(StatePoint) From backyard barbecues to water balloon fights, our outdoor spaces are home to some of our favorite memories. With warmer temperatures finally here, and everyone itching to get outside, preparing, and maintaining your outdoor space is a must, but it’s not everyone’s favorite chore.
Lawn and garden equipment expert, Eric Halfman from John Deere, put together this easy prep and maintenance guide guaranteed to have you kicking back and enjoying your backyard in no time:
Feed your lawn. The secret to luscious and green grass? Feeding your lawn. Fertilize your lawn every two months to increase the amount of nutrients your grass can absorb. A thick and healthy lawn also leaves little room for weeds and crabgrass to grow, keeping it looking clean all year round, with little weed-pulling required.
Wash the deck and furniture. Cleaning off your deck is an easy start to bringing your backyard back to life again. Break out the broom and sweep away any dirt or debris that has piled up. Then, fire up the power washer (available for rent at most home improvement stores) or your regular garden hose to rinse off any stuck-on dirt and grime. Lastly, wipe down your outdoor furniture with soap and water. Don’t forget to do a refresh occasionally throughout the season.
Plant new flowers. Bring some color back into your yard by planting new flowers! Whether it’s a flower bed or an array of big planters, flowers are a great way to dress up your backyard and they smell great, too. Head down to your local nursery to pick out a few colorful varieties to plant.
Mulch your garden. Limit the amount of effort needed to maintain your lawn and garden by adding a layer of mulch to your planting beds and around trees. No more mowing carefully around trees or painstakingly pulling weeds from your flower beds, as mulch helps keep weeds out of the picture and leaves your lawn looking great.
Mow your lawn. Whether you’re mowing your lawn once a week or once a month, John Deere recommends the following: Safely sharpen mower blades to ensure the grass is cut cleanly and evenly. Dull blades split the ends of grass, which allows turf diseases to spread and detracts from the beauty of the lawn. Follow the 1/3 rule, taking no more than the top third off the grass blade. Be sure to clean and maintain your mower for best performance -- use fresh gas, regularly check oil levels, and dust off dirt and debris.
Prep the grill. Light the barbecue, then peel and halve a large onion -- not for eating, but for cleaning. Stick a long-handled barbecue fork into the onion, then apply the cut side to the grill, putting to good use the onion’s pungent flavor and its unique antiseptic properties. Rub the onion back and forth with moderate pressure, and watch the accumulated gunk disappear.
More expert lawn and garden tips can be found by visiting deere.com.
With a little prep work and maintenance, you’ll be ready for family fun and making memories.