As I sit on a plane in route from Chicago to Boston this evening, I realize I have been staring out into dark abyss contemplating arrival of spring. Spring is a time of anticipation and renewed life. A time when snow finally abates and Robins return to rebuild their nests. And a time when Tulips and Daffodils emerge from ground and bloom, if ever so briefly. It is also a time for voracious Black Fly that we northern dwellers know only too well. For me, however, it is a time to shift into a higher gear; there are outdoor projects that have accumulated over winter months and there is traditional spring tasks that every homeowner is compelled to do.
There are two main questions I debate as I compile my spring “To-Do” list: What to do and when to do it?
As always with a non-vinyl sided house, there is painting. Over years, I have come to conclusion it is best to paint a portion of house each year; one year clapboards, another year trim, and maybe in third year shutters. I am sure professional painter would beg to differ with my advice, but hey, not all of us can justify professional painter every 3-5 years, nor can we dedicate an entire week or two of our spring painting whole house. I have found it best to do spring painting as soon as whether gets above 50 degrees. Any sooner, it is too cold for paint. Any later, and one has to contend with other flying insect, hornet.
Another important job, but not so large in effort, is preparing lawn for spring rains. First there is raking. Then there is application of first stage of four-stage fertilizer process, you know, one that halts Crab grass in July and August. Usually every other year there is additional task of spreading pest control to prevent grubs and moles. Based on product recommendations and when I actually have time, I do these tasks in mid May.