Spring is traditionally a time to tackle projects around the house. It is an ideal time for many outdoor projects that can greatly improve your home’s curb appeal. These projects will make your front yard look like a brand new place!
Spring is the Ideal Time for Laying Sod
Brown patches and bare spots make a lawn look unattractive. Rather than planting seeds and waiting for them to sprout, get instant gratification and improved curb appeal with sod.
Once the chance of frost has passed, spring is the ideal time for laying sod. The new grass will have time to take hold before it has to stand up to the harsh summer sun, and will be well rooted by winter, increasing its chances of surviving a freeze.
To complete this home improvement project, you will need a square-nose shovel and some sod. Use the nose of the shovel to score a rectangle in the earth around the area that will be replaced. Dig down just deep enough to get below the layer of root mass. Use the shovel to scrape under the dead grass and remove it.
Carefully place the sod in the void left from the section you removed. Use the nose of the shovel to trim the sod as needed to fit it in the space. Remember to give the fresh sod plenty of water. Don’t be afraid of over-watering it; it will probably require more water than you think! Make sure it is lush and healthy before the hot sun of summer comes. Fertilizing your new sod is also a good idea.
Create a Flower Bed
One of the quickest ways to add curb appeal and charm to your lawn is through landscaping. Adding a strategically-placed flower bed is a great, easy way to add a touch of color and life to your front yard. Flower beds work well in places like under windows, around trees, and along walkways or driveways. They can be simple and single-level, or fancily terraced.
To make a flower bed, you will need a shovel, a garden spade, a garden claw, garden soil, and some type of edging material. (And flowers, of course.) Flowerbeds can be edged with rocks, bricks, pressure-treated lumber, and many other things. Use a shovel to remove any grass from the area where the flower bed will be located. (You could use this grass for sod!)
Define the edges of the flower bed with rocks or other edging material. This will help keep grass from encroaching on your flowers. Use the garden claw to work up and aerate the existing soil, then add a layer of fresh soil to fill in the flower bed.
Spring is a good time to make a flower bed because it is a good season for planting. Planting your flowers in the spring will allow them the most possible time to fill out and a longer potential blooming season.
Giving Shrubs and Bushes a Spring Pruning
Spring is the best time to do any major trimming on shrubs and bushes. Try to trim as early in the season as possible. Doing major trimming later in the year, when the plant is no longer in its new growth cycle, can leave large, unsightly bare spots. Shrubs pruned far back in the spring tend to fill in quickly and aggressively; you may be surprised how thick and full the growth is in just a few weeks.
Pay particular attention to shrubs and bushes along walkways and near doors. Allow plenty of space for walking near the bushes. Trimming them back will also make paths seem more welcome and inviting.
Use an electric hedge trimmer or a pair of pruning shears to remove any stray branches. To keep the bush even, take a step back frequently and look for any low spots or places that are still too long. If desired, a level string between two posts can be used as a guide for trimming a perfectly flat top on a hedge or other shrubbery.
Edging Your Sidewalks
You might be surprised at how much sidewalk width you have lost to lawn takeover, especially if you haven’t done it in a few years. Make your walkways look wide and inviting by removing any grass that has grown overlapping the edges of the sidewalk.
For this task, you will need a straight, flat piece of metal. A special tool is made for this that looks like a garden hoe without the curve, but other things can be used as well. If you can’t find anything else suitable, a square-nose shovel will work.
Figure out where the edge of the sidewalk is beneath the grass and score a line in the grass about an inch to two inches outside of that. Score deeply enough to separate the grass at the roots. Work all the way along the edges of the sidewalks. When you are finished, remove the strip of overgrown grass. The sidewalk will be dirty beneath and can be cleaned with a broom, a hose and a brush, or a power washer.
Spring is the ideal time for this project because there will be less growth to cut back earlier in the season. This home improvement project has not only cosmetic curb appeal value but practical application as well; It will help with drainage along the edges of your sidewalks during any heavy spring rains.
Cleaning Your Siding
If your siding looks dingy and dirty, cleaning it will make a world of difference. It will look like a brand new house by the time you are through! Additionally, the runoff from power washing your house in the spring will soak into your lawn, giving grass near the house an extra boost.
The quickest and best way to clean siding is with a power washer. These are available at most rental outlets and are fairly inexpensive to rent and easy to use. Work from the highest point of the house downward, moving back and forth across each individual section of siding. It should be noted that if you have painted siding that is flaking, this will take your paint off. It should be used at a distance for any painted siding, even in good condition, to avoid damaging the paint.
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