Julie Gross' Blog
Have you been fantasizing about giving your green thumb free rein but are dealing with a limited amount of room in your outdoor living space? Perhaps you've got active children in the household who need backyard space to work off all that energy, or maybe your yard is just small. If so, you'll be glad to know that there's hope for those freshly picked vegetables, herbs and flowers you've been dreaming of cultivating. Many homeowners in your position have turned to vertical gardening as an alternative to the traditional horizontal gardening spot, and they're finding they like this approach even better. Here's what you need to know about vertical gardening:
Vertical Gardens Can Be Anything You Want Them to Be
Otherwise known as green walls, vertical gardens are highly customizable -- you can use them to grow a huge variety of herbaceous perennials or annuals. You can choose to fill them up with flowering annuals for a vibrant aesthetic, ferns for a woodland effect, strawberries for treats at the table and culinary herbs to spice up your meals. They can be small affairs designed to hold a few herbs and fit neatly right outside your kitchen door, or they can be cover entire walls from ground to roof-level with cascades of greenery and flowers. You don't need to stop at just one, either -- many homeowners have multiple vertical gardens because they enjoy them so much they can't seem to stop after they get started.
Getting Started With Your Vertical Garden
If you're the do-it-yourself type, you can construct your own vertical garden frame using lumber, plastic sheeting and landscaping fabric. A variety of easy-to-follow plans are available depending on the which size works best for the space. If you're the creative type, you can craft vertical gardening frames out of discarded pallets. If you're like many busy homeowners, however, your time is limited. Because vertical gardening has caught on throughout the country, you can purchase whatever size of ready-made frame you need from your local home and garden retailer.
Other Benefits of Vertical Gardening
A vertical garden also provides a great way to cover a not-so-attractive wall or pull together an unfinished outdoor aesthetic by adding vertical balance. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of vertical gardening is that you aren't constantly bending and stooping the way you would be while working in a garden planted on a horizontal plot, and your back will thank you at the end of every gardening session. Vertical gardens also offer good ways to get the kids interested in learning about how plants grow.
Even if you've got ample garden space in your yard, why not give a vertical garden a whirl as well?
31 Surrey Rd, Norwood, MA 02062
Cooking or baking, refrigerating food and running the dishwasher all contribute to the amount of energy your home uses overall. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, refrigerators use the highest amount of energy in household kitchens. While large appliances require more energy, lighting and other sources of energy, such as water heating, also factor into your total usage. You can save energy in your kitchen with the following energy efficiency tips.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Since refrigerators, dishwashers and stoves use up the most energy in your kitchen, consider replacing older ones with more energy-efficient models. Appliances with the Energy Star label can save you a significant amount on your energy usage. For example, refrigerators with this label use roughly 15 percent less energy than newer ones without this label, according to the Department of Energy. They also use up to 40 percent less energy than older refrigerators. The energy savings you'll get from these appliances helps make up for the cost of purchasing them and having them installed.
Use Appliances More Efficiently
The way you use your appliances can have a big impact on how much energy they need.
- Refrigerator: Covering foods inside your fridge, keeping the temperature between 35 and 38 degrees and making sure the door is tightly sealed helps reduce energy usage.
- Dishwasher: The biggest source of energy use from dishwashers is heating water. You can save energy with your dishwasher by only running it when you have a full load of dishes and letting them air dry when they're done being rinsed.
- Stove: To reduce your stove's energy usage, use the right size pot or pan. For example, using a small pan on a large burner leads to a higher amount of wasted energy. Instead of using your oven for a small dish or amount of food, consider other more efficient alternatives, such as your microwave or slow cooker.
Replace Kitchen Lightbulbs
If you use traditional incandescent lightbulbs for overhead lights, task lights and other lights in your kitchen, think about replacing them with more efficient ones. CFL or LED lightbulbs use less energy and have a longer lifespan, so you don't need to replace them as often. Making the switch to these lights can save you in terms of energy usage and utility bills.
Limit Exhaust Fan Use
The exhaust fan in your kitchen can help remove odors and pollutants, improving your indoor air quality. However, you don’t need to leave it running for long periods of time to get these benefits. Turning your exhaust fan on while cooking and shutting it off afterwards helps reduce the amount of energy it uses.
If your upcoming plans include buying a home or selling one, contact us.
23 Heather Dr, Norwood, MA 02062
As a home seller, it sometimes can be tough to balance short- and long-term goals. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline your house selling efforts and ensure you can maintain your focus as you proceed along the property selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you stay on course after you list your residence.
1. Establish a Home Selling Timeline
A home selling timeline can help you take the guesswork out of selling your residence. This timeline enables you to determine what tasks you will need to complete as you navigate the property selling journey. Plus, it can help you get a good idea about how much time you will need to sell your residence.
Be flexible with your home selling timeline. Remember, unexpected problems may arise at any point during the home selling journey, and these issues may slow you down. But if you maintain flexibility, you can address any potential home selling hurdles and finish the home selling journey as quickly as possible.
2. Create Home Selling Goals
With home selling goals in place, you can achieve many milestones throughout the property selling journey. These goals can help you stay focused as you complete each step of the home selling process. They also enable you to enjoy a sense of accomplishment as you finish a wide range of tasks when you sell your home.
You can create as many or as few home selling goals as you'd like. As you set up goals, you should consider the steps that you'll need to complete as well. This may allow you to further accelerate the home selling journey.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about what to expect during the home selling journey, you may want to find a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to maintain your focus throughout the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home in any real estate market, at any time. First, he or she will help you establish a home selling strategy. This housing market professional next will promote your residence to potential buyers and help you review any offers to purchase your home. And if you accept an offer to purchase, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to complete the final steps of the property selling journey.
Let's not forget about the expert guidance that a real estate agent provides, either. A real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions. As a result, a real estate agent will help a home seller make informed decisions as the property selling journey progresses.
Maintain your focus as you sell your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remain on track throughout the house selling journey.