Backyard Tips: Yearly Planting Calendar


Want a beautiful garden that stays healthy and looks great all year? Use this calendar to know what to plant and when.

Planted pots

Backyard Tips: Yearly Planting Calendar

Spring has only just begun, but it’s never too early to garden. If you live in a warm region, you can garden all year round, but even if you live in a cold, northerly climate, you can get a jumpstart on a lush, healthy garden by planning now. Read on for tips to create the garden of your dreams.

Find Your Hardiness Zones and Frost Dates

Wondering how you can tell when to plant flowers, veggies, fruits, and herbs outdoors? Use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find out which plants are most likely to do well in your local climate. As you can see from the map, the warmer the region, the higher the zone number. Hardiness zones are based on the average minimum temperatures in that region. 

Frost dates, or the most likely dates of the first and last frosts of the winter season, are based on hardiness zones. In zones 5a and 5b, for example, the last frost usually happens in the first two weeks of April, while the first frost will most likely occur in the last two weeks of October. You should start planting your garden after the last frost and expect the season to end with the first frost.

Choose the Right Plants

You can use hardiness zones to choose plants that will thrive in your climate. If you live in a zone with minimum temperatures below freezing, choose frost-hardy perennials that will survive cold winter temperatures to come back strong in the spring. If you live in a tropical or subtropical region, you should still pay attention to the plant’s hardiness rating. Some plants thrive in a warm climate, but others require periods of cold weather to thrive, and some seeds, like lavender, germinate best if exposed to cold.

Calculate Planting Dates

Calculate your planting dates based on when you hope to put seeds, seedlings, and young plants in the soil. Some vegetables, herbs, and flowers do best when started indoors, and you’ll need to do this about six weeks before your outdoor planting date. 

For many vegetables, flowers, and herbs, you can schedule your planting dates so they’re after the last frost, but keep in mind that different kinds of plants will need different outdoor planting dates, and build out your planting calendar accordingly. For example, peas, carrots, and some lettuces like colder weather and will need to be planted outdoors early in the season, perhaps even before the last frost. Because cool-weather vegetables and greens tend to mature relatively quickly, you may be able to get a bumper crop by sowing them anew in the late summer. 

Other plants, like corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupe like warm weather and should be planted a few weeks after the last frost when the soil has warmed up. Decide what you’re going to plant this spring well in advance and check seed packets, plant labels, or the internet to determine the best time of year to plant each specific variety. Weather isn’t the only consideration — some vegetables, like pumpkins, take a long time to grow, so you should make sure that you plant them while there are still plenty of days left in the planting season for them to mature. 

If you live in a zone with minimum temperatures above freezing, you can enjoy two growing seasons. Plant vegetables and herbs in the spring for a summer crop and again in the fall for a winter crop. Choose tropical flowers, shrubs, and trees for landscaping.

Start Seeds Indoors

Many vegetables, flowers, and fruits can be sown directly into the ground from seed, but others will do best if started indoors and transplanted outside. Start seeds for tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, lettuce, watermelon, swiss chard, and pumpkins indoors six to eight weeks before your planned outdoor planting date. Some plants, especially peppers and tomatoes, are difficult to grow from seed, so you may want to buy seedlings instead. Check seed packets to determine which seeds can be sown directly into the soil and which should be started indoors.

If you want to grow a productive garden this year, you need to develop a planting calendar based on your region’s climate and the plants you hope to cultivate. Do your research to determine which vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers you want to grow in your garden this year. Don’t procrastinate, because before you know it, it’ll be time to start planting.

Low Inventory Continues as the Spring Market Begins


Spring Market 2022 is shaping up to be even more competitive than 2021. But don’t be intimidated into inaction. Getting what you need and want is still possible with the right mindset… and, more importantly, the right agent!

Now more than ever, a knowledgeable, tenacious representative by your side makes all the difference, especially with such limited inventory. Going in with a plan is critical. And our experienced agents can help you come up with one that’s right for your situation and increases your likelihood of coming out on top as a seller financially, and as a buyer in a multi-offer situation.

If a no-obligation consultation sounds good right about now, we’d love to provide one for you along with a free valuation of your home. Together, we can beat the odds!

Ebby Halliday Realtors is the leading real estate company in Texas and Oklahoma. If you’re thinking of listing, we’re here to provide an instant valuation of your home and help you prepare. Visit Ebby.com and connect with one of our experienced agents today!

Inventory Breakdown by County

All Counties: -17%

Bosque County: +2.1%

Collin County: -27%

Cooke County: -22.4%

Dallas County: -34%

Delta County: +11.8%

Denton County: -30%

Ellis County: +10.7%

Erath County: +9.1%

Fannin County: +29.3%

Grayson County: -22%

Henderson County: -5.1%

Hill County: +4.7%

Hood County: -1.9%

Hopkins County: +8.2%

Hunt County: +9.6%

Johnson County: -7.8%

Kaufman County: -13.6%

Lamar County: +15.5%

Montague County: +36.5%

Navarro County: -1.6%

Palo Pinto County: -15.8%

Parker County: -8%

Rains County: +23.5%

Rockwall County: -17%

Smith County: +-26.0%

Somervell County: +4.3%

Tarrant County: -22%

Van Zandt County: +10.1%

Wise County: -10.1%

Source: NTREIS MLS, 1/1/21-2/25/21 vs. 1/1/22 vs. 2/25/22

12 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving


For many households, Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays of the year, both in terms of the number of guests and the amount of prep work needed. Getting your home ready to host Thanksgiving dinner requires more than tidying up, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms.

You’ll need to consider what Thanksgiving recipes you need to prepare, make time to shop for ingredients, plan ahead to thaw and roast your turkey and coordinate who’s bringing what side dishes and fixings. You’ll probably have far more dinner guests than you would for your average dinner party, so you’ll need to plan space for everyone to eat. And, if friends or family members are coming in from out of town, you may need to get the spare bedroom and other areas ready for overnight guests.

Use these 12 tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday a success.

1. Plan Your Menu

Sure, you’ll most likely be serving many of the same holiday staples that everyone enjoys on Thanksgiving – turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and green bean casserole. But many families like to mix things up with dishes from their specific cultural backgrounds, vegetarian dishes, dishes for family members with allergies and food sensitivities, trendy dishes and so forth. Plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu several weeks in advance so you have an idea of what you’ll be preparing well before the holiday arrives.

2. Write Your Guest List

You may be hosting the usual suspects, just like every year, or you may even decide to extend an invitation to friends, neighbors or others who don’t have anywhere to go for the holiday. Knowing in advance who will be present can help you plan the menu and seating arrangements.

3. Clean Out Your Freezer

You may need some extra freezer space for dishes that can be made ahead of time and frozen for the big day. Go ahead and toss out that old tub of gravy from last year – you’ll soon have a new one to replace it with.

4. Shop Ahead

Assuming you’ve planned your menu well in advance, you can save money on the holiday meal by watching for sales on non-perishable ingredients in the weeks before Thanksgiving. You’ll also be able to stock up on specialty ingredients before they run out.

5. Prepare Make-Ahead Dishes That Can Be Frozen for the Big Day

Shopping ahead and cleaning out your freezer can help take some of the stress out of Thanksgiving Day by giving you the chance to make some of the dishes in advance. Prepared dishes can be popped into your newly cleaned freezer for as long as two months, ready to be pulled out and cooked on Thanksgiving Day.

6. Create a Cooking Schedule

One of the most difficult aspects of cooking any meal is getting everything on the table at the same time. Review your Thanksgiving recipes and create a cooking schedule that breaks down the meal’s culinary challenges day by day and hour by hour. Some dishes, like pies, cakes, and sauces, can be cooked a day or two before Thanksgiving. You’ll need to start prepping other dishes, like the turkey, several days in advance; a large bird needs to be thawed in the refrigerator for about 24 hours per four to five pounds of meat.

7. Figure Out Who’s Bringing What

Delegating some of the cooking to your guests can make hosting Thanksgiving more manageable. Get together with guests to decide who’s bringing what side dishes, desserts and fixings so you can cross those off your list.

8. Taste-Test New Dishes

Are you trying something new this year? Better take the recipe on a test drive before Thanksgiving. Trying out the recipe will let you know whether it’s really any good and will give you valuable insight into how difficult and time-consuming it is to make. You may decide to strike it from the menu after making it once.

9. Plan the Seating Arrangement

If you’re having a fair number of guests this Thanksgiving, seating everyone can be a challenge. Tackle the seating arrangement sooner, rather than later, so everyone has a place to sit.

10. Deep Clean Your Home

It’s a good idea to deep clean your whole home a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, so you can stick to a quick once-over the day before the holiday. If you don’t have time to deep clean your entire house, you should at least deep clean your bathrooms and kitchen.

11. Prepare for Overnight Guests

Are family members or friends coming in from out of town? You’ll need to get guest bedrooms dusted and cleaned up, with fresh bedding on the beds and fresh towels in the bathrooms. Depending on how many guests are staying over, you may need to plan to put some people on couches or air mattresses.

12. Give Your Home a Last Once-Over

The day before Thanksgiving, take the time to give your home a last cleaning before everyone gets there. Dust, sweep or vacuum common areas, tidy up, prepare your kitchen and clean the bathrooms.

Getting your home ready for Thanksgiving is no small chore. But if you follow this step-by-step list, you’ll host a Thanksgiving to remember.

8 Reasons to List During the Holidays


‘Tis the Season to Sell Your Home! Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season – especially this holiday season – may actually be an ideal time to offer your North Texas home for sale! Here’s why…
  1. Average home sales price in North Texas is up over 20 percent over this time last year.
  2. Interest rates are at historic lows, which means buyers have more buying power than ever before.
  3. Inventory of homes for sale remain at low levels while buyer demand is strong. 
  4. Many people are still working from home, which means they may want more space, home offices, or a change of scenery. With more flexible work schedules and less travel during the holidays, many prospective buyers may use the extra time to search for a new home. 
  5. Consumers who shop for a home during the holidays are serious, motivated buyers.
  6. Typically there are even fewer homes on the market during the holiday season. Translation: less competition for you!
  7. Homes “show” better when decorated for the holidays.
  8. Many transferees are not able to wait until the spring market to buy. They are here now and need a home now.

Ebby Halliday Realtors is the leading real estate company in Texas. If you would like to buy or sell in this market, you will need a full-time, experienced agent by your side. Visit ebby.com and connect with one of our experienced agents today!

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

5765 Cedar Grove Circle | Plano | $899,000

4560 Acacia Parkway | Prosper | $775,000

145 Erling Lane | Irving | $739,900

701 Waterlane Drive | Mansfield | $580,000

Visit ebby.com to view more listings throughout North Texas and to connect with one of our experienced agents today!

Is it More Environmentally Friendly to Replace Old Appliances?


Home appliances can guzzle energy, especially older models designed in a different era of technology. If you have been wondering if it’s better to repair those old appliances or buy newer, more energy-efficient ones, we’re here to help.

When is it time to upgrade your appliances?

When your appliances start to break down, most people think first of the inconvenience — and reasonably so. As the clock ticks on your rapidly defrosting freezer meats, it’s hard to consider much else. An American Home Shield Warranty is one way to make your life easier. We will assign a qualified local contractor who can diagnose the issue and recommend repair or replacement depending on the age and performance of the appliance. And if we can’t repair the covered appliance, we will replace it for you and handle the removal of the defective item. 

First, take a moment to reflect on the environmental implications of your decision. Are you extending the life of an energy-guzzling appliance that’s driving up your power bill and exacerbating your carbon footprint? What is worse for the planet: contributing to technology waste by throwing appliances away or keeping an inefficient machine running? Unfortunately, it’s not always clear — so let’s take a closer look.

  1. How old is my appliance?

Old appliances are seldom as energy-efficient as their newer counterparts. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, newer appliances are typically built to run using less power. If you’ve got appliances in your home that are more than 10 or 15 years old, they may be both expensive to repair and unnecessarily detrimental to the environment.

  1. Does your appliance still work well?

There’s a distinct difference between an appliance that works and an appliance that works well. An appliance that runs smoothly will require less power to function, meaning less strain on precious resources. Performance and the sounds produced by your appliances can be a good indicator of how well your machine works.

  1. Will an appliance upgrade be worthwhile?

For an upgrade to be worthwhile, you’ll need to weigh up the economic and environmental costs of replacing your appliance. For example, if your 15-year-old fridge needs new coils, a complete replacement may be more practical than spending half the cost of a new one to keep an old, inefficient appliance running.

The environmental benefits of replacing old appliances

Sometimes, replacing appliances is necessary, and other times, it’s simply a matter of upgrading your home appliances to be kinder on the planet. Regardless of the case, replacing old appliances can be environmentally friendly, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Here are the environmental benefits of upgrading common home appliances.

New vs. old refrigerators

When it comes to upgrading your refrigerator, switching to a new product can have good implications for both the environment and your back pocket.

According to ENERGY STAR, an old refrigerator uses about 33% more energy than a new model with ENERGY STAR certification. You stand to save $144 in average energy costs over five years when upgrading from a 20ft3 refrigerator purchased between 2001 and 2010. 

What’s better is that you’ll also avoid around 411lbs of carbon pollution from entering the atmosphere over that same period. ENERGY STAR also estimates that properly recycling your old unit could save the atmosphere from an additional 1,680lbs of carbon pollution.

New vs. old stoves

Few people are as attached to their fridges, washers and microwaves as they are to their gas stoves, but old gas cooktops are far from the most efficient option for cooking. 

According to ENERGY STAR, traditional gas cooktops have an efficiency of approximately 32%, whereas modern induction cooktops are around 85% efficient according to their performance criteria. Induction cooktops use coils to create a magnetic field that generates heat directly within compatible cookware, rather than wasting energy by heating the surrounding air as conventional stoves do. 

New vs. old clothes washers and dryers

While necessary, clothes washers and dryers can be significant energy drains in the home. According to ENERGY STAR, clothes washers have dramatically improved efficiency and functionality in recent years. A new clothes washer uses around 14 gallons of water per load, up to 75% less water than agitator washers did 20 years ago. These newer machines that bear the Energy Star label use 25% less energy.

As far as clothes dryers go, ENERGY STAR anticipates that if all dryers sold were certified energy-efficient, 22 billion pounds of carbon pollution could be prevented annually. That’s as much as the emissions created by two million cars. 

New vs. old dishwashers

Dishwashers use both large amounts of water and electricity, so it’s important to make sure yours is energy-efficient.

ENERGY STAR estimates that by switching to a newer, certified dishwasher, you can save an average of 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers are also 12% more energy-efficient than non-certified models. Models that are particularly old,  manufactured before 1994, also cost an additional $35 a year on utility charges and 10 gallons of water each cycle.

Despite this, dishwashers are still usually more efficient than handwashing. A new ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher will use around a quarter of the energy usage of handwashing and save you around 8,000 gallons of water each year. 

New vs. old microwave ovens

Microwaves are an often-replaced household appliance, as their relatively low price tag makes replacement more convenient than repair. Unlike other appliances, they aren’t ENERGY STAR certified, making it a little trickier to pick a new microwave that’s environmentally friendly.

Thanks to new standards implemented in 2016, new microwave ovens have been built to use less power in standby mode. Standards for energy consumption for microwaves in standby mode tightened by about 75% for countertop microwave ovens and in-built microwave ovens, with hopes to prevent 38 million tons of carbon pollution over the next three decades.

Another benefit is the smart technologies of newer microwave models, with sensors to help you avoid overcooking food.

When not to replace an appliance

electronic-waste-image.jpg

While it’s true that new appliances tend to be more energy-efficient than older ones, replacing an old, still-functioning appliance with a more efficient one comes with its own burdens.

After all, your personal environmental footprint extends further than the home. Some things to consider are the resource costs associated with manufacturing and delivering your replacement, as well as the environmental toll of sending your appliance to the dump. 

According to a UN Environmental Program-sponsored report, around 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2020 rather than being recycled. To put this into perspective, that’s approximately 57 billion dollars worth of electronics, including appliances.

While it’s not always easy to track the direct impact of this, it’s safe to say that in some cases, it’s better to stick to the old model — especially if it’s still working well.

How to thoughtfully dispose of old appliances

Once your appliance has reached the point of retiring, it’s time to start thinking about how to dispose of it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Here are some options to keep your appliance out of the landfill for a bit longer:

  • Sell it: Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are full of people looking to purchase cheap broken appliances and flip them for a profit. 
  • Give it away: If your appliance is still in working condition, check to see if any local non-profits may be interested in giving it a second life.
  • Recycle: Many cities offer recycling programs that will allow you to recycle large appliances. In some cases, you may even receive cash from a scrap metal recycler.

To replace or to repair?

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With the exception of safety concerns, it’s almost always more environmentally and economically friendly to keep appliances until they start to act up. Believe it or not, simply knowing when to repair and when to replace your appliances is a piece of information that will help you on your sustainability journey.

Given the monetary and environmental implications of their initial investment, large appliances such as fridges, washers and ovens should be preserved for as long as reasonably possible. It’s generally recommended that you repair your larger appliances for the first five to 10 years, depending on how often they’re used. If you’ve purchased something of exceptionally high quality, this period can extend to up to 20 years.

Smaller appliances like microwaves are likely only worth repairing if they’re relatively new or under five years old. The exception would be if the repair was quite simple and could be carried out without paying too much out of pocket.

Still unsure?

If you’re still scratching your head trying to decide what to do, let us take care of it for you. With an American Home Shield Warranty Plan, we will assign a qualified contractor to diagnose your appliance-related issues and suggest the best course of action. 

Whether it’s repair or a total replacement, you’ll rest easy knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket or without an appliance.

Pumpkin Patch Round-Up


From pumpkin spice to pumpkin pie, you definitely need a little pumpkin in your life. Whether cooking up some fall favorites or getting your porch ready for the season, visit these fun, local spots to find your perfect pumpkin. 

ALVARADO 

Sunset Hill Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch

3400 County Road 206, Alvarado

October 2 – October 31

ARLINGTON

St. John the Apostle Pumpkin Patch

5450 Mansfield Road, Arlington

September 27 – October 31

AUBREY

Team Family Farms Pumpkin Patch

1042 W. Sherman Drive, Aubrey

September 25 – November 7

BEDFORD

Bedford Public Library Pumpkin Patch

2424 Forest Ridge Drive, Bedford 

October 14 – October 31

CANTON

Yesterland Farm Pumpkin Patch

15410 Interstate 20, Canton

September 18 – November 7

CLEBURNE

Mainstay Farm Park Pumpkin Days

1004 W. Bethesda Road, Cleburne

September 24 – October 31

CORSICANA 

Main Street Pumpkin Patch at The Square Root

222 N Main St., Corsicana

October 1 – October 31

DALLAS 

Autumn at the Arboretum

8525 Garland Road, Dallas

September 18 – October 31

Dallas Farmers Market Pumpkin Patch

1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas

September 18 – October 31

St. James Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch

9845 McCree Road, Dallas

October 2 – October 31

DENISON

Elves Farm Pumpkin Patch

601 Harvey Lane, Denison

October 2 – October 31

GUNTER

The Big Orange Pumpkin Farm

15102 TX-289, Gunter

September 18 – November 24

FAIRVIEW

Creekwood Pumpkin Patch

261 Country Club Road, Fairview

October 2 – October 31

FLOWER MOUND

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

5100 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound

October 1 – October 31

FORNEY

The Gentle Zoo Pumpkin Patch

12600 FM 2932, Forney

October 1 – November 1

FORT WORTH

Arlington Heights UMC Pumpkin Patch

4200 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth

October 16 – October 31

FRISCO

Pumpkins on the Prairie

3521 Main St., Frisco

October 8 – October 31

GRAPEVINE

Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze

3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine

October 1 – October 31

MANSFIELD

St. John Youth Pumpkin Patch

1218 E. Debbie Lane, Mansfield

September 19 – October 31

MCKINNEY

5G Farm

6601 County Road 166, McKinney

September 17- October 31

MIDLOTHIAN

Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm

1530 Indian Creek Drive, Midlothian

October 2 – October 31

PLANO

Pumpkin Patch on the Corner

3101 Coit Road, Plano

September 26 – October 31

RICHARDSON

Arapaho UMC Pumpkin Patch

1400 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson

October 1 – October 17

ROCKWALL

Blase Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

1232 E. Fork Road, Rockwall

September 25 – October 31

SOUTHLAKE

The Patch at Southlake

101 E. Highland St., Southlake

October 1 – October 31

STEPHENVILLE

Lone Star Family Farm Pumpkin Patch

4199 Highway 67, Stephenville

September 25 – November 6

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

3551 Torrance Boulevard | Frisco | $1,595,950

6715 Lakehurst Avenue | Dallas | $1,350,000

201 Dowdy Road | Lowry Crossing | $1,250,000

11626 Hillcrest Road | Dallas | $1,100,000

140 Tanda Trail | Trinidad | $699,000

1134 N Clinton | Dallas | $699,000

2205 Canton Street #123 | Dallas | $659,400

The Weekly Wrap-Up


Are you searching for a new home? Take a look at some of this week’s fabulous featured properties.

6821 Dry Creek Road | Quinlan | $4,900,000

1221 Wyndham Hill Lane | Southlake | $2,295,000

304 Page Road | Overbrook | $1,950,000

9 Home Place Court | Dalworthington Gardens | $1,700,000

1271 Shelby Lane | Celina | $1,699,999