New Construction on 5 acres not fine graded/no lawn

NYmomof2April 15, 2012

UGH I don't even know where to start. We built a house on 5 acres of land that use to be farmland. We had a huge falling out with our contractor and we ended up having to move into the house without it being fully completed. Our land is rough graded, but has not been fine graded and we do not have a lawn (sod/seed). Our lawn is basically farm's green, but not true grass. Our issue is that we do not have extra funds at this time to put in a lawn and not sure when we will. In the meantime, I wanted to at least get the house looking nice instead of a construction site. Here are my question:

I want to do a simple (budget friendly) walkway to the front door with flower beds. Our house faces East with a 3 car side loading garage. It's an extremely long and unfriendly walk to the front door so obviously everyone uses the garage door to come in, but it would be nice to make the front appealing. Is it stupid to do landscaping BEFORE putting in a lawn if I only want to do flower beds contouring the house? Basically, will it interfere with fine grading when the time comes to put in a lawn? My thought was if I did the landscape portion now, I would save money on needing to seed a huge area that will be dug up anyway to put flower beds, trees, walkway, etc.

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I think you are using the word "landscaping" to mean trees and shrubs, but really, it includes everything that you would construct/install outdoors... including the walk. I suggest that you post a photo here that sums up the present condition and provides a frame of reference for the discussion. Trying to visualize all the circumstances and conditions you're describing is difficult at best. In general, it would not make sense to install plantings if grading is yet to be done. However, there may be some things you could do. Let's see what you have.

" I only want to do flower beds contouring the house" you, does "flower beds" mean annuals and perennials only?... or more than that?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:57PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

The more pertinent question is the state of your rough grade compared to what the desired final grade needs/wants to be. If it entails bringing in topsoil to raise the final grade, or leveling to slope away from the house for proper drainage, you'll want to do the necessary changes within the intended planter areas before you plant. On the other hand, if drainage is already okay as is, and any plantings you do now are only temporary or can be easily moved; there may be no need to wait. Were you also intending to put down a temporary walk as well? If so, crushed rock or gravel over weed fabric,perhaps with precast concrete pavers 2 foot square might do decent temporary duty at little expense.

To get more specific advice based on your actual conditions, you could also contact a landscape contractor or designer and have them consult for a couple of hours and give you more accurate site specific advice.

Sorry to hear your move-in hasn't started off smoothly, good luckily with getting a temporary start on a new garden going. You might even consider seeding some green manure type plants in the beds to increase soil fertility and humus content that could be rototilled under in the fall, along with local wildflowers. Alfalfa or clover seeded over future lawn area and plowed under later would also be beneficial to build up the soil.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:08AM
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