Summer – we love you! To make the most of the season you need your outdoor furniture, accessories and the lawn they sit on to be in tip-top condition. This is the cheat sheet you need to make it happen.
It’s an essential part of every backyard get-together. Before cooking make sure your barbie is ready for action by giving it a good spray with white vinegar, leaving it for a few minutes, then rubbing the cooking surface with crumpled-up aluminium foil.
The easiest way to clean your BBQ after you’ve finished cooking is rub the hot grill with half an onion (cut side down). This will loosen and remove any baked on bits of food and grease.
Of course, if you’d like us to give your barbecue a good thorough clean you can add an extra to your next clean.
The furniture on your balcony or in your garden can take a beating from the sun, wind and rain. To clean plastic, wood and resin outdoor furniture mix up a paste of baking soda and water, give your furniture a good scrub, then spray off the residue with the garden hose.
When you’re ready to put the furniture in storage in autumn do the same thing, then wait for it to dry before putting it away to avoid mildew.
Shade cloths and umbrellas
If you don’t want to get roasted you’ll need a bit of shade – often in the form of a shade cloth or garden umbrella. When yours needs a clean it’s super easy to do with that same mix of baking soda and water. Give it a scrub, a spray with the hose, then open it up to dry in the sun.
If you’ve found your cloth or parasol has gotten mouldy in storage you can clean this off with white vinegar and a scrubbing brush – it might take a bit of elbow grease, but the vinegar does the job and prevents mould from reappearing.
Did you know you should store your hand-held gardening tools in a bucket of sand? The sand absorbs moisture, prevents rusting, and cleans off bits of grit as the tools move in and out of the grains.
You should condition your tools periodically with a lubricating oil such as WD-40. Tools with sharp edges such as hoes, shovels, trowels, shears, and pruners will also need to be sharpened occasionally. To do this put a bit of the WD-40 on the blade, then file the blade at a 20-degree angle on a whetstone.
You definitely want to be hanging out on a lush, green lawn instead of a patchy brown one. The most important lawn care tip is mowing at the right height for your lawn. If you have a cool season grass like Tall Fescue or Kentucky you should set your mower to 5cm. If you have a warm season grass lawn such as Couch or Buffalo you should give your lawn much shorter haircuts – around 1.5cm.
Watering your lawn is also key. There’s no point watering in the middle of the day, as the water will just evaporate, so water in the early morning or late evening. If you use a sprinkler to water the lawn a low projection setting will also help curb evaporation. It’s important to always adhere to any water restrictions your area has in place.