As cooler weather comes sweeping in, it’s natural to feel like your backyard time is coming to an end. Don’t worry – even though the days are getting shorter and chillier, there are still plenty of ways to continue enjoying your yard during the chilly months. We’ve put together this list of things you can do to stay comfortable outside throughout the season.
Manage the Temperature
As summer ends, your backyard will begin to cool off – especially during the evenings. You’ll need a way to stay warm, so fall & winter are great times to make use of an outdoor fire pit or fireplace.
Fire pits and fireplaces come in a variety of styles and sizes. If you have a covered or indoor-outdoor space in your backyard, a fireplace or gas fire pit might be the way to go. If you prefer sitting out in the open, you may like a wood-burning fire pit. Pro tip: If you think you may want to convert to a gas fire pit at some point in the future, run a gas line to it during the initial construction. It’ll save you time and money when you decide the timing is right to convert it.
Not ready to invest in a permanent fixture? Consider simply adding an outdoor heater to your backyard. A mobile heater provides a bit of extra warmth for your sitting area, and you can put it away when you’re not using it. Space heaters come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can choose the one that fits your budget and your needs.
Tidy Up and Beautify
Keeping your backyard neat during the fall will support yard health and maintain an enjoyable space for you and your loved ones. Rake fallen leaves, dethatch your grass, and clear out your flower beds in preparation for winter. Though your yard might not retain all of its summer glory, taking good care of it will ensure it looks nice for a while yet.
If you’re feeling up to it, you can replace your summer blooms with fall & winter flowers or vegetables. Popular fall varieties include chrysanthemums, pansies, violas, asters, black-eyed susans, and more. Carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, and parsnips can be planted in August and harvested in late winter or fall (depending on where you live).
Famously, pumpkins and squashes are also ready to harvest in the fall. Begin growing these plants during the summertime for best results, and leave them on the vine until the first frost. As a general rule, look up a guide to your local garden zone to find out which vegetables you can plant in the fall.
Tidying up your yard and adding some seasonal veggies or flowers will keep your property looking beautiful well past summertime!
Have Holiday Dinners Outside
If the holiday season’s forecast look pleasant, consider taking your meals to the outdoors. Indoor-outdoor dining spaces can be great for large family meals. A pergola provides shade and cover for your outdoor dining table, and a fire pit or fireplace will offer warmth and comfort on a cool evening. String lights, hanging plants, and decorative pumpkins, squashes, and other adornments will create the perfect atmosphere for your outdoor meal.
Here are some tips to nail your outdoor dining events:
1. Get the Temperature Just Right
Depending on your backyard setup, you can eat outside during any season – as long as you have the right gear. In the winter, fall, or early spring, your focus will turn to heat. Outdoor heaters are a great way to make any fall or spring meal feel summery. If you’re really passionate about eating outside all year round, consider installing an indoor-outdoor dining space. Personalize your area to include an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, or a gas fire pit. As long as the space is well-insulated, you can use it during any season.
2. Serve Smart
Efficiency is important when it comes to eating outside, especially on a holiday. You don’t want to be running in and out of the house while you’re trying to sit down and eat, so prepare your serving platters in advance.
Designate an area to set covered platters of food. This could be at the end of your dining table, or off to the side on a small fold-out table or your outdoor countertop. Make sure the platters are sealed to prevent bugs from landing on the food.
Bring out any beverages you’d like to have during the meal and place them in a small cooler. If you don’t want to bother with coolers and ice, consider getting an outdoor fridge to use instead.
Set your table ahead of time – lay out plates, silverware, and napkins before guests or family sit down to eat. A little planning will ensure that you aren’t getting up over and over throughout the meal.
3. Keep Food Safety Top of Mind
In mild or cool temperatures, your food can stay out for about two hours. That should be long enough for your feast, but to make sure you have plenty of time, have most of your guests get seated before you start bringing the warm food out.
If you have open refillables – like a water pitcher – on the table, replace the water in the pitcher about halfway through the meal. This will ensure that it stays cold and that any unwanted debris or critters are tossed out.
4. Keep Bugs at Bay
Though there are fewer bugs to worry about in the autumn, you still want to take steps to ensure that they don’t land in the gravy. To shoo bugs away from food, use covered serving ware, especially if you have food sitting out on the table. If you’re concerned about bugs landing on people, provide bug spray for your guests and burn citronella candles.
Adding a fan to increase airflow will also help ward off bugs. Aim to have as little stagnant air and enticing smells as possible – your meal will be bug-free in no time.
Take Your Indoor-Outdoor Space to the Next Level
Indoor-outdoor patios are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners everywhere – and for good reason. A well-insulated indoor-outdoor patio lets you enjoy your backyard all year long.
Browse the internet for indoor-outdoor patio inspiration. There are plenty of different designs and layouts for any backyard, big or small. Some incorporate screened-in porches, floor-to-ceiling windows, heated pools or hot tubs, sitting rooms, dining areas, kitchens, and more. An indoor-outdoor space can be as luxurious or simple as you desire.
If you have a larger renovation in mind, ranging from adding privacy walls to a full overhaul, reach out to us here at Green Okie for a consultation. We’ll help you choose the right materials and design to create your perfect all season outdoor paradise.
Extend Your Patio Season With Help from Us
If you’re not ready to pack up your patio area just yet, try out a few of our suggestions. Planning to take your indoor-outdoor space to the next level? Get a quote from Green Okie to get started on your project.