By Leroy Hite, Cutting Edge Firewood
Photograph courtesy of Cutting Edge Firewood
With spring right around the corner, February is a great time to prepare your outdoor living space for the warmer weather ahead. To enjoy your outdoor living space during spring, you’ll need to prepare it ahead of time. These are my top six tips.
Remove leaves and debris from winter
Fall and winter weather will leave dead and loose foliage on your decks and patios. Use a broom, rake, or leaf blower to clean the leaves and debris from your outdoor living space and properly dispose of them to make the space clean and tidy.
Check for loose boards and/or nails
If your outdoor living space has wood flooring, inspect it for loose boards and nails. Weather causes wood planks to expand and contract and nails can gradually work their way out. Even if a nail is only partially sticking out of a wood plank, it can still create a tripping hazard for you and your family members. Look for loose nails and hammer them back into the planks.
Clean your grill or smoker
If you own a grill or smoker, you should clean it in preparation of spring. Grills and smokers accumulate dirt when left unused for months, and if your grill or smoker is dirty, you won’t be able to use it. Regardless of the type of outdoor cooking device you own, start cleaning by scooping out any remaining ash, and then use warm water, dish soap, and a sturdy brush to scrub the interior and exterior. When finished, dry your grill or smoker with a washcloth or some paper towels.
Adjust or upgrade seating
Spring is the perfect time to sit and relax outdoors. So where should you place the seating? A good rule of thumb is to position chairs around your outdoor living space’s focal point, such as an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Also consider that no piece of outdoor furniture lasts forever. Check your furniture and replace those pieces that are physically worn to the point where they are no longer functional or attractive. Fresh chairs or chair pads will improve the functionality and aesthetics of your outdoor living space.
Stock up on firewood
The beginning of spring is a great time to stock up on firewood for spring and summer outdoor gatherings. You shouldn’t burn just any piece of wood you find lying around your property. Unless it’s dry, it will produce lots of thick and unpleasant smoke when burned. Instead, seek a kiln-dried hardwood variety of firewood. Hardwood is denser than softwood, making it ideal for firewood. It contains more organic matter, which means more “stuff” for the fire to burn. The end result is exceptionally high-quality firewood that’s easy to light, burns clean and produces lots of heat.
Add an area rug
An area rug helps to define your outdoor living space by introducing new colors and texture. It also protects the underlying flooring from premature wear and tear. Choose an area rug that’s designed specifically for outdoor usage, such as those made from polypropylene or other water-resistant materials that can withstand rain and humidity.
By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs
The Pantone color of the year is Viva Magenta. Pantone describes it as a “brave and fearless, pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration…” For a list of woody ornamentals that show off this outstanding color,
click here .
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