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A great project for families over the weekend is taking time to winterize your patio so your assets aren't destroyed over the Okanagan Winter and can make it for another beautiful summer! This for me is a great weekend project so I'm happy to share my tips on what you can do here! 

 

Clean and store outdoor furniture

Patio furniture should be covered or stored indoors for the duration of winter to avoid upholstery being destroyed and rust creeping into wrought iron structures. It is wise to ensure that the furniture has been cleaned first. It is particularly crucial to wash cushions, throws and chair covers as they can be a breeding ground for mildew. They should be dried thoroughly before being stored to prevent the development of musty odors. Furniture can also be stored outdoors if covered by a waterproof sheet that has been tied down.

 

Store garden accessories

There are various accessories within your garden that need to be protected from below-freezing temperatures. Hammocks, for example, should be washed and stored indoors. Use gentle detergents on their material as products like bleach can weaken the fibers and create a safety hazard. Umbrellas should also be wiped down with soapy water and stored. Ensure that all fabric is completely dry before being put away to prevent mildew forming during winter. Pot plants can either be brought inside or discarded into a compost heap, starting anew in the spring. All empty pots should be turned upside down to avoid the accumulation of stagnant water within them. Should your garden pond be home to fish, you will need to ensure that there is a hole in the ice through which toxic gases can escape the water all winter long. The pump within your pond should also be switched off and any pipes above the water should be disconnected and stored.

 

 

Prepare your lawn and yard

Fall is the most important time of year to put into action your winter preparation plan. Weeding and pruning, as well as the planting of certain new additions to your landscape should be done before the year’s first frost, this will determine the resilience of your softscape and how it will look when spring returns. Perennial weeds will compete fiercely for the scarce nutrients available to your garden during winter and should therefore be removed. Fall is also an ideal time to plant grass seeds as it corresponds with the plant’s natural growth cycle. Have your plant beds covered in mulch or burlap to insulate tender bulbs from the cold.

 

 

Protect your grill

Keeping your outdoor kitchen appliances safe is a high priority for the avid BBQ chef. Here’s how to protect your most trusted piece of equipment – the grill. Burn off most of the greasy residue on your grill by firing it up and allowing it to heat for several minutes. After this, any remaining particles can be cleared off using a wire brush or aluminium foil. Grease trays should be washed and the exterior of the grill can be wiped down using warm, soapy water. The grill can then be covered and left outside or brought indoors. If you decide to store your grill indoors for the winter, ensure that you disconnect the propane tank and leave it – covered – outside, as these tanks should never be kept indoors.

 

Hibernate your plants. 

Bring those plants who can’t handle the cold in and place them accordingly. If they like sun, make sure they have a nice window to sit beside. Many plants, notably the spring-flowering trees and shrubs, set their flower buds at this time. As the days grow shorter, plants slow and finally stop any new growth. Then the plant withdraws nourishment from the leaves and enters a fully dormant phase.

 

If you are selling your home right now

Even though your patio is no longer staged, you should still keep it clean and free of mess. Make sure you maintain the leaves, don't leave any clutter out on the patio and keep wiping down all outdoor surfaces of dust a debris. You want your potential buyers coming through your house to see your patio in a clean state so they can visualize their own potential.

 

Have a great weekend Everyone 

- Lorraine

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