#4Pieces

Published on March 4th, 2015 | by gatsbyadmin

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Spring Projects with #4pieces!

The time to spring ahead (Sunday, March 8th, 2015) is just around the corner!! In the spirit of the season, our friends at #4pieces decided to bring you a few DIY projects to do around your house to get you ready for the the transition from winter into summer. Getting both your garden and homes ready can sometimes require more than meets the eye – so check out this list.

1. Clear debris.
If you didn’t rake leaves in the fall, now’s the time. Raking and clearing your yard and garden beds of old leaves, vines and other debris helps you prepare for mulch and compost – leaves and old plants can harbor disease and smother your other plants. Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth. Cut back spent perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t get around to it last fall. Then look around. March is a good time to take stock of your yard and see if it’s time to thin out crowded beds and do some transplanting to fill in bare spots.

2. Add compost and mulch.
Once you’ve removed yard debris, add valuable nutrients to your garden and lawn by applying a layer of compost (if you don’t already make your own compost from vegetable or fruit peelings, leaves or grasses). Then add a layer of mulch to seal in moisture, prevent weed growth and protect against erosion (it also gives your gardens and trees a landscaped appearance).

3. Start seeds.
Tomato and pepper seeds can be started indoors and then planted outside after the weather warms. Summer harvest vegetables need six to 10 weeks to germinate. If you’re storing flower bulbs indoors, they can be transplanted to the garden as well.

4. Give your house a once-over.
Walk around your home and see how it survived winter. Is there dirt on the walkways and driveway? How about on the siding or trim? “You want to clean dirt build-up,” says Mark Pittendreigh of PittPro Home Improvement in Exeter. “You especially want to check the trim around your garage door for rot.” Pittendreigh recommends cutting the rot out and replacing it with PVC (short for polyvinyl chloride, a plastic) trim that looks and cuts like wood and lasts longer.

5. Check for roof and gutter damage.
Inspect your roof to see if there’s any debris left from winter storms. Make sure any vents or skylights aren’t damaged and make sure your chimney cap isn’t loose. While you’re up top, check your gutters. Gutters clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris can block water flow. Clear gutters of debris and use a garden hose to clear any remaining dirt. Installing a gutter debris shield lets water in but keeps debris out. Make sure there aren’t any dents, holes or cracks.

6. Check doors and windows.
If you noticed winter breezes more than usual this year, check your doors and windows – you may just need to add weather-stripping, not replace the entire window. Your local utility company may offer free energy audits to determine insulation and cooling issues. Check screens and storm windows for extra wear and tear.

7. Keep the Air Fresh.
With warm, sticky days ahead, do yourself a favor and give your air conditioning unit a little TLC. Not only does it cool you down, but an efficient air conditioner removes moisture and humidity from your home, which in excess, can damage its foundation. So if you aren’t changing air filters monthly, start now. A unit free of dust and dirt runs more efficiently, saving you money on your energy bill. While you’re there, check hose connections for leaks. Make sure the drain pans are draining freely. If you suspect a problem, contact a certified technician.

8. Clean Birdhouses
Inspect birdhouses to make sure they’re firmly mounted. Clean their feeders, filling them with fresh seed once they dry. Give birdbaths a good scrubbing and refill with water. Last but not least, create a pile of ready-for-the-taking nesting materials to make life a little easier for our feathered friends.

9. Get Ready to Mow
Send the mower and leaf blower for servicing, or if you have the right tools, sharpen the mower blades yourself. Refill your mower with oil, install fresh spark plugs, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. Clear the lawn of winter debris, and look for areas that need reseeding before mowing.

 


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