Backyard summer Prep
May 15, 2024

How to Prep Your Backyard for Summer

The sun’s out, temperatures are rising, and many of us are already thinking about summer plans. If those plans include backyard entertaining (or just relaxing with a good book and a cool drink), you may be wondering how to get your outdoor space ready for the warm weather. Winter can wreak havoc on outdoor living, but a bit of cleaning and freshening up is all it takes to prep your backyard for summer.

The first step in turning your outdoor space into a summertime oasis is to get rid of anything winter left behind. Spend some time raking leaves, picking up wayward branches, clearing out dead plants, pulling weeds, dusting cobwebs from eaves, and sweeping off patios and porches. Hitting walkways, patios, or decks with a power washer can make these areas look brand new.

Speaking of freshening up, nothing welcomes guests more than new plants. If you have a green thumb (or even if you don’t), consider a visit to one of the many garden centers and nurseries in Sacramento. Whether you choose to plant colorful flowers, plants, trees or shrubs, it can give your outdoor space a whole new look, especially when coupled with fresh mulch.

Find your dream backyard in Sacramento.

Design Comfortable Seating Areas

Your guests’ comfort is of the utmost importance when it comes to backyard entertaining. 

When prepping your space for summer, it’s important to make sure your outdoor furniture is in good shape, whether a dining set, outdoor couches, lounge chairs or side tables. If your patio furniture is old and dated consider a visit to one of the following outdoor living centers in the greater Sacramento area.

  • Emigh’s Outdoor Living. Located in Sacramento’s Arden Arcade area, Emigh’s has everything you need for outdoor entertaining: furniture, grills, fire pits, umbrellas and more.
  • California Backyard. Dining sets, lounging sets, hot tubs, and full outdoor kitchens are on display at these oversized showrooms in Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Roseville and Elk Grove.
  • Pottery World. What started as a humble pottery shop nearly 50 years ago is now a full-fledged outdoor living center in Rocklin with high-end indoor and outdoor furniture, home décor and of course, pottery.
  • Outdoor Living by Green Acres. This local chain is a favorite for plants, flowers, trees, veggies and all your gardening needs. Their locations in Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin and Roseville also have outdoor living departments, with dining sets, fountains, grills and everything else for creating an outdoor sanctuary.
Keep Things Cool & Comfortable

Sure, many parts of the Sacramento region benefit from the Delta Breeze. But come mid-summer, even that might not be enough! You can keep things cool in your backyard in several ways, including the following:

  • Shade. Sounds simple enough, but ensuring your backyard space has plenty of shade is one way to keep you and your guests cool. Trees, naturally, provide a cooling retreat in a yard, but you can also consider pergolas, gazebos, shade sails, or simple umbrellas.
  • Water. A backyard swimming pool is the natural choice for keeping cool in Sacramento summers. But if you don’t already have one, installing one may not be doable. Rather, consider misting systems, fountains, ponds, or waterfalls. Water evaporates in the heat, thus cooling the surrounding air. Plus, they have the added bonus of creating a relaxing vibe.
  • Fans. Another way to keep cool this summer is by using fans. There are ceiling fans that match every design scheme rated for outdoor use that can be mounted on patio overhangs. Or, you can simply use a free-standing floor fan or tabletop fan — some even have misting systems incorporated in their design.

Another consideration for comfort is mosquito control. It’s no secret that mosquitoes can ruin an otherwise lovely evening dining al fresco. Fans can help prevent mosquitos, as can citronella candles or incense, mosquito coils, or mosquito-repelling plants such as lemongrass, marigolds, or lavender. You can reduce mosquitos near your home by eliminating possible breeding grounds, including all standing water. Bothered by pesky flies near your outdoor dining table? Check out these fly fans that keep the buggers away from your food.

Light up the Night

Nothing sets the scene more than outdoor lighting. Just imagine the draw of twinkling string lights at an outdoor café, a spotlight illuminating a fountain or statue, or solar lights lining a pathway. Not only is landscape lighting beautiful, it’s also practical. There are dozens of options on the market, including hanging lanterns, globe lights, outdoor chandeliers, and step lights. A thoughtful combination of all of the above can create the perfect ambiance for your backyard.

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Create Backyard Fun

There’s more to enjoying a backyard than just relaxing or dining! If you have kids (or even if you don’t), consider outdoor games and activities to keep everyone busy. Lawn games are popular with both kids and adults alike; some good choices include cornhole, ladder toss, bocce, or kubb, in which players knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden batons. Classic games like badminton, croquet and darts are also good picks. A fire pit or hot tub can also be a good draw for a backyard gathering, and have the added benefit of promoting conversation.

Get Free Stuff

Need a little help with your backyard revamp? If you’re in the Sacramento area, you can get free shade trees thanks to SMUD and the Sacramento Tree Foundation. They’ll assess your property, review shade tree options, and determine the best locations to plant your trees. They also provide free wood chips to residential customers to use as mulch around trees. The wood chips can be picked up at SMUD’s yard in East Sacramento.  

Considering a move toward drought-tolerant landscaping? The Sacramento County Water Agency has launched a “Cash for Grass” program, in which homeowners can receive rebates for replacing their existing lawns and sprinkler systems with drip irrigation and drought-tolerant plants. Rebates are $1 per square foot, up to $2,000 per household. The city of Sacramento also has a grass conversion program, as does Roseville, Granite Bay, Carmichael Placer County and other municipalities. You can visit Save Our Water to find rebates near you.

Ready to upgrade your backyard? Browse homes currently on the market.

Enjoy Your Backyard This Summer

A little elbow grease leads to a big payoff when it comes to prepping your backyard for summer! By following a few simple tips, you can create an inviting, comfortable space for family and friends that you can enjoy all summer long and well into fall.

Category Home Inspiration

Lyon Real Estate

With the Lyon Local blog, Lyon strives to deliver the most valuable information to both home buyers and sellers while highlighting our favorite local gems that make Sacramento the best place to live in California.