Late summer spread: 4 Grass seeding facts to know

Seeding now can be the key to a lush lawn come spring. Here’s what you need to know about this essential lawn task. Like all things worth doing, a lovely landscape takes time. Great grass is a year-round project, and mid-to-late August until the end of September brings another round of important lawn care activities. Generous and proper seeding starts now.

Getting creative and clever with outdoor decor for the patio

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Patio furniture and accessories don’t have to be expensive, and these crafty DIYs will keep things interesting. Outdoor decor is somewhat of an enigma. We’ve spent years building up a collection of furniture and accessories for the interior of the house, but sometimes our instincts and wallets don’t stand up to the challenge of decorating an outdoor room. First-time homeowners often live a few years with half-empty rooms until they can cobble together a budget for furniture. Inherited and leftover pieces often inhabit a new home’s interior spaces. Adopting and transforming the same kinds of pieces will work just as well outdoors as it did indoors all those years ago.

Under the deck: A little magic transforms a forgotten space

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Under-porch patios are making a splash as homeowners look to enhance their existing homes by gaining more living space. A little paver planning can transform that weedy, moldy area under an elevated deck into a room of many uses. When a raised deck is more than 8 feet off the ground, the space underneath may be a prime candidate for a patio project. Outdoor rooms are a popular home-improvement project, but many homeowners naturally neglect the darker spaces like under-deck areas. The key is to embrace the advantages of an under-deck patio.

Paver porches: For the forever season

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Wiling away the wistful summer evenings on the porch is one of the best relaxation methods around. But that peace and quiet can be disturbed when old wood porches have seen too many seasons.

Make their night: Host a movie marathon on the patio

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You may already have the makings for an amazing movie night right outside your door. Start a tradition of stars under the stars. Outdoor movies have been popular ever since the drive-in days. Drive-ins are hard to find now but almost all major cities host a movie-in-the-park series. A picnic dinner, a blanket and little ones in their pjs make for a classic summer night to remember.

Lazy days make for a slow cooker summer

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Think your slow cooker is just for the cold months? Think again. Summer’s hot days have us searching for meals that don’t require a lot of oven time. Dust off the your slow cooker, because it may just be the answer you’re looking for. Slow cookers don’t emit a lot of heat into the kitchen and their automatic cooking functions give you more time to spend sipping a margarita on the patio or sunning poolside.

Hardscape hand-me-downs: How to integrate inherited pieces into your outdoor decor

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Family members pass down their favorite furniture to the next generation. But what if those pieces don’t match your style? Newspapers like the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and USA Today are noting the trend of adult children and grandchildren rebuffing offers for antique furniture and other decor. The time-honored tradition of divvying up Grandpop’s old treasures has faded.

Green screen: Plant a living fence around your patio

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Shrubs, trees and ivies can be beautiful privacy borders for your landscape. Robert Frost wondered why “Good fences make good neighbors,” but good fences can turn your yard into a haven made just for you. A “living fence” is a landscape border constructed with greenery. Self-supported woody shrubs and trees add height and shade. Ivies or tall grasses are trained on trellises.

Get crabby! Host a crabfest on the patio

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Whether you call it a crab “fest” or a crab “feast,” it’s time to crack open the crabby party gear for a summer crab celebration. Fresh seafood is one of the greatest tastes of summer. This is the time when a crabfest may be happening near you. Check local and shore-town calendars. A little travel time will be worth the deliciousness. Throwing your own feast, according to the experts, is the most authentic crabfest way to go. Crabs are easy to make and serve. Pair up some beers, some slaws and some salads and you’ll have a feast to remember.

Fun with fireflies

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These little light-up bugs bring delight to summer nights. Here’s a few ways to celebrate their arrival. The airborne bioluminescent beetle called the firefly or lightning bug (official name Lampyridae) surely captures our imagination. Movies, music festivals, operas and comic book characters all carry the “firefly” moniker. Festivals, crafts and activities for the whole family center on the fireflies which pepper our backyards with tiny points of light. Here are a few interesting firefly events and activities you can try.

Patio and garden maintenance tasks for July

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Summer is the time to sit back and enjoy your fall and spring efforts in the garden, but a tiny bit of upkeep will keep your garden looking its best throughout the season.

Anticipate the roadblocks your contractor may encounter

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Getting a patio or pool installed is a major project. Here’s what your contractor wants you to know about the common problems workers face when construction begins. Good communication is the best skill a homeowner can bring to a project. Many difficulties can be avoided when both the homeowner and the contractor are aware of the different snags a project can bring.

Unique 4th of July Traditions to bring to the patio

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Families and friends love to gather for this great national holiday. Here are some interesting celebrations from around the US you can modify for your family and friends. Check out these fun ways to add a new twist to your July 4th party.

Points of interest: Draw the eye to these garden and patio focal points

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Give guests a starting point for their exploration of your hardscape and garden. Gardens can tend to be pieced together bit by bit. One year a raised bed may be the new project, the next year vegetable stakes line the back fence. A year-by-year approach is a great way to add on to your landscape and patio, but a few elements can help the space feel more cohesive.

Work like a dog! It’s Take Your Dog to Work Week

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This Friday, June 23, 2017, you can work like a dog or work with one. In 1999, the Friday after Father’s Day (3rd Friday in June) was designated as Take Your Dog to Work Day by the Pet Sitters International organization. Encouraging pet adoption is the main focus of the annual holiday.