters and benches to outdoor kitchens and firepits, kick your yard up a notch.

4 Dream Backyard Patio Ideas

Upgrade your backyard patio in no time.

With summer on its way quicker than you think, it’s time to take a look at some ways you can improve your backyard patio. No matter your budget, it’s good to dream of your perfect patio and then take little steps to make what you have feel like what you want.

Take little steps to make your dream patio a reality. From new planters and benches to outdoor kitchens and firepits, kick your yard up a notch.

Image via Bill Wilson on Flickr

From new planters and benches to outdoor kitchens and firepits, kick your yard up a notch with these creative, comfortable backyard patio ideas. Whether you have a big budget or a small one, it’s possible to transform your outdoor space into one that welcomes the whole family, with room for plenty of guests as well.

  1. Outdoor Living Space

If you have the space and love to entertain in the nice weather, create a complete outdoor living space featuring a full kitchen, fire pit, water feature, custom waterfall, pond, hot tub, pool and eating, sitting and living areas, suggests HGTV. To further define your patio space, add a gazebo, arbor, or decorative bench for extra seating. A pavilion or arbor flanked by sweeping vines can welcome guests into a small garden tucked away. By having a full kitchen out or barbecue area on your patio, you can grill dinner and clean up all while chatting with guests.

  1. Decorative Stones

A stone wall offsetting a small English garden featuring cascading vines and flowers forms the centerpiece of this patio design. To incorporate more natural stone, create a fire pit and comfortable plush seating all around for those nights when you just want to roast marshmallows and tell stories. To incorporate environmentally-friendly elements, line your garden walkway with small recycled decorative stones that you have gathered from your surrounding property and woods.

  1. Private Spa and Pergola Retreat

Want to get romantic? Transform your patio into a private retreat featuring a stamped brick patio, hot tub, fire pit, and barbecue bar with covered arbors? Add a charming pergola with a decorative bench right underneath for sunning or reading in the shade. Add some climbing vines, suggests HGTV, for a boost of natural charm. No need to go away on a fancy vacation…instead try a stay-cation complete with private spa retreat for you and your honey.

  1. All the Comforts of Home

For the ultimate in backyard patio ideas, bring your living room outdoors for family fun and relaxation. Try a bluestone patio with bright colored, comfy padding on white wicker pieces facing a wall-mounted flat screen TV. Make this family recreation area really pop with electric lights, a stereo system, outdoor kitchen and fire pit. Family nights will take on a whole new luster with this approach!

A critical part of any backyard landscape is a proper water drainage system. Let LeafGuard® of Oklahoma answer your questions and help you install a new system for your home.

Garden ideas for planting and maintenance that you can try around your home this season.

Top Garden Ideas For 2016

Try something new this garden season.

A new year brings fresh ideas for gardening come spring. Gardening has changed more than you may realize over the past few years. 2016 is your year to try something new, trendy and successful so you can take great pride in your backyard garden. It’s time to get out of your gardening rut and get fresh. Check out these updated garden ideas for planting and maintenance that you can try around your home this season.

Garden ideas for planting and maintenance that you can try around your home this season.

LAYOUT

It’s important to think about your layout first, maybe scratching it out on paper, then heading to your local gardening center. Your local gardening expert can further guide you to the right blooms that will match with your layout. Make sure the plants you select are region-appropriate and will flourish in your yard.

One important consideration is how much sun your yard gets as well as how much shade, and plan accordingly. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map indicates that Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma are around the 7a range, showing the average low temperature that plants will have to endure. Here is a helpful planting guide for zone 7 plants to show you when and how to best plant vegetables in your garden this spring.

VIBRANT COLORS

The trend for 2016 is leaning towards vibrant colors, bold contemporary designs, unique outdoor lighting and locally grown plants, according to DIY Home Design Ideas. More specifically, look for flower bed designs featuring exotic color combos with similar shades and don’t have as much contrast.

BACKYARD DESIGN

A big trend this year goes beyond the simple flower garden and encompasses the concept of outdoor living. Your backyard doesn’t have to be defined by distinct areas of plant groupings. Instead, think about the big picture and incorporate beautiful vibrant garden designs into one cohesive look, blending a stone pathway, patio area, pool and hot tub, outdoor kitchen, fire pits, natural rock formations and water features. The goal is to enjoy your backyard, both in function and beauty.

SOFTSCAPING THE EDGES

Your first instinct when planting around walkways, garden areas, and patios may be to take the hardscaping approach: edging those areas with linear brick, concrete and terra-cotta patterns. Go with a softer option this year and try plants as your edging. They’re not only cost effective, they give you year-round enjoyment when you pick just the right blend of foliage and flowers. Plus, these soft edges don’t have to be as meticulously groomed to stay looking great, as brick and concrete do. If you absolutely must have brick edging, then try to soften the look with something like creeping Jenny to lighten up the stark contrast of the brick paving.

MONOCHROMATIC MUSINGS

While vibrant colors are emerging onto the 2016 scene as the hot idea, another approach is also taking root: all-white or one-color flower beds. This is a sure way to add visual interest and a striking contrast to any landscape.

Of course, good drainage is essential to your yard and any surrounding bushes and plants. Trust LeafGuard of Oklahoma to provide you with seamless gutters that stand the test of time and promote the free flow of water through a durable one-piece construction. Happy gardening!