April Showers Bring…

April showers bring May FLOWERS. After the winter that we’ve all had, the thought of warm weather, sunshine, and smiling flowers is more than satisfying. To add some color to your landscaping, consider planting some annuals.

We found these great tips from HGTV Gardens on how to buy the best annuals and grace your home with the color that it so deserves.

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You’ll find annuals in containers of many sizes, including tiny three-cell packs, larger 9-cell packs, 2-, 4- and 6-inch pots, quarts and gallons. When should you pay the price for a larger container? That depends. For economy, you can’t beat the typical 4-cell pack. In beds and pots, many annuals look best when they’re planted in groups of three or more. Packs give you the volume to maintain that natural look at a lower price than individual 4-inch pots. Annuals you bring home in packs may take longer to fill in and create a lush look, but ultimately they present the same show as larger plants. Pots always cost more, but the plant has a robust, established root system that takes off quickly in the garden or pot.

Inspect plants carefully. Check leaves for signs of mold, rot or spots. In a flat of annuals, fungus problems spread fast. If at all possible, don’t buy packs or pots located near a clearly diseased plant. Avoid annuals with webbing or insects.

The best annuals should be well-proportioned in relationship to the pot or pack. Plants that are too tall for the container have been in it too long. You can trim many annuals before planting; you’ll just have to endure a sometimes-gawky look until plants rebound.

Unless you want a specific blossom color, purchase plants that are budded, not blooming. That way you can enjoy the flower show. If you’re aiming for a consistent look by purchasing a flat of the same annuals, double-check plant tags in every pack. Make sure you’re getting the plants you want.

Last but not least, inspect plant roots. Gently squeeze the container and then tip it over while cradling the plant with your hand. Healthy roots are white and have an almost crunchy feel. Brown or black roots or soil that smells sour are problems you don’t want to bring home.

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Read more here.

Hopefully these tips will give you just enough buying knowledge to give those naturally green-thumbed folks a run for their money.

Happy planting!

Spruce Up Your Front Porch for Spring

First impressions are important and that is especially true for the outside of your house. A porch is one of the first things that welcomes guests to a home, so it is prudent to make it look clean and inviting. Aside from impressing visitors, a porch can be one of the most relaxing places to hang out during warmer months.

Porch

Here are 3 ideas that will give your porch a facelift without breaking your bank.

Make or Buy an Assortment of Wreaths
A wreath is the perfect piece of decor that can be swapped seasonally. By having a few different options your front door will always have a fresh look. For those brave enough, there are thousands of DIY ideas which include creations with flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and various materials on Pinterest. Another excellent option is to buy one from Etsy. For those who have never visited Etsy before, it is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and it is super addictive! They have hundreds of different wreaths at varying price points.

Flowers
Sunshine and flowers mark the return of Spring. By adding flowers to your porch, you will instantly improve curb appeal. The size of your porch will determine your options for arranging flowers. You can choose a color scheme that matches your house exterior or add a variety of colors to make your porch pop.
Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Place a tall plant on each side of your front door
  • Add a flower box near a window
  • Hang a flower basket on one or both sides of the porch
  • Arrange small pots of flowers on the edges of the steps leading up to the porch

Fresh Paint
A new coat of paint on a front door can change the entire look of a house. This weekend project is one of the easiest makeover changes you can make. House Beautiful picked 16 of their favorite front door paint colors. Grab some paint supplies and instantly transform your house’s curb appeal.

So there you have it. A wreath, some flowers and a fresh coat of paint are all you need to spruce up your porch for spring!
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source: Coldwell Banker

Tackle Spring Cleaning with 5 Simple Tips

It’s that time of year again where we all tidy up for the warm weather ahead. Spring cleaning can leave your M/I Home looking great and yourself feeling accomplished, but it can also be somewhat of a daunting task. If you’re feeling anxious, no need to worry! M/I Homes Indianapolis is here to provide you with five simple spring cleaning tips to help you get started.

1.    Let in the Light: To make sure your M/I Home windows sparkle like the day you moved in, wash your windows on a cloudy day and try using a rubber-edged squeegee instead of traditional cloth or newspaper. This will be quicker and more effective. Use a screw-on extension for your squeegee to help you clean those hard to reach high spots!

2.    Protect Wood Floors: If you have wood floors in your home, you will need to perform some routine maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition. Remember to replace any surface protectors on the undersides of furniture legs. If they are dirty or worn, a buildup of grit will damage the floor. Also, it may be a good idea to apply a wood cleaner and liquid polish to add a new wax coating. This will keep the floors looking shiny and new!

3.    Tackle the Refrigerator: This can be a daunting task, but is manageable when broken down into simple steps. First, make it a habit to throw out old food once a week. And we know it can be tough, but try to wash the shelves of your refrigerator every few months. Use a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water. Lastly, use a toothbrush to scrub those hidden crannies and make sure to vacuum the condenser coils to prevent the refrigerator from overheating.

4.    Fertilize the Lawn and Check Plants: With the beautiful, expansive lot provided with your M/I Home, it is important to remember to fertilize your lawn and apply a weed killer if necessary. Also, make sure to check plants for winter damage and prune accordingly. Replace any shrubs that have fallen out of the soil during a freeze-thaw cycle, before the roots dry out.

5.    Don’t Forget the Small Stuff: There are always a couple spring cleaning items that miss the checklist. Don’t forget to flip or rotate your mattress, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and clean your light bulbs and lampshades. These are all important tasks that are easy to overlook!

Spring is also a great time to start looking into a new home. We have move-in ready homes available now or we can help you build your dream home in one of our many Indianapolis neighborhoods. For more information or general inquiries, give us a call at 317.883.9517 or email salesindy@mihomes.com.

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