During the winter, it’s difficult to picture your family playing in the yard. But if you want your yard to be safe and fun for your family when spring finally arrives, you have to do some work now.

From safely treating your lawn to preventing accidents, read on for some tips on managing your yard before your family goes outside.

how to make your yard safe

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Where the Dangers Lie

Every homeowner wants a nice lawn. Besides being the envy of the neighborhood, it’s a great place for kids to play or to have a family barbecue. However, some of the ways you may take care of your lawn can be dangerous to children, pets, and others.

Planet Natural explains that some of the chemicals used on lawns, such as fertilizers and weed killers, can be poisonous. Children at a school in Ohio were sickened by herbicides, and several dogs in Oregon died after ingesting some weed killers sprayed on plants. Even traditional grass fertilizer can be toxic to children.

What you put on your lawn is not the only source of danger in your yard. As your trees get older, some of their branches can become brittle and ready to fall off. Some trees even slowly die, leaving all of their limbs at risk for snapping off and falling on someone. While this is rare, it becomes more likely if you never take care of the trees in your yard.

Safe Lawn Treatments

Although you should be careful about using fertilizers and other toxic chemicals, there are ways to keep your lawn green and lush for the warmer months. Rodale’s Organic Life shows you can improve your lawn by seeding regularly. Adding more grass can also help avoid getting weeds,  making the use of herbicides unnecessary. To fertilize without harsh chemicals, drop compost onto your lawn and use a rake to work it into the soil.

When it comes time to mow again, adjust your lawn mower so you leave more grass uncut. This makes it harder for weeds to grow nearby. You also want to keep your mower blade sharp, as ragged cuts on the grass leave it open to infection.

In fact, your lawn might not need any chemicals at all. Before adding anything, test the soil in your yard to see what nutrients are present or lacking. Yardcare.com explains you can take a soil sample around 6-8 inches deep, and then take it to a local laboratory for testing. Then you will have a better idea of what your lawn needs.

Preventing Accidents

When winter finally gives way to spring, it’s time to check the trees in your hard. Winter snow and cold can make branches fragile and ready to fall. That’s why SafeWise recommends hiring a professional landscaper to evaluate and trim your tree branches. While you shouldn’t have to remove too many branches each year, checking on their stability is always better than wondering if it’s safe to move beneath them. Removing a dead tree is an absolute must, and that’s something only a professional can do.

Don’t forget that your lawn is more than just grass and trees. Many people have walkways, decks, and patios to help enjoy the warm weather when it arrives. You may also need to tighten the bolts on any railings and repair any cracks in your steps, paths, and even driveway.

Enjoy a Safe Yard

After a long winter, your family will be eager to head outside and enjoy your yard. To help make sure it is safe, cut down old branches and only use chemicals when you absolutely must. Remove dead trees and make sure the walkways and railings are maintained. This way, your entire family can enjoy the outdoors come springtime…