Friday, June 29, 2012

Grow beautiful landscapes with less water

Hot and dry weather provides reason enough to think about simple ways to save water while still enjoying beautiful yards and gardens. You may even find that your efforts to be water smart may improve the health and appearance of your plants.

During the summer, an estimated 30 to 70 percent of household water use takes place outdoors, depending on your local climate. Up to half of the water used to irrigate yards and gardens is unnecessarily lost due to evaporation, wind drift, watering non-plant areas due to poorly aligned sprinklers and simply overwatering.

With some easy steps, you can reduce your water bill, foster attractive spaces for you and others to enjoy and help protect water supplies for future generations. Do something good for your bank account, your yard and your planet by following these smart tips.

Plant smart

* Landscape to suit your lot and your climate. Choose grass or plants with low water requirements that will thrive in your local climate. Consider sun and shade areas, slopes and plant sizes for optimum growth. Group plants with similar water needs close together and separate lawn areas from planting beds.

* Keep soil healthy. Aeration helps improve water penetration and adding compost or fertilizer maintains plant health so they use water more efficiently. Mulch well around plants, bushes and trees. Two to 4 inches of mulch reduces evaporation, moderates soil temperatures and helps control weeds that compete for water.

* Maintain your yard regularly. Weed, prune and mow as needed. A well-maintained yard uses water more effectively.

Water wisely

* Set sprinklers to only water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or other hardscapes.

* Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day causes high evaporation loss. Watering early in the morning when winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent.

* Adapt watering to the season. Adjust how much you water based on seasonal weather and changing conditions. Weather-based timers are available and can make such adjustments automatically.

Maintain and upgrade automatic irrigation systems

* Inspect the system regularly. Check for leaks that can waste water and cause other problems. Also look for broken or clogged sprinklers that no longer operate efficiently.

* Check the pressure. Proper water pressure encourages more uniform water distribution and better sprinkler operation. Fixed spray-type sprinklers work well around 25 to 30 psi while sprinklers with moving streams of water work well at 40 to 45 psi. Water pressure regulation devices are easily added to valves to control a whole irrigation zone or can be part of individual sprinklers.

* Install a rain shutoff device. Rain sensors prevent irrigation systems from running when irrigation is unnecessary. These devices can reduce irrigation water usage by up to 35 percent and help extend irrigation system life. Sprinkler systems should never run in the rain and rain sensors can put an end to those wasteful situations.

* Utilize "smart" technology. Climate or soil moisture sensors and controllers evaluate weather or soil moisture conditions and automatically adjust the irrigation schedule so your landscape always receives the appropriate amount of water. The water savings can be significant and the convenience of these self-adjusting controllers is another great benefit.

* Consider drip or micro-irrigation for shrubs and ground covers. Rather than spray large areas with above-ground sprinklers, drip irrigation utilizes emission devices to deliver desired volumes of water to particular locations at or near plant root zones. Water drips slowly from emitters either onto the soil surface or below ground. Less water is lost due to wind and evaporation as a result, and weeds can also be reduced.

* Look for rebates. Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before upgrading your system, check with your local water provider for opportunities for free and discounted products.

Consider an irrigation professional

* Have your irrigation system audited. Hire a qualified professional to conduct a system review and uniformity test to ensure areas are being watered evenly and appropriately, and make necessary adjustments.
* Upgrade or invest in a new irrigation system. A water-efficient system requires a good design, quality components, proper installation and maintenance. Licensed and certified professionals can offer expert advice and services.

Although July is officially designated Smart Irrigation Month by the Irrigation Association and a number of states, it makes sense to promote smart irrigation every month of the year. Each individual effort makes a difference that results in more beautiful, productive and water-efficient landscapes for everyone to enjoy while conserving one of our most precious natural resources. (ARA)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Video Tour - 13085 Fencerow Road

Just listed by the Grove Team
13085 Fencerow Road, Fort Worth

Highly sought after David Weekly story and a half floorplan on a corner lot! Featuring four bedrooms, three baths, located in the Harvest Ridge Addition this home is a must-see!  Large covered patio in back offers a great place to unwind and kick back. 

Call the Grove Team today to schedule a showing, (817) 337-0000 or find it online,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Getting roots wet without waste

(ARA) - Water is one of the most important and precious natural resources necessary for garden and lawn health. Now that planting is in full swing, getting plants established while using water wisely is essential for a successful growing season.

With a few simple tips, plants can be better prepared to withstand even the toughest weather, and use water more effectively. Follow these steps to keep gardens and landscaping lively and colorful when the temperatures climb, even if Mother Nature is sprinkling less.

* Build great soil: Improve growth and moisture control by uniformly mixing in rich organic matter when planting the garden. A rich garden soil, such as Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil, helps protect plants from over- or under-watering by holding onto to moisture and releasing it as needed, while providing enough air space in the soil for roots to grow and breathe.

* Outdoor potted plants: Use Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix in pots and containers to help container plants make the most of the water they receive. Larger pots help keep plants from becoming root-bound quickly and thirsting for water. The more room plants have to grow, the less water is needed.

* Mulch everything: Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch around all plants - vegetables, shrubs, perennials and flowers (even in containers). Mulching helps reduce evaporation from the soil surface and soil crusting that can reduce water infiltration. This helps keep more moisture in the soil longer for plants and keeps water-stealing weeds away by blocking access to sunlight.

* Timely and gentle feeding: Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed combines watering with gentle feeding for all your flowers, vegetables, perennials, shrubs and even containers. It's the convenient way to nourish plants with both water and plant nutrients during dry conditions.

* Water wisely: Water after planting and when needed (before leaves wilt). If you do not already have one, consider installing a drip irrigation system to keep plants from drying out. When additional watering is necessary, do so in the morning between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. to reduce effects of wind on sprinkler uniformity and reduce losses from evaporation.

Keep grass in tip-top shape while keeping the watering to a minimum. It is simple to do, just follow these easy guidelines.

* Set your mower at the right height: Mowing at the right height makes your lawn stronger to withstand heat or drought better. For specific grass types, mow:
Bermuda grass: Mower height at about 1.5 inches, a low wheel setting
Zoysiagrass: Mower height at 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches, a middle wheel setting
St. Augustine/Tall Fescue/Buffalograss/Bluegrass: Mower height at 3 to 4 inches, a high wheel setting

* Water judiciously: Listen for the weekly weather forecast - there is no need to water if rain is on the way soon. Water only if needed or when establishing new grass. Lawns can tolerate dry spells by going dormant for up to two months. Water during dry spells if the lawn gets activity from kids or pets. When watering, water deeply, but only once or twice a week.

* Timely feeding is everything
Well-nourished grass withstands stress better than a hungry, under-fed lawn. Feed regularly with a lawn food formulated specifically for grass. Feeding with a lawn food earlier in the season strengthens the lawn to better withstand dry conditions and heat.

Keep these tips in mind this summer and you will feel great knowing that you have done your part to conserve one of our most precious resources - water.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The heat is on outside, keep cool inside

(ARA) - As summer heats up, air conditioning bills can rapidly rise. As homeowners feel the heat, many are looking for ways to save and stay cool.

Many U.S. consumers strive to conserve energy at home. Forty-seven percent of Americans say they try to conserve energy all or most of the time, according to researchers at Iconoculture.

One way to help lower utility bills in the summer and year-round is to replace drafty or leaky old windows with new, energy-efficient products.

According to ENERGY STAR, replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified windows can save up to $126 to $501 a year on utility bills depending on your location.

For example, the Pella 350 Series vinyl windows provide durable, triple-pane insulating glass window options. These highly energy-efficient windows help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Vince Iturbe from Salt Lake City replaced a westward-facing kitchen window and immediately noticed a difference in the temperature inside his home.

"The window faces the sun the better part of the day, and it was just plain miserable during the summer," he says. "I'm so glad to be done with the heat."

The product wasn't the only thing Iturbe was delighted in. Because of the Pella Promise, he found the right product for his home and budget, had a no-mess, no-guess installation day experience and his investment is backed by the total care guarantee - Pella's exclusive warranties on the product and installation.

Cool tips
Once energy-efficient windows are properly installed in your home, try these inexpensive, easy ways to help keep your house cool.

* Provide shade for east and west windows.

* When possible, delay heat-generating activities like baking or dishwashing until the evening on hot days.

* Use ceiling fans to circulate air to help make the house more comfortable without over-using the air conditioning.

* Seal air conditioning ducts and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces and attics.

* Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40 to 50 percent, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
If you like energy savings, but dread cleaning blinds, consider Pella Designer Series windows and doors with optional between-the-glass blinds or shades. Since they're between glass, they accumulate less dust and dirt than traditional roomside window treatments. Plus, they can be closed when you are away to keep the heat out and opened when you are home to let the light in. With their outstanding energy-efficiency and built-in window treatments, it's a winning combination.

For more home improvement inspiration and to find energy-efficient windows and doors in your area, visit or call (888) 847-3552.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Video Tour - 926 Rush Creek, Keller

Listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams
926 Rush Creek, Keller

Welcome home to this fantastic property located in the Highland Oaks Addition, Keller. Featuring four bedrooms, two and a half baths, in ground gunite pool, and covered patio. This funcational floorplan offers two bedrooms downstairs, two bedrooms and a study upstairs. Enjoy the peaceful back yard throughout the year with the open floorplan great for entertaining family and friends.

Call the Grove Team to schedule an appointment - (817) 337-0000

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vidoe Tour - 4050 Aspen Lane, Westlake

Offered by the Grove Team, Keller Williams Realty 4050 Aspen Lane, Westlake

Gracious home in Westlake offers 8 wooded acres,fenced & crossed-fenced w multiple gates*Deep Well*In area of multi-million$ properties on Aspen Ln & Borders the elite Vaquero Golf community*Attend KISD or renowned Westlake Academy Charter school *Bld estate home or remodel present home(has some updates already*Much of the value is in the land.

Call the Grove Team to schedule your tour today - (817) 337-0000

Friday, June 8, 2012

Grove Team - Open House this Weekend

Join us this weekend in Westlake, TX
4050 Aspen Lane
Open Sunday, June 10, 3:00 - 5:00pm

Gracious home in Westlake offers eight wooded acres, fenced and cross fenced with multiple gates.  Access to the acclaimed Westlake Academy along with Keller ISD schools.  Great for horses and includes a two stall horse barn with tack room.  Join the Grove Team this weekend to tour this wonderful property. 

(817) 337-0000

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Welcome home to 1137 Mustang Ridge, Haslet

Just listed by the Grove Team - 1137 Mustang Ridge, Haslet

Welcome home to 1137 Mustang Ridge, Haslet. Original owner and newly remodeled...located in the Sendera Ranch Addition. Featuring four bedrooms, two baths and close to elementary school in the highly acclaimed Northwest ISD.

Call the Grove Team, (817) 337-0000 to schedule a showing today!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Video Tour - 13413 Willow Creek Dr., Haslet

13413 Willow Creek Drive, Haslet
Offered by the Grove Team, Keller Williams $325,000

Situated on 2.5 acres in Haslet, this home has NO city taxes! This incredible custom home offers a spacious floorplan that features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, study and two car garage. In addition to the land and home, there is an additional shop on the property complete with electricity, plumbing and security.

Contact the Grove Team, Keller Williams to schedule your own private tour at (817) 337-0000 or online