Need to give the garden a spring clean? Yes! The weather is getting warmer and slowly we will be migrating outside more often so now is the time to get out there and give the garden a spring clean. James Mawson from Outdoor Living Direct has given us his tips for that much needed spring clean for your garden:
Know your destiny – Before you do anything, consider the kind of use that your backyard or garden area is going to get over the spring/summer season ahead. Who’s going to be using this space? What for? Do you plan to host a barbecue on Grand Final day, or hold any other sort of outdoor party? Does it need to be safe for kids? Is this space strictly for two-legged members of your household, or will furry family members also be enjoying the area? You’ll do a much better job at readying your outdoor area for what lies ahead if you have this all sorted out in your head while you’re going about your spring cleaning.
Got weed? – A lot of weeds are going to absolutely love the warmth and light of the sunny months ahead, so make life easier on your future summer self by pulling any early ones out at root. A little work now can save a lot of work later on!
Rake it up, rakey – Spring is the perfect time to give the lawn a good raking. This will help aerate the roots and soil. While the leaves of the grass absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, the roots need oxygen from the soil. A well aerated soil will make your lawn much healthier.
Toupee time – Bald patches in your lawn? Spring is by far the best time of year to plant new seed.
Don’t explode! – Barbecues and other outdoor cooking options will look more and more tempting as the weather gets nicer. This might be the first time they’ve seen any use since before the winter. Before you do, give everything a good clean and check it over thoroughly. This is especially important if it runs on gas. Poorly maintained gas barbecues are potentially very dangerous. Check the hose and connections for leaks using soapy water – if there’s a leak, bubbles will form. Whether you’re using gas or not, you’ll probably want to clear out any critters who decided that underneath the cooktop was a good place to hibernate through the winter.
Enforce conscription – Get the whole household involved. Not only do many hands make light work, but you’ll get to enjoy the fresh spring air together. It’ll also go some way towards preparing your kids for the day when they’re looking after a place without you.
Gutter talk – It’s common for gutters to get clogged up with dead leaves and twigs over winter. Clear them so that water can freely flow.
Get it built before Santa’s in his sleigh – If you have any plans at all to renovate or remodel your backyard, early spring is a good time to get started. The general idea here is that if you can have it all knocked over before summer’s well and truly here then you’ll be able to properly enjoy the space through the Christmas/new year period without bumping into any stray wheelbarrows or such.
The spice of life – Spring is a great time to plant some herbs – here in Melbourne, basil and parsley are a great bet at this time of year, with a couple of tiny plants providing a wealth of the freshest in flavour for months to come. If you have a bit more space to play with, you can consider a veggie patch as well. Gardenate is a great place to check what’s good to plant in your climate zone.
Sitting pretty – Clean any outdoor furniture and cushions. You don’t want your guests sitting in anything dirty.
Pay Oscar a visit – This might seem like it’s a little out of left field, but if you ever have problems with stinky rubbish or recycling bins then early spring is a good time to give them a thorough cleaning out. If you wait until the height of summer to do it, the stench will be unbearable.
Good fences make good fences – Checking fences and gates is a good idea. It’s an especially good idea if you have any waggy-tailed, four-legged friends in your life. Over winter, he or she might have been pretty keen to stay indoors as much as possible, but now that it’s warmer, there’s so many exciting things to sniff at outside, and he or she might even be tempted to tunnel under or squeeze through any holes in the fence! Now while nobody will fault a fella for enthusiasm, spring and summer will be much more fun if you don’t have to spend any of it wondering if your best mate’s been run over by a car.
Windows – Clean ‘em (or pay someone to if you can’t be bothered but do it).
Dead lamps need to go – With the outdoor entertaining season coming up, you’ll probably want your lighting to, umm, work. So check that they do, then remove and replace any dead or burnt out globes. If you find this task tedious (I don’t blame you) then consider replacing them with drop-in LED replacement globes – these last for ages. Or you can even switch over to solar LED solutions that require no wiring to the house.
Feed the beast – Spring is a good time to apply fertilizer to your lawn and garden areas.
Prune – Cut off any dead areas on any plants that need it, before new spring growth takes over.
Don’t be dinner – Spring and summer in Australia often means mosquitoes. Tell these guys to buzz off. Citronella lamps or candles are one way to go about this. Sort this out before they start eating you or your guests alive.
- About our Author: My name is James Mawson and I write about outdoor entertaining and lifestyle on the Outdoor Living Direct blog.