What Are the Best Tips for Backyard Clean-Up?

Rebecca Mecomber

With the development of durable home products, outdoor decor and backyard living has become as incremental to a property as the rooms of a home. A pleasant, well-maintained backyard layout with tasteful backyard furnishings can improve the value of a home as well as improve the quality of life and enjoyment of the property. Backyard clean-up for an undeveloped plot consists of three main distinctions: cultivation, organization and maintenance. Even if the back yard has been somewhat cultivated, a few tweaks can improve its style and comfort. No matter what kind of yard, all properties can benefit from backyard clean-up as well as an organized, enjoyable backyard layout.

A lawn mower can be a necessary part of backyard clean-up.
A lawn mower can be a necessary part of backyard clean-up.

Cultivation is the refinement and development of the flora and fauna in the back yard. Whether the back yard is a small plot of overgrown grasses or a vast, dusty yard of sand and cacti, all back yards benefit from plants and wildlife. If the yard is overgrown, the weeds must first be removed. Large weeds can be cut down with a tractor or weed whacker, while smaller weeds can be cut with a mower.

Recycle tree or brush cuttings to provide shelter for wildlife.
Recycle tree or brush cuttings to provide shelter for wildlife.

To minimize excessive maintenance in the years ahead, it is best to create a backyard design with native plants. Native species have adapted to the the local climate and require less pampering when the weather becomes suddenly too cold or too hot. They are also better able to resist local insect infestations and scourges, such as fungi and rusts.

The best backyard decor design also reflects the architectural style of home. If the home is, for example, a contemporary style with modern materials and architectural lines, a traditional English cottage garden with Victorian backyard furnishings will clash. The backyard design should be an extension of the style of the home. Modern-styled homes benefit with modern-styled outdoor decor, and traditional or rustic styles benefit with their particular styles.

Maintenance includes the various ongoing activities that keep a backyard orderly and tidy. These maintenance chores constitute the largest amount of effort for backyard clean-up and are usually divided according to season. Spring maintenance includes raking up any leftover remnants from the winter, such as fallen twigs, piles of old leaves, and scattered road salt or sand from sidewalks and driveways. Then the patio furniture comes out of storage, the barbecue grill is scoured, bird feeders are hung, and furnishings for outdoor living are placed throughout the yard.

During summer backyard clean-up season, maintenance includes mowing the lawn, pruning the shrubs, and deadheading the perennials to encourage late-season blooming. Weeds should be pulled weekly to prevent the weeds from going to seed and dominating the garden beds. If the deck or patio is looking worn, a scrubbing with a power washer or broom will rejuvenate the surface. Summer is a perfect time to paint backyard furniture and plant new shrubs and flowers.

In the autumn, preparation is made for winter's chilly months. Some common autumn chores include cleaning out the gutters, raking the deciduous tree leaves, packing up the grill and furniture, and harvesting the final fruits of the gardens. Young plants need mulch to protect them from the colder temperatures. Winter is a time of slumber for the back yard. It is important to avoid sprinkling road salt too close to the flower beds, as the salts effect the soil and may damage the plants' tender roots.

Rake the leaves from deciduous trees in autumn.
Rake the leaves from deciduous trees in autumn.

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