A Resolution I Can Live With

Ah yes – New Year’s resolutions. Many make them with the best intentions – some are successful. Some wane early on. That’s me. This year is different! I resolve to drastically improve my outdoor living spaces, and what will make me successful is my 12-step plan – my “do one thing a month” plan. Undertaking a complete remodel in one weekend is tough, but spreading it out through the year makes it easier financially and time-wise. You too might have a backyard patio that needs a little love. Here’s my plan, maybe you can borrow from it:

January: I don’t have a lot of space for a garden, but I love to grow my own food. In preparation for the planing season, I’ll construct a few raised garden beds. Home improvement stores sell kits, and you can even buy already assembled boxes if you’re not confident you can build your own. Raised boxes are ideal for patios, apartments and decks – anywhere you want to grow veggies, herbs or flowers, but don’t think you have the room.

February: The weather doesn’t allow for much planting, so I’ll focus on cutting back the hedges and vines, and clearing out the dead, fallen leaves, branches and other debris. I’ll add fresh mulch to my borders, add the soil to my garden boxes and decide what I’m going to plant.

March: After cleaning up the vegetation last month, I’m going to clean up the man-made elements of my outdoor living spaces. Using a pressure washer, I can clean up the patio slab and furniture. If the fence needs some touch up paint, this will be the month. Most importantly, I’ll make sure to clean the grill and ensure it’s in proper working order – the steaks and burgers are coming soon!

April: Those garden boxes I built in February? Now I get to plant my veggies. Research the Internet or check with your local nursery for a planting guide, but April is a good month to plant your gardens.

May: As it is, all I have for outdoor lighting are 3-year-old tiki torches. I’m going to invest some time and money into lighting upgrades.

June: I’m taking June off … kind of. Instead of actively working on my outdoor living spaces, I’m going to plan a BBQ and work on my grilling skills. After all, I’ve put in some good, hard work.  Its time to take time and enjoy it.

July: This month I’m going to add some color and life to my patio. A quick, inexpensive way to do so is by adding new throw pillows to the furniture. An outdoor rug will add more color to my spaces and tie the furniture together.

August: The garage lies between indoor and outdoor living spaces – either way, August will be the month I clean it out. I’ll plan an entire Saturday for the cleaning, cleaning out, and reorganizing my garage.

September: During fall and winter months, shrubs stop worrying about their leaves and flowers and concentrate on root growth. September is the perfect time to plant new shrubs or transplant those you need to move. I’ll also cut back my existing bushes to promote healthy, spring growth.

October: my patio furniture got a lot of use over the summer, and it makes sense to clean and protect it for the upcoming months. Cleaning the furniture regularly extends its life.

November: after harvesting the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor, I’ll start prepping my garden ready for the spring. The soil lost a lot of nutrients growing my good, so I’ll roto-till and spread compost.

December: I’ve been a recreational golfer for the past few years, and I’d like to step up my game. This December, I’m going to reward my years’ worth of work by consulting and designing my own backyard putting green and chipping lawn. I may not install the green, but at least I’ll know what it takes to do so if I want to make 2015 the year my short game comes around.

So that’s it – a 12-month New Years resolution that will improve my outdoor living spaces and quality of life. The reality is I won’t have to commit a lot of time and money each month, but the little I do put it in will reap huge rewards. Remember, EasyTurf, the industry leader in synthetic turf and putting greens, can drastically improve your outdoor living spaces, too! Good luck in your New Year’s Resolutions and 2014!

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