Bring delicate plants indoors for the winter.

Winter is coming, and it’s time to prepare your patio for the cooler weather ahead by taking a few essential steps. While we don’t usually get snow where I live, in many parts of the United States, the winter means biting cold temperatures, high snow accumulations, and potential wind damage. Protect your patio by cleaning it up now and putting away items you won’t need until spring.

Remove Patio Furniture

The first thing you want to do is put away any patio furniture you don’t plan on using during the winter. Storing your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage helps prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Before putting away the furniture, give each piece a quick wash with the hose to remove any loose dirt and allow it to sit in the sun to dry.

Clean the Barbecue Grill

If grilling during those chilly winter months is not for you, take the time to clean your barbecue grill before covering it for the winter. If you have a gas or electric grill, use a grill brush to gently brush the burners, grates, and Flavorizer bars. Use a scraper tool to scrape away grime on the interior surfaces. If you have a charcoal grill, brush the cooking and charcoal grates and scrape the interior surfaces. Get rid of any ash and old coals.

Sweep and Wash the Patio

Sweep away any loose leaves, dirt, and debris from the patio to prevent trapped moisture and mold growth. Use mild soap and water to wash the patio. For stuck-on particles that won’t budge with normal cleaning, use a pressure washer. However, be sure to read the instructions, as setting the pressure too high can cause damage.

Tidy the Space

Take some time to tidy up your patio and the area around it. Put away any children’s toys or other items that may be lying around. If you have seat cushions or throw pillows that you prefer to keep outdoors, consider storing them in an exterior waterproof bench. Also take note of the area around your patio. If there are overhanging tree limbs or overgrown bushes, trim them to prevent fallen debris from affecting your patio.

Take Care of Plants

Many types of plants cannot tolerate winter weather. Before it gets too cold, bring your delicate plants indoors. You’ll want to debug and clean the potted plants before bringing them into your home to avoid houseplant pest problems. To debug your houseplants, fill a tub with water and mild liquid soap without detergents or degreasers. Soak the whole plant, pot and all, in the water for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Use a flower pot bristle brush to scrub each pot clean, then rinse well.

Add Additional Lighting

Winter means shorter days and less sun. If you plan on spending time on your patio, you may want to invest in new lighting sources. Create a warm ambiance on those chilly nights by hanging a string of trendy globe lights. Mini holiday lights are another fairly inexpensive option that can create a festive look for the winter holidays.

Create a Comfy Space

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t continue enjoying your patio. There are numerous ways to make the space more comfy and cozy, even when it’s cold outside. Install floor-to-ceiling shades to reduce wind chill, and add a patio heater to warm up the space. Weatherproof seating is a wise option to avoid moisture issues.