Using these three quick & easy ways to add curb appeal in late summer will freshen your home’s exterior so you can enjoy the beautiful fall weather to come.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gilmour. All opinions are 100% mine.
By the time August rolls around our initial excitement over the gardening season may be…lacking. It’s hot. We’re tired. The weeds may have taken over areas. It would just be nice to float in the river or sip an ice tea on our porches. But for many of us, late July into August is the calm before the storm of back-to-school, abundant garden harvests that need to be preserved, ramping up of sports, extracurricular activities, or job responsibilities (and some deal with all of these at once!).
This means that late summer could be the perfect time to set a few hours aside to spruce up the outside of our homes and landscaping as we move into autumn. Using these three, basic easy ways to add curb appeal are all you really need to make a big impact for low cost. You won’t believe the difference it makes to clean and tidy up, either! It’s a great way to welcome visitors and the coming fall season.
Three DIY, Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal
1. Clean Siding, Porches, Decks & Windows
Basic cleaning of your home’s exterior really gives the biggest return on time spent. Seriously, I didn’t think our house was that dirty until I started taking the before pictures (can you say spider webs?) – and then comparing them with the after. Wow. And while I’m showing you nooks and crannies that most don’t see as they visit, the overall effect after cleaning is really noticeable.
I think the entry porch and door in the lead photo looks so much more crisp and clean than before cleaning! We used the Gilmour Power Jet Wand along with the Flexogen hose to clean pretty much everything. We even rinsed the outside windows with it, which helped get rid of the spider webs (so many webs…), but will need to use a cleaning solution soon to really get the windows clean (and then use the jet wand to rinse).
To be honest, we weren’t sure how the wand would work, since it wasn’t like renting a power washer or anything. And while one area of siding with dried-on mud from a gutter cleaning did need scrubbing with a brush, it worked like a charm overall for basic cleaning of cobwebs (I have mentioned them, right?), dirt, leaves, and debris. Both Brian and I like how:
- The direct spray tip sends water right where you want (especially nice for the cracks between porch/deck boards).
- It’s easy and comfortable to hold and use – the metal is strong, but not heavy.
- There’s a control to regulate the force of the stream (though we used it on high for all of our cleaning – you may want less force for car cleaning applications).
- It’s really fun to use – especially when it’s hot out and the backspray helps cool you (how many cleaning things can you say that about, ha!).
Nothing tells this kind of story better than pictures, so I’m (bravely) sharing our dusty, dirty, cobwebby before, so you can see the difference. Again, wow. If you had only time for one of the things on this list, this is worth the effort! (And yes, next up is restaining the porch steps and entry – gah!)
2. Do a Mid-Summer Trim of Beds & Borders
I know I’m totally guilty of thinking that I’m done with the beds and borders in late spring, but the truth is everything can benefit from a nice trim in late summer. The spring and early summer blooms need to be deadheaded, there will be browned leaves to remove and lawn edges to freshly trim.
The before-and-after difference isn’t huge in the photos above – the bed is still lush in its summer growth – but it’s a LOT more neat and tidy. An added benefit to this cut-back is that there are lots of perennials that may produce another set of flowers for you, like reblooming daylilies, coreopsis, hardy geranium, and rose campion. And of course if you keep your roses deadheaded, most will continue to bloom until frost.
3. Water Well & Apply a Fresh Layer of Mulch
After trimming and cutting back flowers and shrubs, soaking the ground thoroughly will give them a much-needed late-summer boost (I like to use the Gilmour Flexogen hose hooked up to my soaker hoses like I wrote about here). If you didn’t get the beds mulched in the spring (it happens to all of us…) or if your spring mulch is looking tired, adding a fresh layer now is a great way to keep your beds looking great through to the fall and help hold in the moisture you added.
I really like the look of dark garden compost as a landscape mulch – it feeds the soils as it breaks down (I never use any other fertilizer) and the dark brown adds a cooling effect to the garden versus lighter, red-toned bark or straw mulches. But use what you can get in your area, as anything will be an improvement over dry, cracking ground and straggling weeds. While this will cost some money, at around $20 for a trailer load (enough to cover the beds around most entries), it won’t break the bank.
***The giveaway has ended – congratulations to Emily comment #42!***
I’ve really enjoyed partnering with Gilmour this summer to bring you tips for planting containers organically, how to create an easy-care garden, how to keep the garden producing with a yummy garden-to-table recipe, as well as these easy ways to add late summer curb appeal. I hope you’ve gotten some useful and inspiring ideas from these posts, and I’m excited to announce:
I get to give away a Gilmour Flexogen hose to one lucky reader!
All you have to do is leave a comment sharing your lawn and garden preparation tips – that’s it, no other hoops to jump through!
I’ll choose the winner randomly through the comments (using Random.org) after August 12th, 2015, midnight PST.
Valid in USA, for 18 and over years of age. Void where prohibited. Valid email must be available at the time of the draw. Winner will be announced through this post and email on August 13th and will be given 72 hours to reply with full shipping address.
Disclosure: I received product and/or compensation for this post. As always, the opinions, thoughts, and projects are all mine and I will NEVER promote something I don’t love and think you will find helpful – promise! For more info, you can read our entire disclosure page here.