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May: your home and garden checklist

May: your home and garden checklist

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

247 guides

May usually provides us with our first taste of the summer months to come. Your vegetable garden is probably springing back into life, your patio is finally getting some use and if you're lucky enough to have a swimming pool, you'll be thinking about taking it out of hibernation. Read on for tips on how to stay busy this month!
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Spring 2020 was one of the warmest on UK records and while we can't guarantee anything for this year, the weather should only be getting better from this point onwards. However, if the British weather keeps up its reputation, it's not all bad news – you can always invest in a rainwater harvesting system!

Things should have been slowly getting started in the vegetable garden for a while now but with the last frost safely out of the way, you can start planting out many of your carefully nurtured seedlings. If you're feeling confident, tomatoes, courgettes and peppers can go in the ground at the end of May while herbs can be planted at the start of the month. Those with purely ornamental gardens can have fun putting in summer flowering shrubs like Mexican orange blossom, hibiscus and summer lilac alongside summer bulbs for a colourful and sweet-scented carpet of flowers. Want to try something new this year? Why not try gardening with the moon? More on that below. 

After months of lying unused, our outdoors spaces finally become living spaces in their own right once more. Now is the time to invite a couple of friends round for a long awaited catch up on the patio or deck! If you've already got a sturdy garden furniture set, it's time to give it some care and attention. Remember: even exotic wood needs a lick of oil now and again. Finally, after a long winter indoors, your skin will be particularly sensitive so be sure to hide under a parasol for the warmest hours of the day

With all of us desperate to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air, our balconies have never been given so much attention. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your balcony from adorning your railings with flowers to covering up the ground with artificial grass. If you have a little more space to play with you can even set up some planters with beautiful perennials. With just a little work, your balcony could be the prime spot for cocktails this spring. Need some inspiration? We've got you covered. 

Is your façade looking a bit rain-battered? Got a colony of moss growing on the roof or exterior shutters that have seen better days? Any home owner knows that spring cleaning doesn't end indoors – the outside of your home deserves just as much attention! From pressure washing the walls to weeding the path, every little helps when it comes to making your house a place you can be proud to call home. While painting your house sounds like a big job, trust us: you'll be glad once you see the results!

Owning a swimming pool is certainly a luxury but it's also a big responsibility. At the start of the month, you'll have to start thinking about opening your pool back up. Whatever you do, don't wait until the pool temperature gets too high: once the water hits 15°C, it is in danger of getting taken over by algae and germs.

Preparing your pool after the winter involves a number of steps from cleaning the pool liner to analysing and treating the water. You will need to ensure that all your pool water parameters are in the correct range for swimming including pH level, total alkalinity and total hardness. The most cold-sensitive pool owners might want to think of investing in a bubble cover or solar pool heater to increase the temperature of the pool by a precious few degrees!

Getting ready for the summer months involves a little more preparation than it used to. It's no secret that British summers are getting hotter and May 2020 was the sunniest spring on record for the UK. While most of us are happy to get some decent weather the heat can be dangerous, especially for vulnerable people. However, there's still plenty of time to get equipped for the summer and while a full air conditioning system is far from a necessity, there are plenty of other options. From fans to air coolers, check out some of the technology on offer below.

It might surprise you to hear that having your own home spa is now within the realm of possibility thanks to inflatable hot tubs. Easy to maintain, these hot tubs can be set up just about anywhere from the lawn to the deck. But the luxury doesn't have to end there. It's even possible to set up a hot tub inside a garden shed to create an indoor spot designed purely for relaxation. If you're looking to incorporate your hot tub into your outdoor decor, nothing could be prettier than sheltering your tub wth a pergola covered with climbing plants or fairy lights.

With the weather steadily improving, your kids are finally able to get out in the garden and start working off some energy! Playhouses are perfect for giving your little ones their first taste of independence while swing sets and trampolines can provide hours of entertainment. If you're setting up for the first time, there may be some assembly involved so read up and get prepared! 

We're not the only ones that enjoy the warmer weather – fleas, ticks and other parasites also flourish when the temperatures rise. In fact, while fleas, larvae and eggs can survive cooler temperatures, they really come into their own in humid and hot environments. While it's important to keep on top of de-fleaing and worming your dog or cat all year round, it's especially crucial to do so at this time of year.

Similarly, cockroaches are famous for their love of warm and moist conditions. That's why they prefer to live in our houses where they're sure to stay cosy! The same goes for ants which is why ant populations seem to explode over the warmer months. But never fear – there are plenty of ways to deal with an infestation. Check out our advice below.

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 247 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check. Advise everybody in the DIY shop? Check. Redo bathroom plumbing? Check. If it doesn't work, try again! I'll do my best to advise you in your projects.

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