Are you ready for summer? It’s time to get your backyard and deck in tip-top shape. We’ve got some great ideas on how to make the most of your outdoor space this year.
The best-laid plans for a summer of outdoor fun can quickly turn into an epic fail if you don’t prepare your backyard and deck properly.
There are so many things to do, but where should you start? It seems like there is always something else that needs to be done first. You could spend hours looking up DIY projects online or you could just read this article and get started on the right foot!
We have all the information you need right here in one place. Just follow our step-by-step instructions and be ready for summer in no time at all!
- 1 Things you need to know before cleaning your deck
- 2 Should I pressure wash my deck?
- 3 What are best plants for my deck?
- 3.1 Pachysandra
- 3.2 Sedums
- 3.3 English Ivy
- 3.4 Asiatic Jasmine
- 3.5 Boston Fern
- 3.6 Heartleaf Foam Flower
- 3.7 Aluminum Plant
- 3.8 Red Twig Dogwood
- 3.9 English Boxwood
- 3.10 Coral Bells
- 3.11 Vinca
- 3.12 Dwarf Mugo Pine
- 3.13 Pineapple Guava
- 3.14 Hibiscus
- 3.15 Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)
- 3.16 Bee Balm
- 3.17 Aloe
- 3.18 Sedum
- 3.19 Wax Begonia
- 3.20 Turtlehead
- 3.21 Beebalm
Things you need to know before cleaning your deck
If you’re like me, when spring rolls around and the weather gets nicer it’s time to start thinking about getting outside. One of my favorite things to do is clean up my deck – but I’m not one to take on a project without doing some research first. So here are some tips for cleaning your deck in the spring:
- Start by power washing or using a hose with a nozzle attachment; this will help get rid of any dirt and grime that accumulated over the winter months.
- Next, sweep off any loose particles and use a pressure washer to clean off stubborn stains from furniture or other surfaces.
- If you find stubborn stains on your furniture or other surfaces, use an old toothbrush to scrub at it gently.
- Last but not least, go ahead and give your deck boards a good scrubbing with soap and water.
Should I pressure wash my deck?
The answer is not so simple. It depends on the type of wood, its age, and whether or not it’s sealed. Pressure washing can cause damage to un-sealed decks by stripping away the protective sealant layer. If you are unsure about your deck’s condition, consult with a professional before attempting to pressure wash it. Here are some other tips for when you’re in doubt: inspect your deck for loose nails or screws; use an electric power washer instead of a gas-powered one; wear safety goggles and gloves; cover plants below the surface area with plastic sheeting; take care around septic systems; and finally, remember that too much water can disintegrate wood fibers leading to rot.
What are best plants for my deck?
In the summer, you know it’s time to get outside when your deck starts feeling like a greenhouse. If you’re looking for some low-maintenance plants that will help cool things down without requiring too much water or sunlight, then look no further! I’ve rounded up my favorite hardy outdoor plants including:
A densely foliaged groundcover with glossy leaves and small clusters of deep purple flowers in early spring. It has a natural tendency to creep under other plantings but can be kept from spreading by cutting off runners as they appear.
These drought-tolerant succulents are perfect for sunny spots on decks and patios because they don’t require a lot of water to thrive. Sedums are known for their flower power, producing small daisy-like blooms in shades of pink, yellow and white.
This classic favorite hangs on in shady spots all over the world where other plants would wilt and die. A clingy, fast-growing groundcover that can quickly choke out weeds if left unchecked. English ivy not only looks good all season, but it’s also extremely resilient and requires very little care.
A fast-growing vine that tolerates shade and moisture. It fares well in areas where other plants struggle and grows easily up walls, trellises and fences.
This classic fern is practically foolproof and thrives in moist, partly sunny spots, making it great for shady decks. The fronds are very delicate and ferns, in general, are known for their tendency to break, so make sure this one gets support when it’s time to install the hanging baskets.
Heartleaf Foam Flower
This unusual variety is a unique mix of dainty white flowers and green, fern-like foliage. Foam flowers are perfect for hanging baskets, window boxes, and raised beds because they not only look gorgeous when in bloom but also give off an airy, cascading appearance.
This is a great option for those shady spots where nothing else will grow and requires very low maintenance. Aluminum plants are extremely drought resistant but don’t like to be over-watered, so give them a little drink every couple of weeks and make sure they drain well. (If the leaves turn yellow, the plant is overwatered.)
Red Twig Dogwood
Bright red stems are a striking contrast to the deep green leaves of this ornamental tree. It provides color and interest throughout the winter months when other plants have lost their appeal. Dogwoods require moist soil and some direct sunlight, so if you’re looking for a tree that will grow on your shady deck, this is it.
This is a classic choice for formal hedge plantings and lends a sense of permanence to any garden. In addition to its architectural appearance, boxwood is also known for its incredible resistance to deer.
A pretty evergreen with showy pink flowers that blooms in late spring and early summer. It’s extremely hardy and thrives even in shady areas where other plants struggle, but doesn’t like heat or drought so plant it on your deck where you can water it easily if needed.
This is an easy-to-grow groundcover that spreads quickly to cover the area beneath your favorite shrubs. It tolerates dry shade well which makes it a great choice for planting under trees or large shrubs. Vinca also does not require much in the way fertilizer or water once established, so it’s a great choice for those of us who tend to neglect our garden.
Dwarf Mugo Pine
This classic evergreen tree has stiff, needle-like leaves and holds its needles all year long. It thrives in moist areas where other plants struggle and is extremely tolerant of heavy, clay soil as well as shade.
This unique evergreen shrub produces beautiful hanging clusters of fragrant white flowers that attract bees and butterflies. The flowers give way to delectable deep purple fruits (known as pepos) which can be used for cooking or eaten raw when ripe. The pineapple guavas fruit heavily once established and require little – if any – pruning, making them an excellent choice for planting in backyard or patio containers.
This is an exceptionally hardy plant often used as a landscape shrub that can be grown throughout the year if kept cut back. The flowers are small but numerous, blooming in late spring and summer, and come in vibrant shades of pink, red, orange, and yellow depending on the variety.
Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)
A classic, low-growing grass with fine texture and airy seed heads that sway beautifully in the breeze. Pennisetum does best when planted en masse where it can spill over garden edges or form a meadow effect carpeting an entire slope. It requires very little water once established but prefers some sun and is extremely hardy.
This beautiful flower has a trumpet-like shape and attracts a variety of pollinators. It’s also known as Horsemint or Monarda and there are numerous varieties that come in shades from lavender, pink to red. The flowers bloom from early summer until the first frost so it’s an excellent choice for adding color to your garden all season long.
This succulent plant grows well in containers and requires very little water once established so it’s perfect for planting on patios and decks where you may not be home frequently to tend to it. Aloe is extremely hardy once rooted but needs time to establish and should be given a good drink every couple of weeks during the summer months.
This is a classic groundcover for areas with full or partial sun. The flower colors are quite varied and range from white to pink and purple, depending on the variety you choose. Sedum thrives in poor soil and doesn’t require much water once established, making it an excellent choice for planting under trees where moisture can be hard to come by.
This plant has waxy-looking leaves that resemble deer antlers and comes in shades of pink, red and yellow as well as bi-color varieties such as those pictured above (called ‘Dragon Wings’). Begonia prefers some shade but not too much moisture so it’s probably not the best candidate if you want to plant it on your deck.
This unique plant grows in a mound and produces numerous tiny flowers that look like turtle heads. It’s great for flower beds or borders where you can let it spread to form a meadow effect. Once established, the Turtlehead prefers moist soil but doesn’t need much sunlight so it’s an excellent choice for planting under large shade trees.
Beebalms are related to mints and have beautiful trumpet-shaped blooms that attract hummingbirds as well as bees and butterflies. The flowers bloom from mid-summer through to fall if deadheaded which means they’re one of my favorite plants for adding color late into the growing season when other foliage starts to fade away.
Deck cleaning is not a fun task, but it’s better to get started early in the season before your deck starts to look bad. If you have some tips on how best to clean your deck, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I hope these pointers have helped and that you find yourself with a cleaner, more comfortable space for summer barbecues coming up soon. Good luck!