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With the arrival of spring and dreams of summer barbecues on the horizon, there is no better time to start thinking about doing some outdoor home maintenance after a winter of hibernation. If you do it now, you do not have to waste beautiful summer days slaving away under the hot sun. Here are 6 outdoor maintenance tasks that you can do ahead of time.

  1. Prepare the garden – If you didn’t get around to weeding your garden in the fall, this is the perfect time to remove all the weeds, dead foliage and any other debris that accumulated over the winter. You can also take note of what plants are perennials (a plant that lives more than two years), and which ones will need to be replaced. Topping up the garden with new soil and mulch is a great way to ensure that there are plenty of nutrients available for the seeds you will be planting in the coming months. Click here for an article that describes how to tell whether your soil is ready to be prepared for spring.
  2. Clean the gutters – Gutters can often get clogged with leaves and other debris, especially if you have large trees surrounding your house. They are also an important part of your roofing system, and if they are clogged it can cause serious issues including a leaky or rotting roof, ice dams forcing water into your home and even attract rodents, mosquitoes and ants. It is recommended that you clean your gutters twice a year – once in the spring and again in the fall. If you do not have a ladder and other tools needed to clean your gutters (or have a fear of heights), there are plenty of companies that will provide this service to you for a reasonable price. If you’re in the Ottawa area, you can find a list of BBB Accredited businesses here.
  3. Inspect & prepare your deck – Canadian winters can do a number on a patio or deck so spring is the perfect time to do a thorough inspection to ensure the deck is in good working order. An inspection includes checking for rotting boards, cracks or protruding screws. It’s especially important to look at the underbelly of the deck to make sure everything is secure. Does it need to be re-stained? Spring is the perfect time of year to undertake that project. You can give the deck a thorough cleaning with soap and water and remove any rotting foliage nearby, which can hold water and accelerate deck rotting. Once your deck or patio is in tip-top shape, you can bring out the patio furniture from storage, haul out the BBQ and give it a good cleaning and you’ll be ready to host a backyard party!
  4. Organize your shed and garage – Start the season off with a clean slate! You will be so much more productive this spring and summer if you organize these key spaces. We all know how we like to shove as much stuff as possible into our sheds and garages and then close the door and hope the mess disappears, but unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Spring is when you have to take a deep breath, enjoy the clean, crisp air and get down to business. Set up different areas for gardening and yard maintenance equipment, tools, sports equipment and car supplies. Consider what items you use the most and make these easily accessible to you, while stowing away the items that do not need to be used this season. For example, snow shovels and snow blowers can be put away, making room for lawn mowers and rakes.
  5. Lawn Maintenance – Did you have time to rake all the leaves before the snow arrived? If not, the spring is the perfect time to get rid of all the dead foliage that fell during the winter months. If you see weeds, now is the time to nip them in the bud. You can also take a good look at the condition of your lawn to see if there are any spotty or thinning areas that should be reseeded. Spring is a great time for reseeding, as there is usually a lot of moisture in the soil which will help the seeds take root. Adding fertilizer to your lawn during this time of year will give it an extra boost to start growing. Remember, a healthy lawn provides excellent curb appeal to a home.
  6. Prune your trees and bushes – Early spring is the best time to prune your trees and non-flowering bushes because it gets rid of dead and diseased wood and promotes new growth. Besides, you’re going to be so busy later on in the summer hosting BBQs, tending to the garden and mowing the lawn, you likely won’t have time for pruning! For a step-by-step guide on how to trim your trees and bushes click here.
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