Friday, July 24, 2015

To Plant or Not To Plant That Is The Question?

Yep, we have all done it at one time or another just because we weren't aware. Get a plant for a gift, then throw it out back and guess what! It is taking over your yard. Well here are some plants you should not plant or throw out in your yard.
to plant or not to plant that is the question
Bamboo
  1. Unless you live in the rain forest or have pandas that you need to feed, stay away from planting bamboo. This plant is so aggressive that its roots seek out new soil to grow in. Once it takes root it is very hard to kill.
  2. An import from Europe called English Ivy. This is a very aggressive ground cover which will grow on just about anything and choke out your trees. It is way passed its time. This plant has been banned in the Pacific Northwest and is considered an invasive species along the Eastern U.S. Best to pull it up in the spring time before it starts its new shoots.
  3. Aggressive and non-forgiving is Kudzu. It will grow a foot a day and cover everything. Spreads using runners like ivy and will swarm buildings, trees, anything in its way. Goats are a great way to destroy it but if you don't have goats then resort to herbicides. Keep spraying it until it finally dies back.
  4. Another imported weed from east Asia is Japanese Stiltgrass. Loves to grow in loose, disturbed soil as a thick mat that chokes out all your native plants. Loves forests and wetlands. Good thing is it spreads above ground so catch it with a pre-emergent herbicide late spring to summer time frame.
  5. Known as Beautiful Killer or Marsh Monster, Purple Loosestrife is a predator. Past uses included a treatment for dysentery but now it's just choking out the native fauna. You can use specific leaf beetles or weevils to stop it but if that's not accessible, dig it up and seal it in a bag so it will die and not spread.
  6. Alright, who doesn't like a mint julep? A favorite plant in the southeast. But if your growing mint in your yard beware. It loves to spread quickly. Best to grow mint in pots inside or on your patios and decks.
  7. Considered invasive in 19 states, Wisteria and the Chinese and Japanese versions are killers. This vinous plant will wind its way around any study support. In Sierra Madre CA is the world's largest Chinese Wisteria vine which is larger than one acre and weighs around 250 tons. Pull it down and spray with a herbicide.
  8. Producing large trumpet shaped flowers that butterflies love is the Trumpet Vine. It spreads by using clingy aerial roots. The more you dig it up the more it spreads. Be persistent and keep digging. Eventually you will get it all.
  9. Classified as a serious weed by our National Parks, Leafy Spurge or Green Spurge is
    Leafy Spurge courtesy of pawpaw67
    aggressive. Seeds can last as long as seven years. This persistent plant displaces native species putting out toxins that keep other species from growing around it. Be persistent with this one also by spraying it every year.
You can find out more about most of these species on Wikipedia.org. But be prepared if you come across any in your yard. With weeds or invasive species persistence is the name of the game.



And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MONEY MONEY MONEY Got to save it!

MONEY MONEY MONEY Got to save it!
We all like saving money especially when it comes to energy costs. Our electric bills kept going up and water is getting strict. So here are a few myths that might surprise you.
  • Myth #1: Using a ceiling fan to cool a room. These are especially popular in the Southeast. But ceiling fans don't cool rooms they cool the people in the rooms. So when you're done in a room, turn off the ceiling fan when you leave. Save on electricity.
  • Myth #2: Keep the thermostat on one temp. First, install a programmable thermostat. You can buy them at home improvement stores or get one from your electric company if available. Then use the programming features to set different temperatures based on the time of day. If you are gone for the day, turn it up to 80° when you leave and then turn it back down again when you return. During the winter, drop the temperature in the home by 5-10 degrees. You will not only sleep better but save money too.
  • Myth #3: Close vents in unused rooms. This seemed to be a no brainer however it could make your energy costs rise by as much as 15 percent. So go ahead and open them back up.
Another way to save energy is to open up your windows when the weather permits. Early spring and late fall into winter are great times to open up and get the house aired out. Any time you can turn off the A/C or the heater it saves you energy costs.

Check with your local electric company to see if they offer energy audits. They will send a tech to your home, most of the time for free, to walk through the home and give you a report on what's using the most energy and where you can put your money to create some savings.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville

Saturday, July 11, 2015

To replace or Not to replace, that is the question!

When you are ready to freshen up a room, first thing you do is give it some fresh paint and then maybe some accent painting here and there. Well there are other things in your home you can also paint to "freshen" them up. It will save you money right now.

Here are several things that can be painted and a bit of knowledge on how. Remember, prep is everything.
to replace or not to replace, that is the question
  1. Cabinet door and drawer hardware. Get a new look for some old hardware by using some spray paint. First clean the hardware with steel wool. Get rid of grime and grease. The rough it up with sand paper. Protect any openings with painter's tape. Prime with specialty metallic primer and spray with specialty metallic paint. Rust-Oleum runs about $4-$5 a can. If you are looking at oil-rubbed bronze finishes, Rust-Oleum has it for around $6-$7 a can.
  2. Brick fireplaces. Not to be taken lightly usually once you paint bricks they can't be taken back to the original color. To begin, sand the surface lightly with 120-grit sandpaper. Clean away any left behind dirt and soot using a wire brush and cleanser. After drying, apply a stain blocking oil-based primer. Then paint with semi-gloss latex.
  3. Ceramic Tile. Yep, you read it right I said ceramic tile. Stay away from high traffic areas and places where moisture is high. Begin by repairing any broken tiles using grout or caulking. Sand lightly with 240-grit paper, then apply an epoxy or urethane bonding primer. Then you must sand after priming and between each layer of good latex paint you apply. Allow paint to dry completely, maybe several days, then apply up to three coats of water-based, clear polyurethane.
  4. Wooden floors. If your floors are beyond refinishing, try a bit of paint. You will still need to sand them lightly to rough up the surface. Then vacuum to remove debris. Use a primer tinted the same as your paint color. After the primer dries you will need to apply several light coats of paint allowing each to dry completely. It takes the floor about a month to cure, so refrain from putting heavy furniture back in the room for a while. Use throw rugs to protect high traffic areas or places where water often hits the floor like bathrooms.
These are just a few of the things you can paint. You can also paint carpets, vinyl floors and appliances. Make sure to research what you want to paint before diving in. Your local home improvement store should carry all the supplies you need.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Events and Happenings for July in Greenville SC

events and happenings for july in greenville sc
Happy 4th of July to all my readers out there. Since Saturday is a holiday I thought I would give you some local events happening just for the 4th.

Now for the rest of the month.
Now I have just covered some of the highlights from the schedule for this month especially the July 4th items for Saturday. But you can view the full monthly schedule using this link: www.visitgreenvillesc.com/events. The schedule is full with plays and concerts and musicians and other featured events. So have fun and enjoy July in Greenville!

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville