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Wakey, wakey. Your winter hibernation is over and it’s time to feel the sun on your sensibly sun screened back. But before you get too comfortable, you have a job to do – the traditional spring clean. Spring cleaning should be an indoors/outdoors job which means the exterior of the house should receive as much attention as the interior. After all, you’ll soon be spending a lot more time outdoors, so postpone the dusting of the venetian blinds and concentrate on the back yard instead.
Your winter garden is a good place to start. Overgrown and neglected over the colder months, it needs a good tidy up. Pruning and weeding are the most obvious chores but it’s also a smart idea to treat your garden for insects and other pests that traditionally appear when your plants start to bud or flower.
Apply a layer of mulch and organic garden feed to the soil to promote spring growth. While you’re dealing with things at ground level, invest in weed mats. Weeds thrive in spring time, and pulling them out just cuts into your leisure time, so mats are a good buy. A good layer of top mulch will also help in the fight against weeds.
Your deck or patio are party hotspots over summer, so make sure they’re clean, presentable AND safe. Friends and family will gather on your wooden deck so it’s a good time to check that winter rain hasn’t affected the decking timber. Rotting, spongey boards can present a real hazard, as can nails which might have popped up through wet timber over winter. In a fight between decking nails and jandals, the nails usually win, so these safety issues, as well as cleaning matters, should be dealt with.
Give your outdoor furniture a good clean, as well as the exterior walls of your home. Pressure clean footpaths and paved areas – you’ll be amazed how much muck and grime can accumulate on concrete over the wetter months, and how slippery and ugly they become as a result. Apply oil or stain to timber structures like the back fence, or deck. Give your front fence a good wash, or repaint it if you feel so inclined. Your fence IS your first impression, so it might even be time to replace it altogether? Pre-primed Motueka Pickets from Get Growing only require a good quality acrylic top coat, making fence replacement easier than you think.
Even if you’ve done all these things, your outdoor area still won’t look its best if you don’t do something about the lawn. Rake up leaves and twigs that have fallen on the lawn over winter – these can go into your compost pile. (Spring is the best time to start composting – check out more in our Composting in September blog) If the lawn still looks a little ragged, give it a “weed&feed” style treatment or even some aeration, as the wet soil might have compacted over winter, with limited grass growth as a result.
Once you’ve done all that, you can relax – until you get the call to come inside and dust the venetians, like you promised. Once the blinds are done, you have a long, hot summer to look forward to. Enjoy every minute – you deserve it!