Warm weather, barbecues and alfresco parties are some of the best bits of summer but after a season of outdoor living, your garden and home need a little love. Repairing any damage or routine maintenance is a must, especially before autumn begins. Spend the time now and not only will you save yourself chores next year, your home and garden will stay looking great for longer. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Care for your lawn
Whether it’s scorching from the sun or stray barbecue cinders, chances are that the summer has left your lawn with brown patches, pesky weeds and bare areas. It’s important to take action while the grass still has a chance to recover, so first, try giving it a good watering and aerate the soil with a few holes. The blades may be dormant rather than dead, and this can help them spring back to life. Next, look at the areas that are grassless – if they’re minor (i.e. smaller than a handprint), fertiliser or a ‘feed and weed’ product can boost the rest of the grass so it’ll grow to cover the patches. Larger areas should be reseeded and late summer to early autumn is the best time to do it. Remove any dead grass, debris and larger weeds, scarify or rake the surface, sprinkle with lots of seed, fertilise and make sure you keep it well-watered.
Alternatively, if there’s too much damage, you can have sections re-turfed. Find a gardener who can lay this for you. Early to mid autumn is the best time to do this, so that the grass can be left to bed in and won’t dry out. You could even neaten the results with decorative lawn edging.
Image source: Haddonstone
Restore a pristine patio
Outdoor areas need a good scrub after summer, when they’re likely to have baked-on dirt and debris or even mildew in shadier spots. Pressure washing can lift the dirt off but often splashes it everywhere else. Instead, accessorise your washer with a dedicated patio cleaner attachment. It’ll have a rotating brush and jets underneath a hood to make flat surface cleaning faster and less mess. You can also use one on vertical surfaces, such as walls and fencing.
Now is also a good time to repair decking or fences before rain, wind and fluctuating temperatures sweep in and starts to make timber expand and contract. Unless you’re experienced, it’s not a DIY job, so find fencing or decking specialists. You can however, clean and seal any wood in your garden yourself, by investing in some dedicated outdoor timber cleaners, stains and oils. Many can be used on multiple surfaces, such as sheds, exterior window frames and doors, helping to prevent rot and remove mould.
Image source: Pico Power Pressure Washer and Patio Cleaner by Hozelock
Don’t forget about indoors
As summer draws to a close, there’s some home maintenance you can do. It’s likely that you won’t have switched on the heating in a few months, so pop it on to check that it’s working before you really need it. Before you switch your heating on, bleed your radiators. Think about bringing in a well-reviewed plumber to have them flushed if they don’t warm up properly once your heating’s on. The same goes for fireplaces – light each one to make sure it’s venting properly and consider having your chimney swept if it’s in use. At the same time, test your safety devices, such as carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, to make sure they’re in good order. Replace the batteries if you can’t remember the last time you put fresh ones in!
Your inside floors may also be dirty or worn from all the extra traffic going to and from the garden, so now’s a good time to refresh them. Apply wax, varnishes and oil treatments to wooden floors – as you’ll have to keep the doors and windows open for ventilation, the end of summer is ideal – and give your carpets a deep clean.
Image source: Vax
Renovate your outdoor furniture
When the last sunny evening has set and you don’t plan to while away the days outside, it’s time to do the final maintenance on your seasonal kit, such as garden furniture, toys and games. Start by checking that where you plan to put everything is clean, tidy and watertight, whether that’s your shed, garage or loft. Next, clean wood and plastic with a hose or pressure washer – make sure the lance can be adjusted to prevent damage – and use a detergent if anything’s especially grimy. Most outdoor fabrics can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Allow them to dry thoroughly before putting them away, then sit back and relax!
Image source: Stihl