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Carson’s 5 Tips to Reduce Outdoor Chores

With sunny days finally arriving, home-owners are finally able to take the cover off the barbecue and pull out the patio furniture. With an unreasonably short spring this year, we’re all looking to make the most of our time spent enjoying our time outdoors.

We all have our ‘must-do’ list when it comes to maintaining the house. We also have our ‘should-do’ list that we get to if nothing better comes along. It’s no surprise that most outdoor chores end up on the latter. It’s easy to ignore the backyard at the end of a long workday, thinking that we will get to those jobs on the weekend. I have a better idea, why don’t we cut the workload so you have fewer items on your list to being with?

Here are my top 5 tips for reducing your outdoor chores this summer.

1. Use some colour

Use colourful planters instead of colourful plants to add impact to your space. Plants that flower generally require more care and attention than ones that do not. The other big challenge with using plants to create colourful impact is that most perennials and several annuals only bloom for a few weeks. If you want reds, blues or oranges at your front door or on the deck, choose a container that already has them and fill it with lush ferns or rich grasses. Now, you’ll have exactly the look you want for your space…all summer long.

Carson's 5 Tips to Reduce Outdoor Chores

Image Credit: Andrea Homier via Flickr

2. Sharpen your tools

Take the time this spring to sharpen all of your tools. We all know that kitchen knives work better when they are sharp. The same is true for all of the blades on your yard tools. Make sure you sharpen the blades on the mower and your pruners. No one wants to have to go over a section of the lawn more than once or have to try and ‘chew’ through a branch with dull pruners. If you can’t do it yourself, make sure you take it to someone who can.

3. Use pre-stained wood

I’ve started using wood that is pre-stained for all of my decks and fences. There are lots of products entering the market that promise easy care and maintenance for our wood surfaces, but they’re not all created equal. My go-to is MicroPro Sienna. It’s the same price as the pressure treated wood, but because it’s been treated with a great brown shade, I don’t need to stain it every spring. I love that it looks like expensive cedar but costs a fraction of the price and most importantly, reduces the amount of time I spend caring for it to almost nothing.

4. Add interesting items

Instead of filling the gardens with plants, try adding some non-living décor. I hate to use the term garden art because it brings up images of painted metal flowers or garden gnomes pushing wheelbarrows. Instead, I’m suggesting that you add items of interest to the garden. Funky birdhouses, architectural metal shapes, even tall wood obelisks all make for an interesting garden space and once they are in, require zero effort to maintain! In fact, most of these items look better with age.

5. Avoid the weeding

I’m pretty vocal about this one, I hate weeding. I REALLY hate weeding. My secret to avoid weeding all summer is newspaper! We’ve all heard about using mulch in a garden around the plants to prevent weed growth, and it does work…some of the time. I learned a simple technique of lining the beds with 7 layers of simple newspaper and then adding mulch on top of it. The reason this works so well is because the newspaper takes away one component that weeds need to grow; light. The newspaper will also naturally breakdown under the mulch adding nutrients to the soil below.

Carson's 5 Tips to Reduce Outdoor Chores

Image Credit: Georgia Harper via Flickr

These tricks are sure to make your outdoor chores a little easier, but on the days when your life is filled with exciting family activities and summer vacations a little help is needed. Find the exact help you’ll need with a click of a button by using the eieihome landscapers directory.



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