Weather expert Dave King gives gardening tips for an icy spring
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After a long winter of tumultuous weather, many Britons are likely to be eager to get outside and soak up the sun. Whether you prefer to bask in the rays alone or have friends and family over to enjoy the toasty days, getting your garden in shape should be a priority.
While an array of stunning flowers and a lush green lawn might immediately spring to mind, you should also take into consideration how clean your fence, decking and patio areas are.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Charles Taylor, director at Composite Prime said: “The garden fences, walls, and furniture, if not sheltered, will be looking a little worse for wear by the time spring arrives.
“The cold temperatures, rain, and snow of the last few months have taken their toll on painted surfaces.
“After a long summer of entertaining last year, decking will also likely need some attention.
“Stains from barbecues and spilt drinks can be tough to remove, but putting in the effort will make a real difference.”
However, aesthetics aren’t the only reason you should consider giving your deck a once over.
Leigh Barnes, an expert from Jacksons Fencing explained: “Decking should be periodically cleaned from a safety perspective, as a build-up of moss and lichen can cause it to become slippery and dangerous.”
You should also check your fences for a build-up of plants and shrubbery.
Leigh added: “It is worth checking that leaves haven’t been left to build up against timber fencing panels during the winter months.
“Removing these will prolong your plant’s life.
“You should be mindful of this when pruning plants and bushes too.
“When you’re pruning, take time to cut back any trees that are located near your fencing, and investigate the use of specially treated gravel boards too, these will prevent fence panels from coming into contact with the ground helping you to avoid damage to the fence panels or pales.”
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How to clean your decking and patio areas
An array of stains, from watermarks to mouldy leaves, can cause your decking or patios to become marked.
Charles recommends a mixture of elbow grease and specialised product to tackle your outside space.
He said: “Watermarks and mouldy leaves won’t have helped the situation, so start with a stiff brush to remove debris, but when it comes to tackling stains, it can take a lot of effort.
“To take the pain out of the process, using a product such as Abzorbit to save time and elbow grease.
“It sprays onto wooden decking, cladding, or flooring, and brushes off stains after a ten-minute wait. It’s much easier than spending half the day with a brush and soapy water.”
However, there are other ways of cleaning your deck, if you don’t have a specialist product to hand.
Leigh explained: “We recommend a gentle washing with slightly soapy water and sponge to remove dirt and cobwebs.
“A very light abrasive such as a nylon kitchen scourer can be used along the grain. Do not rub against the grain as it is likely to leave marks.
“A very light/distant cold water pressure washer (such as Karcher) can be used, but care must be taken not to damage the surface of the timber.
“The decking will lighten in colour when moss has effectively been removed.”
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How to tackle fences
According to Charles, a “good way to start” cleaning fences, walls or other furniture is with “a quick sand or pressure wash on the rough patches.”
He continued: “After that, add a layer of good quality outdoor paint to restore a more uniform colour. Investing in quality materials will reduce the amount of maintenance required next spring.
“A durable, UV stable decking like HD Deck Dual will require less maintenance in the long run when compared to traditional timber.
“With a scratch-proof surface and more stable colour, composites offer a better quality finish for much longer on top of their sustainability benefits.”
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