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Baby, It’s Cold Out Here

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Brrr it’s cold. The air is nipping back the greenery and the trees are changing from green to gold, orange and burgundy hues.

It is beautiful in spite of the cold.

Though we’d all like the temperatures to say warm, the reality is they are dropping as we head into the tail end of November, December and frigid January.

With the extended warm weather, no one told the plants and shrubs it was winter yet. Therefore, they and acting as if it is summer – growing new vines, sprouting crops and growing feverishly.

The hard part of an extended warmer fall is that we must choose which plants are protected and which ones we let go. Keeping your yard’s appearance and curb appeal is important and yet tricky during this season of change.

Let’s peek into your vegetable garden:

In my opinion, I always try to save the sweet potatoes, pumpkins, kale, boy cos, lettuce and peas because they are still growing.

Beans, melon and zucchini are pretty much done.

Frost protection consideration

Success in frost protection comes when you try not to touch the plant but ensure it is covered all the way to the ground – kind of like a tent.  Cloth works for frost but never for cold rain or snow. Plastic is always best as we move into the moisture season but keeping it from touching your plants is vital, as it conducts cold temperatures.

Best practices say cover them in the evening and then remove the covering in the morning so the soil can get warm again in the daylight.

Here is a really cool thing you can purchase for seasonal vegetable gardens – a grow tunnel. This is a great $20 investment!

Happy Fall/Soon Coming Winter!

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

 

Does Your Garden Need Fall Fruits and Veggies?

You have seen a little shift in weather. Afternoon thunderstorms and a little shorter days. That is because fall is just around the corner.

But don’t worry, the summer planting season isn’t over yet. Get ahead of the game and start lining up your fall to-do’s. These fruits and vegetables, planted in fall, are full of flavor.

 

Rhubarb

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This large-leaf perennial is easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie.

What vegetable is a perennial that’s easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie? Rhubarb of course! Get growing.

Garlic

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There is no better time than the present to plant this bulb!

It’s simpler than you might think to grow this flavorful plant that can be used in your favorite recipes. Here are some tips on where to grow, how to harvest, and the different types of garlic you can raise in the fall.

Kale

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Kale is a garden superstar. It’s super nutritious and thrives in cooler fall weather with sufficient water.
Trending superfood kale is easy to grow in your vegetable garden. Kale loves cool weather, so plant it in spring or fall in a sunny location.

Blackberries

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Grow these juicy berries, rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. And they’re NOT black raspberries—know the difference!
Pluck juicy, blue-black berries from your own blackberry bushes that produce fruits year after year.
What kind of things do you also plant in your late summer or early fall garden?

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

5 Yard Improvement Ideas

Right now every one is loving the great outdoors in the early morning and evening. It is at those times the you spend more time in the yard. Almost always, one can find a way to improve it. Here are some ideas that might inspire you.

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Outdoor fireplaces

A fire is perfect for those cool summer nights. Rather than a simple portable fire pit, consider an outdoor fireplace. This not only allows you to create a safer and larger fire, but it can also create a focal point for your outdoor living space. Imagine sitting by the fire to enjoy a quiet evening on your own or socializing for friends and family!

Seating areas

This actually brings us to our next popular outdoor home trend,  formal outdoor seating areas. Whether it be around a fireplace or in a defined space of its own, comfortable outdoor seating is popular right now, and for good reason. From comfy couches to lounge chairs and outdoor beds, your yard can be just as cozy and relaxing as your indoor living room. By straying from traditional patio tables and chairs, you can create a truly welcoming space that you will enjoy all summer long.

Small gardens

If a traditional flower garden seems a bit difficult or overwhelming to manage, consider smaller garden areas. Vertical gardens can help add greenery and privacy to your space. Potted plants placed throughout your yard can create a beautiful landscape filled with color. Be creative with your container selection for an added design element and mix plants with flowers for added depth.

Water gardens

The sound of waves or moving water can be very soothing. You can bring this element into your yard by creating a water garden or fountain area. Make it even more special by adding some fish!

Time for a change

The traditional sense of a yard with just grass and landscaping around the perimeter has changed dramatically. Outdoor home design trends are all about comfort, functionality, and depth. We hope that the ideas above will inspire you to make your back yard a welcoming place for your whole family to enjoy this summer!

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

4 Best Perennials For Your Garden

Here’s an easy-grow collection of the best, most beautiful perennial flowers that are perfect for any garden.

Blanket Flower

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Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double perennial flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed.

Veronica

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The 7-inch spikes of veronica bloom atop 12- to 24-inch plants in shades of blue or red from early summer through fall. In the North, veronica prefers sun, but it likes a bit of shade in the South. Plant these perennial flowers at the front of the bed.

Purple Coneflower

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This prairie wildflower achieves a level of sophistication in the ‘Magnus’ variety, which throws its petals out horizontally daisy-style. Coneflower tolerates heat and drought, and it blooms all summer long. Plant these 30-inch-tall perennial flowers in the middle or back of the bed.

Yarrow

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Even if you’ve never gardened before, you can grow yarrow with little effort. Yarrow is an amazing perennial that is hardy throughout most of the United States and can withstand heat, drought, and cold. These perennial flowers are valued in the garden for its ferny, gray-green or dark green, spicy-scented foliage and showy, flat-topped clusters of flowers in pink, red, white, or yellow appearing from late spring to early fall.

There is nothing like a rental or home you own that is full of beautiful perennial flowers to make it feel like home.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

 

Gardening 101: Dig into some gardening ideas now – Part II

Spring Gardening 101 Continues…

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Last week we gave you 5 ideas to dig into your spring gardens and this week, we’ll give you 5 more ideas.

Whether you the property owner, tenant or are looking to work with a Property Management company, making the outside of your home is key to loving it there.


Here are a few more spring gardening basics:

  1. Pick your plants. Some people pore over catalogs for months; some people head to the garden center and buy what wows them. Either method works if you choose plants adapted to your climate, your soil, and the amount of sunlight in your garden. You can even surf the Internet for plants to purchase. Here are a few easy-to-grow plants for beginners:
  1. Put them in the ground. Some plants, such as pansies and kale, tolerate cold, so you can plant them in autumn or late winter. Tomatoes and most annual flowers, on the other hand, are touchy about cold, so don’t plant them until the danger of frost has passed in your area. Midspring and midautumn are good times to plant perennial flowers.

Some plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow from seed. You can sow them directly in the garden. Be sure to read the seed packet for information about when to plant, how deep to plant, and how far apart to plant the seeds. If you’re an adventurous beginner, you can get a head start on the growing season by sowing seeds indoors before the last frost date. You can buy containers or flats designed especially for seedlings, as well as seed-starting soil mixes (available at garden centers). Follow seed-packet instructions, and place the containers on a sunny windowsill or under artificial lights if you don’t have window space. Be sure to keep the seeds and seedlings moist but not wet (or they may rot).

An easier method is to buy young plants, called set plants or transplants. Just dig a hole and plunk them in the ground.

  1. Water. Seedlings should never dry out, so water daily while they are small. Taper off as the plants get larger. New transplants also need frequent watering—every other day or so—until their roots become established. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, how humid your climate is, and how often it rains. Plants are begging for water when they wilt slightly in the heat of the day. Water slowly and deeply, so the water soaks in instead of running off into the street. To minimize evaporation, water in the early morning.
  2. Mulch. To help keep weeds out and water in, cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch. All sorts of mulch are available, from pine needles to cocoa hulls to bark chips. For a vegetable garden or bed of annuals, choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months. For perennials, use a longer-lasting mulch, such as bark chips.
  3. Keep it up. Your garden is on its way. Keep watering when needed, and pull weeds before they get big. Fertilize with a dry fertilizer about halfway through the season. If you use a liquid fertilizer, fertilize every month or so. And remember to stop and smell the—well, whatever you grow.

 

Enjoy!

All my best,

 

Teresa

 


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Gardening 101: Dig into some gardening ideas now – Part I

Spring gardening is almost here!

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Gardening 101: Spring is a good time to begin growing and digging, although planning can take place before the snow melts. Gardeners spend most of the summer watering, weeding, and watching young plants grow. Fall is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, and some perennials. We  hope this helps you make your property or home a place you love to be.

  1. Get an idea. Is this going to be a vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? If you choose to grow flowers, do you want annuals, which you must replant each year but which give color most of the summer? Or do you prefer perennials, which have a shorter bloom time but come back year after year? You can mix any of the above—after all, it’s your garden. Just one bit of advice: Start small. ‘Tis better to succeed just a little, than to fail grandly.
  2. Pick a place. Almost all vegetables and most flowers need about six hours of full sun each day. Spend a day in your chosen spot and watch how the sun moves across the space. It might receive more sun than you think. But don’t despair if your lot is largely sunless; many plants tolerate shade. Check plant tags or ask the staff at your local garden center to find out how much sun a plant requires.

Put the garden where you can’t ignore its pleas for attention—outside the back door, near the mailbox, by the window you stare out when you dry your hair. Place it close enough to a water spigot that you won’t have to drag the hose to the hinterlands.

  1. Clear the ground. Get rid of the sod covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results, you can dig it out, but it’s easier to smother it with newspaper. A layer of five sheets is usually thick enough; double that if your lawn is Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass. Spread a 3-inch layer of compost (or combination of potting soil and topsoil) on the newspaper and wait. It’ll take about four months for the compost and paper to decompose.

If you don’t want to wait or if the area is covered with weeds such as creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), you’re better off digging the sod out.

  1. Improve the soil. Invariably, soil needs a boost. The solution is simple: organic matter. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure. If you dig soil (see Step 5), till the organic matter into the soil. If you decide not to dig or are working with an established bed you can’t dig, leave the organic matter on the surface and it will work its way into the soil in a few months.

To learn more about your soil, have a soil test done through your county cooperative extension office. They’ll lead you through the procedure: how much soil to send from which parts of the garden, and the best time to obtain samples. Expect a two-week wait for their findings, which will tell you what your soil lacks and how to amend it.

  1. Dig or don’t. Digging loosens the soil so roots can penetrate more easily. But digging when the soil is too wet or too dry can ruin its structure. Dig only when the soil is moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist, but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Use a spade or spading fork to gently turn the top 8 to 12 inches of soil, mixing in the organic matter from Step 4. In vegetable gardens and beds of annual flowers, turn the soil only once a year in the spring before you plant.

We’ll continue gardening basics next week!

Enjoy!

All my best,

 

Teresa

 


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Landscaping in 4 Easy Steps

An investment into the landscaping of the property is an investment that will increase your rental value and bring appeal. There are investments you can make that will take minimal amounts of time and cost from you. Here at Picket Fence Properties, Northern Colorado’s premier property management company, we have arranged four ways to invest in your property that will give you the most return for your investment in time and money.

landscaping, curb appeal

#1: Plants, Trees, and Shrubs

Choosing annuals versus perennials when renting a property can be dilemma however choosing an annual will be typically a higher cost upfront but without the additional cost of time, money or work every year. Think if you want to be maintaining the flowers continually or minimally.

 

With trees and shrubs, start with slow growing young varieties. Shade trees can help your tenants have lower energy bills for the summer as well as block the wind during the winter. This can entice many tenants. Trees will also help limit erosion through their extensive root system.

 

Keep in mind, native plants, trees and shrubs will grow better. Take the time to check which plants, trees, and shrubs are native to your area.

 

#2: Ground Space Coverage

There is a plethora of ways to cover empty ground space. To have a finished, inexpensive look, gravel, thyme, and lamium are a great option.

 

Planting grass is not as cost effective since the long term maintenance and effort for weed control make this option rather time consuming. Mulch however, cuts down on weeds, retains moisture, and requires less watering.

 

#3: Designer Touches

Pick a singular color or palette of colors to work with throughout your landscape and decor outside. Use this color or series of colors repeatedly with planters, gravel, edging etc.

 

Planters can be simple or unique. Do not be afraid to upcycle items you already have such as old tires, a wheelbarrow, or even old crate style boxes. Let your imagination run here to make your property a rare gem.

 

Using ornamental grasses will be inexpensive, add color, and add allure to the property. The best part: ornamental grasses are easy maintenance too.

 

#4: Adding Outside Charm  

Having an outside fire pit is a current trend that many homeowners are adding therefore many prospective tenants will be drawn to this enticement as well. When adding a firepit, make sure to add appropriate seating options too.

 

Make the most out of items already with the property such as a deck or patio. An update of color can make a big impact with a short investment of time.

 

With four options to update the landscape of your rental property in an affordable way, you can have a great return of your investment.

 

Helping you keep your house a home,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Spring Maintenance Checklist

spring

As I write this, it is snowing outside. It is Colorado after all where one day it can be in the 70’s and the next day in the 30’s. Regardless of the temperature when you are reading this, Spring 2017 is coming!

We all know when spring comes, everyone has a new attitude in the spirit that can easily be described as, “wanting to go out and play in the sunshine”.

What I have done is make a mini checklist for you to get in to play mode faster. This way you don’t have to think about what needs to be done.

 

#1: Check Out Your Roof

Make sure that your roof is looking good as we head into spring showers and hot summer days.

If you need to replace any of your shingles, you may want to start a budget to replace them. Contact your trusted roofing specialist for a professional quote.

 

#2: Test The Wood Trim

Use a screwdriver and check the wood trim around the windows, doors, railings and decks. If they are loose or damaged, tighten up or replace the trim today.

 

#3: Ensure Your Gutters and Drains Are Solid

Make sure your gutters are not leaking or draining improperly. This can lead to water in your basements and crawl spaces, which you definitely don’t want to have to deal with. Make sure your drains are not covered up. We want that spring water/rain to flow smoothly.

 

#4: Compacted Soil Solutions

Fill in the low areas of your yard or property with compacted soil. This will prevent flooding and absorb standing water. You don’t want standing water around as it is a insect magnet.

 

#5: Chimney Inspection

Do you have a chimney? Make sure the flue is clean and inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep.

 

#6: Concrete Inspection Duty

Does your concrete have cracks or movement? Fill cracks with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. Weather permitting, power wash and seal the concrete.

 

#7: Firewood Storage

Move your stored firewood 18″ off the ground, 2 feet from any structure.

 

#8: Ensure Faucets Are Ready To Roll and Hoses Solid

Turn your outside faucets on and put one of your fingers over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged. Make sure none of your hoses dry-rotted over the winter.

 

#9 Service Your Air Conditioning Unit

Call your HVAC professional today and have them come do an annual check up. They’ll clean coils and ensure everything is working smoothly and that your filters are ready to roll.

 

#10 Power Up The Power Equipment

Check  your lawn mower, trimmer, riding lawn mower, etc. to ensure they are ready to roll for a clean and green spring. This will make your yardwork in spring easier for sure.

 

Once you have gone through this checklist, well, it is time to enjoy the sunshine, longer days and a colorful and lively spring!

 

Cheers,

Teresa

Spring Cleaning for Property Managers

spring clean

Spring has finally arrived! If you are ready to tackle some much-needed spring cleaning, here are some suggestions to spring into Spring and get rid of those last signs of winter. While we are all excited about the warmer weather, the rain and snow of the last few months has taken its toll on our rental properties. If you are ready to tackle some much-needed spring cleaning, here are some suggestions to spring into Spring and get rid of those last signs of winter.

  • Remove any dead branches that have fallen due to wind and snowfall.
  • Trim trees and bushes.
  • Plant a tree or two. Adding trees in strategic areas can dramatically improve curb appeal. They can also help provide more shade for your residents.
  • Add a pop of color. Plant some flowers to help signify that it is Spring! Flowers can be very eye-catching around property signage. Flowers that require minimal upkeep are the most desirable.
  • Assess and replace your signs. After the cold winter months, it may be time to update your signage through your properties. A new sign with some springs blooms can often be the best kind of advertising.
  • Add an outdoor area. A barbecue area or a gazebo can encourage your residents to enjoy the property.
  • Spring clean your buildings. Nice landscaping will serve little purpose if your building look neglected. Add some fresh paint or power-wash away the grey, to help the buildings look fresh.
  • Tidy up the leasing office. Clean the carpets, polish the floor, add some fresh paint. New artwork or signs can help you bring Spring indoors.

Even just a few of these things can have a major impact on your properties in no time.

 

Best Regards,

Teresa

 

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