Planting Bulbs: Tips to Create Colorful Curb Appeal in Spring
Planting flower bulbs in fall is an easy and foolproof way to enhance your homes curb appeal during the last gasp of winter and first breath of spring: If you can dig a hole, you can grow a bulb.
Bulbs are harbingers of spring, says Barbara Pierson, nursery manager for White Flower Farm in Connecticut. Theyll flower before the leaves are on your trees. And theyre really a good return on investment, because they come back every year.
But dont wait forever to bury those bulbs, which gets more difficult as ground temperatures drop. To assure spring color, grab a spade and follow this advice:
Timing: The window of opportunity to plant bulbs is limited. Plant too soon, summer heat will turn bulbs to mush; plant too late, bulbs wont lay dormant long enough to store energy for brilliant spring blooms. The best time to plant is six weeks before the ground freezes. Or follow this rule of thumb: If you can still dig, you can still plant a bulb.
Soil: Sandy, acidic, and alkaline soil are fine homes for bulbs, which are not finicky growers. But bulbs dont like to sit in water; place bulbs in well-drained soil (hills are better than valleys). To increase drainage and lighten heavy clay soil, add humus and leaf mold.
Sunlight: Bulbs do best in bright, open spaces, but theyll flower in partial shade. The earliest bulbs, like crocus and galanthus, will bloom anywhere because most trees are still bare when they put on their show.
Select a firm, not mushy, bulb.
Dig a hole 2 to 3 times the height of the bulb, and insert the bulb pointy end up.
Compact the soil (pressing with your shoe or boot works fine).
If youre long on time and short on funds (10 crocus bulbs cost $10), space bulbs 8 inches apart, and wait a couple of seasons for them to divide and fill in. Also, plant bulbs in irregular shapes; formal rows arent found in nature.
More bulb advice
If you miss the planting season, you can force bulbs to bloom indoors. Chill them in your fridge for 10 to 12 weeks; pot them in soil or water; and place in a sunny place.
Resist the temptation to cut drooping foliage after blooms are spent, which weakens bulbs. Instead, pair bulbs with annuals, like pansies, that will hide unsightly leaves. Trim foliage only after it turns brown.
For the earliest color, plant crocus and muscari, which can peek through snow.
If youre plagued by deer, plant daffodils, which they wont eat. Repel other critters by planting bulbs in chicken wire cages.
Use a hand-held bulb planter ($3) to place a few bulbs in the ground; if youre planting hundreds, use a spade ($15-$35) to dig wide holes that will hold dozens of small bulbs.
A Look Back at 2010...
2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS PROFILE OF HOME BUYERS
First-time homebuyers accounted for a record 50% of all home sales in 2009, up from 47% in 2008, most likely spurred by the now-expired homebuyer tax credit.The vast majority (93%) of first-time buyers took advantage of the tax credit, and 95 % chose a fixed-rate mortgage.
The median age of first-time buyers was 30, and median income was $59,000.The typical entry-level buyer purchased a property with 1,540 square feet that cost $152,000, and most first-timers say they plan to hold the property for 10 years.
While the last 3 years have been a challenge in the market, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area has fared very well compared to other Metropolitan Areas.It is very true our market has been affected and the market is still adjusting.
2010 REVIEW:The first quarter was strong with the $8,000 first time buyer government incentive.The second and third quarter were a wait and see.Most people have been thinking and researching before moving.Remodeling has been another option.That ever-changing Oklahoma weather also had a great affect on the market. With the significant hail storm and flood, I guess WILL ROGERS was right: IF YOU DONT LIKE THE WEATHER IN OKLAHOMA, WAIT A MINUTE AND ITLL CHANGE. While people were trying to clean up and repair it brought a lot of jobs and revenue to the Oklahoma City/Edmond Area. The fourth quarter was a little better.
2011 OUTLOOK:The leaders of Oklahoma City have done an outstanding job in promoting and putting us on the national map.We have The Thunder, Boeing is bringing in a lot of jobs, Devon is building a skyscraper, Whole Foods is coming, Core to Shore is being developed, Lake Hefner is doing great things with fine dining, biking and walking trails just to name a few.With all of these great additions, Oklahoma City has nowhere to go but up.I am very excited that the confidence our housing market needs will start to rebound.It will not happen overnight but now is the time to start thinking about your next move.
There have been more changes in the Real Estate Industry in the last 2 to 3 years than my 21 years in the real estate business.The financial market, contract changes, the internet, market changes in certain areas, foreclosures, short sales, just to name a few.Now more than ever, buyers and sellers need a full time professional that is educated and on top of the market.
Trip to the Dog Park
This winter has created an abundance of "cabin fever". What better place to release some energy especially for the 4 LEGGED kids, than the Lake Hefner Dog Park, located on Grand Blvd between May Avenue and the Hefner Parkway. It provides laughter, fun for all, and its a great place to make new friends. Make sure your dog has good manners and please pick up after them. If you live near Lake Hefner, you'll sure enjoy this "hot spot"!