5 Tips to Sell Your Home This Spring

deb holmBy Deb Holmstrom, Berkshire Hathaway Kovack Realtors


1. Put A Plan In Place. Develop a plan of action before you sell your home. Are you planning on buying another home once your home sells? Do you have the option to move in with family? Can you rent, if need be? Can you buy before you sell?

2. Consult a Lender to Find your “Purchasing Power.” I would be happy to recommend local lenders committed to customer service.

3. Clean and Organize. Give your home a thorough “spring cleaning.” Clean out closets and pack away items you do not use. It’s important that you de-clutter and organize your home. Don’t forget to go the extra mile, wash your windows, dust your blinds, dust baseboard trim and clean appliances.

4. Interview Prospective REALTORS®. It is critical when selling a home that you interview a REALTOR®. As the weather warms up the top producing REALTORS® will only continue to get busier. Now is the time to start reaching out to the agents you think would be a
great representative to sell your home.

5. Be Proactive and Prepare. A licensed Realtor will help you prepare and navigate every step of the process. As a full time Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Kovack Realtors, I am committed to meeting the needs of my clients while we travel through the process of buying and selling a home. I would love to meet with you and help you sell or buy your next home sweet home.

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Harsh Winter Weather — Tips To Restore

The seasons can be harsh on homes, and perhaps no season is more taxing on a home’s exterior than winter. Harsh winter weather can take a toll on roofs, gutters, landscaping, and just about any other part of the home that must face the cold head-on. The following are a few areas of your home that might need some help rebounding from winter now that spring is right around the corner.

Heavy snowfall or significant accumulation of ice over the winter can result in cracked or damaged walkways, driveways and porches. Cracks can be safety hazards or may prove to be entry points into your home for water or critters.

Winter storms may damage trees, which can put a home right in the line of falling limbs or worse. Walk around your property to inspect for tree damage, removing any fallen limbs or cutting down any limbs that appear dead or that might eventually prove a safety hazard. In addition, check the grass for any dead spots that might have fallen victim to winter

Start planning now for late winter or early spring, as it is a great time to get a head start on the gardening season. The following projects can ensure your garden gets off on the right foot to enhance your landscape.

Left to the elements, yards and gardens are often filled with debris once spring arrives. Dead leaves, fallen branches, rocks that surfaced during the winter frost and even garbage that might have blown about in winter winds can all pile up in your yard. Clearing debris is a great first step toward restoring landscape and gardens before the time comes to plant your beautiful, fragrant, colorful plants.

Edge plant and flower beds, but be sure to use a spade with a flat blade or an edger designed to edge flower beds. Such tools will cut deep enough so grass roots that may eventually grow into the flower bed are severed.

Though weeds likely have not survived the winter that does not mean they won’t return once the weather starts to heat up. But as inevitable as weeds may seem, homeowners can take steps to prevent them from turning beautiful gardens into battlegrounds where plants, flowers and vegetables are pitted against unsightly and potentially harmful weeds.
Spring is a good time to apply a pre-emergent weed preventer, which can stop weeds before they grow.

Of course if time is an issue, Greenskeepers is always available to help with your landscaping projects.

greenkeeper ideas

Greenkeepers Lawn Service and Landscaping Inc. has been providing outdoor maintenace and living enhancements since 1999. We offer unique ideas, custom designs and a variety of services to enhance your outdoor living. Quality, professionalism and experience is never compromised at Greenkeepers, no matter how big or small the job. Call 330.721.0059 today to speak with one of our designers to see how we can make your outdoor dreams a reality.

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Planet Aid—For the Environment, For People

We all have stuff in our closets that we no longer wear. It could be that shoulder-padded outfit from back in the day, those impulse-buy heels you can’t seem to find an occasion for, or that holey t-shirt you still keep around. You don’t need them in your wardrobe and it is difficult to find another use for them.

Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to donate and recycle these items. Planet Aid collects unwanted clothes and shoes in their signature yellow bins, conveniently located at local gas stations, shopping centers, apartment complexes, and many more locations all over Ohio. Dropping off a bag of old clothes gives the contents a new life and keeps recyclable materials out of landfills.

Most of your gently-worn donated clothing ends up in developing countries overseas in the hands of those less fortunate. Even garments that are a little more worn can be donated provided that they’re laundered first; they too will be re-purposed into things like wiping rags, insulation, or furniture padding. Proceeds from donated items go toward sustainable development programs here locally as well as abroad, so every tax-deductible donation to Planet Aid helps fund a diverse array of projects, from sponsoring a local baseball team in Cleveland, to a Child Aid in Brazil, Teacher Training in Mozambique, Microfinance for women in India, or a church ministry in Parma.

Planet Aid partners with the local community through schools, religious institutions, sports teams, and other organizations to promote charitable clothes recycling and support local causes. Learn more about how to host a clothing drive fundraiser, place a bin on your property, or schedule a bulk-clothing pickup by contacting Planet Aid at 440-542-1171.

There are 2,000 yellow Planet Aid bins conveniently located throughout 22 counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Find one close to you, and learn more about the work Planet Aid does here and abroad, by visiting their website: www.planetaid.org.

Fall Yard Maintenance Tips

Presented By Mike Biskup, Owner of Greenkeepers

With fall rapidly upon us it’s almost time to break out those rakes and leaf blowers once again. But even more importantly, there are a few additional fall yard maintenance tips you can use to keep your home looking its best now, and all year long.

Cover Plants to Prepare for Frost: Early fall frost can often sneak up on us and damage valuable landscaping. Potted plants, as well as those that are still actively in bloom, are most susceptible to damage from an early frost. A general purpose tarp will work in a pinch but ideally you want a material that’s breathable. Your best bet is to use a breathable fabric such as cotton or burlap. These fabrics keep warmth in while allowing moisture to pass in and out, instead of trapping it inside like plastic will do. When moisture gets trapped inside it can cause additional plant damage.

Get the Kids Involved by Making it Fun: The bigger your yard the more maintenance you’ll have to perform this fall. With that said, wouldn’t a few extra hands be a great? Why not enlist your children by making yard clean up fun rather than a chore. A great way to do this is to use fun lawn clean up bags. Your children will love helping create stuffed pumpkins, ghosts, or any of the other fun shapes that bags come in today.

Feed Your Lawn: One of the best times to feed your lawn is in late fall, right before the first snow arrives. As it contains the natural nutrients your lawn needs to thrive. By applying lawn food before the first snow, you can help to ensure that your lawn will stay healthy throughout the winter and will bounce back quickly in the spring.

Trim Dead Branches That May Fall When Snow Arrives: Fall is also an important time to trim dead branches and remove any dead trees from your property. Heavy wet snow can become hazardous to people and property because the added weight will snap branches and split dead trees.

Source: National Gardening Association

Greenkeepers Lawn Service and Landscaping Inc. has been providing outdoor living enhancements since 1999. We offer unique ideas, custom designs and a variety of services to enhance your outdoor living. Quality, professionalism and experience is never compromised at Greenkeepers, no matter the size of the job. Call 330.721.0059 to speak with one of our designers to see how we can make your outdoor dreams a reality.

Greenkeepers also has a sister company, The Mulch Barn, a landscape supply company that offers mulch, gravel, topsoil, and sand to it’s customers. You can have these items delivered or pick them up yourself! So whether you are a “do-it-yourselfer” or not, we can help!

How to Fight Mosquitoes Without DEET or Chemicals

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could enjoy summer without being eaten alive by mosquitoes?  Good News – You Can!  Read on for some tips to help avoid the itch that comes with Mosquito Bites…

FROM Good Nature Organic Lawn Care in Ohio Blog

How To Avoid Mosquito Bites – Naturally

There are a variety of tactics for keeping mosquitoes from biting you but many involve potentially harmful chemicals like DEET or Pyrethroids. Here are some natural methods to fight off mosquitoes:

Step 1: Use Mosquito Repelling Soap

Studies in the Journal of American Mosquito Control Association show that using Neem Oil and Coconut Oil mixed together will repel mosquitoes for up to 8 hours.  Good Nature offers a Neem Oil soap that in addition to Neem contains B Vitamins, Lemon Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Oil.  All of which have health benefits as well as mosquito repelling properties.  Why not use a healthy soap that also repels mosquitoes?  Note that this soap makes no claims of mosquito repelling, but I’ve found it to be helpful.

Step 2: Consider a Natural Repellent

Instead of DEET, why not use something like “Bite Blocker” which is made from Geranium Oil and has been shown to be effective against mosquitoes.

Step 3:  Eat Some Garlic

I’ve had mosquito repelling success by eating a clove of garlic prior to going out into a mosquito infested area.  I don’t have any scientific data to support my next claim, but can say from experience that eating that clove of garlic seems to discourage others from “close talking” with me.

Step 4:  Consider a Mosquito Yard Barrier Treatment

If you’re in our service area, Good Nature can spray the living areas of your landscape with a natural Garlic Oil.  The smell dissipates quickly to the human nose, but mosquitoes will smell it for 2-4 weeks and avoid your landscape.  We’ve experienced about a 75% drop in mosquito populations.

Step 5:  Eliminate Standing Water

It takes mosquitoes about 8 days to go from an egg to adult, so you should empty any standing water areas you have at least once per week.

Step 6: Beer & Bananas

Some authorities on the subject believe that eating Bananas or drinking beer while you’re (or prior to going) outside can make you more susceptible to mosquito bites.  So, if you’re enjoying a few beers outside you might expect to be a little more attractive to mosquitoes.  You could try to get your hands on Garlic Breadth Beer, a Dogfish Head Beer brewed with garlic to see if the garlic repellent offsets the beer attractant…if you do this, please let us know how it goes!

Step 7:  Protect Your Pets

If you’re interested in protecting your pets from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, one thing I’ve found helpful is a Neem Pet Shampoo made with certified organic neem oil. Neem Oil will sooth their skin and reduce the itching associated with bites. Neem Oil is an excellent insect repellent so there may be some repelling effect on fleas, ticks and mosquitoes as well.

Check out other great articles from Good Nature Organic Lawn care at http://info.whygoodnature.com/blog/

Multi Colored Patchy Lawn

This article is from Good Nature Organic Lawn Care’s Blog
Posted by Alec McClennan

Is your lawn a variety of colors right now?  Chances are it’s because your lawn is made up of a patchwork of grasses.

It is important to know as much as you can about the different types of grasses in your lawn and how they behave so that you know what to expect from them.  If the patchy lawn bothers you, you can choose the correct solution.

I’ve seen a lot of people assume that their dormant Rough Bluegrass is an “insect” problem.  They go out an needlessly apply a potentially dangerous insecticide for no reason that doesn’t solve their problem.  Knowing the types of grass in your lawn really helps you formulate a plan for your lawn.  Here are some grass types that you might be seeing right now in Ohio and throughout the midwest.

Rough Bluegrass

Rough Bluegrass is a weedy grass type that thrives in wet, shady lawn areas.  It has stolons which is a fancy name for an above ground root that allows it to climb over other grasses.  That’s why you’ll see it start in a small patch and get gradually bigger.  In the spring, Rough Bluegrass stands out from traditional grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue because it is lighter in color and typically grows faster and sticks up taller in the spring.  The problem with Rough Bluegrass is that when the weather warms up, it goes dormant really early.  When it’s dormant, it looks dead.  You’ll see matted down patches of grass that seem to have no life left in them.  I’ve seen people incorrectly assume that they have an insect problem and go out to apply a chemical insecticide to correct the problem.  If you know the grass type, you won’t be tempted to use the wrong product to solve the wrong problem.

Here’s what Rough Bluegrass looks like in the spring in a Tall Fescue Lawn:
Creeping Bentgrass
Creeping Bentgrass is similar to Rough Bluegrass (Poa Trivialis) in that it crawls over more desireable grasses in your lawn via above groung roots, called stolons.  These stolons are the reason that when you try to rake your lawn it pulls up like a bad comb-over job.  Creeping Bentgrass is a finicky grass that when grown under ideal conditions can produce a beautiful lawn.  It tolerates short mowing and is used extensively on golf course greens.  The problem with creeping bentgrass is that it is susceptible to a variety of diseases and insects and generally struggles during the summer.  When creeping bentgrass turns brown and goes dormant during the summer, it tends to be invaded by annual weeds.  The bentgrass in the picture below is shorter than the other grasses and has a blueish tint.

Old Fashioned Tall Fescue

Always mistaken for “crabgrass” old fashioned Tall Fescue is a perennial grass that has very coarse leaves and sticks out like a sore thumb in a fine textured lawn – especially when all the fine textured grasses turn brown in the heat of summer and Tall Fescue stays nice and green.  If you have a lot of clumps of this grass, I’d recommend overseeding the rest of your lawn with Turf Type Tall Fescue, like our Good Nature Tuff Turf, which will stay greener during the summer and camoflauge the old fashioned Tall Fescue.  If you really want to eliminate it, there are a few chemicals that will do the trick, including roundup.

What to do about your Patchwork Lawn?

If you can tolerate an imperfect lawn and don’t mind the lack of uniformity, it often makes sense just to do the best you can and understand that your lawn will never be perfect with the grass varieties it has.  In fact, if you have rough bluegrass or even creeping bent, your lawn will often times look terrible during the summer.  There is not much you can do about that other than eliminate your grasses and start over with a new lawn. We call that a lawn renovation.

If you have questions or would like to read more articles on landscaping tips and “How To” check out Organic Lawn Cares website http://www.whygoodnature.com

How to Minimize Dandelions Without Chemicals

How to Minimize Dandelions Without Chemicals

You Don’t Need to Use Chemicals to Fight Dandelions.  In fact, if you’re thinking about using a chemical to kill dandelions, you might first consider these 5 Reasons to Avoid Weed & Feed Chemicals first. If you’re interested in maintaining your lawn without resorting to chemicals, Good Nature can help.  Here are two ways you can enjoy a beautiful lawn and peace of mind, naturally:

Option 1:  Sign Up for Organic Lawn Care Services
After just a few treatments you’ll notice a significant reduction in the number of Dandelions in your lawn.  Be sure to ask for an extra Natural Weed Buster Treatment!.

To Signup for services just visit http://whygoodnature.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7f9c134046d4c69b2dbf0fff1&id=4faef91fe3&e=b4f23cee4b and enter the offer code: 9BU-8VYZ-CS5. Each treatment for your lawn is just $43.92.  If you don’t want to mess with the offer code, feel free to give Good Nature Organic Lawn Care a call at 216-641-9800.

Option 2:  Treat the Lawn Yourself

If you prefer doing things yourself, don’t reach for the chemical.  Use a one two punch of Organic Fertilizer with Corn Gluten Meal to feed the lawn and prevent weeds, while you spot treat existing dandelions with ADIOS Environmentally Friendly Weed Killer or use a Speedy Weedy to pluck them. Happy Spring!

Get a lot more great tips on how to care for your lawn from Good Nature Organic Lawn Care blog http://info.whygoodnature.com/blog/

Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Presented By Mike Biskup, Owner of Greenkeepers

When designing landscapes, homeowners may envision grandiose gardens and lush lawns that are the envy of the neighborhood. But such designs can be difficult to maintain, and homeowners often find they are not worth the time or money.

Avoiding such costly mistakes allows homeowners to fully enjoy their lawns. The following are a few landscaping mistakes homeowners may want to avoid so they can spend more time enjoying their landscapes and less time working around the yard.

• Planting the wrong trees and shrubs: When planting new trees and shrubs around your property, choose varieties that won’t overwhelm the property by growing too large.

• Choosing non-native plants: It’s always best to choose plants that are native to a particular region. Native plants have already adapted to the local climate, meaning they can withstand the worst weather that climate has to offer without homeowners having to put in much effort.

• Too much lawn: While a large and lush lawn appeals to many homeowners, a yard that is all grass can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Lawns without trees are susceptible to damage from the hot summer sun, and homeowners often respond to that threat by overwatering their lawns. Try adding a garden in the backyard or even adding landscape features to their property.

• Planting without a plan: When planting new trees around a property, some homeowners plant without first considering the ideal locations for new trees. This can prove an expensive mistake. Planting too close to your house may eventually threaten your home’s foundation. Planting too close to a home may threaten the home during a storm, so consult a landscaping professional when planting new trees so the trees are located in a place that does not threaten the value of your home or the safety of its residents.

A professional landscaper can help and guide you with different strategies and remedies, like low-maintenance plants, to create a beautiful admired yard. Greenkeepers Lawn Service and Landscaping Inc. has been providing outdoor living enhancements since 1999. We offer unique ideas, custom designs and a variety of services to enhance your
outdoor living. Quality, professionalism and experience is never compromised at Greenkeepers, no matter how big or small the job. Call 330.721.0059 to speak with one of our designers to see how we can make your outdoor dreams a reality.

Greenkeepers also has a sister company, The Mulch Barn, a landscape supply company that offers mulch, gravel, topsoil, and sand to it’s customers. You can have these items delivered or pick them up yourself! So whether you are a “do-it-yourselfer” or not, we can help!

Thank you Greenkeepers! Mike and his team are easy to work with, explain their plans, and have done a phenomenal job! What makes Greenkeepers di•fferent from other companies is that Mike is honest with you and does not try to sell you products or services that you don’t need. He works with you and designs landscapes that ‚ t your vision as well as your budget. His team is respectful and the work is always done in a timely manner. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with! ~ Emma, Medina

THINK SPRING with Organic Lawn Care

I know it’s hard to think Spring with more snow falling every day but believe it or not it’s right around the corner! When Spring arrives you’ll probably begin to think need to stat thinking about your yard care maintenance. This year, why not get started on an organic approach to lawn care.  Good Nature Organic Lawn Care offers some seminars around Ohio that will help you learn more about organic lawn care and how to take care of your lawn without chemicals.

Upcoming Seminar
March 1, 2014 Water Quality and Healthy Soils  9am-Noon
Location: Village of Silver Lake Hall, 2961 Kent Rd., Silver Lake, OH 44224
• Sign in and registration is from 8:30—9:00 am

A healthy lawn with healthy soil requires less work, time and energy. By feeding your soil instead of your lawn, you’ll have a lush green yard without impacting the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams. Join Good Nature Organic Lawn Care for this fun, informational workshop to learn:
• Organic lawn care basics and benefits
• Reducing your environmental foot print from your yard
• Common problems and organic remedies
• Why healthy soil makes good sense and cents
• Recruiting others to green your lawn
• Understand organic lawn care through the seasons

Register today to reserve your seat at this free program! Reservations can be made by contacting Denny Stoiber at dennis9250@att.net or call 330.388.3852.
Register today because seats are limited!