Spring clean your yard in 8 easy steps

Spring gets everybody’s blood pumping. The world starts to warm up, the birds come back, people start coming out of hibernation and we get to go out into our yards to play. It’s an exciting time. But, if your yard isn’t looking it’s best, it’s going to be hard to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about not having your spring chores done. So, lets get them done quickly and with the least amount of pain. The more comfortable your yard is, the more time you’ll want to spend there.

  1. Take inventory. Walk around your yard and make notes of what needs to be done. Do you have light bulbs out? Are there screens broken or missing? Does your door need a little touch up? Make a list of everything and list them according to priority. Then hang the list someplace and work on it when you have time. Walk out to the sidewalk and take note of what jumps out at you.
  1. Big impact items first. Your lawn is probably the biggest item so make sure it looks good. Give it a trim if it needs it or rake up any debris from the winter months. If you have rocks or other materials, spruce them up. Add a few new rocks if you have bare spots or spray off dirt and debris so they look fresh. Pick up any little trash items that might have blown in and make the area look it’s best

Prune trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs usually need to be pruned every year. Most bushes benefit from being cut down almost to the ground. If you didn’t get to it in the fall, give them a trim now and they’ll reward you with new growth and lots of new leaves.

  1. Prepare flower beds. The good news is that flowers are getting ready to bloom. The bad news is that weeds are getting ready too. With a little preparation, you can stop them in their tracks. Start by not stirring up your flower beds. It may feel good to get out there and turn the soil, but you’re also stirring up weed seeds. The more you churn the soil, the more seed pods will be exposed to the sunshine and air, which makes them grow faster.

Instead, use a weed inhibitor, sprinkled generously around your plants. Then add four inches of mulch on top. The mulch will give a little glamor to your gardens and you’ll only need to weed when one or two poke their pesky heads above the mulch.

  1. Flower power. Decide what flowers you need to buy and where to put them and get them in the ground. Divide any perennials that are getting a little overgrown and share some with your neighbors if you don’t have anywhere to put them. Don’t forget to add a dash of color by your front door to welcome your guests. Planters are a nice way add a little color and friendliness to your entryway.
  1. Give attention to your walks and driveway. Dirt and debris on your walks and driveway make your home look dingy and unloved. Give the edge of your grass a trim. Grass or plants that overflow onto your cement looks sloppy.
  1. Mailbox maintenance. Your mailbox is one of the first things people will see. Replace missing numbers, nobs, or faded lettering. Give the hinges on the door a spritz of WD40. Tighten up the bolts that hold it onto the pole. Trim the grass away from the pole and get rid of any weeds.
  1. Spruce up your lawn furniture. Get out your lawn furniture and wash it down with a good detergent. If you’re feeling good, give them a new coat of paint. If you’re feeling really good, buy new cushions for them. Maybe this is a good time to repaint your sun bleached and peeling benches. Make any necessary repairs and then get them out into your yard.

Make your weekly task list. If you like your yard but don’t like yard work, it’s tough to get out there every Saturday to get the work done. The amazing part is that there’s no rule that it has to be done on Saturday and there’s no rules about what has to be done. You can do it on Tuesday night or Friday morning before you go to work. It’s only important that you get the general maintenance done fairly regularly. A shabby yard isn’t welcoming even for those that already live there. Take one or two items on your list and set time aside for doing them. If you don’t like doing yard chores, pay the kid down the street to do them.

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