This checklist is part of the Starter Pack series for OnOtto – a recurring task management app. Use the links in this article to add tasks directly to your OnOtto account.
If you’re fortunate enough to have some green outdoor space, you know having a slice of heaven requires a lot of upkeep. Some preventative maintenance and regular attention can go a long way to keep the space enjoyable and not require a major cleanup after a period of neglect.
A pre-emergent weed blocker is a common and effective way to keep your paths, flower beds, and yards weed-free. Using a long-lasting (6-12 month) formula keeps the effort low and relaxation high. As the name implies, with “pre-emergent” you’re preventing new weeds from growing, but it doesn’t target those that have already sprouted. You’ll need to remove those before applying a weed blocker. Mind the weather as well – ensure you apply it with or without rain in the forecast per the directions.
Mow and Edge Lawn
Aim to mow frequently enough that you’re only cutting off about a third of the length of the blades of grass. A sharpened mower blade can cut more efficiently and do less damage to the lawn.
Pressure Wash Driveway and Paths
Concrete, brick, and asphalt surfaces can collect dirt, stains, algae, and moss over the months and years. Keep them looking fresh and free from slippery hazards with an annual pressure wash. A circular “surface cleaner” pressure wash can make quick work of most areas and provide a more consistent finish than using a normal tip.
Paint/Stain Fence and Deck
Fences and decks take a beating from the elements and the wood needs as much protection as possible to prevent early breakdown. A quick cleaning followed by a recoat in the spring can keep it looking brand new and well protected for many years to come. Note the brand, type, color, and quantity on your task list to save yourself from having to dig it out of the garage (or guess!) every year.
A nitrogen-based lawn fertilizer can help prevent weeds and stimulate growth for a dense, healthy lawn. Use the product and schedule that is applicable to your grass type and climate.
Adding a layer of new grass seed to a low-mowed and freshly-raked lawn can help replace aging grass, fill in gaps, and give you a thicker lawn with fewer weeds. For warmer climates, overseed in spring or early summer, or for cooler climate, overseed in fall or early spring.
Insect and Pest Control
Spraying for ants, spiders, wasps, and other insects should be done regularly to keep populations at bay and out of your home. Use a perimeter spray that lasts several weeks or months around the foundation of your home, and take care of any nests near your home as soon as you find them. Check your crawlspace and and attic, too, so you can evict any new co-habitants.
For this task, you may need to make a few copies of it if you have plants that should be pruned at different times of year. Make sure to list the plants you’re pruning in the task notes.
With a privacy or decorative hedge, take extra care to prune at the right time of year based on the species of tree or bush that you have. A mature hedge that needs one of its members replaced can be an eyesore for years to come, so take good care of each plant.
Irrigate Lawn and Garden
Deeper, less-frequent watering can help develop healthier and deeper roots. If you can irrigate automatically using a timer and schedule, it can help ensure consistency and free you up for other tasks or leisure.
What else is on your lawn and garden checklist? Let us know in the comments below!