4 Must-Do Chores for a Perfect Fall Yard
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When it comes to the end of summer tasks, we all know we need to rake leaves, mow the grass (and maybe fertilize and seed it), and all of the fall necessities that occur. But are your outdoor spaces decorated with furniture and other outdoor entertaining essentials? If so, they may be getting neglected in lieu of the other chores on your list. Here are my 4 must-do chores for a perfect fall yard.
Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture
Most of us outdoors types love being able to entertain outside, and that means seating and other outdoor furniture. Most of us know to cover it before the first snowfall, but are you sure you are cleaning it properly before putting it under wraps?
How you clean your own furniture is dependent upon the material that it is made from.. or from the combination of materials, like my metal & glass patio table. For plastic, resin, metal, glass and your outdoor fabric pieces, mixing 1/4 cup of a mild dishwashing soap into a gallon of warm water is the perfect cleaner. Apply with a soft nylon cloth and scrub until all visible dirt has lifted. Rinse with clean water and allow to air-dry before covering for winter. (For fabrics, once you are done scrubbing, allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing, and then dry in a sunny spot.)
Wicker requires the same process, but instead of dish soap, use 1/4 cup of an oil-based soap (such as Murphy’s) in a gallon of warm water.
*Tip: While you are cleaning your wood furniture and pieces, double-check for their waterproofness. You may need to apply a coat of water sealant to your pieces in order to extend the lifetime of these.
Cleaning the Barbecue Grill
The long summer months of grilling can turn your outdoor kitchen into a hot mess. Start with a cool grill and remove the grates. Lay all of these out on newspaper or cardboard and spray with a commercial oven cleaner. Allow to sit for the time recommended on the packaging and then scrub with a grill brush to break up the loosened charred bits.
Wash with warm soapy water to remove any leftover grease or oven cleaner.
(Really burnt on debris that the oven cleaner didn’t seem to remove? Instead of laying out on newspaper, wrap your grates in black plastic trash bags (the heavy duty kind) after coating with oven cleaner. Allow to sit in the sun for the recommended package time. The heat of the sun will act like the heat of your kitchen oven, helping remove that stubborn mess.)
Make sure you clean out the ash tray and the grease pan at the bottom of the grill too while you are waiting on the grates to clean.
Exterior looking a little worse for wear? Wipe down the outside areas with vinegar and a soft nylon cloth to remove dirt and any food-related bacteria.
Cleaning Your Windows & Window Screens
The trick to a perfectly clean window? Glass AND screens spic & span. The best way to clean your screens? First, remove from window casings and lay out in the yard. Pour 1/4 of a cup of your favorite all-purpose cleaner into a bucket of warm water and gently scrub the screens to remove any dirt. Once satisfied that they are clean, spray down with the garden hose, shake off any excess water and either replace immediately or allow to air dry a few hours in the sunshine.
Cleaning Concrete Sidewalks and Patios (any Hardscapes)
While there are other more labor intensive ways to clean your concrete (pressure washing?), the best, easiest, and cheapest way I have found is to simply use bleach and a garden hose. Wet the entire area of concrete you want to clean. Pour bleach straight from the container onto the patio. I try to make sure to gently scrub any areas that need special attention, in particular grease or oils stains and moss. Allow the bleach to sit for a few minutes, and you will notice the concrete start looking cleaner. After about fifteen minutes, rinse a small area of the concrete and determine if the bleach has worked it’s magic yet. Rinse thoroughly when complete. You should find your concrete patio is now several shades cleaner.
Are there any other outdoor chores that you do each year to make your landscaping the talk of the neighborhood? We would love you to share!