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Buying Sod In Texas

Planting Sod Season Is Almost Here At Lake Kiowa

Wow, the weather is getting hot out there. Do you need some new grass? It's about that time to plant here in North Texas according to lawn specialists. If you have never purchased sod for your lawn or land, then let's take a few minutes to review this list and talk about some critical factors you really need to know prior to arrival of your new sod. If you’re buying very much sod for your whole yard, or adjacent lots, then we encourage you to have it delivered. It is very heavy. A heavy duty truck will be required if you do it yourself depending on what you need.

Spring and summer fun is here. The time is now to plan ahead for making your home the best it can be. With events every weekend, BBQ's, parties, and boating activities; your lawn needs to be in the best condition is can be. Whether you are cooking out on the grill, having a pool party, or planting flowers and reworking your gardens means your yard is highly visible. Sod, grass, and trees are a vital part of the landscape mix here at Lake Kiowa and we encourage you to do the research before arrival on planting sod instructions below. We all love Lake Kiowa!

Here are some helpful recommendations for you to consider and make plans for:

  • Do have your sod delivered (unless you own a heavy-duty truck). One pallet weighs 2,000-3,000 pounds. Not to mention unless you have a pallet jack to get it on and off the truck you will need to do it my hand. Not fun.
  • General rule of thumb is your sod needs to be planted by the end of May, prior to really hot sun and temperatures. It makes for easier work, and it won’t dry out so quickly as you get it established.
  • Best practices says be sure you apply a glyphosate-only herbicide that has no other active ingredient. This will eliminate existing grasses and weeds without leaving any herbicidal residue in the soil.
  • Rototill to prepare the soil carefully. If you don't own one, go to the nearest local retail gardent centers for your area. Be sure to rake to a smooth grade afterwards.
  • Be sure to do the research on types of sod you have available in North Texas. Here in Texas, St. Augustine for part shade or full sun; bermudagrass for full sun. Zoysias fall in-between and are becoming increasingly popular across much of Texas. Remember, there really isn't a grass for full shade.
  • Be sure that you source your best sod yard you can. Most of you gardners out there are familiar with your independent retail garden centers in your area. A be sure you visit your vendor before you have your new sod delivered to invest in quality product.
  • Fresh sod is bright green, and the soil portion will be moist. If it is brown you may want to rethink your source.
  • Try to buy Texas grown sod, processed in late afternoon and shipped to you overnight for early morning planting.
  • Sod laid onto tilled soil is a group effort. A team of four or five workers is required. It helps if you walk on pieces of plywood so you won’t leave footprints.
  • Each piece of sod should be as close as possible to each other. Voids which do happen can be filled to avoid gaps by cutting up the pieces to fit.
  • Be sure that you water each area of the yard as soon as you have the sod planted. Inventory carefully and be sure to fill any conspicuous cracks between pieces, although narrow spaces will still fill in very quickly.
  • Visually, if the lawn looks lumpy after you have planted the sod, consider rolling it one time with a half-filled lawn roller.
  • Watering is necessary for the first two weeks. Do water each day (unless it rains) for about 5 minutes per area; you will be able to gradually wean the grass to longer intervals between waterings.
  • When your new sod takes hold and the grass begins to grow, be sure to mow at the recommended height as soon as the grass grows slightly beyond it. Keep the grass at that height. Low mowing encourages dense, spreading growth.
  • You can fertilize the new grass after the second mowing. It's best to use an all-nitrogen food with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Remember that the first feeding should be at half the recommended rate. Then, approximately one month later, fertilize at the recommended rate.

If you have any questions be sure to research all the information you can about your sod, and be sure you write the down and discuss questions with your sod provider. It would help to contact more than one grower, and if possible visit the sod farm if you are buying direct and not using a local nursery or garden facility.

Be sure to read these Don'ts for the record that will save time, money eliminate having to purchase additional sod that could die.

  • Never start new sod without first rototilling the ground and raking it smooth ahead of time. If you only spread an inch of sand on top of the old grass and weeds, then lay out their sod; you are doomed to failure or severely impaired results. In this scenario "You only get one chance to do the job right."
  • Never accept sod with nutsege (nutgrass). Do the research and get a picture to take when you go visit to buy. If you can see nutsedge in the thin layer of soil, turn it down. The sod-cutting machines will slice the pea-sized “nutlets” cleanly in half. If nutsedge is present, you’ll be able to see those little pieces.
  • Never use weedkillers, including pre-emergent herbicides until the new grass has been through its first winter for best growing results.
  • Don't bother planting sod in a shaded area. Even St. Augustine will fail to grow when an area receives fewer than 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you have an area like this, it’s time to consider a groundcover. There are several shade tolerant groundcovers, and you can do research about that online very easily.

Sod is expensive and you don't want to have to purchase again right? Take to heart the recommendations provided in this article. You will find that strict adhearance to these basic best accepted practices, your sod will perform in the manner you hope. Happy Lawns look beautiful and green, and will certainly be a gift to you and your neighbors and family each time you use your patio or yard for all your activities.

Lake Kiowa Premiere Real Estate is open 7 days a week – Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The agents of Lake Kiowa Premiere Real Estate are always available to help you with any questions or concerns. 940-665-3300

Get Busy Winter Is Almost Here

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Your yard was beautiful this year. If you are new to Lake Kiowa then remember it takes work all year long. Years of your hard work have paid off and your lawn and shrubs, color, and even the trees are just like you like them.

If you are an avid gardner and lawn keeper, then please pay attention to these most critical things you’ll want to accomplish before too much more time passes by and cold weather hits. All your hard work all year will need some special care; as will planting, pruning, and fertilizing now to maintain that simple beauty coming into 2018.  It's all about maintenance now.

Here are the next planting recommendations for North Texas lawns and gardens:

  •  Make sure that your Tulips and Dutch hyacinths have 45 days in the fridge before you plant them outdoors by the end of the year. This is probably your last call to get that done. Daffodils and grape hyacinths can be planted at any time of course, just make sure you purchase fresh potting soil.
  •  Most of the regional trees and shrubs can still be planted now, but you may have to hunt for them in the backs of the nurseries – behind the shipments of Christmas trees. Remember you can always ask your favorite nurseryman for help.
  • Keeping your patio and curb appeal color like Pansies and other winter color plants is always an option. Plants in raised beds of well-prepared, highly organic soil are required, and remember they can be outstanding in pots as well.

Recommendations for Pruning those outdoor beauties is a must:

  • Be sure to trim to re-shape foliage plants you’ve brought in from the patio for winter. It will stimulate new growth in the fast growing season.
    Be sure to go ahead and mow your lawn to remove fallen tree leaves.
  • Try to snip erratic growth from shrubs, but save major reshaping for two months from now (late January, early February) for maximum growing this coming Spring.

Regular fertilization habits must continue:

  • Understand thatPansies, pinks and other winter color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to keep them growing vigorously. Failure to feed adequately is a common cause of poor plant performance and you want your work to pay off in beauty.
  • Remember that your houseplants need monthly feeding with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food at half the recommended rate. Your goal for the winter is to maintain them status quo, not to encourage them to grow while they’re in the darker conditions indoors. Staying healthy is always best.
  • If you want to sow Ryegrass and fescue (cool-season grasses), then you must feed with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen lawn food to keep it green. Water immediately after feeding.

Keep and eye out for pests, weeds, and unwanted grasses daily:

  • All your Broadleafed weeds will need killer spray on a sunny, warm and relatively still day to get rid of those cool-season broadleafed weeds before winter moves in. Read and follow label directions for your selections; or contanct your favorite nursery employee.
  • Remember to keep close watch on all houseplants closely for signs of scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies and spider mites. These pests commonly come in from outdoors when we bring plants inside for the winter and will need to be treated. It's a good idea to spray everything before you take them in; and there are great broad solutions that can eliminate issues before those pesky pests show up.

By the way, to everyone out here at Lake Kiowa, hope you and your families had a great Thanksgiving. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Season's Events at the Lodge.

 

 

 

 Inaugural Texas REALTOR® Satisfaction Index

Texas Realtors Working For YouThe November 2017 The Texas Association of REALTORS® has released the new report that gauges Texas homebuyer and seller satisfaction of working with Texas real estate agents. This is great news for everyone who is a licensed realtor here in Texas. What this means to you as a homebuyer or homeseller here in Texas, is that this inaugural Texas REALTOR® Satisfaction Index showed that a majority of homebuyers and sellers highly value the local market knowledge and expertise that Texas REALTORS® provide. What is more impressive is that a survey was given to over 17,000 respondents. These Surveyed respondents cited word-of-mouth referrals and timeliness in communications as important factors in the selection and satisfaction of working with a real estate agent. This tells us people do appreciated great communication skills.

Lake Kiowa Realty is very happy and proud to have been a part of this report for 2017, and lets you know that here in Texas, all our realtors continue to strive to provide you with the best service we can in finding you a buyer or a seller for your home. Here is some additional information you may enjoy reading and may not be aware of.

According to the report, Texas homebuyers and home sellers rated their experience of working with a Texas REALTOR® a 4.91 and 4.87 out of 5.0, respectively. Among those surveyed, approximately 98 percent gave a satisfaction rating of "good" or "excellent", 1 percent selected "satisfactory" and less than 1 percent selected "poor" or "below expectations."

Respondents' satisfaction of working with a Texas REALTOR® was most likely to be impacted by the agent's ability to communicate clearly and in a timely manner. Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, commented: "The Texas housing market moves fast, and it's increasingly important for REALTORS® to be able to operate at the speed of the market. This means allowing for greater accessibility, setting communication expectations up front with clients and ensuring clear, timely communications so that homebuyers and sellers can feel confident at every step of the process."

Despite the growing role of technology in the real estate industry, the Texas REALTOR® Satisfaction Index showed that more than one-third of homebuyers and sellers found their Texas REALTOR® through a referral from friends or family. Less than 5 percent of respondents found their Texas REALTOR® through an Internet search or online portal. Eight in 10 respondents indicated that they didn't consider another broker if they had previously worked with a Texas REALTOR®. Texas homebuyers and sellers ranked a deep understanding of a client's unique needs and local market conditions as the top two deciding factors in working with a Texas REALTOR®.

Fullerton concluded, "Being a Texas REALTOR® means striving to make a difference every day, not just in the lives of the homebuyers and sellers we serve, but in the communities in which we live, work and do business. That's why you'll often see Texas REALTORS® taking a stand on issues that impact our economy and quality of life, such as the recently passed Proposition Two which gives Texas homeowners easier access to the equity in their homes."

The number of Texas REALTORS® has grown approximately 27 percent since 2010, now exceeding 114,000. In 2017, Texas REALTORS® remain committed to homeowner advocacy and in 2017 alone invested $4.96M to the Texas Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee (TREPAC) and donated more than $3M in Hurricane Harvey Relief through the Texas Realtor Disaster Relief Fund.


About the Texas REALTOR® Satisfaction Index - The 2017 edition of the Texas REALTOR® Satisfaction Index is based on survey responses from 17,000 Texas homebuyers and sellers collected in 2016 and compiled by RealSatisfied, a customer satisfaction and performance evaluation platform built specifically for the real estate industry.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS® - With more than 114,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Thanks you Texans for supporting us here at Lake Kiowa Premier Real Estate.

 

Fall Gardening Prep

It’s That Time

Fall Gardening Tips At Lake Kiowa

As a general rule of thumb, right now  most of your decisions and prep work should be complete for your fall garden. If you are just getting started with a new garden here in North Texas let's review what should be arriving at most nurseries any day now.

It's Planting Time: It is time to plant squash, beans, cucumber seeds and okra. These new starter plants will be arriving any day for most suppliers here in the North Texas regions. If you subscribe to a local location, be sure to check their Facebook pages and newsletters if you signed up this year. Be sure to check into herbs and spices too. They have a great growing season and harvet time.

Review Starter Plants: Remember to pay particular attention to healthy new starter plants. Full, green, with taut stems and lots of buds on select items is always a great way to begin. all the things we put in our gardens and veggie gardens none is really more important that fertilizer. It is quite literally the food to grow the food. Keep it simple, treat on a schedule, and choose a fertilizer that is right for what you will grow.

Let's Talk Fertilizer:

Many experienced gardners choose to use all natural products and fertilizer sooner and usually more often; and adding a couple of bags of compost and pre plant fertilizer a few weeks before planting is always a great idea.


"Most gardens in the North Texas area are raised beds that have a lot of compost added. That’s a good thing but compost only has about 1% nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Nitrogen is already spoken for since it’s one of the engines that drives decomposition. Adding nitrogen feeds the plants but also fuels more decomposition. This means the plants and dirt are in competition for the same resources. Nitrogen can also be washed out with a lot of rain and some types can evaporate. Compost has such small quantities of P and K that they should be considered nonexistent and should be added to the garden. A soil test will give you an idea what the garden needs." says Wells Brothers staff and while you may already realize this, you may still have questions. If so be sure to ask your favorite place for help.

Fertilizing Schedules: In some areas here in the North Texas region pre-plant fertilization can last up to 4 - 6 weeks after planting, at which time you can begin your regular schedule. If you don't have a schedule to plant, water, fertilize and remove dead leaves, be sure to set it up on a calender for easy reference.  It isn't necessary to make changes in this fertilizer unless you have had previous issues. By the way, if you will be making the switch this fall from synthetic to all natural gardening, you must read up on Organic Crop Production Requirements. This guide will give you good direction on how to make the switch. There are also plenty of resources out there online as to what, when, and what size new gardens may take. Here is what Texas A&M has to say about it. This is a great article and if you have particular questions about your location.

Serving healthy meals, enjoying a special meal with friends and family, and pictures of beautiful gardens are worth a thousand words when you see a garden you love. Share your love with friends and family this fall. Take plenty of pictures to enjoy later at every step of the way. A beautiful memory table book is something that can remain with you in years to come.

 

We Love Texas Real Estate

Reminders About Living Here!

We Love Realtors In Texas - Come Visit Us A Lake Kiowa

Buy real estate, sell real estate, leasing real estate. These are the 3 things all realtors love to hear! Yes, it is really true. In addition, the other things that we love to hear are the reasons why we love Texas Real Estate. Everyone here at Lake Kiowa has the best of the best when it comes to providing information about available real estate. Many of our realtors sell all over the state to be able to serve you better. Some may only provide services here at the Lake; but the bottom line is, we are here for you. We are here so that you have access to the best real estate opportunities right here in Texas.

Author Jamie Lee with the Texas Realtors Association Reminds Us That There Are Reasons To Love Texas Real Estate:

  • The stable housing market here in Texas is first. Did you know Texas small land sales jumped by 14% percent?  It’s one of only 10 states on steady ground.
  • Home prices are expected to keep going up. Rising demand and low inventory have created a seller’s market. Here in the North Texas market, the introduction of international companies relocating to our state is creating a great opportunity for buying and selling to meet this new demand.
  • We have the highest average equity levels. This means your property may be worth more than what you owe. In a market with high demand to keep up, real estate becomes part of a successful economy. Jobs are created and filled as people relocate to meet their needs.
  • It’s the No. 1 destination for state-to-state movers. This demand for housing can benefit your resale value. Maybe you want to consider investing or may be considering retirement; now is a great time.
  • A low unemployment rate means lots of job opportunities to help you achieve your real estate goals. More and more people will relocate from other parts of the country to fill these much needed jobs and bring with them more economic buying power.
  • You can make a great living here. Special jobs need special people to fill those jobs. According to national statistics, Texas is the No. 2 state in which to make a living, due in part to its affordability and lack of state income tax. This is great news for everyone.
  • Thinking about making a change? When you’re done working, warm weather and low cost of living make it an ideal location to retire here in Texas in your favorite location. Maybe even here at Lake Kiowa. We have a great place to live here!
  • Relatively low housing costs help make Texas a great place to raise a family. Builders are gearing up to meet demand. Homes, Master Planned Communities, Duplexes, and slightly rural communities are making a big difference.
  • A supportive business climate makes it the best state for business, especially small businesses. If you have a great service to offer the Texas economy, check into Economic Development in the city of your choice to find out what benefits you may have for your relocation.

Because only in Texas can you find a Texas REALTOR® to help you meet your real estate goals. Texas Realtors, what is so special about them you may ask?

Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. With over 110,00 members, The Texas Association of Realtors has a professional organization that truly represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Be A Better Patio Gardener!

Enjoy hanging plants patio potsLake Kiowa Realty invites you our homeowners here at Lake Kiowa get back to basics this year. Please do begin searching for the right plants for the hot Texas summer in your patio pots and hanging baskets. Consider new colors and designs for your plant choices, so as to not overlook some helpful tips that will keep you a veteran gardener. We believe that planting beautiful plants for your patio, hanging baskets, front entry, poolside flower beds and outdoor kitchens should be fun. Why not get the whole family involved.

Enjoy Life At Lake Kiowa

Great Planting Tips:

You may want to begin with using quality containers. There are many varieties of terra cotta as well as faux terra cotta. New concrete and georgeous glazed ceramic shapes and sizes are available for every taste and every need. Before you buy, color schema and textures that will be complementary to your setting and accent colors used for you home, chair pads, and pillows should set your visual goals.Terra cotta and concrete pots are still the standard to go by, just make sure they have proper construction for maximum drainage from the base of the container.

Use quality potting soil. Neil Sperry always recommends this ratio for typical North Texas Locations:

  • 50 percent (by volume) sphagnum peat moss
  • 25 percent finely ground pine bark mulch
  • 15 percent horticultural perlite
  • 10 percent expanded shale

This ratio is for pots. For hanging baskets, he says you may want to reduce expanded shale to 5 percent and increase perlite to 20 percent.

Remember to select the perfect spot for maximum exposure in any of the settings you are planting for. Entryways, locations around the pool, curved driveways, or on patios and surrounding flower beds are all great summertime landscape options. Regional nursery locations have the best selections to choose from and are very plentiful right now.

It's ok to have several groupings of pots to draw the eye to a particular location for maximum impact. Using complementary colors with existing themes is often a fun shopping trip to be sure. See any color wheel for making your final decisions.Raising planters off the soil with bricks or small blocks, will insure proper drainage and will really help keeping plant roots from growing out of the drain holes into the soil.

Be sure to size your plants for the containers you have. Texture and color of both the plant and the pot will be your best bet. Mixtures of various types of plants can be very beautiful too and will definitely make a visual impact wherever you place them. Keep plants together with the lighting they desire in order to thrive. Don't put sun lovers in the shade, and shade lovers in the sun.

Main vertical plants in the center and surrounding plants that paint a beautiful picture in your favorite pot means enjoyment every time you see your work. Regular grooming of all your plants will help keep them compact and handsome. Pinch out the erratic shoots, also try to keep helping with side-branching. Removal of all yellow leaves is a must, and be sure to keep voids in large pots with a new plant or two as needed.

Always apply a timed-release plant food as directed. Most of these will last about two thirds of the time they claim on the label. Summer heat will make a big difference here in Texas. Be sure you monitor the sizes of the plants and frequency of blooms as well. If growth slows or stops then you may need to feed more often. Keep those plants thriving. Supplement the timed-release fertilizers with a diluted, water-soluble food each time that you water insures beauty all summer. This will act as a booster shot, and the results are remarkable.

Maximum beauty for all your plants means keeping your plants properly watered. It is easy to spot how they look just as they just begin to turn dry. Water immediately. Nothing ruins the good looks of patio pots and baskets faster than letting them wilt badly.

Now that you know what you want on your favorite patio or front entry, get out there and plant. Why not involve the family and have a BBQ after. Happy Planting Lake Kiowa Community!