One of the greatest joys of summer includes getting your backyard and outdoor living space ready for summer entertaining with family and friends.
Hot dogs, lightning bugs, and sparklers are summertime staples. Warm weather means backyard season is upon us. Between the pool parties and BBQs, it’s time to get your lawn up to speed.
If you’re looking for ways to get your yard ready for summer, we have simple summer DIY tips for you. From cleaning your gutters to building your own fire pit, our list can help you create a backyard your neighbors will be jealous of.
1. Rejuvenate Your Lawn
Give your yard the facelift it needs after a rough winter. Spend time planting grass seed, trimming your shrubbery, and picking unwanted weeds.
A well-kept lawn is crucial to take your backyard entertaining to the next level. You’ll just need to be sure to keep it trim throughout the summer to set up and make the most of your go-to outdoor activities like frisbee, paddle catch, and of course potato sack races!
First, remove thatch buildup throughout your lawn. Thatch is a mix of dead and living stems and roots near your soil’s surface. It blocks water and fertilizer, which stunts grass growth.
Use a garden spade to dig up small thatch wedges throughout your lawn. Toss the remains into wooded areas or disposal bags.
Next, adjust your soil’s pH levels to ensure it’s at a proper rate for optimal grass growth. Once your soil is healthy, you can plant grass seed and nutrients to fertilize your lawn.
Use a thatching rake to sow your yard and prepare it for seeds. Spread extra seeds across any bare patches. Cover the new seeds with compost and topsoil.
Make sure your yard receives enough water to grow. The top 6 to 8 inches of soil need water. Most lawns require one inch of water each week to flourish.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Once the last winter’s frost is gone, it’s time to get your home’s gutters back into shape. Your gutters will be clogged with leaves, twigs, and debris and need to be thoroughly cleaned.
Other reasons it is essential to clean your gutters include:
- Insects love to gather in dirty and damp gutters
- Mold grows in clogged gutters
- Gutter blockages lead to water damage inside and outside your home
- Gutter cleaning saves you on expensive damage repairs
You can wash out your gutters yourself or hire a professional team to take care of the job for you. You should be cleaning out your gutters at the start of summer as well as the end of fall to avoid property damage.
3. Powerwash Your Patio
Get your pressure washer and soak your patio to get it glistening for your next BBQ. A thorough powerwash session makes your backyard look as good as new.
Hardscapes are durable and long-lasting, but they attract mold and dirt. Once the weather warms up, use a pressure washer to clear sludge from your patio area. A pressure washer with about 3 gpm and 3000 psi is best for concrete and brick.
Starting at one end of your hardscape, hold you pressure washer 12 inches from your patio’s surface. Push out a consistent water stream. This reduces streaking and prevents damages.
As you move across your patio, direct the runoff to your yard. After you’ve washed the area, use a broom to sweep away any lingering remains.
You can also hire professional power washing teams to take care of the job for you. Just keep in mind that everyone wants their patios cleaned when the weather heats up, so schedule your session early.
While you’re in cleaning mode, don’t forget to round up your patio furniture and give it a good scrub. Get rid of any mold and dirt that accumulated during the winter and let the furniture dry in the hot summer sun. Before you know it, your backyard will be looking like it’s straight out of a Lowe’s catalog!
4. Plant Flowers
Jazz up your lawn with a colorful array of plants. Don’t worry if you let spring get away from you, there are plenty of warm-weather flowers that can be planted after Memorial Day.
Asters are beautiful blossoms that bloom after 85 days. They prefer warm weather and soil at 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Cosmos are another lovely summertime flower. They come in various colors and can bud anywhere between 45 to 65 days.
If you want a sprinkle of yellow around your lawn, go with Marigolds. These flowers bloom within 55 days and can be directly sown into warm summertime soil.
Other warm-weather flowers perfect for sprucing up your lawn include:
- Nasturtiums (which are edible!)
- Morning Glories
- Hyacinth Bean
- Johnny Jump-Ups
The perfect summertime flowers add color and aroma to your landscape. They’re easy backyard ideas that won’t take much to blossom. All they require is warm soil, water, sunshine, and a little bit of love.
5. Build a Fire Pit
Nothing says summer like s’mores! A backyard fire pit is a cozy place to gather and enjoy a summer’s night.
The best thing about a fire pit is it’s the perfect summer DIY project. All you need to do is construct a stone wall and base area to safely contain the flames and heat.
First things first, check with your local regulators for codes on open flames. Make sure your pit is located far away from hanging trees and any other flammable elements.
Line your fire pit with a thick steel ring. It will protect your concrete blocks from the flame’s heat. If not, your wall may break down and crumble after a few fires.
Once you have your pit properly lined, you’ll want to fill it with about six inches of gravel. This creates a base for the stones and protects the area against winter frost.
Wait two days after completing your fire pit before lighting your first fire to ensure the area has fully dried. Once it has, grab your sticks, some marshmallows, and enjoy!
Get More Outdoor Inspiration
Even if your backyard is ready for summer, the DIY improvement projects don’t have to stop! We’ve got all of the creative outdoor decorations and entertainment ideas you could think of.
Follow our Outdoors Blog to stay updated on new projects you and your family can work on together this summer.