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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!

Lake Kiowa Gardens

Lake Kiowa Herb Garden

It's true, Lake Kiowa has beautiful homes and landscapes! This year why not consider adding a herb garden or at least replacments with herbs for fun. Joseph Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, Magnolia, Texas, and Mengmeng Gu, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have recently released some valuable information about Herb landscapes here in Texas you may want to learn more about. We thought this may provide you some additional food for thought this summer as you continue to keep your landcapes and patios full of color and beauty.

Herbs which are an ancient category of the plant world are found most everywhere. Termed "useful plants" these beauties can be used for cooking, making scents and perfumes, practicing aromatherapy, and as types of medicinal options for some illness. Another side benefit is they attract bees, and butterflies to the garden which is not a bad thing.

Because many herbs hybridize readily, new varieties cab be produced every year. Were you aware that some varieties are created for specific markets or needs? Like those for patio gardens, container gardens, dry climates, or areas with salty water or soils. It is also true that Herbs can also play a role in landscaping: Does the location need tall plants, shade-tolerant plants, ground covers? Different herbs can meet a variety of needs. So let's consider herbs as part of your landscaping.

Simple principles to help you choose an herb for your garden:

  • Herbs need not be used for cooking; in fact, many herbs are not culinary at all
  • Many herbs, such as basil, are fragrant when brushed against. Consider planting them near a path or doorway. Match the herb’s sunlight requirements with sites that meet those needs
  • Some herbs attract beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs. Examples are anise hyssop, borage, comfrey, fennel, and yarrow. Pineapple sage attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Herbs also repel less-desirable visitors: Rosemary (cabbage moths, carrot flies, and bean beetles), chives (aphids, mites), sage (flea beetles), and mint (aphids, cabbage moths, flea beetles). The aromatic properties of some herbs (rosemary, Russian sage, bee balm) are even reported to fend off hungry deer
  • Anecdotal evidence tells us that pairings of specific herbs with specific plants benefit the plants; for example, rue planted near roses produces a root chemical that repels Japanese beetle grubs, which feed on the roses’ roots. Basil planted near tomatoes deters flies and mosquitoes. Catnip deters ants, flea beetles, and weevils. Hyssop planted near cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli deters cabbage moths.

Think texture—herbs are champions in this area!

In addition to the above, Herbs can be planted and used for specific landscaping needs. Herbs can be used for low hedges and borders, as backgrounds, to fill empty spaces between other plants, in sunny or shady areas, and for their flowers, flavor, or scent. When choosing a spot to plant, keep in mind the herb’s eventual size and shape. Remember that herbs in their 4-inch pots look a lot alike and don’t reflect their final mature size

Herbs can also work well to define the edge line of a garden or to soften the edges. Edging plants can will work with your garden’s sun exposure, and it's easy to cross-reference those below with the list of herbs for shady areas.

Options For Hedges & Borders:

  • Artemisia (Artemisia sp.), especially the smaller varieties like southernwood
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Germander (Teucrium sp.)
  • Lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina)
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), curled or Italian
  • Rosemary, prostrate (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Santolina (Santolina sp.), gray and green varieties
  • Thyme (Thymus sp.)
  • Winter savory (Satureja montana)

Herbs As Backgrounds For Empty Spaces:

  • Taller herbs can grow in the very back of a garden, and others can fill spaces between specimen plants like roses. When determining placement, consider the plant’s eventual width as well as its height. Following are some options for herbs of differing heights and widths.

Very tall:

  • African blue basil (Ocimum sp.), very tall
  • Bay (Laurus nobilis), a tall, aromatic, evergreen tree or large bush
  • Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), very tall

Tall:

  • Artemisia (Artemisia sp.), most are wide
  • ‘Aussie Sweet’ basil (Ocimum sp.), tall and narrow
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), bronze and green varieties
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens), various heights
  • Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), wide
  • Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans), wide

Low & Wide:

  • Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), low and wide Flowering herbs
  • Many herbs produce attractive flowers, which lure bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Some options are:

  • Basil (Ocimum)
  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
  • Foxglove (Digitalia purpurea)
  • Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Salvias (Salvia sp.)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Remember that most herbs will require a sunny exposure; gardeners with considerable shade in their garden often despair or fail at growing them so take that to heart. However even sun lovers appreciate afternoon shade in the Texas summertime, and some, like parsley, accept partial shade. If you want to go beyond the general guidelines, each herb has a range of light requirements specific to that plant. If you are a beginning gardener, you might want to consider planting herbs in a container and move it around the garden to try various locations until you find the ideal spot. Try a container for this exercise, but not a tiny container.

A variety of herbs can also tolerate shade, many of which also make an effective ground cover. The best deep shade herb would be Lovage (Levisticum officinale) which grows best during cool weather. It is best grown as an annual in Texas because of the hot summers.

Some partial sun herbs are also listed below:

  • Lemon thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an ideal perennial for part sun. The plants may decline in August because of the excessive heat in Texas.
  • Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is an evergreen perennial.
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an evergreen perennial with nice blooms.
  • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is suited for partial sun. Shade will prolong its life in the summer. It is a cool-season annual.
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an evergreen perennial; some cultivars have nice blooms.
  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a year-round evergreen perennial.
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a very tender perennial and may not survive the winter.

Deep shade to bright sun:

  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), a perennial, may go dormant in the heat of summer.
  • Garlic chive (Allium tuberosum) is an evergreen perennial with pretty blooms.
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an evergreen perennial and excellent as ground cover.
  • Mints, including pennyroyal, are evergreen but will go dormant in midsummer. Cut them back in the summer for fall regrowth.

Bright sun to part shade:

  • Parsleys (Petroselinum crispum) are biennial plants that often behave like annuals in Texas, going to seed during first year. They grow well in cool weather.

Bright sun to deep shade:

  • Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), an annual, has dense, frilly leaves with excellent flavor.
  • Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus) has thick, succulent-type leaves. The plants are easily rooted and grow best in warm/hot seasons.
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) can tolerate sun or shade. It is an evergreen perennial with white, vanillascented blooms.

Success here at Lake Kiowa in growing herbs begins with the soil. Keeping the soil healthy is the primary work of a gardener. Once you plant and then stay on schedule with harvesting and feeding, remember to try to think about how to improve your soil every day, or at least every season before planting, and then take steps to improve and maintain it. Remember to keep your healthy levels of pH, provide great drainige, and consider raised beds if necessary so no plants sit in water.

Welcome to Summer At Lake Kiowa where the homes are beautiful, the landscapes breathtaking, and the activities are  fun. It's going to be a great summer.