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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


How to Get Your Patio and Deck Ready for Spring

Lucy Mercer
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Spring patio set outdoors with a blue striped rug.

Get a jump on a season outdoors when you prep your patio, deck or porch for spring. After all, when the weather warms enough to comfortably entertain outside, you want to be ready.

This weekend, if the weather is warm enough, you can clean your deck or patio, and if it’s not, you can stay indoors, daydream and design your outdoor entertaining space. 

5 Tips to Get Ready for Spring

A mean cleaning a deck with a power washer.

1. Clean the patio and deck. Weather extremes can be hard on outdoor spaces. Most decks need cleaning and maintenance at least once a year. A pressure washer is the tool to get your deck or patio looking new again. But before you blast away, take time to scrape away any loose finish and scrub with a deck cleaner.

If it’s been awhile since the deck was sealed, and water no longer beads up on the surface, it may also be time to reapply deck sealer.  Whether your deck just needs a quick cleaning or a complete refresh, use this guide to get started on having a brighter, longer-lasting deck. And while the pressure washer is out, give your house a wash using outdoor cleaners


Rugs displayed on floor.

2. The base layer. Now is the time to embrace the idea of outdoor rugs. They are easy to care for, and just like indoor rugs, unify your furniture with color and style. If yours from last year needs a refresh, place the rug on a surface like a driveway and scrub it with a solution of liquid dish soap and water. Rinse it with a garden hose until the water runs clear. Dry the rug in sunlight – over a porch railing is perfect – to prevent dirt and mold from settling in.


A pair of deck chairs ready for entertaining.

3. Punch it up. If your outdoor furniture needs a refresh, look at accessorizing with bright pillows and lanterns to make the space more cozy. Colorful garden stools pull double duty as side tables or extra seating. 

Sometimes, a good cleaning will give new life to your furniture. Check out this video for step-by-step instructions on cleaning patio furniture.


A patio swing with a stand near a bright window.

4. Hang in there. Guaranteed to be the seat every guest claims first, a patio swing makes a fine addition to your porch or outdoor entertaining space this year. Most swings include a sturdy stand to make the move inside or out easier.


Bright pink hydrangea in a container in a summer garden.

5. Fill with flowers. Finish your patio by bringing the garden closer. As the weather warms and more plants come into the Garden Center, you can add colorful shrubs like the Endless Summer hydrangeas, above, in-ground or in containers. In full-on spring, fill your garden with colorful impatiens (look for new disease-resistant Beacon impatiens), coleus, geraniums, begonias, as well as a sweet potato vine and other greenery that will spill over the sides of flowerpots. Colorful containers and gardens can transform any area.

Check out this list of flowering annuals that will instantly brighten your space. You could also choose from these early blooming perennials for ideas so you can get planting for lasting color year after year.

Take time early in the season to plan your container garden plants. If your goal is container gardening, you can create several containers with colorful combinations, including several for shady spots around your outdoor space. Here’s some inspiration for container gardening.


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