The BIG Spring Cleanup

 In Design for Living, Do It Yourself, Garden & Landscaping

Ahhh, it’s finally Spring. The birds are singing. The golf courses are open. Time to enjoy life……

What’s that honey?

Spring what?

Spring Cleaning?!?!?!

(Record Scratch)

mulch Outer BanksYes, it is that time of year (again). It’s time to focus on your homes and yards to get them back up to shipshape for the new year. There’s lots to be done, so let’s get cracking…

“The first thing you want to do in the spring is to take a walk around your property. Look for mildew on the house, torn screens, signs of any winter varmint nests like birds, raccoons, opossums, or snakes that may have made their way into your house or garage.” Those are the words of John Bennett, a homeowner from Colington Harbour. “While walking the property, you’ll also want to take notice of any trees or bushes that need to be trimmed back from around your HVAC unit, impeding its effectiveness. Also look for any noticeable rot on the house.”

“Once your walk around is completed and your notes taken, you still aren’t finished,” says Bennett. “After walking the property, stand out in the street. Take a look at your property from there. Go down a checklist that would include things like: how do the flower beds look? Do the trees need to be trimmed? Does the front door need to be painted? How does the roof look? How does the paint on the house look? Just notice your overall curb appeal.”

After the winter, your house isn’t your only concern. There is also lots to be done for your yard this time of year. Todd Smrdel, owner of SPM Landscape in Kitty Hawk advises that “you should clear your flower beds of leaves and debris. They should be edged out and you should cut out any winter kill.” Once this is done, then the beds can be fertilized, mulched “and here’s the important part,” according to Smrdel. “You then put down a pre-emergence. It is important the pre-emergence goes down after the mulch goes down. In the event the mulch has any weed seed mixed into it.” (As a side note, My Outer Banks Home encourages the use of bee friendly pre-emergence).

Once the beds are attended to, you can then turn your attention to your grass. You’ll want to make sure all the leaves are picked up because over time, they will smother your yard. Smrdel continues, “late spring is the best time for seeding warm season grasses like Bermuda, Centipede, or Zoysia.” If you plan on laying sod, wait until May to sod either Centipede or Zoysia. But Bermuda sod can be laid at any time of the year.

If you have an underground sprinkler system or an outdoor shower, this is also the time to “de-winterize” those to get them up and running.

Have a pool? Then hold on! Your work isn’t done just yet. “Once the temperatures hits a constant 50 – 55 degrees algae blooms can occur,” says John Bennett. In addition to being a homeowner, John is also co-owner of Beach Bonnie Services, a pool and spa cleaning company. “You’ll want to shock the pool with chlorine pucks and leave them floating until you turn on the pool pumps.”

Your pool filter will also need to be cleaned. “Use a 20% Muriatic and water solution when cleaning the filter,” says Bennett. He also cautions to use both gloves and eye protection when doing this. “Once the filter is cleaned, rinse it, and hang it to dry.” Bennett also advises that if it’s been at least 5 years, you should probably also dump your sand filter and refill it with new.

If you have a hot tub, once the threat for a freeze is gone, you’ll want to clean the sides of the tub, refill with fresh water, get it running and get those chemicals under control.

Phew! That’s a lot to take care of, but all important things to keep your house and yard in good shape.

Now that it’s all done, tee time anyone? ♦

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