While things are certainly improving from just one short year ago, Americans are still spending more time than ever at home, and as the spring season approaches it’s a great opportunity to rediscover your space outside. Fresh air, sun, trees. Nature is a beautiful thing, and according to some studies, can have strong healing powers — such as improving mood, boosting the immune system, and increasing anti-cancer proteins. Before you pull out your lawn chairs a spring cleaning routine for your outdoor area is a good idea so you can enjoy it without worry. Here are some tips from Good Housekeeping to consider. 

Lawn


Remove any debris cluttering your lawn: Pick up any fallen branches or twigs, clean leftover pet messes, and rake leaves when the ground is completely dry. (FYI, raking over wet grass can tear grass from the roots, leaving you with even more bare patches.) Instead of bagging up leaves and twigs, use them as the foundation for a compost pile.

Clean Dirty Patio Furniture 


If your metal and plastic outdoor furniture needs a good clean, mix a generous amount of dish liquid soap with warm water in a bucket. Then spray the furniture down with a hose. Using a nylon scrub brush, wash the chairs with the solution; then rinse thoroughly. Cut the drying time by tipping the furniture on its side in the grass to let the water drain off.

Garden Beds


Flowers need room to grow, so it's important that you clear garden beds of fallen leaves, dead foliage, and unruly weeds before spring is in full swing. Not sure when it's time to get to work? Start raking fallen leaves and digging up dead plants as soon as the soil has thawed and the last frost has passed. Then, overhaul your garden beds by following these tips:


  • Dig up perennials, including daylilies and hostas, and divide them into three-stem groupings. Use them to fill in any sparse spots in the garden bed.
  • Shovel out last year's mulch to provide a blank slate for a new layer, which should be added once spring planting is complete.
  • Want to add more plant beds this year? Use a tiller to break new ground, or build raised beds to make a bigger statement. Starting in early spring, plant trees, shrubs, and hardy perennial flowers (bleeding heart and geraniums, for example). Wait until the last frost of the season to plant annuals and tender perennials (begonias and calla lillies, to name a few).

These are just a few of the many tips to get your outdoor area ready for the spring. Your living space doesn’t stop at your back door. A patio or backyard can truly become an addition to your home. Start creating your dream backyard by calling the design professionals at A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design at 847-224-2167 (IL) / 262-287-7600 (WI) today!