Garden Spring Clean: Part 2

If you’re reading this, then hopefully you’ve read part one? If not you can read that here. That’ll give you a little overview of why we’ve pulled this article together.

In part one we looked at some basic steps we follow to spring clean our patios and decking, recommended a few products that I like to use, shared a few tips etc I’ve picked up over the years.

And by Spring clean, I guess I mean a bunch of jobs that I like to do at this time of year. Take the opportunity while the weather is nice. Box off a weekend and get the outside of my home looking as good as the inside.

Amy 4 Seater Garden Table

Our Amy 4 Seater Garden Table on Circular Paved Patio with Gravel. Definitely looks like this one has had a recent Spring clean!

In part two I wanted to continue with cleaning our personal favourite, garden furniture, but also the rest of the outside of our homes too. Guttering, windows etc.

And this is just the way I do things, I’m not saying it is the best way, or that you must do this and that. Take from it what you will.

However, if you have any garden spring cleaning tips that our readers might find useful, then please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Spring Clean Garden Furniture

We’ve done many articles in the past that look in depth at the different ways to clean different types of garden furniture.

So in this post I just want to concentrate on a basic spring clean for the UK’s most popular materials. This is what I would do, and will do with my Lazy Susan furniture.

I’m lucky that I have space in my garage to store it during the winter. I pulled it out a few weeks back when we had that first little heatwave.

The method below is exactly what I did to my own cast aluminium furniture, it’s simple, but I know it works. While the car wax gives it a great protective finish.

Cast Aluminium

  • Start by brushing away loose dirt and debris. Use a soft bristled brush or broom.
  • With the garden hose, rinse away any remaining dust and dirt.
  • Use hot soapy water and a soft bristled brush or sponge to wipe off any stubborn stains.
  • Rinse with the garden hose. Do NOT use a pressure washer.
  • Leave it to dry in the sun.
  • Then polish and protect with a thin coat of car wax.

Timber Garden Furniture

  • Wash with a mix that is 2 parts laundry wash with 1 part bleach in a large bucket of warm water.
  • Apply the mix with a soft bristle brush to remove any surface dirt.
  • Rinse with the garden hose. Do NOT use a pressure washer.
  • Seal the timber with a sealer or a protective wax.

PVC Plastic Garden Furniture

  • I prefer to wash PVC with a good quality car shampoo but you can also use regular washing up liquid.
  • Wash with a mix that is 2 parts car shampoo or washing up liquid with 1 part bleach in a large bucket of warm water.
  • Wipe the furniture thoroughly with a sof sponge. Use an old toothbrush to get into any nooks and crannies.
  • Rinse with a garden hose.
  • Dry with a soft cloth or towel to prevent water spots.
  • Finish with a light coat of car wax for a water repellent shine.

Rattan Wicker Garden Furniture

  • Rattan requires regular cleaning to stop dirt building up between the wicker weave.
  • Start by brushing away loose dirt and debris. Use a soft bristled brush, broom or even the hoover with brush attachment.
  • With the garden hose, rinse away any remaining dust and dirt.
  • Use hot soapy water and a soft bristled brush or sponge to wipe it down.
  • Rinse with a garden hose.
  • Dry with a soft cloth or towel to prevent water spots.

Maintain Your Lawn

As with most sub-sections in this post, lawn care could (and has) have a post all of its own. But I feel it’s a key component of a good garden Spring clean. So, I’ll endeavour to provide just a brief overview of what I have been doing over the last few weeks.

Start by raking your lawn to remove any debris such as leaves, and break up/remove the excess thatch.

In Spring, regular mowing at the correct height is the key. As a rule of thumb, I go for between 2 to 4cm for a lawn that is regularly walked on such as our back garden.

In the front where the kids and dog aren’t running wild, I will leave it a little longer, say 4 to 6cm. As we move into summer, late June/into July, I’ll drop that down a centimetre or two.

However, in Spring I try not to cut too much off, and I’m currently doing that once a week. Once the grass starts growing faster as we move into summer, you can start to increase the frequency to maybe twice a week and take the length down a cm or two.

Spring is also the best time to feed your lawn. It will provide it with the correct nutrients to ensure it’s in tip top condition come summer. And give it the strength it needs for the following seasons.

You should also treat weeds and moss with a good liquid lawn specific weedkiller, and seed any bare patches immediately to prevent them from taking hold.

Weedol® Lawn Weedkiller Liquid Concentrate

Weedol® Lawn Weedkiller Liquid Concentrate

Weedol® Lawn Weedkiller (pictured above) is my product of choice. Just be prepared for your lawn to look a little worse for wear in the short term, but trust me in the long run it’ll look fantastic.

And depending on the overall wear and tear that your lawn receives, you might want to over-seed the whole thing sooner rather than later.

Don’t Neglect Plants & Borders

When it comes to my weekend Spring clean, I try to not do too much plant-wise. My wife and I will generally tackle that in stages over a few months or so.

However, one of the jobs I do like to tackle so that the outside of my home is looking good is definitely a weed and feed of all my borders and containers.

I’ll start by raking out my flower beds to get rid of any remaining leaves and other accumulated rubbish that winter’s left behind.

When it comes to weeds, it’s best to be pro-active. Spring is the best time to get them out too as the ground is still moist, they’re easier to pull up, roots and all.

Now is also a good time to conduct a quick soil test. We always like to add new plants as we move into summer, change things up a little, new species, colours etc.

A soil test now will check if the autumn/winter has imbalanced things. You can adjust accordingly depending on what you want to grow. If all is good, then a bit of compost or fertiliser down is all you need to do.

If you’re new to soil testing, then this video can explain the how and why much better than I can:

The outside of your property

That’s the garden sorted, and as this is a full outside spring clean, it is important not to forget the outside of your property too.

If the pressure washer is out to clean the patio, then don’t neglect walls, windows and doors etc. Again, dial the pressure down, you don’t want to damage anything.

Cleaning the outside of our homes can seem a bit of daunting task, but it is simpler than you think, and the results can make a massive difference to your properties curb appeal.

To be honest, you generally don’t need a pressure washer. A bucket of warm soapy water and the garden hose to rinse will suffice.

The pressure washer comes in handy if you’ve got any stained brickwork such as you’d find around drains, guttering etc.

Soap, warm water and scrubbing brush will remove most stains though. And you tend to find most dirt on the walls of your property is loose, splashed up from rain etc.

If you do use a pressure washer, then please make sure you choose the right nozzle/attachment. A wide spray setting is always best. Don’t go for a low angle. The wider the spray the less force/pressure.

You can narrow the angle of spray for the more stubborn stains/dirt, but always be careful, and never use on timber doors or window frames. PVC on the other hand is OK and can be pressure washed.

Spring Clean All Windows & Doors

Following on from the above, you should tackle all window frames and doors at the same time. Warm soapy water, rinse with the hose, and dry them.

Once the frames etc are all clean and dry, you can tackle all the glass. I like to use my Karcher Window Vac, but you can get them just as clean without one.

The spray glass cleaners are good, but I find that a 50/50 mix of water and distilled white vinegar in an old spray bottle works just as well to remove grime, and leave them streak free.

Make sure you work in the shade or tackle only manageable sections at a time. You don’t want the solution to dry before you’ve had a chance to wipe it off. That’s what will leave them streaky.

And a handful of newspaper is as good as any fancy window cloth at drying and shining. Oh and don’t forget to clean the garage door too!

Give Your Guttering A Clean

Gutters tend to be the part of the home we most often overlook when it comes to cleaning.

However, it is definitely worth paying them a little attention come Spring. Autumn and Winter can leave them filthy, but you won’t know it’s there until you clean them. Or they start overflowing.

Start by scooping out all the muck with a trowel if you can, and you don’t mind going up a ladder. My wife and I tackle this one together.

One holds the ladder, the other scooping. If like us your property is surrounded by trees, you’ll be surprised at how much you scoop out each year too.

If going up a ladder is not for you, and that’s fair enough, it’s not much fun. Then you can either pay somebody to come and clean them, or get yourself a telescopic hose attachment such as the one from Green Blade.

Just a word of caution, if you clean this way and don’t scoop the muck out first, then you tend to find the downpipes can get clogged.

That’s not a problem, just make sure you run water through them to make sure they’re OK, and if need be, use a drain rod to clear any clogged debris.

Check for any leaks as you clean and repair them when fully dry. This is easily the messiest job, but worth the effort, and will save you money in the long run.

So not a comprehensive list of all the jobs you could do, just enough to keep you busy for a weekend. Ha ha.

It does sound a lot I know. It is a workout. But trust me the effort is definitely worth it, and very rewarding. The outside of your home and garden will look great too. So what are you waiting for, forecast looks good this weekend?!

Happy garden Spring clean!

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