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Outdoor living: so much to do this time of year

Every homeowner has an inventory of things to do outside when the warm weather hits. In fact, we’ve already written about what spring cleaning you should do both indoors and outdoors to get your home summer-ready. Outdoor design and lifestyle expert Carson Arthur opened our eyes to other important projects around the home. Get a helping hand from our outdoor cleaning experts!

Cutting the lawn, weeding the garden, washing the windows and cleaning out the eaves always seem to be at the top of every list, including my own. This year however, I’m adding a few new ‘must-do’ items that will go a long way to making my outdoor season more enjoyable.

Top-dress the lawn

Now you’re probably saying that this is something you already do. This spring, I’m taking it one step further and reseeding my entire lawn! Every July, I have yellow patches in my grass when then hot weather hits. Most of our lawns are Kentucky Blue Grass which naturally goes dormant in hot weather. To fix this, I’m going to add a second variety of seed – a rye fescue – because it stays green all season long. To do this, just add one 2-kilo bag of seed to one 20-lb bag of top soil. Mix them in a wheelbarrow and spread all over the existing grass. The ‘seed-to-soil’ contact is what makes this work!

landscaping design

Remove the mould

As an allergy sufferer, eliminating the spores that are forming in the damp, warm weather is extremely important to me.  Washing the outdoor cushions is only one part of the equation. Mould can form on decks, furniture, siding and eaves troughs. Instead of just washing it, this year, I’m eliminating the mould growing in my outdoor living spaces. Last year, I tried a product called Concrobium in a few specific places to see the impact. Not only is it safe to use around the plants, but it effectively cleans and eliminates the mould spores and roots from all kinds of surfaces.

Here’s Arthur talking about how to clean your patio furniture – just in time for those summer get-togethers!

Wash the salt

It was only a few weeks ago, but you probably don’t want to remember the fact that snow and ice were only recently decorating your property. But winter can cause damage to the outer parts of your home long after the season is over! Whether you use salt on your sidewalks or on the driveway during the winter, it still accumulates all around the outside of your home. Even though I never use salt, it gets tracked onto the path and driveways from city streets and sidewalks. Salt damage to plants and grass happens as the snow melts or as the rain carries the deposits into the yard.  This build up in the soil can be very damaging and increase after every winter. One of the best ways to remove the salt from areas that are showing damage is with a mild vinegar-water solution.exterior cleaning

  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 litre water
  • Mix together to make a rinse and use it to remove the salt from concrete or asphalt.
  • I use a stiff bristle boat mop to make the job quick and easy!

Gardeners, mulch late!

Here’s a tip you won’t have to work on right away! Mulching in the spring is very important, but most people do it too early. In the spring, I’ve always tried to mulch when the snow melts to conserve water by keeping the ground moist. Mulch acts as an insulator, protecting the plants from the elements. However, if you put it on the ground before the soil is completely thawed…the mulch keeps the ground colder for longer! The best time to put mulch down is when the ground is 5 to 7 degrees. You can actually measure ground temperature by completely burying a thermometer. Just remember to put it in a resealable bag first.

spring cleaning

Everyone wants to be outside as much as possible with our short seasons. If you need some help with the clean-up, we can put you in touch with the experts! We have a directory of exterior cleaning professionals. This is their specialty! Scroll through image galleries and read customer reviews to help you make a decision on who to hire!

More in Outdoor Living

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Pro Landscaping Secrets to a Low-Maintenance Backyard

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