Check out how to prep your yard and patio so you can head outside and enjoy them the minute the weather turns warm!
Clean and Wash Surfaces
It is surprising how much outdoor debris can accumulate over the course of a winter. Now that the snow is melting and the ground is drying out, you will want to get everything all cleaned up. Pick up trash and rake up decayed leaves. Be sure to get all the corners and underneath the shrubs where stuff tends to accumulate. Other places to check are the rain gutters and window wells. You can use a high-pressure nozzle on a garden hose to wash down all the hard surfaces in your yard. This includes walls, fences, rails, decks, and patios.
Aerate and Prune
Core aeration allows water and air to penetrate the root zone of your turf, resulting in better development and growth. You can call a lawn care company to do this for you or you can easily do it yourself with just a couple of supplies from the hardware store. The important thing is that it's done before the soil temperature reaches 55-60 degrees. Otherwise, the voids in the ground will invite aggressive weed seeds to settle in. Your trees and shrubs will reward you with a wonderful display throughout the rest of the year if you do a proper pruning before new growth begins. Remove the following from trees:
- Dead or dying branches
- Branches that rub together
- Branches that grow back toward the center of the tree
- Branches that are spaced too closely on the trunk
- Branch stubs and suckers
- Hazardous branches or trees
- Branches that interfere with parking and walking areas or the entry to your home
When it comes to pruning shrubbery, go lightly to help them grow fuller and bushier.
Fertilize and Kill Weeds
A good spring fertilizer will wake up your lawn and give it a good jump start on its growing season. It will also provide nutrients for the strength needed to withstand summer heat and stress. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide is very important in your fight against crabgrass, clover, dandelions, and all sorts of other pesky weed seeds that can remain viable for years. Be sure you buy the correct killer for your specific problem plants and know exactly how to use it. Otherwise, you won't be doing any good.
Check and Reset Sprinklers
When the soil is frost-free to at least twelve inches below the surface, it is time to check your sprinkler system. If your system isn't equipped with air pressure relief valves, remove the sprinkler heads at the highest point in each zone before you do an initial system start-up. This will prevent a surge of air pressure from bursting the fittings. Then, test each zone separately for leaks or breaks. After everything appears to be in good working order, you can open the main supply valve to its full operating position. Last of all, check your timer programs and reset them if appropriate.
Furnish and Decorate
What's the point in having a spiffed-up yard if you don't have any furniture to use for enjoyment out there? So now comes the fun part! Create a cozy spot for two with colorful, comfortable loungers or seat your entire extended family on a deluxe sectional. Host an intimate al fresco dining experience or a crowd-pleasing bbq with outdoor dining tables of any size. When the sun sets, unwind while gathering around a fire table or keep the party going with an open bar. Don't forget the details! They are what adds whimsical fun or a sense of sophistication. Outdoor pillows, rugs, umbrellas, and lighting are what really make your backyard come alive.
Relax and Enjoy
After waiting patiently through the winter months and performing all your hard work, it is now time to sit back, relax, and reap the rewards of your beautiful outdoor living space!