Having a beautiful backyard with healthy grass, blooming gardens, and impeccable landscaping design is a dream that most homeowners have. But having a great outdoor space takes time and planning – and it’s a huge mistake to wait until summer to get started.
Instead, it is highly recommended that you start prepping your lawn and planning out your summer backyard decor in the early spring. This will give you ample time to tend to your grass, flower beds, and brainstorm for any other projects you want to tackle to create a great outdoor space.
Here are a few tasks to add to your to-do list as soon as spring begins.
1. Start with a Clean Yard
Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of your home – it’s for the outdoors, too.
The first thing to do is clean up any winter debris so you can start with a clean slate – as well as see where your lawn may need some extra attention.
Once the ground is dry from the snow, you can start to rake up any dead leaves that fell during the fall and winter. It is important to get these off of the grass so new sprouts can start to grow!
It’s also a good time to start pruning any dead branches off of your trees or shrubs. If any of your outdoor plants didn’t survive the winter, it is best to clip off the dead stems to make room for new growth.
Next, break out a power washer (or a really good hose) and rinse off surfaces like the porch, pathways, and even the siding of your house. A lot of dirt and dust from the snow can accumulate. You may need to apply a bit of elbow grease with some soapy water to wipe everything away.
2. Prep Outdoor Activity Spaces
Next, you should inspect any items you’ve left outdoors or in storage for the winter to see if parts need to be repaired or replaced. The winter weather can be extremely harsh on patio furniture or other outdoor activity items. This can lead to rust or corrosion on metal parts, which could be dangerous.
If any of your outdoor furniture took a beating this winter, play it safe and replace it. If you live in a colder climate that gets a lot of snow/ice, – consider looking at a patio furniture buying guide by Family Leisure to find products designed to withstand nasty winter conditions.
For a swing set or trampoline, closely inspect for any signs of rust or loose screws. You may also need to re-secure it into the ground, as the soil can shift during the winter months.
A long winter takes a toll on your yard, and everything in it. Be extra careful to ensure it’s in good shape to be enjoyed in the spring and beyond.
3. Check your HVAC Unit
If you have a central heating and cooling system, take some time to inspect and clean it. If you’ve had a harsh winter with lots of snow and ice, you’ll want to check out both the outer and internal parts to see if anything needs to be fixed.
Start by removing any debris like plants or leaves that could be blocking the vents. You can gently spray the outside of the unit with a hose to clean things off.
See if any of the compression fins (the metal filter that looks like a grill) on the unit are dented or broken. A little bit of damage to this part may be fine, but lots of bent or broken fins could cause your AC unit to overheat.
You may want to run your unit for a bit to make sure that everything is working correctly. If you sense any issues, schedule an appointment for a routine check or repair before the weather gets too hot. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a heatwave with a broken AC!
4. Protect Your Home and Garden from Pests
Household and garden pests will be starting to take over as the spring approaches. It is a good idea to stay ahead of the game by preventing pests from taking over your home or garden – instead of trying to get rid of them after.
Depending on the area you live in, the most common household pests to worry about are:
- Gophers and groundhogs
These types of animals and bugs can wreak havoc on your beautiful backyard by eating your plants, tearing up the soil, and building nests in unwanted spots. You can prevent some of these pests on your own by spraying pesticides and herbicides – most of which you can get from the hardware store. Some plants like peppermint and lemongrass will naturally deter bugs!
5. Clean and Prep Landscaping Tools
Next, you’ll want to get all of your landscaping tools and equipment ready for the summer ahead. If you’ve stored your tools in the garage or shed all winter long, you should (at the very least) give them a good dusting. You can use some mild dish soap in lots of warm water to clean off leftover dirt or grease.
You may also want to sharpen the blades on tools that you will be using for gardening and lawn care. Dull blades on your lawnmower or gardening shears can make lawncare much harder than it needs to be.
6. De-Winterize Sprinkler System
If you have an irrigation system for your lawn, you will need to prep it for the spring and summer. Start by removing any protective coverings on the sprinkler heads and external pipes. Then, turn the water on and flush out the pipes. The first few minutes of spray may be discolored, as there could be dust and dirt build-up in the pipes.
Be sure to look for signs of damage, like low water pressure, as this could be a sign of a blocked or broken pipe.
As the snow starts to melt and the temperatures start to rise, it is easy to get excited for a summer full of fun. The best way to ensure you have a beautiful space to enjoy the season with friends and family is by getting a head start in the spring.
Be sure to tackle these outdoor improvements as soon as you can to lay the foundation for a healthy lawn and beautiful backyard in the seasons to come!
Amy McConaghy is Reliance Home Comfort’s Digital Marketing Specialist, managing the editorial, video and visual content creation for all digital platforms. Amy’s writing is focused on bringing home improvement, energy and money saving tips to the homeowners and answering questions about all their home comfort needs. You can find Amy on LinkedIn.