Once warm weather hits nothing can beat stretching out on a lounge chair on your beautiful deck. But right about now, your patio might look pretty grungy from winter leaf and debris stains, mildew and aging.


Give it a good cleaning with a solution of one-third cup of powdered laundry detergent to four litres of hot water. Scrub vigorously with a stiff nylon brush or bristle broom and thoroughly rinse with fresh water. Add four cups of liquid chlorine bleach to the solution if mildew is present.


If your deck or patio still looks dingy, consider using a deck-cleaning or brightening product to restore the appearance of the natural wood. Use a concrete cleaner to remove oxidation on concrete and restore the appearance of your patio.


Remember eye protection and rubber gloves.


Finish the job by making repairs to damaged decking, secure fasteners and apply a fresh coat of deck finish. Although not necessary, a concrete sealer can breathe new life into the appearance of your patio and protect it from freeze and thaw damage.

If you find your post-winter lawn is a mess, start by having a soil sample analyzed to find out exactly what fertilizer you need, and if it changed since last year.

Then consult your garden centre before you reseed to be sure you have the best and latest variety of grass. New stronger drought-resistant and heat-tolerant types constantly are being introduced.

When things start to grow, don’t mow too low. Cutting grass too short, especially the first time, can harm the lawn and lead to root damage — making it more susceptible to plant diseases, insects and the heat of scorching sun. As a rule of thumb, never trim off more than a third.

Finally, 2.5 centimetres of water once a week is enough. To avoid overwatering, set out a rain gauge.