Now more than ever, we need spaces to relax and recharge. Fortunately, your backyard is there for you. The benefits of time outside are seemingly endless – Vitamin D, better sleep, increased creativity, better focus, a boost of self-esteem. Even chores like mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, or cleaning up the yard offer satisfaction and delight.

Not sure where to start? Here are a six ideas for creating a relaxing and joyful outdoor living space in your backyard.

Take Care of Your Lawn

Nothing beats the soothing look of healthy grass. It’s been a dry spring so we need to start watering now instead of waiting until after Memorial Day like in a normal year.

Existing lawns require at least 1 inch of rain/water per week. A deep, slow soaking is much better than frequent, light watering. Sandy soils require more watering than clay or heavy soils. The best time to water is between 6 to 8 am. Watering in the morning reduces the chance of diseases.

As the season continues, follow the University of Minnesota Extension’s Lawn Care Calendar.

Re-Mulch In The Spring

Applying mulch in the spring helps control weeds and retain moisture, which means healthier plants and less maintenance work for you.

When the weather turns warm, a blanket of mulch will help keep moisture in. A layer of 1-2 inches of fine mulch should be sufficient, bulkier mulch should be 3-4 inches deep. Leave 1-2 inches of space between woody stems and tree trunks to prevent damage to your plants and trees.

Grow Your Own Food

There is a special kind of pride that comes from cooking with ingredients you’ve grown yourself. You can garden at whatever scale you feel comfortable. Growing fresh herbs in a container is a great way to start.

New to veggie gardens? We have tips for you on our blog.

Indulge Your Inner Bookworm

Reading outdoors is a great pastime. For an ideal experience, you must have protection from too much sun and comfortable seating. Bonus if you have a water feature to provide the tranquil soundscape of running water. 27 Great Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down, Real Simple

Outside Cooking Projects

Eating an elaborate meal is something everyone enjoys. Make a commitment to level up your grill game and challenge yourself to prepare a gourmet feast over the fire. This summer grilling guide from Bon Appétit is a great place to start.

Breathe In Nature’s Beauty

Shrug off the stress and reset outside. Stopping to smell the flowers, pausing to listen to the sounds of the outdoors, and feeling the sun on your skin can help you recenter when you’re feeling swamped.

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