All-Natural Ways to Eliminate Weeds This Summer

There are several all-natural solutions to keeping your garden weed-free this summer. Using all-natural methods is better for the environment and safer for pets and children. This summer, instead of going for the typical synthetic weed-killers for your garden, try these all-natural solutions instead!

 

Pulling Weeds

This is the original tried-and-true way to keep a weed-free garden. Go outside and pull the weeds out of the garden every few days. Instead of thinking of this as a chore, think of it as a few minutes each week to spend outside in the garden!  

 

Mulch

Cover garden beds with mulch to keep sunlight from reaching the soil, this will keep weeds at bay. This also helps retain moisture in the soil, helping your other plants flourish during the hot summer weather.

Corn Meal

Sprinkle corn meal at the base of the weeds to keep them from growing. Only use a small amount, cornmeal will also prevent your other garden plants from growing.

 

Vinegar

Vinegar will eliminate weeds from gardens. Only spray vinegar at the base of the weeds to keep it from killing the other plants.

 

Salt

Just a pinch of salt at the base of the weeds is very effective. Again, make sure to only use a small amount of salt because it could kill other plants in your garden as well.

 

How do you keep your garden weed free? Any tips or tricks you’d share? We love hearing from our readers!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

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Tips For Hosting An Outdoor Summer Party

It’s the middle of summer and we are loving the warm weather, sunshine, and BBQ’s! Hosting a BBQ party can be challenging, but we created this list of summer party planning tips for you!

 

Specify Grilling Times

Always send out the invitation with enough time for people to mark their calendars and give the host an RSVP. Summer parties are usually perceived as more casual than indoor dinner parties. This means many of your guests will have intentions of floating in and out of the party at different times. To make this easier for the grill master, also include the time that food will be served off the grill. For example: if the party is from 5PM – 9:30PM you may want to also specify that the grilled food will be ready around 6:30. This way, the grill will not have to be fired up multiples times. It will set the expectation for people to be at the party when the food is ready.

 

Rain Or Shine Plans

Summertime is notorious for pop up thunderstorms. Weather proof your party planning by having a plan for rain showers as well. If you have a covered deck or a decent sized living room, have a plan for where to put your guests in case of bad weather.

 

Offer A Variety Of Seating

In addition to ensuring there is ample space for your guests to meander around the party, you also need to make sure there are enough seats for everyone. If you don’t have enough chair, think about renting. Chair rentals can be surprisingly inexpensive.

 

Keep Bugs at Bay

Getting covered in mosquito bites can quickly ruin the fun. To help keep your guests bug-free and enjoying the party, there are a variety of methods you can use to keep bugs at bay. Tiki Torches and citronella candles are two popular and affordable options. Always read the directions before using products and explain to children not to play with these items.

 

Lawn Games

Especially if your BBQ is a family event, you will want to offer a variety of games to keep the younger guests entertained. If you do not have lawn games, ask if your guests would be willing to bring theirs!

 

Do you have any parties outdoor parties planned? Any tips for hosting an event you would like to share? We love hearing from our readers!

 

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Summer Gardening Tips

Do hot days have your landscaping looking a little dry? Parched garden beds can hurt your curb appeal, but with proper care, your gardens can stay lush even during the hottest weeks. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your plants thrive this summer. 

 

Water in the Evening

Water your gardens in the evening. This will reduce the amount of water that evaporates before it sinks into the soil, giving your plants the opportunity to absorb more water.

 

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Mulching has a cosmetic benefit by making your gardens look finished, but mulching also helps your plants! Applying around 2-4in of mulch to your garden beds will help keep the soil cooler by shielding it from direct sunlight.  

 

Stop Fertilizing

Fertilizer encourages plant growth, but in a drought, this can be counterproductive. Fertilizer leads to plant growth and increased water consumption. In the middle of summer, this creates a problem for the plants that are getting less water. Fertilize more in the spring when cool, rainy days are frequent. 

 

Pull Weeds

This is a chore that becomes especially important during a drought. Pull weeds to keep them from soaking up the water and nutrients in the soil before the rest of your flowers have a chance.  

 

Dead Head the Flowers

Plants still send water to the dead heads of flowers in an attempt to rejuvenate them. Pulling the heads off of the flowers keeps the plant from wasting water and energy on dead parts of the plant.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

A Garden Fit For a Chef

 

Overall, herbs are fairly hardy and can tolerate most soils. They are also a great resource if you love to cook! There is nothing better than making pasta and stepping outside to snip a few sprigs of fresh herbs to add flavor! Here are a few of our favorite herbs for people who love to garden and cook!

 

Basil

Basil is an annual, meaning it will have to be replanted every year. However, it is easy to grow and it produced an abundance of this flavorful herb. In the kitchen, basil is great sprinkled on top of a Caprese salad, turned into a fresh pesto sauce, or added to sandwiches and pizzas!

 

Oregano

This is a perennial, meaning it will grow back for at least two years (and possibly much, much more). This herb is a favorite in Italian and Mediterranean inspired dishes. Oregano is great sprinkled into pasta or freshly baked bread.

 

Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial variety. It is most commonly known for it’s fragrant, light pink or purple flowers. This herb is great dried and used as a rub for seasoning chicken or lamb dishes.

 

Mint

Mint is incredibly easy to grow and it produces an abundance, you will have enough to share with all of your neighbors! It is also a perennial so you will have it for years to come.

 

Parsley

This is a biennial, meaning it comes back every two years. Parsley is most commonly used as a garnish on drinks and dishes. It can also be used for it’s light, peppery flavor in a variety of dishes.

 

Do you love to garden or cook? Share some of your tips and tricks with adding farm-to-table seasonings into your repertoire.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Keeping Pets Safe on The Fourth Of July

 

The Fourth Of July is one of our favorite holidays. However, it is also one of the most dangerous and frightening holidays for our pets. Here are some tips to keep your furry friends safe while you enjoy the holiday festivities.

 

Keep Your Pets Inside
The loud noises and bright flashes that accompany fireworks can be terrifying for animals. Keeping them inside away from the commotion will help them stay calm.

 
Wear ID Tags
Check and make sure your pets are wearing their ID tags before the festivities begin. When animals are scared they often bolt. As a precaution, having them tagged will help them safely find their way home if someone else finds your pet.

 

Keep Insect Repellant Away
Do not spray your pets with insect repellant. It is extremely toxic, especially to animals. If you are worried about your pets getting bug bites go to a pet store and ask for pet specific insect repellant.

 

Keep Food Out Of Reach
During cookouts and festivities, there is typically an abundance of food. Make sure young children and other adults understand that the pets should not be fed table food. Most of the food has the potential to make the pets feel sick, especially if they are given much more than usual.

 

Glow Sticks

The fluid inside the glow sticks are incredibly toxic. This makes them incredibly dangerous around pets. Keep them away and out of reach of animals. They might think the glow sticks are toys and break them open with their teeth.

 

How do you keep your pets safe during the Fourth of July? Share your tips and methods below! We love hearing from our readers!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Step Up Your Pantry Game

Depending on the size of your pantry, you might find yourself struggling to maximize storage space while also keeping everything organized. In small pantries, you might only have a few shelves to work with. However, with creative storage that maximizes your space, even small pantries can feel spacious. Here are our favorite organization features that can help step-up your pantry game.

 

Store in Labeled Glass and Plastic Containers

Invest in clear, plastic and glass containers to transfer your pantry staples into. Label the containers to differentiate their contents and before you know it, you with have a Martha Stewart-esque pantry.

 

Risers

Risers are great for keeping the smaller items in sight. When searching through a shelf full of spices, it can be challenging to find the one that you need. Risers will display the items better, making them easier to find.

 

Baskets

Baskets are great for storing a variety of items. Store items in baskets that are easy to clean to simplify possible mess cleanup.

 

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan’s are great for smaller such as spices and herbs that get jumbled together. Place your smaller items on a Lazy Susan so you can just swivel it around to find what you need.

 

Shoe Organizer

Use a shoe organizer on the back of the pantry door to utilize vertical space. Fill the pockets with smaller items that have a tendency to disappear into an abyss. Items such as spice packets, tea bags, single serving drink mixes and other small items can all find their home in these pockets. This will make them easier to locate and free up your shelf space for larger items.

 

How do you organize your pantry? Do you have any tips we didn’t mention above? Comment and share below!  

 

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Is Your Home Ready For Summer?

 

Summer has finally arrived and we are loving this sunny weather. To prepare the home, there are a few housekeeping tasks that should be on your to-do list. Here’s our short list to get your home ready:

 

Check For Areas That Might Hold Standing Water

Standing water can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other unpleasant insects. Check for and eliminate these items that might hold water, if they are a structure that cannot be removed, empty them regularly.

 

Designate An Area For Wet Articles of Clothing

Summer means spending more time in the pool, running through sprinklers, and impromptu water fights. This being said, dragging damp towels and clothes through the house can make lots of messes. To keep this under control, have a designated area for wet clothes and towels to be placed. Keep a stash of dry towels in that area for people who are shedding damp layers to bundle themselves up in afterward.

 

Let The Sun In

The days are getting longer and it’s time to let that sunshine illuminate your home. Switch to sheer drapes or make it a habit of opening the blinds in high-traffic areas of the home. This will make your home look and feel more inviting.

 

Set Up The Outdoor Sitting Areas

If you haven’t started embracing your outdoor seating areas yet, now is the time! Get outside and start pulling out the patio furniture, rugs, etc. to make your outdoor living space comfortable and inviting.

 

Are you ready for summer? How do you prepare? Share and comment your ideas below!

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.