Summer is one of the most fun times of the year, and everyone is looking forward to backyard barbecues, family reunions and pool parties. A lot of folks are also just looking forward to relaxing in a cozy chair with an ice-cold glass of lemonade and watching the grass grow.
But can any of that stuff happen with your yard in its current state? If not, then now is the time to get busy and clean it up. Follow these five quick tips for getting your backyard ready for friends and family this summer.
Clear out as Much Trash as Possible
When you first set out to clean up your yard for the summer, it can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? The best place to begin is by picking up trash.
Don’t look at all the different things you need to do in that yard, or you’ll feel overwhelmed and never start. Just pick up ten pieces of trash and toss them in your garbage can. Then pick up 10 more. Continue until you’ve cleaned up all or most of the trash.
Remove Bulky Items and Junk
If you’re like most long-time homeowners, you’ve probably got a lot of large, bulky junk that’s been accumulating over the years. Sure, at the time it might have seemed like a good idea to keep that old broken bookshelf or that old car. All it needed was one new shelf or a new water pump, right?
Well, that was eight years ago, and now it’s beyond repair. So suck it up, swallow your pride and just get rid of the darn things. Call one of those places that gives people money for junk cars, or put up a listing on Craigslist to have someone come and take it for free. You’ll be glad once it’s finally out of there.
Fill in Potholes and Level the Ground
Now that the ground is cleared up, take a look around and see what kind of work it needs. There’s probably a lot of dead grass that needs to be watered or even ripped out. Is the ground uneven or have holes that need to be filled? If it’s a small yard, you can probably do it yourself with a shovel and wheelbarrow. Otherwise, enlist some help to smooth it over.
Install New Lawn or Landscaping
Now you’re ready to give your backyard a makeover with some new landscaping. If you can afford to hire a pro, then do it. The sooner you get your yard fixed up, the sooner you can start throwing backyard barbecues and pool parties.
But you can do a lot by yourself too. Don’t bother with grass seeds, as it will take forever to grow. Instead, buy some strips of sod — pre-grown grass — that you can lay yourself. Dig out the old, dead grass. Put down a little soil for the new grass to dig into, then lay down the sod and give it a good watering. In one weekend you can have an instant lawn put in.
Do this a couple weeks before you have company over, though, so that the new sod has a chance to anchor itself into the ground and set in its roots. Otherwise, walking on the sod too soon could damage it.
Complete Other Unfinished Projects
With the yard itself looking good, take some time to tackle some other outdoor projects that you’ve been putting off. Give Your Grill A Deep Cleaning. Weed out the flower planters. Repaint the trim around your windows. Rescreen the back sliding door. Little touches like that will give you even more pride and satisfaction as you kick back this summer in your backyard.
If you’re off to a late start this summer, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to get your yard ready and squeeze in some lazy afternoons in the shade with friends and family. Start with the first tip on this list and then take it one little step at a time. Before you know it, your yard will be in great shape and ready to go.