Critique my Renovation Plan

silver8ackJuly 25, 2011

So, my backyard is full of crabgrass and other 'Stuff' that I have no idea what it is. But basically there's hardly and 'grass'. Also, the backyard needs leveling. I've had trees removed a few years ago and now there are large depressions where they once stood. I'm on a 1/4 acre lot. The backyard is about 4000 sq ft. when I factor out the pool and shed.

The grade is OK...I think anyway(I don't have a basement), but it grades toward my house a bit and to the side, but continues like that all the way to the curb in the front of the house.

Right now I am experimenting with my pools Solar Cover. I'm laying it out and seeing if it will kill the grass in a reasonable amount of time, then I'll try moving it to a new area. If this doesn't work, I want to buy some Burnout or the like to kill everything 'Naturally'.

So, once everything is killed, I need to level it out. Now, I have no experience with the big machines or anything.(And I need to be 'frugal' about all of this) I was contemplating renting a power rake, and trying to rake out some areas, and move dirt with a shovel/wheelbarrow, then rake again, etc etc. Is this even possible? I've never seen a power rake in person.

Now, lets say I get the place leveled(either power rake, or hire someone). My next plan is to get a soil test, and amend if necessary. Once the amendments are done, I plan to have compost delivered(about 3-4 yards to cover 1/4") and spread it out back there. I say 3-4 because I may throw some down on my front lawn.(I've sprayed a bunch of roundup on the front to kill bermuda/zoysia that was growing out there that looked hideous).

Then....plant the seed. I want to go with a nice TTTF Blend. So please critique. The only thing is I want to stay as natural as possible(20 month old running round the back yard). My main 'UNKNOWNS' are if a power rake can be used to level out a rough yard, and WHEN the compost should go down... before or after seeding.


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PS... When I say Power Rake.. I mean one that can fit in the back of an SUV :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:14AM
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A power rake isn't going to be much help in leveling. The best way to level and grade is with a box blade.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Ok, haha I think Im coming to terms with the fact that I'll need to hire someone to level it out.

Another question I have regarding that... Is it too early to have that done? I'd really hate to have it leveled and stuff only to allow new weeds to grow before I can get grass down.

I'm thinking it's probably better to wait until I'm ready to lay seed down.... sound about right?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:24PM
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xxryu139xx(6a NJ)

go get it leveled. disturbing the soil would bring up weed seeds. water the lawn even without anything growing on it. when the weeds sprout, spray it with RU, keep watering letting whatever hidden seeds germinate and RU... then u can seed and not worry too much about too many weeds coming up.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 4:49PM
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