(BPT) – Many of us can’t wait to return outdoors after being cooped up inside, and with warmer weather upon us, it is the perfect time to make our backyards an extension of our indoor living spaces. This backyarding trend is really taking off with families using their yards for everything from outdoor kitchens and dining rooms, to places to safely engage in sports and entertainment. According to the TurfMutt Foundation, home improvements – many of them in the backyard – skyrocketed in 2020. So did the demand for outdoor power equipment as homeowners invested in making their outdoor spaces fabulous, functional and fun.
April is National Lawn Care Month and if you’re looking for inspiration for that outdoor project, Sara Bendrick, licensed landscape contractor, author, TV personality and STIHL spokesperson offers 5 ways to extend your outdoor living space this spring.
Spring is the perfect time to clean up your outdoor space by removing debris left behind from fall and winter weather. Clear out gutters, prune dead branches, pull weeds, blow off patios, and pressure wash outdoor walkways, drives, furniture and sheds. Taking care of this spring to do list can freshen up your space and help create a more inviting area for your family to relax and boost your home’s curb appeal.
2. Grow A Lush Lawn
The key to a healthy lawn starts with healthy soil and making sure it has the nutrients it needs. Depending on where you live in the U.S. and the species of grass, typically the best time to fertilize is between late spring to early summer when grass is growing the fastest. Remember when using fertilizer that less fertilizer is better than too much, and don’t forget to water. Make sure to water two to three inches after fertilizing. In general watering in the morning will allow water to reach the roots instead of evaporating in the hot sun. According to loveyourlandscape.org using a mulching mower can also help return nutrients back into your lawn, reducing the need for additional fertilizer.
3. Plant a Tree for added Beauty and Shade
Planting trees in your yard will not only provide more shade for your family to enjoy, but also reduce temperatures and noise pollution, while offering a habitat for wildlife. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, trees decrease soil erosion and help soil retain moisture too. Trees create a sustainable landscape solution that can generate a fun way to mark milestones or special occasions that your family can enjoy for years to come while adding a beautiful element to your landscape design. Check your local nursery for the right tree for your yard.
4. Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space with a New Garden
Nothing brings more beauty to your outdoor space than a fresh garden. Before planting, assess your location for sunlight and check with your local nursery or botanical garden to determine which plants will thrive. Choose native and climate appropriate plants and prep the bed with organic materials. Think about using a cultivator to break up weeds and soil in hardened flower beds and gardens which will allow water and nutrients to reach the roots. Don’t forget to spread your new plants out so that they have enough room to grow and surround them with 1-3 inches of mulch.
5. Create an Entertaining Area
Whether it’s outdoor grilling, games, sports or just relaxing, bring your family together in your own great American outdoors. Give your family the magic of the movies in your backyard by creating your own DIY theater experience.
Consider using a simple budget-friendly projector, and anchor a white sheet to use for the screen. Then just pick a movie from your favorite streaming platform, connect your laptop or mobile device and and grab some blankets or chairs. And don’t forget the popcorn!
Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or just looking to spend more time outdoors don’t be afraid to tackle these quick and easy projects to maximize your outdoor living space. For more tips like these visit stihlusa.com/great-american-outdoors.