Winter is the season for focusing on the interior of your home since darker, colder, and wetter days keep us from our favorite outdoor activities. Once spring is on the horizon, however, that balance begins to shift and it’s time to focus more on the outdoors.
7 Steps to Get Your Backyard Ready for Spring
For many Bay Area homes, the backyard is an extension of the interior living spaces during the late-spring, summer and fall months. This means you should place equal attention on sprucing up your backyard space so it welcomes you and guests outdoors, and provides a comfortable space to relax, unwind, play and dine.
- Spring cleaning. Take that spring-cleaning itch outside and put it to work in your backyard. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, contact a reputable local landscaping company and schedule a spring cleaning day with them. This will ensure all those old leaves, twigs and branches are moved up and out of the way. They will eliminate early weeds from the plant beds and can amend the soil and prep flower beds for your upcoming spring planting.
- Fertilize. Your lawn, shrubs and trees can’t wait to sprout, bloom and grow but they need nutrients for that. This is a good time to fertilize the soil in these areas, creating the foundation for lush foliage and blooms that will transform your outdoor spaces. For the lawn, consider using a fertilizer with crabgrass pre-emergent to stop unwelcome crabgrass before it can get a tenacious hold on your lawn. Once it’s established, crabgrass is difficult to eradicate.
- Give patio furniture the once-over. What’s your patio furniture looking like these days? Sometimes, the changes that happen right under our nose are the hardest to see. Thus, the fresh new patio furniture you bought last year may have faded a bit over the summer without you even noticing. Take an objective look and decide if perhaps some repainting, oiling or refinishing is in order. Maybe it’s time to purchase some new cushions and pillows for a more vibrant look as well.
- Trim and Shape. Make your way from bush-to-bush, shrub-to-shrub and around any ornamentals you can safely reach. Trim and shape them once their growth is established enough to take the hit. Use YouTube as an ample source of pruning advice from the pros. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes when those unruly, fast-growing branches and shoots are trimmed back into shape. Hire a professional arborist or tree trimmer to tackle the taller, more established trees.
- Update outdoor lighting. Your outdoor lighting plan is as important as your indoor version. Only in this case, safety takes a primary spot on the considerations list. Make sure that all steps and pathways and uneven areas of ground are well-illuminated after sunset. Use a combination of up- and downlighting to create ambience and to showcase hardscape and landscape features. Don’t forget soft twinkle lights and colorful strings of lanterns or stars around trees and the main gathering spots.
- Use container gardens to your advantage. Container gardening is an essential element for the busy homeowner. Not only are containers smaller and easier to plant and maintain than regular planter boxes, containers can be selected for color and pattern as well. This means that empty container you haven’t gotten to quite yet will still provide beneficial visual impact to the landscape. Vary sizes, shapes and colors for extra interest.
- Add that fire and/or water feature. If you don’t have these already, it’s time to invest. There are plenty of affordable, portable options if you’re a renter or simply aren’t ready to spring for a permanent version. Fire and water features add loads of atmosphere to outdoor spaces and when accompanied by comfortable seating, they provide endless hours of enjoyment, relaxation and conversation-centric zones. Another benefit of a water feature? It adds welcome white noise for homes located along busy streets or adjacent to noisy neighbors.