The worst of winter is behind us and there is a lot to look forward to as the days get longer and the weather heats up.Aussies have a reputation for being laid back and unfortunately, the backyard is one of those places that we tend to neglect. Which is disappointing when you consider just how much potential the Aussie backyard has as an extra living area.One of the best and easiest ways to prepare your backyard for summer entertainment, (BBQ, drinks some outdoor TV), is with a really thorough clean up.It’s not just about looking good and taking pride in your backyard space, it’s also about being safe. When you have taken the time to clean up your yard you create a safer space from storms, wild winds, heat, fire and anything else Mother Nature can throw at you. 

Gutters and Drains

 Been ignoring your roof? Leaves and debris in roof gutters and drainpipes can be a hazard, not only creating fuel for bushfires but also blocking effective drainage during downpours. If you live in regions where bushfires are possible clean out dry leaves and unclog gutters and install metal leaf guards to keep those gutters clear all summer long. Making sure those gutters and drains are completely clear will also prevent overflowing water running down your walls during a rainstorm. 

Water Access

 If you are in a bushfire risk area water is going to be your home’s best defence. You need access to water that will reach your whole house, including the roof.For those in areas at risk of fires, consider your nearest water access point and ensure you have a long enough hose to reach all sides of your house. Make sure the water access you choose is in proper working order, the taps are easy to turn on and the hose is easy to connect. An emergency is the wrong time to rush out and buy a new hose fitting. You also need to have a hose long enough to get the job done and make sure its stored safely and securely in a place that is easy to access and connect if needed. 

Hazard Removal

 When the wind picks up you want to know before it hits that everything is locked down and secure. Replace damaged fencing, cut back hanging tree limbs, and make sure any loose items, like woodpiles and timber are not stored close to the house. The same goes for flammable items like petrol. Have a secure place to cover and tie down any hazards and also look at ways to secure outdoor furniture, clotheslines and smaller pot plants quickly when a storm rolls in. 

Soil Erosion

 Only in Australia do you need to prepare for fire and floods at the same time. If you have noticed that your backyard tends to hold a bit of water when it rains, now is the time to do something about it. Not having good drainage can lead to flooding in heavy rain which can damage your property and erode your soil. You may need to build a water trench or install a drainage solution. A bit of planning here and there and some elbow grease can go a long way to creating a safe, secure and happy garden in the long run. 

Mow the lawn

 Nothing looks as neat and fresh as a well-manicured backyard. Keep your lawn lush and green, sew some new seeds in if your lawn is looking a bit rough around the edges, rake leaves and pick up tree debris and rubbish often to prevent damage during winds and reduce fuel for fire and sparks.All this on top of a regular lawn mowing will have a sharp looking garden ready for when guests drop round. It’s also the safest way to keep your yard clean ahead of a hot dry summer.While you are out there, put on your outdoor TV (thanks to your SealTV weatherproof and shockproof casing) and enjoy a game, movie or show while you clean up, cut back, weed and trim the hedges.