Are you one of those people who, at the first sign of Spring, starts making plans for cookouts and pool parties? Or perhaps you live in a climate where hints of Spring don’t necessarily mean the chill of winter is completely gone, but you’re still eager for imminent run-through-the-grass-barefoot weather? Either way, there are several things you can start doing now to prepare your backyard for the warmer seasons ahead.
It’s been a long winter and your outdoor items have been tucked away for months in sheds and garages, so it’s easy to forget what you have and what you may need as you gear up for outdoor activities and al fresco dining. As you uncover furniture and pull out flowerpots from storage, create a list of what you have and what you’ll need to make your outdoor space inviting and functional. Don’t be afraid to think big! This may be your year for a pool or pergola. The idea is to take stock, so you can create a plan for developing a great space for the coming months.
Get rid of things you don’t need
You may find perfectly good items that you were sure you would use “next year,” but seeing them again is a reminder that they simply aren’t the right fit for your lifestyle. In that case, sell or donate these items to make room for what you really want. As with all clear-outs, there is always someone who could give new life to something of yours that’s just collecting dust.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
The best way to keep costs down, of course, is to refresh items you already have. Give those seat cushions a good scrub down with mild soapy water. Wipe down all furniture frames and check for rust and damage. Make repairs before the furniture starts getting heavily used. This is particularly important if you don’t have the budget to replace outdoor chairs and tables mid-season. Just like your indoor furniture, outdoor furniture requires upkeep if you want it to last.
Service Your Mower & Grill
Do you play the ‘I’ll service it before it goes into storage’ game, with your mower or grill, only to change your mind when winter rolls around and you conclude it would make more sense to service your vital outdoor equipment right before you start using it again? This cycle can lead to zero servicing, which could find you without a mower or a grill when you really need them most. If you don’t remember when you last serviced these devices, choose this time to break the cycle. Make sure your mower can keep up with your lawn growth over the next several months, by having it checked out by a professional. Likewise, check your grill for rust or other damage. Check gas lines for leaks and ensure that propane tanks are full.
Seed Bare Patches of Lawn
And speaking of lawns, after the danger of the last frost has passed, fill in patchy areas of turf with fresh seed. It’s amazing how quickly grass grows once the cold weather has passed, and how attending to bare spots while temperatures aren’t too hot will allow the young grass to thrive.
It’s a given that budgets may not always allow us to reinvent our outdoor space to the magnitude we wish, but using the Spring season to prepare and plan your outdoor space for the coming six or more months, will help identify needs and wishes. Such a plan could become the tool you need to not only prepare the best outdoor space for Spring, but to create a backyard that offers long-term benefits and returns on your investment.