LIVE IN TARPON SPRINGS, FL
(ARA) - As we dream of summer, many of us think about the place where we spend those endless summer days and balmy summer evenings - the backyard. But if your backyard is going to live up to the perfection you envision in your daydreams, you may need to spend a spring weekend or two shaping up your outdoor spaces for this year's activities.
Whether it's heading out for a game of catch with your kids or inviting the neighbors over for a barbecue, the backyard provides a welcome extended living space in the warmer months. Since you'll be spending so much time there, it's worth the effort to get your yard looking and feeling good, as it will make your time there that much more relaxing.
If you're not sure where to get started, here's a checklist of projects to consider before the backyard enjoyment season heats up:
* Take a ground-up approach. Perhaps nothing makes a backyard feel homier than a lush lawn. While ongoing maintenance will help keep your yard looking great throughout the summer, spring preparation is just as important. Check your yard for bare spots and overseed them, as necessary. Give your yard a good raking or use a dethatcher to get rid of any dead grass or leaves that can hamper growth. If you don't have an overseeder or dethatcher, don't worry. Your local rental stores will have tools and equipment you need. Visit RentalHQ.com if you need help finding a rental store in your area.
* Just before the spring growing season is the ideal time to prune trees and shrubs, because the trees can quickly heal and regenerate once they start growing. By pruning at this time, you'll also make sure your plants are looking nice and shapely once they start sprouting leaves. Spring is also a great time to rent a stump grinder and remove tree stumps once the ground thaws. As a bonus, you can use the woodchips as bedding for plants.
* Give your deck or patio a good sweep and power wash away any debris it collected over the winter. If it's in need of repairs or staining, take care of it in the spring so it's ready to go for summer.
* If your fence is in need of repair or replacing, spring is a great time to do the job. If your fence is still in good shape, think about adding flower boxes or other vegetation to make your yard more inviting.
* If you've been thinking about installing an irrigation system, why wait until the dry summer days when your lawn will need water the most? Installing irrigation in the spring will allow your lawn and garden to thrive all summer long. You can make quick work of this project by renting a walk-behind trencher or vibratory plow.
* Since your kids will be heading outside soon, make sure swing sets, tree houses and other play equipment are in good working condition. Winter can take a toll on these items, so testing them in the spring is important for protecting your child's safety. Check for things like rotting wood or rusting metal.
Since many of these jobs require equipment that you might not ordinarily keep in your garage, renting is the smart way to get these projects done. To make finding the rental store nearest you even easier, the American Rental Association (ARA) offers RentalHQ.com, the world's largest and most comprehensive rental store locator.
By taking care of all of your backyard improvement projects early in the season, you can get the most out of your yard while the weather is pleasant.
Rob Dandrea Future Home Realty
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LIVE IN TARPON SPRINGS, FL