It’s that time again! Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to get your yard prepped and ready for another season of backyard fun. Winter can leave its mark with broken branches or dreaded bare patches, and some much-needed clean-up. No worries though! By following these 6 easy tips you will have a functional backyard oasis in no time, ready to meet all your summer needs.

1. Check Hand tools and equipment.

Having the right tools is important to successfully complete any task at hand. So now is the time to gather up all those yard tools that have been stashed away all winter, and get them ready for another season of use. It is important to check if any tools need repairing or need to be replaced. Make sure you give the rest of your tools a good cleaning and acquire any additional tools that you will need for the season.

Before mowing season begins, tune-up your lawnmower. Sharpen the blades, replace the spark plug, change the oil, and fill it up with fresh gas. Check your other gas & electric-powered tools as well for any needed cleaning and/or maintenance. 

Now would also be a good time to check your irrigation system to make sure it is functioning properly.

2. Rake & Trim 

In general, deciduous trees and shrubs should be trimmed in early spring when they are dormant. Trimming trees and shrubs helps promote optimal growth, appearance, and health in the coming season. 

Pruning shears, which are scissor action secateurs, are the best tool for small branches and make a cleaner cut than the anvil secateurs which are more of a pinching action. Lopping shears are a larger type of cutting tool that is used for larger branches and comes with a longer handle than pruning shears. 

Once you have finished trimming it’s time to start your lawn prep by using a rake to remove any leaves, twigs, and other debris that have accumulated over winter. 

3. Inspect, Repair or Build –  Deck & Fence

Your deck and fence are both exposed to the elements all year long, so every spring it is important to do a thorough check for any damage that needs to be addressed before the season. 

Check for rot and mildew, loose boards or railings, rotten fence posts or pickets, nails that may be popping out, etc. and repair any of these problems. 

Give your deck a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer or good old fashioned elbow grease and deck cleaner. Once the deck is dry, apply a fresh coat of stain or sealer to make your deck look brand new and protect against the elements for another year. 

If you don’t have a deck and/or fence yet then spring can be the perfect time to tackle that project. There are tons of DIY fence and deck projects online that can make your outdoor space even more amazing. 

4. Clean up the Shed/Garage

Spring is a good time to go through and clean out anything that may be broken or that you simply don’t use anymore. Starting the season with a clean and organized space makes finding the tools you need throughout the season much easier. 

There are many different ways to organize your shed and/or garage and in turn maximize your space. You can add shelving units to utilize your vertical space, floating shelves,  ceiling mounted storage racks, wall hooks or Peg board. Take some time to organize it now and you’ll save time in the long run. 

5. Clean up the Grill

I love this time of year! The snow has finally melted and it’s time to fire up the grill! My family lives on BBQ dishes through the warmer months of the year, but before we get cooking, it’s always a good idea to give the grill a little TLC. 

Wipe down the hose and check for any signs of holes or excessive wear, and always replace the hose if needed. Give the whole thing a good scrubbing inside and out with some warm soapy water. You may need a metal scraper tool and steel soap pads to remove cooked on leftover food and rust from the grates.

Make sure to take a look at your grilling tools and replace any that are worn out. 

6. Make it Easy to Maintain

By creating a space that is easy to maintain, you will be able to spend more time relaxing and enjoying it. 

Reducing the size of your lawn can help you conserve both time and money. It can also reduce the negative environmental impact that is caused by water consumption, yard waste and gas powered lawn mowers. You could consider replacing some of your lawn space with things like flower beds, a fish pond, a water feature, or a play area for the kids. Creating an outdoor living space with a bar, dining area or fire pit is another great option. 

Mulch is a common yet effective way to cut down on maintenance. Mulch breaks down, fertilizes your plants and prevents weeds. It is low maintenance because you don’t have to mow it and it doesn’t need to be watered. Added bonus – It gives your backyard a pleasant aroma!

Always choose your plants wisely. Research shrubs and flowers that are native to your area as they will require less maintenance, saving you both time and money. Perennials are often a good choice as you only have to buy and plant them once, and then they just keep coming back year after year. 

Investing in an irrigation system (hands-free watering system) is a great way to ensure your space is getting the water it needs to thrive while maintaining a low maintenance yard. 

These 6 tips are a great way to make the most of your outdoor living space during the warmer months. Let us know what your favourite backyard prep tips are!