The clock ticks inexorably forward, and your responsibilities to your garden and yard are piling up. With every new season, you gain a new set of duties to keep your home’s exterior looking strong, healthy, and attractive. As you invest your time, you maintain your home value and when it comes to asking that question, "what will my Davenport home sell for?" you'll know it's going to be a pretty good answer.
Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know how to change their outdoor work routines with the changing weather. Even in Florida, where the sun shines year-round, it’s important to modify your yard work checklist to account for the temperature, humidity, and precipitation. This guide should help you remember when you need to address what issues in your outdoor spaces.
Florida Home Maintenance In Spring
In Florida, spring starts around February. Because you don’t have snow or intense rain to contend with, you can begin your springtime yard care as soon as temperatures are comfortable for outdoor work. In fact, because Florida’s spring is warm without being oppressively hot and humid, this time of year is when you want to do the bulk of your exterior maintenance. Here are the most pressing outdoor spring chores:
- Pest control. For aggressive pest control, hire professionals to spray pesticide around your property. However, if you are interested in an organic approach, be diligent with pest repellants like neem oil or dish soap and water; you can also plant pest-repelling plants like marigolds and basil or install insect predators, like ladybugs and praying mantises.
- Planting. If you are growing any part of your garden from seeds, you should plant in early spring. This is especially true for spring-loving fruits and veggies, like beans, sweet corn, watermelon, peppers and tomatoes.
- Lawn care. In truth, lawn care is a year-round chore. However, in warm climates, the bulk of the work is done in spring. You can hire professionals to perform perfect lawn maintenance, or you can grapple with springtime aerating, overseeding, fertilizing and mowing yourself.
- Patching. Before the humidity gets intense, you should patch up your home’s exterior envelope. Look for signs of rot in the siding or missing shingles and make the appropriate repairs. You might also want to repaint your home’s exterior if the paint is bubbling or cracking.
Florida Home Maintenance In Summer
Summer is Florida’s rainy season, and it is also the least-pleasant time to be outdoors. The high humidity and high heat combine to make near-unbearable conditions, meaning you need to be patient and persistent to ensure your exterior looks good throughout this season. Your duties include:
- Hurricane prep. Florida has always been at risk for severe tropical storms, and climate change has worsened their intensity and nearly guaranteed at least one big hurricane every summer. Early in the season — before the rains start — you should check over your trees for weak branches and remove potentially hazardous debris from your yard. You should also have wood or metal hurricane shutters on hand, reinforce all exterior doors, clip your roof and relocate any outdoor furniture and décor indoors. It’s important to prepare for hurricanes in other ways, too.
- Pruning. You generally want to avoid trimming your plants before they flower, which means you should wait until summer to prune the bulk of your landscape. Pruning is a science, so you should learn the proper techniques before you hack your plants to bits.
- Flower bed maintenance. Annual blooms love Florida’s heat and humidity, so at the start of summertime, you should fill your beds with flowers like coleus, gladiolus and lilies. Avoid planting herbs in the summer; they will be damaged by the heat and fail to thrive.
Florida Home Maintenance In Fall
Fall is very much like spring — warm but not insufferable, humid but not dripping wet — meaning most of the things you can do in spring, you can also do in fall. Most homeowners in Florida and across the country prefer to begin major home projects in the fall because the weather is enjoyable and there is little risk of storms that will do damage to your home. Aside from upgrades like installing energy-efficient windows, here are some of the exterior chores you should do this season:
- Clean-up. The summer wreaks havoc on the exterior of your home, so you should devote at least one weekend to making your landscape neat and tidy. Rake up leaves, comb gravel, power-wash your windows, patio and siding, organize any outdoor toys and do other tasks to make your outdoor space look clean.
- Growing. Herbs and veggies grow like crazy in Florida’s temperate fall and winter, so in early fall you should put whatever crops you want in the ground.
Florida Home Maintenance In Winter
While Florida winters are by no means extreme, the drop in temperature can take a toll on your exterior. You should expect to see many of your plants go into hibernation — which means they’ll lose their leaves and appear dead but will require special treatment to survive until spring. Some of your winter maintenance tasks include:
- Fertilizing. While you fertilize your lawn in spring, you should fertilize your trees and larger shrubs at the beginning of winter. Using a high-phosphorus fertilizer will encourage root growth, keeping the plants healthy until warmer weather.
- Mulching. Mulch will keep the soil in your yard warmer, preventing more delicate plants from freezing during Florida’s occasional invasions of cold. You can use wood chips, gravel, straw and even grass clippings for this purpose.
The seasons change, and so do your outdoor chores. By keeping this checklist handy, you can ensure your exterior will remain attractive year-round.