5 Early Spring Outdoor Chores

Happy Spring everyone! Though here in Los Angeles, the new season is starting quite soggy, I'm beginning to think spring-ifying the outdoors and what that entails. From fallen leaves to preparing for the promise of outdoor entertaining once the winter's dust and grime have been cleaned away.

1. Give the patio furniture a good scrubbing - Over the past several months of abuse by the elements, even in more temperate climates, you want to power wash or give a good scrub-down of your patio furniture so it's ready for outdoor entertaining.

2. Wash the windows - Nothing like welcoming spring and longer evenings with a clear view of the world outside. I use straight white vinegar and old newspaper for both inside and out.

3. Clean out the gutters - Leaves that have collected in the gutters between fall and now are no doubt decaying and clogging up the drainage from your roof. The resulting overflowing water can damage any planting areas below.

4. Check outdoor shrubs and trees for winter damage - If you live in snowy climates, your trees and shrubs may have been damaged by salt. Heavy snow, rain or winds may have damaged branches that will need to be pruned to help keep your plants healthy.

5. Sweep out the garage and an organizational touch-up - During the cold, dark months of winter, it's been rather easy for me to just chuck things into any open space in the garage and to let the leaves that have blown under the door get a little out of hand. Now is the time for a touch-up since you'll need access to your gardening tools, camping gear and other warmer weather items.

(Images: 1. The Fancy Flea , 2. Chez MeowMeow, 3. Danny Lipford, 4. Forest Keepers of Cape Cod, 5. kerf.org