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Trim Evergreen Trees

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If they need shaping, give juniper and pine trees a light trim now, after they've established their new spring growth.

Know Your Storm Plan

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Confirm the location of your gas and water shutoff valves and learn how to turn off the electricity, in case of severe summer weather.

Clean Bathroom Fans

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Give yours a refresher by removing the cover and wiping it and the blades with a damp cloth. Be sure to disconnect the power at the circuit breaker first.

Test Garage Doors

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To keep kids safe, check the auto-reverse feature by placing a block of wood in each door's path; if it doesn't bounce back after hitting the wood, call a pro.

Weed Smarter

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Hand-pulling is easier after a summer rain, thanks to softened soil. For dry weeding, use a hoe to cut just below the soil line.

Tackle Sidewalk Mildew

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Concrete looking grimy? Spray with outdoor mildew remover before scrubbing away. Hose the area generously before and after to prevent damage to surrounding plants.

Fill in the Garden

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Bare spots in your beds? Add groupings of container plants to fill them out. Since potted plants dry out faster than those in the ground, add water-retaining crystals to the potting mix to keep the soil moist.

Turn off the Sprinklers

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Avoid a soggy lawn by tapering off watering two to three days before hosting a cookout.

Refresh Mulch

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Adding a new layer will brighten up garden beds. If you've already got a good 1 to 2 inches down, give it a stir to revive the color.

Add Some Light

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Use solar lamps or lanterns to illuminate walkways or steps so that guests unfamiliar with the terrain can find their footing.

Edge Garden Beds

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Use a half-moon edger to create crisp, clean lines around beds and borders.