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Lawn and yard clean-up you can do now during pandemic

You’re probably spending more time than ever inside your home because of the coronavirus pandemic. But what about those spring clean-up projects you’d like to tackle outside?

You can practice social distancing and get your lawn prepared for warmer weather. Here’s some advice from Consumer Reports.

First, eye and hearing protection are necessary.

Even in warm weather, you want to skip the shorts and sandals because lawnmowers, string trimmers, and even leaf blowers can kick back debris, causing an injury. You also want to make sure you have on solid, closed-toe shoes for traction.

If you didn’t rake in the fall, now’s the time to get rid of those leaves. It’s a job anyone in the family can help with, or you can use a leaf blower to gather leaves you can use for composting later on in the season.

Also, you can use your mower to mulch leaves right onto your grass. It will feed your lawn and reduce the amount of fertilizing it needs. This works in the side-discharge mode, too. You can also use a bagging kit if you have one, and save the grass and leave clippings for composting.

Before starting up your mower, blower, or string trimmer, remember to clear the yard of any toys, sticks, and other debris.

CR says for more outdoor spruce-ups, look beyond the grass. You can use a pressure washer to clean lawn furniture, walkways, and deck.

You’ll want to wear hearing and eye protection, long pants, and closed-toe shoes when using a pressure washer. It’s also important not to use it on a ladder or steps because the force can push you backward.

And never use the zero-degree nozzle (the red one) on a pressure washer. It condenses the full force of the water into a pinpoint, making it easy to harm yourself and damage surfaces.

CR says that no matter which gas-powered tools you use, it’s important to start them up outside to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide.

If you’re looking for more projects, CR says to take a look at your walkways and driveways, because winter weather can wreak havoc on these areas. To keep out water, seal any new gaps you see with concrete-crack filler.

For a step-by-step video on how to safely clean your deck with a pressure washer, check out CR’s website.