(Family Features) Once warmer weather arrives, there is nothing better than spending time outside on your deck or patio. But before you can enjoy those outdoor spaces to the fullest, you need to put in a little work to make them feel fresh and new again.
These tips from gardener, outdoors expert and author of the Garden Betty blog Linda Ly can help you clean up your outdoor space and refresh your home’s exterior just in time to host your first summer barbecue party.
1. Make it edible. If you’re conflicted about what to plant, turn to functional plants that look good and taste great, too. Ly’s favorite meals come from her backyard, with raised beds where she rotates vegetables such as kale, beets and radishes, and herbs are scattered throughout the garden in small beds and pots. She also grows fruit trees, flowers and a cactus garden and has a composting area and tiki coop for chickens.
2. Ready the deck. No one likes fungus on the deck – or mildew stains, dirt or weather-beaten patches. Pressure wash your deck then re-stain it with a matching color and finish, and apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration.
3. Remove mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can form on the exterior siding and trim of your home, as well as on patio furniture, flower pots and swimming pools. It’s important to regularly clean the outside of your house as well as your outdoor furniture and accessories that may be susceptible to standing water to remove any mold or mildew. It is easy to remove mold or mildew with a garden hose, a long-handled brush and a mixture of one-half cup of Clorox Regular-Bleach per each gallon of water.
4. Give it a fresh coat. Weather can really take a toll on a paint job. If your shutters are looking dull or more washed out than before, it might be time for a touch-up. Same goes for the garage door as well as your front door. Nothing is more welcoming to guests than a well-cared-for facade.
5. Stop the spread of fungal disease in gardens. One thing to be mindful of in the garden is fungal diseases, which can be deadly to plants and wildlife. Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, Clorox Regular-Bleach when used as directed is a simple but powerful tool that is often used to help stop the spread of fungal diseases, and can even keep flowers alive longer when you add a small amount to the vase.
Find more tips to help you reacquaint yourself with your backyard and garden spaces at Clorox.com.