Summer is best spent outside. With the kids out of school, you can be certain that your garden area will see plenty of barbecues and pool parties in the coming months, which means it is high time you start thinking about cleaning and decorating your garden. Prepping your lawn and garden for the summer party season may seem an impossible chore, especially after the harsh winter and sodden spring, but these six steps will get your garden in shape faster.
Lawn or Let Die
If you have grass in your yard, it will be the natural focal point during your summertime festivities. Unfortunately, the cold and wet seasons aren’t particularly good at keeping your lawn lush. Low temperatures and low sunlight coupled with ample precipitation is essentially death to grass; it is a miracle if your lawn survives into the summer without a few yellow or brown spots. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to revive a dying lawn ― if you have the right tools and experience. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.
- Aerate. Punching holes in your lawn will release compacted soil and fix dead spots. You will need a specialised tool to do this.
- Test. Thin-looking grass everywhere may indicate soil that is too acidic or basic. An at-home pH kit will tell you.
- Fertilise. Slow-release fertilisers mixed with compost will keep your lawn healthier longer and prevent the growth of weeds.
- Mow. Letting grass grow too long or cutting it too short is unhealthy. About 3.5 inches is the perfect length for most varieties.
Those who lack machinery such as an aerator, a fertilizer, or a power rake may want to consult an expert. Then again, if you follow these instructions without success, you may need to hire a professional to provide one or more specialized services like lawn pest control to rejuvenate your grass for summer.
Pare and Repair
Even if you dislike the carefully manicured French garden style, you need to spend an hour or two pruning your shrubs, bushes, and trees. It is common for parts of plants to wither and die during the cold season, and brown patches are just as unsightly in your decorative plants as they are on your lawn. Plus, appropriate pruning allows plants to become healthier and produce larger flowers and leaves. However, it is imperative that you prune the right way, or else you risk killing your plant outright. Here are some tips:
- Prune flowers and ornamental grasses in early spring
- Prune shrubs and trees in early summer
- Snip at a 45-degree angle
- Never leave more than 1/4 inch above new growth
- Never remove more than 1/3 of a plant in one year
Wash Your Step
Grit and grime accumulates fast on outdoor walkways, but you don’t have to scrub your hardscaping to make it party-ready. Using a powerful hose (or ideally a power-washer) you can spray off most of the dirt on and around your patio and footpaths. If your concrete is getting noticeably old, you can skip the bull dozer and simply resurface your crumbling walkways.
Contain the Mess
During late spring and summer, you are wasting your backyard if you spend most of your days off cooped up inside. You and the kids should bask in the warm sunlight with outdoor-appropriate toys and entertainment.
Of course, come party time, you need places to stash your everyday fun. There are a number of fun DIY outdoor storage projects online, but for a fast and attractive solution, you can find weatherproof chests and sheds at your local home improvement store.
Let There Be Light
To prevent accidents after the sun sets on your summer party, you should have ample lighting around your yard. Your patio probably already has a few lights to illuminate doorways, and you can enhance your backyard’s style by buying new sconces or bulbs for these spots. You should also have sufficient brightness around any pathways in your yard; solar-powered landscaping lights are durable enough for this purpose. Once practical lighting is taken care of, you might add additional lighting elements, such as torches, candles, or string lights, for some fun summer flair.
You might call yourself the grill master, but when was the last time you cleaned your favourite cooking tool? Especially after six months without use, grills need a good scrubbing. The blackened gunk on your grill isn’t delicious char seasoning; it’s dirt, and allowing it to stay is dangerous as well as disgusting. Once a year, you should disassemble your grill and allow the components to soak in liquid grill cleaner. Then, with a wire brush and vacuum, scrape off any remaining grime on and around the grill. After doing this, you will receive even higher praise for your tasty barbecue.