15 Spring Maintenance Tips For Texas Homes

Spring Tips for Maintaining Your Home & Yard

With the cold weather and winter storms behind us it's time to start prepping our yards so that we can have a tranquil space to enjoy through the spring.

15 Spring Maintenance Tips For Texas Homes

Follow these tips from Dallas area pro, Kevin Walker of Walker Custom Exteriors.

1. Create an Outdoor Living Space Perfect for Entertaining

Put in a deck, a fire pit area, or a stone patio with a grilling area, seating, and dining table. Extending your home living space into your backyard means less maintenance of lawn and other landscape features. 

2. Power Wash Your Home Exterior

You can easily maintain your property by cleaning any mold, algae, or dirt with a power washer. Most home jobs do not require an expensive power washer and can be found for $100-$200 at your local hardware store.

3. Check for Wood Rot To Prevent Growing Damage

A good way to prevent major damage on the exterior of your home is by checking for wood rot on your windows, siding, fence, deck pergola or any other wood structures by probing with a screwdriver, pen, or anything long enough to reach those hard to reach areas. If you do have wood rot, the wood will feel spongy or will easily crumble when touched. If you find wood rot, you can either replace the wood that is rotting, or call a professional and they should be able to fix it easily if it hasn’t spread into the interior of your home.

4. Use Fewer Plants, Less is More

Less is more when it comes to low-maintenance landscaping. Planting a few of the right high-performing perennials creates an impact in your backyard with significantly less maintenance than is required with annuals. If you need help, your local nursery can offer insight into the types of plants that will flourish in your climate, year after year.

5. Use Stone & Crushed Granite for Outdoor Landscaping

The right landscaping stone is durable, looks beautiful, and feels pleasant on bare feet. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors, allowing you to create a unique look for your outdoor living space. Using crushed granite for pathways and around planters is also an effective material for beautiful landscaping that can help minimize yard work.

6. Use Terraces on Slopes to Prevent Erosion

Not only are steep slopes difficult to mow and maintain, they also cause erosion and excessive stormwater runoff, two environmental concerns. However, terracing is an effective and attractive solution to prevent both erosion and runoff. Terracing involves leveling off sections of a steep slope into flat, planted areas that are perfect for flower or herb gardens, or for shrubs and mulch. These flat, planted areas allow rainwater to soak into the beds instead of allowing it to flow down the slope. While they can be somewhat costly to install, terraces are a beautiful and beneficial addition to landscapes.

7. Buy the Right Tools and Equipment for Quick Improvements

Having the right tools can make quick work of a task that would otherwise be time-consuming. Do the research to make sure you have easy-to-use, effective pruning, raking, and digging equipment, and keep your tools sharp and clean and stored out of the reach of children.

8. Use Mulch Beds Around Your Plants Instead of Grass

Placing mulch beds around plants or rock features in your outdoor living area is an inexpensive option that greatly reduces yard work. Some mulches break down, adding nutrients to fertilize plants, while preventing excess weed growth. There is no need to water or mow, and your mulch needs only be replaced once a year. Two popular long-lasting mulches are shredded hardwood, perfect for more woodsy, natural yard areas, and cocoa bean mulch that is a lovely rich brown and gives off a pleasant chocolatey scent in the summer sun. 

9. Create a Designated Area for Your Dog

Don’t let your dog have free reign over your yard. When he needs to relieve himself, make sure that he does so in a designated area. This is something that you can train your dog to do, and it will make life a lot easier. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, make sure to clean up after your dog promptly. That kind of waste can wreak havoc on the appearance and overall appeal of a yard.

10. Prune in the Early Winter or Spring

If you haven’t already done so, cut off any broken or badly disfigured branches caused by winter’s snow and ice in late winter. Unwanted lower branches on all evergreen shrubs and trees should also be removed in late winter.

  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs hard at end of winter or very early spring BEFORE any new growth starts! They form their flower buds on “new” wood (i.e., wood that will grow this spring). Examples include butterfly bush, smooth hydrangeas, panicle hydrangeas, and roses.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after spring flowers fade. Since they bloom on the growth of previous season (“old” wood), you will be cutting off their buds and flowers if you prune too early. Examples are: azalea, forsythia, mophead hydrangeas, lilacs, and wisteria.

11. Clean Up Leaves When It Begins to Warm Up

Even if you cleaned up some leaves in the fall, there are many trees (such as oaks) that shed leaves (and broken or fallen branches) over the winter and well into spring. Now let’s not go crazy as if we must clean up every single leaf off our lawn to compete for the neighborhood beauty pageant. A little leaf litter helps our pollinators and wildlife survive the winter. Remove any debris or heavy piles of leaves or any layers of leaves. This invites mold and disease and decay.  However, don’t rake into wet ground. It’s best to wait until temperatures are reaching the high 40s or the 50s. If you have a compost pile (or want to start one!), add those leaves to the pile. Otherwise, just mow any thin layers of leaves in with the season’s first cut, and they’ll also break down and add organic matter and nutrition to the soil.

12. Address Aggressive Weeds Early

Deal with weeds in early spring. Invasive or aggressive weeds will only get worse as daylight hours increase during summer. As they grow, their roots will strengthen, and they will be very difficult to pull out.

The best way to minimize weeds in your lawn is through good cultural practices:

  1. Do not mow too short
  2. Allow mow clippings to return to the lawn
  3. Skip spring fertilization
  4. Do not over- or underwater
  5. Devote some of your lawn to wildflowers

13. Plant Lavender Beds

Lavender is a colorful herb with a soothing aroma that comes back with a beautiful show, year after year. Lavender is a natural insect repellent and does not require much water. If you live in a climate with lower rainfall during the summer months, lavender beds are easy to care for and always look beautiful.

14. Use Potted Plants for Low-Maintenance Landscaping

Potted plants are lower maintenance and offer great versatility. You can move the pots around to suit the occasion or your mood and present a beautiful show to suit the season or add colors for special occasions.

15. Choose Native Plants that are Naturally Resistant to Local Pests and Disease

When choosing plants and trees for your yard, look for flora native to your area. Native trees and plants provide habitat for and attract birds, butterflies, and other beneficial local wildlife, and are acclimated to local rainfall amounts and climate. Once established, native plants require very little maintenance because they are naturally resistant to local pests and disease. Because they do not need fertilizers, pesticides, or supplemental watering, they are easy and inexpensive to maintain and are environmentally friendly.

 

Author Bio

Hi, my name is Kevin Walker, and I am the founder and owner of Walker Custom Exteriors↗. We specialize in fences, decks, patios, & landscaping, and have made it our life’s goal to be able to create and maintain beautiful homes and backyards. Ever since I began working in the landscape business, I knew that I wanted to build a company one day that was sustainable, efficient, beautiful, and stood the test of time, regardless of what it was. So, it is my pride and joy to be able to offer my services to the Dallas area that are based around these same principles. When I started my first lawn mowing company at eleven years old, K&J’s Lawn Services, my motto was: “quality over quantity” and “big things come in small packages”. I still stick by those two mottos to this day because I truly believe in doing things thoroughly, the right way, and with the utmost care.

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