Spring is in the air! The days are growing warmer and the sweet scent of flowers fills the senses. After cold winter rains, winds and frosts, outdoor spaces are in definite need of a spruce up. So it’s time to shake off those winter blues and get spring-cleaning outdoors. To start, cast a critical eye around your outdoor spaces and make a list of the chores you’ll need to do to take your outdoor areas from winter drab to springtime fab.
All hands on deck
Hose down your outdoor decks and stain or varnish to give them a new lease on life. Pressure-wash cement, paved areas and stone steppers in the garden to remove mould, dirt and algae.
Rub, scrub and sparkle
Wash your timber furniture with warm soapy water to remove dirt buildup and bird droppings. Once it dries thoroughly, apply timber furniture oil to keep it looking fresh. Clean rattan and synthetic wicker furniture with a soft brush to remove dirt and cobwebs. Spot check marks on wicker furniture with soapy water, but don’t rub too hard. For plastic furniture, simply hose down and wipe.
Scrub your stainless-steel barbecue with mild soapy water to remove grease marks. Then spray specially formulated stainless-steel products to add an extra layer of protection.
Wage war on weeds
Remember, gentle spring rains mean moist soil, the ideal time for plant growth — and that includes weeds. The good news is damp soil makes it easy to pull up weeds. You can also stamp them out with weed killer, or pour boiling water on them. Spray at least one hour before the sun goes down and dew appears to allow it to do its job.
What a drip
Check your drip irrigation system for broken hose joiners, or leaks, and repair or replace as needed. Do a visual check of hoses for cracks and leaks.
For the birds
Spruce up water fountains and birdbaths to remove crusted seeds or dirt, wash well with a pressure washer, or use warm water and a scrubbing brush. Don’t use harsh chemicals as this may deter birds. Freshen up flowerbeds around the fountain or birdbath with spring blooms.
On the boarder
Repair or replace broken fence palings and give a lick of paint if needed. Trim hedging plants and shrubs in garden boarders. Rake any remaining leaves from deciduous plants and add to your compost.
Add a dash of colour to your garden with springtime bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, dahlias and gladioli. Liven up your gardens with a selection of pretty perfumed springtime annuals. Springtime flowers also include azaleas, wisteria, wallflowers and sun-loving Peruvian lily.
Go potty and add fresh potting mix to your potted plants. Remove the plants, being careful not to damage the root balls, add new potting mix and water in well.
Give your swimming pool a spring makeover so it’s sparkling clean and inviting for summer. Andrew Rothery from Crystal Pools says in order to get your pool ready for summer, check chlorine and salt levels, and take a water sample to your pool shop to be assessed.
+ Manually scrub pool surfaces to remove dirt buildup. + Check leaf canisters or baskets.
+ Run pumps and filters to ensure everything is working properly. + Clean down pool surrounds and have them resealed if needed.
Clean any shade structures, checking for loose boards or nails. Review your shade needs for the summer months ahead. Could you use another shade structure by the pool? Research clever shade options such as retractable awnings, or side-arm umbrellas.
Spring garden makeover
+ Inspect structures such as pergolas and trellises for structural soundness.
+ Add a fresh layer of mulch to garden beds to trap moisture and inhibit weed growth.
+ Prune shrubs to promote compact new growth.
+ Pull up dead annuals, fertilise and plant new ones for a splash of spring colour.
+ Clean out your gutters to remove any leaves or garden debris.
+ Over time, the soil beneath grass can become compacted; aerate to give it a new lease on life.
Create a fresh spring look with some of these bright ideas
+ Time to revamp your space — do the kids’ cubbyhouse or maybe your outdoor rooms need a fresh coat of paint?
+ Remove outdoor cushion covers and gently wash in soapy water, rinse and let them dry in the sun.
+ Could your entertaining spaces use some fresh new spring furniture, decor and soft furnishings?
+ Choose a new piece of vibrant springtime outdoor art — perhaps a statue or urn.
+ Add fresh and bold accent colours such as ruby reds, sunny yellows and lime greens to your colour palette.