Is Your Backyard Ready for Summer 2019?

It’s been a long winter this year — longer than usual it seems. It’s definitely been a winter to remember, with our last official snowfall being May 8th here! Now that we are starting to feel the warmth of the sun, the itch of summer planning is emerging (FINALLY RIGHT!??!) Before you know it, summertime will have parents feeling like they're in the midst of juggling kids while searching for ways to keep them happy & entertained all within the confines of the budget.

As the temps warm up, it can be so easy to tell the kids “go play outside” but is your backyard ready for them? The winter weather can take a toll on your home between the foliage and outdoor furniture, not to mention the house structure and other outdoor areas. Take the time now to make sure everything is ready for the kids and for adult entertaining too!

 
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Have you thought of it all? Here’s a few thoughts to help you get your outdoor escape ready for summer family fun!

  1. Start With Foliage Inspections: The ice, rain, snow and winds can damage your shrubs and trees. On a sunny, happy to be back outside kind of day, walk around your home and look for the broken branches and dead foliage/plants. If you can’t clean them now, make a note and care for them before summer arrives. This is a perfect time to get the kids engaged with helping to prepare for a little backyard evening fire. Make it a family affair to gather up the sticks/broken branches in the yard and plan for a s’mores-making-evening fire.

  2. Take the Time Now for a Lawn Assessment: Your backyard will be the site where the kids play, (Ok...the backyard will be the site where YOU play!) The first step in preparing your spring lawn is to aerate in order to allow the grass to breathe, while also helping water and nutrients reach the root system more efficiently. Re-seed the bare areas before the temps get too hot. Apply pre-emergent herbicides and fertilizer so your lawn gets the nutrients it needs to grow. Don’t forget to test the sprinkler system or the sprinklers and water hoses, making sure all are in good working order.

  3. Hardscape Clean Up is Important: Take a look at your deck, driveway, patios, and stone paths for any damage. You don’t want chips and cracks to be a safety hazard with kids running around the yard or the elderly visitor. Patch any cracked flagstone and even out any that have raised up or sunk down.

  4. Eliminate Any Pests: Make sure the outdoor environment around your home is not only attractive and fun, but healthy too. Take a detailed look around for signs of insect infestations, get rid of any rotting tree trunks, woodpiles, and other problem areas. It doesn’t take binoculars to sight bee hives or wasps nests, but it does take an attentive eye to spot the beginning of insect “construction zones”.  Apply necessary pest control methods or get that call in to your local pest control company soon.

  5. Repair or Replace Furniture: It would be absolutely devastating to see Grandma or Grandpa fall head-over-tea kettle, all because the leg of the chair broke! Avoid that scare by scanning all your deck and patio furniture for weaknesses. Paint, repair, or replace any concerning pieces!

    Helpful Tip: If the chains on the swing set have rusted, cover them with pool noodles! That will add some color to the yard while it hides the rust.

  6. And On To the Fun Stuff: Turn your prep-work into rewards! If you are tracking your steps, you’ll find it satisfying to know how much movement you engage in while doing yard work! Reward yourself with a reading break!

    Divide your day into goal segments by staying focused to complete a task in a self-designated time block—Reward yourself with phoning a friend to rest with a nice cool fruit-infused water!

    Plan the day with the family by having a team-effort goal to be completed by a certain time! Reward Time is a Motivating Evening Family Activity!!

As the saying goes—Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today...As always, the summer entertaining season will fly by—so get your to-do list going. Do what you can now so you can make the Summer of 2019 THE summer of all summers~