(NAPSI)-Realtors say curb appeal is one of the most important tools to help you sell your home.
“Planting flowers is one of the least expensive ways to make the front of your house look inviting,” says Bayer Advanced garden expert Lance Walheim, co-author of “Landscaping for Dummies.” “lt’s like putting out a welcome sign that entices buyers.”
Don’t just run out and buy a bunch of flowers and stick them in the ground. Planning goes a long way toward putting more money in your pocket. Select plants with staggered bloom periods for the longest season of color and mix in different plant textures, shapes and sizes, says Walheim.
Contrast dark- and light-colored flowers, such as light yellows with dark blues, for example. And it’s not always about blooming plants. Dramatic foliage, bright berries or fruit and even colorful branches can all contribute dramatic hues.
• Quick-blooming annuals will last a growing season and are easy to plant from a tray of flowers. Consider pansies, violas, calendulas and primroses for spring color, as well as zinnias, marigolds and vincas for color all summer long.
• Consider perennials such as campanulas, dianthus, geraniums and phlox for spring and early summer; yarrow, coreopsis, daylilies and rudbeckia for midsummer; and asters, penstemon and mums for fall.
• Don’t forget the great foliage plants like ornamental grasses, hostas and artemisia.
• Be sure to add mulch to the bed to retain moisture and help keep the weeds out.
• Watering plants is critical to success. Check the soil by digging into it with your fingers or a trowel. If the top few inches are dry, it’s time to water. Do it slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down to the deeper roots. Young or new plantings require more frequent watering to help their roots get established. Mature plantings with large root systems should be watered deeply but less often.
Healthy-looking flowers show you care about your home. But insects such as Japanese beetles, aphids and whiteflies, as well as diseases such as powdery mildew and rust, can make your flowers look sickly.
Select plants with staggered bloom periods for the long