Backyard View

It’s Finally Spring. Where do I Start?

By Jeff Ronhaar

“Get outside!”

Remember that first spring day when it started to get warmer? Your mom or dad was tired of you being cooped up inside and getting underfoot and you were unceremoniously pushed out the screen door and into the stark reality of your backyard.

First you're peeved. What was wrong with planting yourself in front of the TV with a bag of chips like you’d done for the past 3 months? You cross your arms and stare at the ground.

But after a couple of minutes you start to feel the warmth of the sun on your neck. You hear the birds calling to each other. You look up. Is that a humpback whale you see floating in the clouds? The rich fragrance of wet soil rises to your nostrils. Winter's mental fog lifts.

Time to explore!

Is it time to kick your grown self out of the house for a bit?

Aside from the soggy ground, there’s no better time than spring to take a stroll around your own property and begin to envision how you’ll use the space in the coming months. Take a notebook and you can jot down the things that you love and the things that need improvement.


Here’s a step-by-step guided walking tour to help kickstart your 2019 outdoor season.

Step 1. Have a dog? Send out some junior scouts.

We all do it. We release the hounds all winter to do their business and we let the chips fall where they may. Come spring, the backyard is a veritable minefield. Time to suit up the kids. Can you think of a more noble mission? Have them design their own personalized hazmat suits and retrieval devices and give them the morning to clear the backyard of any and all remaining doggy debris. Relax. Take a few pictures through the crack in the curtains. It's building their character.


Step 2. Now that it’s safe, scan the perimeter.

Trace the outside of your property. Do you have fences or retaining walls? Are they safe and secure? Any shifting or rot happening? Jot down anything that needs attention. If anything looks dangerous, be sure to list it and address it right away. There could be liability issues.


Step 3. Check your Foundations.

Spring usually brings lots of water, so now is the time to check for any issues that will help you avoid costly basement flooding. How is your drainage? Are your eavestroughs and downspouts flowing properly and directing water away from your foundation? Are there any cracks that need attention?


Step 4. Check your Paving and Pathways

Is everything still safe and flat or has there been shifting and lifting that needs repair? Is the water flowing properly off any patios and away from your house?


Step 5. Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Time to check your vegetation. How do your trees and shrubs look? If you have trees, your lawn will be likely be scattered with twigs and even late autumn leaves. Are there any dead branches that need removal? Could be a major safety hazard. If you’re lucky, you just need to dust off the old yard rake. Then again, maybe it’s time to bring in the pros (Jeff’s Outdoor has a spring cleanup plan that may be just the thing). Are you a gardener? Then you’re probably already starting to think about prepping the soil and planning your summer crops.


Step 6. How’s your lawn?

They say it’s good to touch the green, green grass of home (at least if your kids have done a decent job with step 1). But how green is your grass? Are there areas that need attention this year? Overseeding perhaps? Or maybe you’ve got bare shady areas where the grass just won’t grow. Ground cover might be a better solution. Is your lawn easy to maintain? Or could you use some help this year? (Yes, we’ve got lawn care plans, too!)


Step 7. Stand and daydream.

Now that the basic considerations are out of the way, find a central location and spend some time thinking about the good times you’ve had in your yard. What made those times special? What could make them more special. Do you love to entertain? Maybe it’s time for a comfortable outdoor patio with an outdoor kitchen or fire pit. Are you a water rat? How about a pool or an outdoor spa? A water feature could be just the thing to bring you to your happy place. Maybe you're the zen garden type and you just want a place of quiet and serenity. Is this the year you tackle that dream design build project?


At Jeff’s Outdoor, we employ people who prefer to spend every working day outside. Being outside, enjoying nature and encouraging and enabling others to do the same is at the centre of our company’s values. We also build, design and maintain people’s home properties, transforming their outdoors into places where they can do their favourite things.

Relax. Play. Entertain. All at home. All outside.

Jeff Ronhaar of Jeff's Outdoor
Jeff Ronhaar started Jeff's in 1994 with a single borrowed mower. Jeff's Outdoor now includes around 30 reliable and trustworthy landscaping professionals.