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The Ultimate Outdoor Spring Cleaning Guide

 
The Ultimate Outdoor Spring Cleaning Guide

Posted: April 29 2021

It's Time for an Outdoor Spring Clean!

After our long unapologetic Canadian winter season, your exterior deserves some TLC. We’ve put together our go-to list to help guide your outdoor spring clean-up to make the job systematic and far less daunting! It’s time to put your old denim on, hit up your local home improvement store, roll up your sleeves and get to work!


1. Dead Foliage

First things first, grab the rake! Decongest your lawn and flowerbeds of old dead foliage, broken twigs and debris that collect over the cold months. While you’re at it, don’t forget to pull up annuals that won’t regrow in the summer. This helps with new growth and makes the following tasks more manageable.


2. Pruning

If you have trees or shrubs, take your pruning shears and get rid of dead ends and long lanky branches. Various plant and tree species require different pruning techniques, be sure you’re removing dead branches accordingly to encourage plant regrowth and rejuvenation instead of inhibiting growth.1


3. Check Your Gutters

Clear and check eavestroughs, downspouts and shingles! Efficient rooftop drainage will help keep your basement dry, as they move water away from your home. Remove all debris and repair any damage to protect your home!


4. Eco Station!

Once you’ve collected all the unwanted junk from your yard, be sure to hit up your local eco-station to get rid of natural debris sustainably and responsibly! Free drop off yard waste includes bark, grass clippings, fallen tree fruits, houseplants, leaves, mulch, pinecones and needles, woodchips, garden trimmings, branches, trees, sticks and twigs, stumps, tree roots, tree trimmings and trunks.2


5. Aerate Your Lawn

Now that you’ve cleaned up your yard, lawn aeration is next! This is a landscaping technique that puts little holes in your sod to allow for air, water and nutrients to better reach the roots of your grass to encourage new growth and deeper healthier roots! It’s ideal to get this maintenance item done late Spring.


6. Organic Fertilizer

Once you’re done with lawn aeration, it’s time to fertilize! We challenge you to use an all-natural organic fertilizer! Your lawn will be safer for kiddies and pups to play on, free of harsh chemicals and environmentally friendlier. You can find organic fertilizers at most garden centers, the best organic lawn fertilizers contain natural ingredients such as seaweed for potassium, bone meal for phosphorous, and feather meal for nitrogen.3


7. Grab the hose!

Wash down your garage door, trim, walkways, windows, and patio to rid of dirt and debris from winter. You may also use a power washer for this task, although be cautious of the pressure applied to hard surfaces–you can do more damage than good if you apply too much pressure! We suggest taking a bucket of water, eco-friendly cleaner and a soft sponge or microfibre to detail around your doors and windows to gently wash away winter dirt and grime. Ps. If you have planters or flowerpots, wash those down too!


8. Driveway & Concrete

Seasonal temperatures and varying precipitation can cause cracking in your sidewalks and driveway. It’s a good idea to repair cracks and seal your concrete annually to increase its longevity. Once you’ve washed away the winter grime and cleaned up around your driveway, choose a choose a sunny day for this task, because precipitation will interfere with the sealant curing process.


9. Window Screens

This unpleasant task is best to do when the hose is out, so you can get rid of all the dirt build up at once! Carefully remove your window screens using the plastic pull tabs. Apply even pressure to both tabs at once to pop the screen out. It’s a good idea to use masking tape or labels of some sort to keep track of which screen pairs with which window. Once you’ve accomplished the removal, close the windows, and gently wash the screens down using that bucket and eco-friendly cleaner you used for the glass and door detailing! Let them air dry, and pop them back into place! Ps. Clean window screens also help improve indoor air quality!


10. Vent Screens

Clean intake vent screens! With a forced-air heating system (furnace with ducting), fresh air is brought into the home from an intake vent located near the ground at one side of your home.




Resources:

1. Pandolfi, Keith. “Tips for a Lush, Organic Lawn.” This Old House, This Old House, 18 Oct. 2020, www.thisoldhouse.com/lawns/21015220/tips-for-a-lush-organic-lawn. 

2. “Eco Stations.” City of Edmonton, www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/garbage_waste/eco-stations.aspx. 

3. Greaves, written by Jessica, et al. “Spring Landscaping Checklist.” HomeStars Blog, 2 May 2019, blog.homestars.com/spring-landscaping-checklist/.

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