Clear the Way

Over the colder months, trash, dead plants and various other unexplained debris can wind up taking residence in garden beds, in bushes and shrubs, window wells and really any other place it can find its way.  Spend some time walking your property and removing anything that has built up since the fall.  Removing the gunk will not only help when you go to plant your garden and prepare your green spaces, but removing this debris will also help you to keep pests at bay, since many insects, rodents and other unwelcome guests like to take up residence here.  Plus, just spending the time to pick up your space will immediately make it look and feel better.  Who doesn’t appreciate instant gratification?

Inspect Walkways and Patios

While white winters with homes and yards covered with a pristine blanket of snow are the things that Christmas carols are made of, they can really do a number on patios and walkways.  Materials like wood, concrete and stone are porus by nature, and liquid can easily get into the tiny cracks and openings within.  Once there, dropping temperatures cause the liquid to freeze and thus, expand.  This process occurring over and over again through the colder months can weaken these materials and cause cracking and separation.  Spend some time really looking at these areas to catch anything potentially problematic early on.  Unfortunately, taking a “wait and see” approach will likely land you with a hefty bill from a handyman, as ignoring early signs can quickly lead to an unsafe situation that may require a complete overhaul, putting a real damper on your early summer outdoor plans.  

Feel out the Fence

Like we mentioned before, wood is a porous material, and thus, prone to damage from the combination of moisture and freezing temperatures.  When the snow and cold are finally done, it is important to inspect your fences for any damage that may have occurred over the winter.  Look for signs of warping, rot and compromised structural integrity.  If there does not appear to be any damage that needs to be addressed (and if there is, by all means address it), it is a good idea to give your fence a good start to the season by pressure washing.  The dirt and mildew that build up on the wood’s surface can cause it to deteriorate more quickly, so removing this gunk is a great idea.  If you want to go the extra mile, after you have everything nice and clean, pick up the painbush and apply a seal.  This protects your fence against moisture and helps maintain a clean look.  

Get the Grass in Gear

We all know that there is an unspoken competition in the neighborhood as to who can produce the most lush, weed-free, magazine-worthy lawn on the street.  It has been this way since the dawn of time, or at least since the birth of the ‘burbs.  If you’re looking to make an impact, now is the time to start making the appropriate moves to ensure that you take your rightful place at the top of the victor’s podium.  To start, rake over the entire space, removing any dead grass and debris.  If you notice any areas that are a bit bare, spread a layer of grass seed (enough to completely cover the bare area), and then cover with a thin layer of soil over top.  Keep an eye on these spots and keep giving them enough water to encourage growth.  You’ll want to hold off on actually mowing these spots until they are a bit longer than the rest of your lawn, to be sure that they have fully established.  You will also want to consider a fertilizing treatment, aeration and edging, in order to make the most impact possible.  If you want some more valuable info, consider looking here.