If you’re already dreaming of summer, you’re in luck. The warm months, cool breezes and outdoor barbecues aren’t too far away. Now is the time to prepare your garden for entertaining and relaxing in the fresh air. Follow the tips below to spruce up your garden just in time for warm weather to arrive.

Rake Up Debris

Get out your rake to remove any dead foliage, leaves, debris and flower petals that may be on the lawn. Clearing out the debris allows the grass to receive the sunlight and nutrients that it needs to thrive. The grass will be lush and green, just what you want to keep your garden looking nice all summer long. Don’t forget to move all of your garden furniture to clear those areas of debris as well.

Mow and Water the Lawn

You’ve likely been mowing the lawn since spring, but it’s important to be consistent in your efforts through the summer months. Trim only the top third of the grass. Trimming it any shorter can cause it to dry up, looking brown and shriveled. Before entertaining guests in your garden, cut the grass a few days ahead to allow you enough time to clear grass clippings off the walkways. Watering the grass is essential to helping it look green and healthy, but do so in the early morning or late evening to avoid water evaporation. If watering doesn’t seem to be doing enough, consult with a landscaper to have the lawn aerated and fertilized.

Clear the Walkways

During the summer months, you’ll likely have more guests over. Make sure the walkways and the areas around your outdoor furniture are cleared of grass clippings, children’s toys and anything that may clutter the walking surface. Take care of any weeds creeping up between paving stones by using a natural weed killer.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Ideally, shrubs should be trimmed in early spring before they begin to grow. If you didn’t get around to doing it then, they’ll still have time to heal as you get closer to summer. Trim limbs that are too large, as this will allow other branches and limbs to receive more nutrients and will help the shrub thrive. Take special care when trimming trees and shrubs around the walkways. You don’t want to feel as if you’re walking through a jungle when trying to get to your home.

Clean the Deck or Patio

Your family and your guests will be enjoying the garden out on the deck or patio, so clean up your outdoor space to make it enjoyable for everyone. A power washer can easily get rid of stains and build-up, and these tools are available for rent at most garden and home improvement shops. Cleaning the deck or patio is an easy way to give it a facelift without spending much. Clean your Rattan furniture, too, by wiping it down with a mild soap and water solution. The waterproof coverings on the furniture will protect it while you wash it.

Update the Outdoor Furniture

If you have outdated Patio furniture, now is the time to purchase some new pieces. This will encourage your family to enjoy the outdoors during the summer and make it easier to entertain guests. It’s a good idea to purchase at least one or two more pieces that you need for your immediate family to accommodate guests. Your preferences and lifestyle will determine which types of furniture are best suited to your patio, but most can benefit from having a large, comfortable sofa off to the side and a Rattancube for enjoying meals and drinks.

Decorate the Garden

Adding decorative touches to your garden can set it apart from all the others in the neighborhood. Flower borders, twinkling outdoor lights and one or two carefully chosen statues can significantly improve the aesthetics of your garden. Don’t add too many lawn ornaments or statues, though, as this can make your garden look cluttered and unkempt.

Check the Outdoor Lighting

Summer barbecues and parties can last long into the evening hours. Check all of your outdoor lighting fixtures to make sure they’re working properly. After all, you don’t want to be left sitting in the dark! Replace any bulbs that no longer work. Make sure your walkways have adequate lighting. Solar lights placed along walking paths provide a soft glow and are energy efficient, too. String twinkling lights around your patio and near your Rattan garden furniture to ensure that all seating areas are softly lit to create a comfortable ambiance. Avoid bright lights, as they tend to attract insects and ruin the relaxed atmosphere that you want to create.

Keep Cool

During the hot summer months, it’s important that you, your family and your guests stay cool and comfortable. One of the most affordable and practical ways to do this is by creating shaded areas. Retractable awnings, gazebos, pergolas and the similar products keep direct sunlight at bay and help you maintain cooler temperatures in your outdoor space. Patios that are already covered may benefit from having one or two fans to keep the air circulating while you’re outdoors.

Keep Insects at Bay

Nothing can ruin relaxing on the patio quite like being bitten by annoying insects. Mosquitos, horseflies and midges tend to be particularly bad in the morning hours and when the weather is humid. Use insect repelling candles that create a soft glow whilst also keeping the bugs at bay. Tiki torches are also available with repellents and are good for using during outdoor parties. Insects tend to be attracted to areas with water sources. If you have a pool or fountain, use repellents around those areas to avoid attracting them. Eliminate any areas with standing water in your garden by filling them in.

After you’ve gone through the steps above, your garden and patio will be clean, inviting and beautiful. Being in the outdoors is good for the soul. Enjoy the warm summer months outdoors spending time with family and friends or reading a good book. Summer is far too short to spend any spare moments indoors.