Weekend of Outdoor Chores

Weekend of Outdoor Chores

Welcome to the Weekend of Outdoor Chores

If you're new to the world of suburban outdoor chores, springtime is going to be a big revelation. Even if you love working outside with your hands, there are a surprising number of small tasks every homeowner or renter has to do to create and maintain a great yard. Whether you want to grow a vegetable garden, create a natural art that's the talk of the neighborhood or simply have a quiet place to relax after work, outdoor chores are going to dominate your weekends.


Some lucky people manage to find new homes with mature landscaping already planted. The trees are in great shape, the bulbs sprout through the last of the snow and the hedges are full and green. For the rest of humanity, there are weekend landscaping chores. If you know absolutely nothing about plants, take a class at your local community college or look into different offerings at your local home improvement store or nursery. If you can't find any classes nearby, do research at your local library or look for online articles and videos that demonstrate everything from how to make a cobblestone driveway to how to build an outdoor fireplace.


Start by visiting Home Depot's online Garden Club and get access to project ideas, how-to videos, monthly to-do lists, and expert advice.

Photo by Jerry via Flickr

Typically it's best to start small with gardening, maybe growing three or four of your favorite vegetables. Between soil, weeds, plant varieties and pests, you can take months just deciding what type of gardening you want to explore. From small container gardens to elaborate square foot gardens, choose one you'll have the time to work on every weekend. Your hard work will be rewarded the moment you sink your teeth into your own first grown tomato, still warm from the sun.

Equipment Maintenance

You can expect every piece of equipment and tool you have for outdoor use will eventually wear out and break. When that happens, the question is whether to repair or replace it, and can you do the repair work on your own. Most gardening tools aren't worth repairing, unless you're an extremely handy (or frugal!) individual. Toss out that broken rake and buy another one. Larger things like a hot tub, on the other hand, are definitely worth fixing. Your first instinct may be to call a repair person when your hot tub pump breaks down, but this can cost money you don't have to spend. You can fix minor pump repairs for the cost of parts and the time it takes to check out repair videos and articles at HotTubWorks.com.

Photo by daveparker via Flickr

Lawn Maintenance

Mowing the lawn is one outdoor chore most homeowners and renters both have to face. The sound of droning lawnmowers is a Saturday morning staple in many suburban neighborhoods. Unless you're in a severe drought, your grass will need cutting at least once a week, and it's also a good time to pick up fallen branches and pull weeds. On the other hand, this is a great time to encourage future small business owners and hire the neighborhood kids to take care of the lawn for you. After all, you do need some time to relax on the weekends.

Photo by Martin Cathrae via Flickr


Seasonal Feature
Summer Harvest Tea

Before the cool weather sets in, enjoy the bounty of your herb, flower and vegetable gardens by giving a Summer Harvest Tea Party. Plan your theme around the garden, invite friends and family. Don't make it a formal affair, but rather a way to celebrate everyone's gardens and share produce, flowers, seeds and advice.

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Home & Garden

Harvesting and Using Summer Squash

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love the yellow summer squash in particular. They should be harvested while still tender, when they have a "glossy" appearance and are still small. You will most likely need to harvest daily once they start to appear.

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