How To Garden During A Drought

Many parts of the country suffer droughts from time to time. When there are water restrictions and less of a water supply available to you, how can you keep a green lawn and happy plants? You may have to make some sacrifices, but there’s some tricks to wait out the tough conditions. While you wait for the rain, there’s steps that you can take to help your plants and trees survive a drought. Here’s some tips for surviving a drought:

Cut Back On Fertilizing

When it’s dry, the salt in fertilizers actually dehydrates the roots of plants. Also, since fertilizers stimulate growth, your plants will require more water. It’s recommended that you stop fertilizing when there’s a drought or dry spell.

Adjust Your Lawn Mower

Keep your grass at an optimal height. This is usually between 2 and 4 inches, depending upon the kind of turf grass that you have. This will help the grass to preserve moisture. Water when you’re able to early in the day.

Water From Overhead

When you water your plants, water them from overhead rather than under the leaves into the soil. This way, water will continue dripping off of the leaves for some time throughout the day.

Water Early In The Day

You want to be sure that when you do water your plants or grass that you water early in the day. When temperatures are lower, the plants will take more time to dry, helping them to preserve water for a longer period of time. It’s better for the plants if the foliage dries before nightfall.

Try Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation tubing hoses water much more efficiently than overhead sprinklers when it comes to gardens that are planted in rows or blocks. These irrigation hoses water slowly and evenly. This method is incredibly economical. It eliminates the waste of water.

Don’t Use Cold Water

Just like humans, plants don’t like cold showers either. If you have seedlings, they could actually die from “shock,” especially if there isn’t enough soil to absorb the water. Never water plants with ice cold water. Stick to tepid water when you irrigate your plants.

Check Items That You Have Transplanted

You’ll need to check your transplanted items daily, especially during a dry spell. If it’s hot and there’s a wind, it will be even more important to check your plants. These conditions cause the water that you do use with your plants to absorb more quickly. Be sure you water the plants that you have moved evenly and consistently so that they can survive a drought.

It’s important to conserve water as much as you can. During drought conditions, remember that water is precious. These tips should help you to keep your lawn and garden as fresh as possible without wasting water.

Your Credit Score Affects The Cost of Owning a Home

If you’re in the market to buy your first home, you’re probably experiencing a variety of emotions, ranging from excitement to trepidation. Owning your first home is a major accomplishment and lifestyle change, but it also brings with it a lot of responsibility. Not only will you have to make mortgage payments every month and pay property taxes on time, but you can no longer turn to your landlord when the furnace quits or your refrigerator dies. As former U.S. president Harry Truman once said, “The buck stops here.”

Understanding Your Credit Rating

One thing you might want to become acquainted with before diving into a full-fledged house search is your credit report. Your credit score, as determined by the three major credit reporting companies, is a reflection of your ability and willingness to pay your bills on time. Banks and mortgage companies factor in this information when deciding whether to approve you for a loan. Your credit score also has an impact on the interest rate you’re offered. Also called a “FICO” score, this scale ranges from a low of 300 points to a high of 800. The higher your score, the more desirable you’re viewed as a potential loan customer.

If you’d like to find out where your credit score stands, you can get that information for free (once a year) from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Unlike lenders, they don’t take into account factors like income and length of employment. The main things they look at are payment history, amounts owed, and length of credit history. If your credit cards are maxed out or you’ve been late with payments, then that will lower your credit score and make it more difficult to obtain the most favorable interest rates and loan terms. Fortunately, there are a number of commonsense measures you can take to improve your credit score. Side note: Errors may occasionally crop up in your credit report, so it pays to review them on an annual basis and dispute erroneous or outdated information.

Steering Clear of Other Pitfalls

While buying your first home can seem like an intimidating process, an experienced real estate agent can guide you and make the journey a lot easier. A licensed agent can help you get the process rolling, keep you on track, and resolve problems. There are plenty of situations in life where going it alone is a viable strategy, but buying your first home is not necessarily one of them. By working with a real estate agent, you’ll avoid unnecessary frustration, stress, and costly mistakes. You’ll also stand a greater chance of finding just the right home for your needs, desired lifestyle, and budget.

Three Purchases You Might Not Want to Postpone

As a homeowner, you’re constantly faced with a variety of spending decisions, many of which could improve the quality of your life or just put a strain on your budget. The challenge is to monitor your cash flow, anticipate your family’s needs, and avoid spending more than you can afford. There’s a goal that’s much easier said than done!

Although managing one’s budget is based on personal priorities and financial resources, it’s often useful to consider feedback and perspectives from other homeowners. The following thoughts are based on the experiences of one such homeowner.

  • Tool sheds are not an absolute necessity for most people, but they can be extremely helpful in protecting your yard equipment and keeping your property looking neat. If you own a riding mower, for example, there may not be space in your garage to store it. For those who own a backyard swimming pool, a shed can be very useful for storing pool chemicals, maintenance equipment, and pool toys. While a tool shed can set you back a few hundred dollars or more, getting one on your property will make your yard look nicer and keep your tools, chemicals, and machinery in a safer, more secure place.
  • Many people are aware that a basement dehumidifier can remove excess moisture and help prevent the growth of mold. This is especially important if you’re storing anything of value in your basement, such as old books, important documents, clothing, framed art, or collectables. Since basement humidifiers vary in price from a couple hundred dollars to well over $1,000, some homeowners postpone buying them. However, when you factor in the potential cost of mold remediation and having to throw away belongings that get damaged by moisture and mold, the cost is much more justifiable. If you’re fortunate enough to have a dry basement with a humidity level of less than 50%, then a dehumidifier may be an unnecessary purchase. If you want to be sure, though, you can buy a cheap humidity gauge for $10 or $20 — either online or at a local hardware store.
  • A ceiling fan may seem like a frivolous expense for a screened in porch, but you’ll be mighty glad you have one on hot, humid days! You might think that large window screens would provide ample circulation for an outdoor porch, but unless there’s a breeze — either natural or man made — then that hot air will often just sit there and linger, much like a guest who has overstayed their welcome! A ceiling fan can pull that uncomfortable air away from you and stir up some much-needed circulation. Ceiling fans, which typically cost between $100 and $200 (plus installation) — create both the look and feel of a cool, breezy environment. They also help reduce air conditioning costs inside your home.

Since everyone’s personal needs, budgets, and lifestyles are different, there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding whether to purchase (or postpone) any of these three items. Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with some helpful insights on making those decisions!