In the beloved family film The Wizard of Oz, there’s a scene where Dorothy laments, “…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, then I never really lost it to begin with.” A lot of homeowners feel the same way. After scrimping and saving to afford the down payment, closing costs, and other fees associated with buying a home and then making the mortgage payment each month, it only makes sense to spend as much time as you can in your own backyard.
Benefits of a Clean Backyard
No matter if you’re reseeding in the springtime or raking leaves in the autumn, yard maintenance is something that has to be done during every season. It not only improves the appearance of your house from the outside, but it also raises the property value of your home. But most importantly, a clean, uncluttered yard offers few places for rodents, reptiles, and other pests to hide out. If it’s one thing most home owners can agree on, they don’t want to share that space with a wild creature!
Things like ant control, tree trimming, and switching out plants to match the current season are things that require your attention throughout the year. This also goes for maintenance to the outside of your house, like fixing loose shingles, replacing damaged or missing shutters, and patching torn screens or replacing the glass in a broken window. However, some chores are directly related to a specific season. Here are some of the things on my family’s checklist.
Winter – When annual plants die out or perennial ones fall into a dormant state is the perfect time to tend your flower beds. Clean out any weeds and old mulch, and then treat the soil with some fertilizer. Trim back the trees and remove dead limbs. The weight of snow lying on the branches is the number one reason why limbs come crashing down into the yard, onto vehicles, and even through the windows and roofs of our homes. Cover flower pots and bird baths with thick plastic trash bags. Snow filling up the containers and then freezing could cause them to crack.
Spring – People associate spring with the busiest time of year for maintenance to the outside of their homes, including the yard, and for good reason! The weather is warming up and everything’s sprouting new leaves. Uncover the flower pots and fill them with colorful annuals. Mulch your flowerbeds to encourage healthy foliage on bulbs sprouting from below the earth. Clean out the gutters and remove any leftover debris from winter, then trim the grass to a very short height to prepare for a lawn worthy of the most tender of bare feet.
Summer – Depending on how much work you put into maintaining the outside of your home in the springtime, like doing all your planting and using Flo-Free Leaf Guards so you won’t have to keep cleaning gutters every few weeks, summertime could find you with little else to do than mow the lawn, keep the bug population down by treating for ants and making sure bees aren’t nesting on your property, and kicking back for a nap in the hammock.
Autumn – While it might seem like you were just doing winter maintenance, summer is gone and it’s time to prepare for those colder temperatures again. Keep leaves raked and grass trimmed to discourage wild animals from hibernating on your property. Seed your lawn for winter grass to keep the weeds to a bare minimum. You might also trade those spring annuals, which are probably dying anyway if they haven’t already, with fall foliage like pots of cheerful chrysanthemums to maintain the aesthetic value of your home.
Proper lawn care during every season not only helps your house retain its market value, but it is also healthier for both your family and the environment. If you aren’t able to do the work yourself, consider hiring a lawn services company to do the work for you. And if you just need small jobs done, consider making a trade with a local youth organization, like a church youth group. You’d be surprised how hard teenagers will work when they know that a heaping plate of spaghetti or some freshly-baked cookies are the return for all their hard work.
About the Author:
Research hound Rick Mercado is addicted to writing and he’d rather write than do most things, especially cleaning gutters. That’s why he and his wife made the choice to install seamless gutters with leaf guards around their home. But one thing Rick would rather do than write is spend time with his family, which is why they take annual mini-vacations to a local campground where they spend their days fishing and their evenings sitting around the campfire.
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