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Create yard envy with tips from Alan Luxmore of A&E's Fix This Yard

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When driving through a neighborhood, do the yard of the month signs make you green with envy. Not every homeowner has a green thumb. Gardening is not as simple as it seems. With a little help from the expert, Alan Luxmore of A&E's Fix This Yard can make your landscaping the best on the block.

Alan is the Co-Host of the A&E hit series Fix This Yard. On the show, Alan's team adds curb appeal to unsightly properties. Transforming this lackluster properties into beautiful landscapes, Alan makes those disgruntled neighbors happy one.

Below is a transcript from an interview with Alan Luxmore.

Now that we’ve finally thawed out from winter, what effects did the brutal freeze have on our lawns and gardens?

It destroyed a lot of lawns and gardens. It was very brutal. We had a lot of unhappy gardeners out there, but we do now, we go outside. We assess the damage and we start taking control of our yards. We’re going to get all the dead stuff out of the yard. We’re going to prune everything back. We’re going to start from scratch.

What is the secret to having a lush, green lawn and vibrant plants and flowers?

There are a couple different components. It starts with the soil. You need nutrient rich soil for the plants to have good food. Secondly, you need to water. You water first thing in the morning. You don’t want to over water and you don’t want to waste water. That’s why when I water my garden. I use the leak free system by Gilmour, which is my new favorite toy. You probably think of this as a garden hose, it’s not. It’s a leak free system. The water is on full blast. I can take any accessory in the yard, add this leak-free hose. It has three washers all within the casing so they never go bad. I can play around the yard all day long – never get wet, never waste water, never waste our resources.

So when is the best to water our gardens, and how do we know if we’re using too much water?

Without a doubt, the morning is the best time to water. If you can get the grass when there is still dew on it you’re getting a little more bang for your buck. The water is going to go a lot longer. It’s cool in the morning, so the water is going to go leach into the soil and into the plant slowly, therefore helping your plants stay healthy longer. If you do it in the middle of the day, you’re going to kill your grass because the water becomes a magnifying glass. If you do it at night, you’ll get diseases. One good way to check and see if you have too much water is to put your finger in the soil before you’re about to water. If your finger is wet and the soil is damp, you don’t need to water. You should only water about an inch per week.

What is the most common mistake gardeners make?

One mistake I’ll see novice gardeners make is they’ll go into the gardening store and they’ll grab a plant that they like, they’ll run home and plant it and then the next you know their garden is infested with bugs. So anyone listening out there, before you bring a plant home, grab it, shake it and look at the leaves. Get rid of the bugs, then bring the plant home.

What do you do with a dead spot in the yard? For example, we have re-planted shrubs in the same spot with the same result, after 1 year the shrub dies. If I don't want an empty spot, what do I do?

You should assess the yard where the dead spot is and really figure out how you want to use that area. If you want it to be a shrub, we go back to the drawing board. We expose the soil, we amend it with nutrients, plant it again, keep it watered, give it some TLC and you’ll have a new shrub.

We have a rabbit problem (rabbits eat all the backyard pretty flowers), how can I have color that a rabbit won't eat?

Rabbits like to eat anything on the ground. They’re vegetarians. Artificial flowers? That’s a tough one. You stumped me! I just don’t know how to get the rabbits to stop eating the plants. For more information, you can go to http://www.gilmourleakfree.com/

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