Blog Stories Summer Tips for the Home and Garden!

Summer Tips for the Home and Garden!

By Sarah Grumbling, July 23, 2021

Summer is here and now is a great time to take advantage of our cool mornings and sunny afternoons to give your house and yard a little extra love!

#1 Prune for shape!

This is a great time of year to do some tree pruning when you’re trying to control growth or keep fruit trees “orchard-pruned” (meaning you will actually be able to reach all the delicious fruit!) A general rule of thumb is prune in the summer to control the size and shape, prune in the winter to stimulate growth. *Always double-check city/county requirements for permits — especially if pruning street trees and definitely hire a licensed arborist when those branches are getting close to the power-lines!

#2 Give your house a little space!

While doing your summer pruning, think about where all the leaves will land later in fall — is it possible to safely prune trees away from the house? Clear shrubbery and vines that are growing right up next to the house/windows, especially if you have wood siding as this can break down the integrity of your paint job over time.

Check the perimeter of your foundation — does the soil grade away from the home? Is it cozying right up against the wood framing on basement windows? Do you have areas of wood siding, lattice or posts that are in direct contact with the soil?  Pull soil back from any direct wood contact — this will protect the wooden elements of your home from rot and insects, especially when our rains return.

#3 Clear the roof and gutters!

Start now to get your home in great shape for fall! Have moss cleaned from the roof and make sure the gutters are clear. Also this is a great time to check your downspouts. If they are disconnected, make sure there are water diverter to send it *ideally* 10ft away from the foundation. Just don’t divert into your neighbor’s yard! This will prevent settling, preserve the integrity of your foundation, and prevent moisture issues like rot and mold.

#4 Touch up paint

If you happen to live in a home that does NOT have wood siding, remember that the window and door frames often have wood trim that can easily get overlooked. This is a great time for touch up for all of us in homes of cedar siding, hardi-plank, aluminum, vinyl, etc.  Aim for paint touch ups on a cool morning!

Clear foliage from touching the house and touch-up paint on the wood elements!

#5 Plant Fall Veggies!

We have such great growing seasons here in the Pacific Northwest, and now is a great time to think about Fall for the veggie garden too! Roots like carrots, beets, turnips can be directly sown and cooler veggies like spinach, chard, kale, cabbage and peas can get started now too. Just don’t forget to water, as those plant babies are extra vulnerable to our hot days. Shade cloth can be a great tool on the hottest of days, especially in the afternoon.

Don’t forget to water those babies!

Send me a message if you have any questions or need a recommendation for arborists, handy-people, gardeners or roof/gutter cleaners — I’ve got lots of resources to share!

Happy summering and loving on the HOME! 

Sarah Grumbling

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


Rooted in delivering authentic client centered service, Sarah is a REALTOR® fueled by a deep love of homes, the stories they hold, and the people who get to create those stories.

Sarah Grumbling has called SE Portland home for 15 years and she couldn’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be. On a spontaneous road trip to PDX in 2005, she was won over by the beautiful old houses, gardens, parks and amazing proximity to mountains, rivers and the ocean. Three days in, she decided to make a move. Getting to know the rich and vibrant communities, neighborhoods and people over the last 15 years is what makes Portland home today.  Sharing this Portland magic with first time home buyers or newly relocated clients is one of Sarah’s favorite aspects of helping folks find their spot to land. Matching clients with their future home is one of her greatest joys in life — there is nothing like the spark and magic that comes with finding the very place you know deep in your bones is exactly where you are supposed to be: HOME. Similarly, when working with sellers and the homes they have created, there is a sense that each home, each place, bungalow, craftsman, contemporary build or condo is calling out for their match as well — a new guardian to fill the space with fresh energy and create a life with in it. Sarah helps her clients navigate the road from creating their real estate goals to seeing that vision become reality.  Together a plan is crafted to breakdown the home buying or selling process (one that at first, can easily feel overwhelming!) into a one step at a time journey where clients are educated, informed, and know what to expect in our competitive market. It is important that her clients feel heard and understood throughout the entirety of the buying and selling process. Sarah is a detail oriented hard worker and will make sure you understand those contracts before signing. She negotiates to find solutions where everyone feels like they are getting the best deal, a true win-win. She is a firm believer in the wisdom available when clients trust their gut, AND she wants to make sure those guts are fully informed with the latest market data, research and her professional expertise. There is enough room for numbers and magic in real estate. When not showing homes or negotiating contracts, Sarah spends her days tending to her garden, numerous fruit trees and 1920’s bungalow. She loves exploring out in nature and Mt. Tabor is like a second home. You will also find Sarah leading community kirtan (a heart centered yoga practice based in chanting and singing), dancing, practicing aerial silks, loving her sweet 17 year old kitty Jaida, and finding joy in authentic connections.
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