Make warm-weather chores a breeze with these tips
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May 07, 2013 | 23170 views | 0 0 comments | 258 258 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - Warm weather brings everyone outdoors - grilling on the deck, playing on the lawn and savoring beautiful gardens. To create these beautiful outdoor spaces, the experts at Lowe’s offer four easy, affordable projects you can do yourself. Follow these tips to make sure your outdoor spaces are in tip-top shape by summer’s end.

Maintain a lovely lawn

Most lawns will grow well with about 1 inch of water a week. Water in the early morning, so the sun will help dry the grass. Nighttime watering can result in prolonged moisture on the blades and can open the door to disease. How do you know if you’re watering enough? Try the “soup can test.” Set an empty can next to your lawn sprinkler. When there’s about a half-inch of water in the can, it’s time to turn off the sprinkler.

When you’re mowing, never cut off more than one-third of the grass blade. Leaving the grass longer shades the roots and encourages a deeper root system. To better protect your lawn on hills, mow up and down when using a riding mower and across when using a walk-behind mower. Lowe’s offers a wide assortment of power equipment to help maintain your lawn with less effort.

Keep your landscape green and healthy

A healthy, actively growing lawn uses a great deal of energy. Natural soil supplemented with fertilizer will help your lawn stay healthy all season. Fertilizers promote new leaf and plant growth, reduce and control weeds, and replace nutrients lost to leaching. Look for a mixture of fast- and slow-release fertilizers that will green up your lawn quickly and then feed it over time. Remember, more is not always better. Nitrogen is the most important ingredient in a fertilizer, but if you put too much on your lawn, you’ll burn it.

Already dealing with weeds? Post-emergents are a great way to promote grass growth while killing actively growing weeds on contact. Post-emergents work best when applied later in the growing season - after weeds are established but before they’ve gone to seed. Read the fertilizer’s label and strictly follow the application instructions for best results.

Create beautiful gardens

Mix annuals and perennials for a “pop” of color to create season-long beauty. As you decide which flowers to purchase, pay attention to the labels that state how much sun or shade they like. The wrong amount of sun exposure can hinder growth and beauty. Find the perfect spot for your plants by marking where the sun tracks across your yard, then put plants that need the most sunlight exactly where they need to be.

Additionally, some plants only grow well in certain regions of the country. Lowe’s Creative Ideas.com offers tips based on the area where you live. Lowe’s also offers a one-year plant guarantee.

Turn your deck into an outdoor room

Extend warm-weather enjoyment by sprucing up your deck. Drizzle water on the boards to see if it’s time to reseal. If the water beads up, the wood is still protected, but if it’s quickly absorbed, it’s time to seal it again. Your deck might just need a good cleaning with a pressure washer. When pressure washing, always work with the grain of the wood to avoid splinters and to keep the deck smooth. Attach a rotating surface cleaner to your pressure washer to clean your patio four times faster.

Extend the look of the indoors into the outdoors by adding durable, aluminum outdoor furniture that can be customized to fit your style preference with mix-and-match fabrics. Lowe’s allen + roth custom outdoor collection allows you to customize your patio set and have it shipped to the store in a week! Complement the overall look by adding an outdoor rug for both comfort and style. Don’t forget to add lighting to create ambiance for entertaining well after dusk.

These ideas will help you enjoy all that warm weather has to offer. For more project ideas, visit LowesCreativeIdeas.com or download the latest iPad app for free in the iTunes Newsstand.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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