3 easy ways to get your backyard ready for summer

3 easy ways to get your backyard ready for summer

'Tis the season for backyard barbecues, summer alfresco dinners and lying down on the grass in your garden to get your tan on. Sound fantastic? We sure think so!

But there's one major question you should be asking yourself before launching into all this summery backyard bliss: Is the yard clean, tidy and ready for all this quality living?

If yes, grab your lemonade and step outside! If no, get your gardening gloves on and use these tips to get your backyard sorted in a jiffy.

1) Start with a clean slate, using music

Dress in denim overalls or other sturdy gear, grab a rake and walk around your backyard to pick up any debris. Rake the leaves into large garbage bags and mow the lawn to get the grass nice and soft. Many have beautiful landscaped gardens, which saves you time in lawn mowing, but the stones could still use a wash. Hose them down with a medium-pressure setting and you're good to go.

Oh, and do all of this with headphones on, listening to your favourite tunes. There is a scientifically proven reason for doing so. Research in neurophysiology has shown time and again that listening to music while performing boring tasks - such as cleaning - has been proven to make us feel happier and work more productively, too. The chemical dopamine is realised in our brain when we listen to a groove we like, which also boosts our concentration and attention. You'll find it easier to clean up, and finish sooner as well.

2) Take the muscle out of de-weeding using weed killer and two-pronged fork tools

Removing weeds is a fundamental step in preparing your backyard for summer. Colorado State University reported that noxious or invasive weeds can affect the health of animals and ruin the environment, not to mention increase soil erosion. Here in Australia, weeds cost our farmers $2.5 billion annually in lost agricultural production, according to data from the government's Department of the Environment site.

Needless to say, everyone can benefit from getting rid of weeds. The easiest way to do this is to spray them down with a herbicide weed killer, then yank them out once they have loosened. A two-pronged fork is gentler on your wrist, because the shape of the prongs takes the bulk of the resistance and pulls weeds out effortlessly.

Of course, prevention is better than cure, so lay down some mulch, bark or weed mats to reduce the likelihood of weeds growing back again.

3) Clean the grill to get BBQ-ready

Finally, scrub your barbie using a wire tool for quality grate cleaning. These tools typically come with the BBQ set, so keep them handy. Wipe down with microfibre cloths and indulge in some delicious food! Here at apg homes, we often include alfresco dining areas or pergolas in the backyard design for this very purpose - enjoying summer dinners!