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Curb Appeal-Fall Update

A few months back, we talked about some general, year-round ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Now, a little over one week after the first official day of fall, we have a seasonal update and the tips are as easy as pie!

1. Rake Your Leaves

See how painless these tips are going to be? Raking the leaves in your yard helps it to look more maintained and helps keep your grass greener, longer, when you remove the leaves and give it some room to breathe.

2. Give Your Front Door a Fresh Coat of Paint

Whether you’re refreshing the current color or picking a bold new one, painting your front door is a quick, easy and (inexpensive) way to add to your curb appeal. Just get it done before it gets too cold outside!

3. Don’t Keep Your Pumpkins Too Long

We know you or your kids worked really hard on those pumpkins, and they were masterpieces, really. Healthy pumpkins can add a lot to your curb appeal and make your front porch feel “homey.” On the other hand, rotten pumpkins are the opposite of appealing. Don’t forget to dispose of your pumpkins in a reasonable amount of time. Experts say Jack-O-Lanterns last 5 to 10 days and healthy uncarved pumpkins can last 8 to 12 weeks.

4. Hide Your Hose


Did you know that just like your summer clothes, you can pack away your hose for the winter? Garden hose pots like this one are specifically designed to keep your hose hidden and clean from dust and dirt. With the weather slowly but surely getting cooler, you won’t be needing to use your garden hose to water your plants and grass as much.

5. Plant the Perfect Fall Flowers to Enjoy Now

As a landscaping company, we are pro any improvement to, well, your landscaping. Mums, Marigolds, Petunias and Hollyhocks are all flowers that you can both plant and enjoy during the fall season. These flowers come in a variety of colors, and better yet, go perfectly with pumpkins.

And just like that, without a lot of work, your yard has the best curb appeal in the neighborhood!
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Fire Pits for Fall

Do you know at least a few people who are obsessed with all things fall? You know; the ones that decorate their house with fake leaves, burlap and pumpkins everywhere. Speaking of pumpkins, there’s a huge chance the folks you have in mind are also addicted to pumpkin spice flavored or scented anything. You get the picture. 

What about you? Just because you may not reach the same level of obsession doesn’t mean you don’t also enjoy the season of crisp air and changing leaves. As we enter Autumn, we just so happen to have a major way you can enjoy the season even more: a fire pit!

Along with being a centerpiece to your outdoor living space, fire pits create an instant, comfortable atmosphere for friends and family to make memories while enjoying each other’s company. The first official day of fall is September 22, so now is as good a time as any to start picking out the right fire pit to fit your needs and personal taste.

Before you make any decisions about the material or design, you must choose where the pit will be located in your yard. It really can become a centerpiece, so give consideration to seating and any additional hardscaping or landscaping you want to include in the area, or existing structures like patios and walkways. 

Safety tip: An open area away from the house is highly recommended. Give consideration to items like vinyl siding, buried cables and overhanging plants and trees. 

Once you’ve chosen your perfect location, it’s time to consider design and decor. Are you looking for a more traditional in-ground pit, or do you prefer a more modern approach? Maybe stacked stone or paver-style blocks fit the bill. Whichever route you choose, we have loads of different ideas floating around, and can offer suggestions based on the surrounding area of your yard.

Materials used are important, as you want to create a fire pit that will give you years of beauty and functionality. Natural stone can be stacked and sealed to create a more rustic feel, while bricks and pavers can help create a fire fortress you can be proud of. You’re truly only limited by your imagination (and fire safety) when it comes to the design and materials.

While many traditional fire pits are manually fueled by wood, more and more spaces choose a natural gas or propane solution for the flames. This allows maximum fire and heat control, allowing you the beauty and comfort of a fire pit without the inevitable “chair scooting” that comes with the unpredictability of a wood-fired pit. Setups can include wood-emulating cast centers that can handle the heat while portraying that organic, natural beauty that a wood fire gives.

There are plenty of options to consider with your fire pit, but the most important thing is to make it your own. Let Stork Landscaping help you plan your outdoor hardscapes, including your fire pit, to give you the beauty and charm you value while taking in to account all of these options and safety considerations. We’re ready to help you kick fall off in comfy, outdoorsy style!
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Smart Water...ing

The world offers hybrid cars to conserve gas and energy efficient light bulbs to help conserve electricity, but what about water conservation?

As a landscaping company we value the very crucial role water plays in nurturing green spaces and delivering environmental benefits. Because water plays such a large role in our lives and makes a bigger impact than most of us realize, it’s important to use it sparingly when possible.

Get Smart

There are many ways you and your family can choose to use water wisely, not only saving water, but saving money in the process. One of the easiest ways is to simply start planting! Believe it or not, small changes to your landscaping and gardening routines are the perfect first step to conserving water.

Here are a few ways planting can make a difference from the Irrigation Association®:

1. Landscape to suit your lot. Choose grass or plants that have low water requirements and will thrive in your local climate. Consider your lot’s exact features, including sun and shade, dry and damp areas, plant size, and how you plan to use each section of your yard.


2. Keep soil healthy.
Aerating your lawn, especially around trees, at least once a year helps improve water penetration. When planting, turn and cultivate the soil and add compost or fertilizer to improve moisture retention and grow healthier plants that need less water to stay strong.


3. 'Hydro-zone”
your yard. Grouping plants with similar moisture needs in the same area makes it easier to make sure they get the water they need without overwatering. Separate plants from grassy areas, which have different water requirements.

Invest in a Long Term Solution

This next option for conservation is a bit more complex, and for the most successful results, should include a professional consultation.

What is this long term solution? Installing an irrigation system in your yard. Irrigation systems control the application of water for agricultural purposes through an underground sprinkler system. They are also specifically calibrated for climate and equipped with preset timers as well as rain and humidity sensors that help deliver the precise amount of water at the exact time required.

This means no more dragging the hose around the yard or remembering to turn the sprinkler off. The irrigation system takes care of everything for you!

For even more on irrigation systems, maintenance and the services Stork offers visit the Irrigation page of our website.

Sources: http://www.irrigation.org/IA/Resources/Smart-Irrigation-Month/

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Home-ownership is one of the biggest decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. So big in fact, the idea and advantages that home-ownership brings are celebrated for an entire month. Whether you’re brand new to home-owning, just moved into a new neighborhood or you're about to move out, we want to share a few facts so you get the most out of home-owning and the yard that comes with it!

New Homeowners:

You’ve just moved into your first house, something you have always dreamed of. With the excitement of more space and the freedom to paint the walls, also comes the responsibility of maintaining the health of your yard. At Stork, we love taking on new landscaping projects and bringing out your yard's greatest potential. For help getting started give us a call anytime or fill out our Inquiry Form and we will answer all the questions you never thought you would have about grass.

Fast Facts:

  • Lawns help prevent erosion problems

  • Grasses absorb carbon dioxide and break it down into oxygen and carbon. In fact, a 50’x50’ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four

Moved to a New Area:

Be careful to do your homework before you make plans for a front yard landscaping makeover. Rules and regulations vary from one neighborhood or subdivision to the next. If you live in an area with a Homeowner’s Association your realtor will provide you with all the information you need to know. Once you know what your allowed (and not allowed) to do give us a call and we can create the perfect landscape to make you feel at home.

Fast Facts:

  • Lawns and plants dramatically reduce noise pollution; they can reduce noise levels by 20 percent to 30 percent over hard surfaces like concrete and pavement.
  • Grass is much cooler than asphalt or cement. It acts as an “air conditioner” for the surrounding area. In fact, lawns can be 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil. 

Trying to Sell Current Home:

Forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but think curb appeal! This is always important in the overall look of your home, but no more so when trying to sell your house to a prospective buyer. Before even stepping inside the house the next potential owner will make a decision based on the current state of the lawn and landscaping. This is why curb appeal is so important. It’s the first impression and we all know how those can stick. Why not make it a good one? 

Fast Facts:

  • Studies show that just looking at plants and trees, even through a window, can reduce stress and lower blood pressure

  • Neighborhoods that incorporate community green spaces have lower incidences of stress, have lower health care costs, and have an improved quality of life

 

Homeowner-ship can be wonderful, but also a lot of work at times. We would love to take some of that work off your plate so you can focus on the more important tasks. Like spending time enjoying your home with your family.

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Picture this: you wake up in the morning to the shining summer sun, open the door to breathe in the fresh air and then you look down to see a patchy, yellow front yard!

Sounds like the perfect time to get your green grass on (or to keep it green) with our new Yearly Lawn Fertilization Program.

Why is it important to keep your lawn fertilized year round? We’re glad you asked.

1. Helps your lawn stay healthy


You may have already guessed this one, but it’s number 1 for a reason. There are many factors that can contribute or add to an unhealthy lawn. Fertilizing year round instead of the select warmer months is your best defense against turf feeding insects, lawn disease and mother nature.

2. Encourages leaf and root growth


Yes, even the leaf and roots below the ground that cause your grass to grow need encouragement. With the Yearly Lawn Fertilization Program, fertilizer encourages growth with the help of nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important ingredient in growth, but every lawn is different in the amounts it needs. That is of course, where our expertise comes in.

3. Reduces troublesome weeds


If not properly treated weeds will keep coming back to torment you and take away from your picture perfect lawn goals. Fertilization takes care of those pesky weeds so you don’t have to spend your weekends spraying and weed whacking around the driveway.

4. Supports lawn recovery from numerous activities

The yard is a great place for families to spend quality time together while the kids play games or run through the sprinkler. Yet, your lawn can suffer or experience erosion as a result of a lot of wear and tear. Our program is designed to keep your lawn in lean, green shape and to not be afraid of long term damage.

 

All lawns are not created equal. Beautiful lawns are planned and created. A good lawn fertilization program is an essential part of every great looking lawn. We take the guesswork out and make sure your lawn gets exactly what it needs, when it needs it. Our 5-Step program consists of scientific based professional treatments that deliver comprehensive care and maintenance for year-round health and beauty. 

Are You Ready to Get Your Green On? You’re just 5 steps away from the perfect lawn you’ve always wanted. Contact us today to learn more. 

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It’s no secret that a beautiful lawn needs water to stay lush and green. While Southeast Missouri is lucky to get quite a bit of rain in the spring, rainfall in the summer can be intermittent causing lawns to suffer if they area don't get a significant amount.

So what can you do to keep your lawn looking great all year, especially in the hot, dry months of summer?

Easy: install a sprinkler or irrigation system.

Use of a modern sprinkler system can benefit the health and appearance of your lawn and save you time and money over traditional hand watering methods.

A sprinkler system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn looking great, but it can also increase the value of your home. A home with an installed sprinkler and irrigation system can increase the value by up to 15 percent! It also allows buyers to know their potential new lawn is well cared for and will be easy to maintain.

Modern sprinkler systems are also better for the environment because they are designed to be as efficient as possible using moisture sensing technology. Meaning, they measure when your lawn needs to be watered and monitor the amount of water used at one time. This system keeps your lawn from being over watered while saving the amount of water used compared to traditional watering methods. These systems also reduce your monthly water bill and help the environment in times of drought! Additionally, a healthy lawn can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases around your home, produce oxygen and decrease surface temperature, allowing it to be naturally cooler, therefore decreasing the amount of energy needed to run your air conditioning.

One of the most redeeming qualities of a sprinkler system is their convenience. Instead of praying for rain or dragging a cumbersome garden hose around, let your lawn water itself. The recommended time to water your lawn is early in the morning hours, but who honestly wants to wake up early just to water their lawn? With a modern sprinkler system, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep by programming your system to water without your oversight. You can also set your system to water your lawn while you’re away or cancel a watering if rain is in the forecast all from your smartphone!

As you can see, a sprinkler system is a modern and low maintenance way to keep your lawn healthy and green without doing much work. Interested in having one installed in your yard?
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You never get another chance to make a first impression. What kind of first impression is your home making to potential buyers?

The “curb appeal” is the first impression your home can make to visitors, neighbors and potential buyers. Your home’s exterior combined with the lawn, garden beds, front door and porch or entryway create a home’s curb appeal. Curb appeal can add character and charm to your home, making it attractive to others and potential buyers.

Your landscaping can have a major impact on the curb appeal of your home. In fact, good landscaping can help increase your home’s perceived value anywhere from 10 to 12 percent. A $150,000 home can be perceived to be worth $8,250 to $19,000 more than its actual value with the help of sophisticated landscaping.

Good landscaping can really help your home make a good first impression, especially in neighborhoods where homes have similar or identical styles. A landscaping that is eye-catching for the right reasons can help your home stand out among others which is especially helpful in a competitive housing market. Poor landscaping can make your home unattractive to buyers who may choose not to even view the inside of the home.

Here are a few ways you can improve your landscape to increase your home’s value:

Identify what needs to improve:

Take the opportunity to look at your landscape with a whole new perspective to identify which areas in your lawn can be improved. Start by viewing it from different angles. Look at it from down the road or across the street. Like what you see? What needs to change? Write down what you see and start brainstorming how you can improve your landscape.

Add color:

Color is one of the major design elements that can help your landscape stand out. Whether its colored flowers or colored planters for those flowers, a couple pops of color can help improve the feel of your landscape. Use a color palette that accentuates the unique features of your home’s exterior like the stone or brick work. Repainting patio furniture or adding cushions to seating areas are also great ways to add color!

Define borders:

Defining the borders of your lawn can help create the illusion of an clean landscape. Look at the grass line of your lawn. Is it infringing on other garden beds and creating an uneven line? It’s time to trim it. Chip away at the lawn to create a new line and add stone work or mulch to help create a clean new border between your grass and garden beds. Adding mulch or decorative rock to your garden bed after this is also another way to define borders within your landscape.

Maintain shrubs:

Shrubs are great for establishing a sense of privacy or creating some levels to your landscaping allowing the eye to travel. However, an unruly shrub can be a huge distraction. Care for your shrubs by giving them a little prune or trim to help it maintain its shape. A well-shaped shrub can help contribute to a well-liked yard!

Add some visual levels:

If while looking at your landscape you notice your eye maintains the same line, it might be time to add a few plants to create some levels in your landscape. Trees, small bushes, hedges or flowers can create new levels and add interest to your outdoor space that can help to increase your overall curb appeal. The best part about adding plants is that your lawn will continue to improve over time as the plants grow and mature!

Add lighting:

Lighting the exterior of your home can help your home stand out after the sun goes down. Use lighting to highlight particular elements of your landscape like shrubs, trees and gardens. Even if potential buyers visit your home during the day, seeing that lighting is available lets them know walkways are safe at night.

Keep it simple:

When planning your outdoor landscaping update, remember above all to keep it simple! Adding plants and color can be overwhelming so don’t put too much stress on yourself. A landscape should be interesting yet pleasing to the eye. Too many plants or fixtures can create too much visual noise and appear cluttered. Your landscape should be attractive but not high maintenance. While landscaping can help sell your home faster and increase its value, a yard that appears high maintenance can turn buyers away.

Give us a call:

No matter how much work you need to do to improve your landscape, we’re here to help! Whether it’s adding lighting, planting new flowers, or even repaving your walkway, we can get the job done! Give us a call at (573) 803-0046 to set up a consultation and see how we can help you increase the value of your home!

 

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Spring Landscaping Projects

With the dreary skies and cold temperatures of winter lingering, you may not be thinking about getting those spring landscaping projects started, but now is the best time to start! Before you know it, the sunny days of summer will be back and you’ll wish you’d started your dream landscaping project sooner! Lucky for you, we’re already thinking about spring and the sunny days of summer and we are ready to help you start making your outdoor space your own!

Why start now?

Well, why not? Starting your project now gives you and your family plenty of time to work through the design elements of your dream space. Starting now gives you the time to brainstorm and decide what elements you want the most like a pool or hardscape for grilling and hosting family and friends. Starting now also gives you plenty of headstart on the rush for summer projects meaning your project can be ready sooner so you can enjoy it longer! In Spring, supplies are in abundance meaning we can get you the materials you need in a timely manner without having to wait. While the kids are still in school, you can get work started on your project meaning you don’t have to schedule around summer sport tournaments or family vacations. More continuous work on your project means less inconvenience for you and your family (as if you need something else to schedule around). A more technical reason to start your project now is planting! Pre-existing plants are easier to relocate while they’re still in winter dormancy, but spring is also the best time to plant a lot of those bright flowers and other grasses or shrubs you may want to use to add focal points to your outdoor space. Ensure your new plants are in full bloom when you want to enjoy their beauty!

Where do you start?

The hardest part of any project is getting started, but luckily, starting a landscaping project is actually really easy: just think about what you want. If you already have an idea of what you want, take the time to find more inspiration! Take a look around your neighborhood and see what’s worked in your area and take some tips of what plants grow around you. Browse websites like Pinterest to find images of features you’d like to include in your design like an outdoor kitchen, grassy lawn or spectacular garden. Key features are important for any design project as they set the tone for the rest of the design and can be focal point for your new space.

Here are a few things you should consider while brainstorming your dream project.

The style of your home

Landscaping should compliment or contrast the type of design of home you have. If your house is modern and minimalist, you may want your outdoor space to more simplistic and minimal as well. If your home is more classically, don’t be afraid to go big and accentuate the features your home has to offer.

Climate

We don’t want to burst your bubble but palm trees and cacti don’t really like southeast Missouri so if you’re wanting your outdoor space to be a tropical paradise, you may be in the wrong region! Fortunately, there are plenty of flora and fauna that grow really well here so there are plenty to choose from.

Maintenance

How much work are you willing to do to maintain the beauty of your outdoor space? If you don’t want to mow, large grassy patches are probably not for you. If you’re not interested in gardening and pulling weeds, you’re also limited in what plants you would probably want to use.

Who uses the space

Boulders and rocks are popular accents for decorating spaces, but if you’re worried about the kids hurting themselves, you may want to avoid them! If you have pets, you may want to know what plants are safe and pet-friendly.

Set a budget

Think about how much you’re able or willing to spend to make your outdoor environment special, but also consider how much you want to spend to maintain the environment as well. Plants needs water and if you want them to flourish you may want to add a sprinkler system. While the initial installation is an investment, you’ll end up saving money in the long run because of efficiently!

Call us

Once you have an idea of what you want, let us help you with the rest! We’ll help you understand your space a little better by figuring out the type of soil you have, drainage opportunities, sun patterns and the other natural features of your outdoor space. After that, we’ll take some measurements and help you finalize your design. Our team are experts on local flora and fauna so we can help you choose the best plants for your space! We can help you add color that doesn’t break the bank. We will use your ideas and incorporate our knowledge and expertise of the local area and landscaping skills to create the perfect design for your space. We can also pick a timeline that works best for you and your schedule! We know that spring and summer can get busy so let us help you get your project done as well and as quickly as possible without any added inconvenience for you! Projects can also be completed over a number of years if necessary for your budget! We can help you choose which features are most important to start the project and how to prepare for future projects!

Let the magic happen

Once design is finalized, we can take it from there. Our team members are experts in all areas of a project and can team up to complete your project from start to finish. From digging up existing features, relocating plants, building patios, and so much more, we do it all and you don’t have to lift a finger. Just watch as your old backyard becomes the outdoor oasis of your dreams! Once your project is complete, it’s all yours to enjoy! Invite your friends and family over to celebrate holidays, watch the kiddos play soccer or take a break from your busy schedule in your new at-home escape! Of course, we can be there to help you maintain the space and keep it beautiful! Our maintenance services include landscape trimming, monitoring your irrigation systems and even designing and installing seasonal color displays! So why not start making your dream outdoor space a reality today?
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Thank You 2017!

We can’t believe it’s already the end of 2017--what a year!

We are so happy for all of the homes and businesses we were able to make beautiful this year. For us, it’s a real gift to be able to bring your landscaping dreams to life.

From all of us here at Stork Landscaping, thank you for your loyal business this year.

We hope that 2018 is full of flourishing gardens, family gatherings around outdoor fireplaces, and starlit nights on your patios!

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year--we’ll see you in 2018!

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Winterization Is Coming

What is winterization?

Winter--can you believe it’s already time to say that word? It seems like just yesterday we were enjoying the crispness of freshly cut grass and now here we are, talking about prepping our lawns for the coming of frost. Unfortunately, the cold is coming sooner than you think and it’s vital for the health of your landscaping to get it winter-ready. Winterizing your lawn means preparing your grass and plants for the cold winter months.


Why is winterization important?

Like bears, plants also hibernate through the frozen season, but unlike bears, they aren’t as quick to hunt and gather their own food. That’s where you come in. To give plants a chance to grow back just as strong and healthy in spring, they need to be tended properly as they begin to respond to the changes in nature.


What’s involved with getting my lawn winter ready?

It starts with fall clean-up. Rid your yard of leaves, twigs, and any leftover summer debris (frisbees, soccer balls, sidewalk chalk--you know the drill). Once your lawn is clear, it’s time to begin winterizing.


Choose a winterizing fertilizer that will compensate for the changes in your plants. Winter fertilizers have high amounts of potassium to keep plants strong and more able to withstand the cold temperatures; typically, they’ll also include small amounts of nitrogen for leaf and stem growth and phosphorus for root health.


Winterization for Your Irrigation System

After so many months of heat, it’s hard to believe that the temps are about to drop--and stay there. But they are supposed to fall next week.


Each year before the first freeze, it’s vital for the health and wellness of your irrigation system to winterize. The term for this is a “blow out” and it refers to getting everything out of your pipes before they freeze. Cold pipes that have water in them may crack or break under the pressure of changing weather. And if that cold water seeps into the mechanisms and freezes, you’re in much hotter water (no pun intended) than mere pipe damage.


To minimize the risk of freeze damage, you'll need to winterize your irrigation system. Winterization includes draining of any excess water from the pipes and shutting down your backflow preventer and irrigation system. This service protects your sprinkler system during the winter months by preventing major problems including broken backflow preventers, broken pipes/heads, leaks and other issues that can occur with frozen pipes.


Fall is not only the perfect time to plan ahead for winter, but is actually a great time to plan ahead for spring, too! Install a new irrigation system now--before the ground freezes--and be ready for all your spring blooms. As if that wasn’t enough, Stork Landscaping also offers winter discounts. Learn more about our irrigation services here; and call today and get winter (and spring) ready!

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