As you learned from my garage improvement post, I do not like eye sores! Unfortunately, this house had a few of them. As you’ve also learned, though, I was determined to do something about them!
Next on the list was the small backyard, full of all kinds of weeds, uneven, dry spots and an improperly installed sprinkler system with stuck out and mower broken heads.
In early August 2011, I decided to start working on it.
GETTING MY HANDS DIRTY
After making my decision about the different inexpensive backyard landscaping ideas I considered, the first step was pulling out all of the old tubing, connectors, and broken sprinkler heads. That was easy!
Then, a rotary tiller was used to soften the soil and help with weed removal. That was not that easy!
I may not be as strong as I thought because I can tell you that pushing and pulling the tiller across the small backyard was a very physically demanding job. Although it was definitely a better option than doing all the work by hand, I was exhausted after a few minutes. A break followed!
Right after, it was time to spray, pull and clean up as many weeds as reasonably possible, I did not want to risk having them back within a few days, oh no!
Once that was done, lots of material had to be removed and dumped before continuing with the next step, another physically demanding one, pulling a trencher to dig, well, a trench, for the irrigation pipe. I did not enjoy that part of the job either, but at least, it was time to take another “break” while installing the pipe, connectors, and new sprinkler heads.
COMPLETING THE ACTUAL BACKYARD IMPROVEMENT WORK
With the new sprinkler pipe and heads in place, it was time to move on to the next step, installing some landscape edging, fabric and spreading a total of seven tons of river rock. It is definitely easier said than done, but don’t listen to me, I’m not trying to get you discouraged, the exact opposite actually, the end result of any of your projects is most likely well worth the effort.
Already feeling excited about the small backyard transformation, it was only a matter of getting and planting a tree or two and spreading some grass seed to finish the product. I went back and forth about the right number of trees, perhaps one would have been enough, but I ended up getting two, my reasoning was that a few years from now they would provide a really nice shade on that west-facing side of the house.
Thanks to the fact that the soil had already been tilled, cleaned up and I was already used to the hard work, digging a couple of holes to plant the trees and spreading the grass seed was a breeze. I could have done it the easy way and used grass sod, however, I wanted to try the seed before incurring the extra expense. Fortunately, it went well, and a couple of weeks later the new grass was growing! A couple of months later, before the cold hit, it was all covered in grass!
Readers, have you ever completed a similar project on your yard? Did you enjoy it? What would you have done differently on my small backyard? Please share your inexpensive backyard landscaping ideas!
Interested on doing a similar backyard project? This is what you need:
- Screwdrivers and hand tools (always useful)
- Rotary Tiller (optional)
- Shovel, Bow & leaf rakes
- Trencher (optional)
- Sprinkler tubing, heads and connectors
- Landscape edging and fabric, including pins to hold them in place
- River rock
- Decorative concrete blocks (optional)
- Grass seed and spreader
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