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A Little Front Yard Makeover

It’s kind of hard for me to believe I lived in my house four years. And then I remember how long it takes to save the money to work on projects and then it seems longer.

This year, I wanted to finally remove a front sidewalk that passes the corner of the house to the back yard because pitches toward the house and is troublesome when we get too much rain. In removing the sidewalk I would solve the drainage problem and make it easier to mow all the grass instead of grass on each side of the walk.

straw yard udandi.com

I used a rented jackhammer, but didn’t anticipate this narrow sidewalk having rebar so it wasn’t crumbling as much as I expected. Eight hours of work, I called in a pro and had him and his two sons remove the rest of the 36-foot-long sidewalk while I enjoyed a day away from the jackhammer noise. The realtor fixing up the house across the street from me said she admired my ability to do my own work.

hauling dirt udandi.com

After the sidewalk was gone, I hauled 8 cubic yards of dirt by wheelbarrow to fill in the empty sidewalk and in the back where the poorly installed paver patio once existed and was another drainage problem. A guy came in 2011 and took the pavers to use on his driveway. I was thankful someone wanted them and I didn’t have to do the labor to remove them.

IMG_3065

I should probably be embarrassed to post this, but I figure I had submitted it to a landscaping company for a backyard makeover contest (and didn’t win), I can share it here. This what my backyard looked like after a Spring storm came through and knocked a tree down on the fence line and why that paver patio was doing no one any favors (there’s standing water around the shrubs).

Once the dirt was in place, I spread Scotts seed and then two weeks later a weed and feed treatment. After doing all that, I read on Scotts site that fall is the best time to seed and feed. Actually two weeks before or after Labor Day, so in the hopes of strong spring grass that’s what I did to the areas that were a little sparse.

Annually, after a majority of the leaves fall off the tress, I go over the yard with the mower on the highest setting to mulch the leaves and leave them on the grass as a winter blanket, hopefully dropping some nutrients. Or something. My summer mower setting is to only cut about one-third of the grass because I don’t want to brown the grass and I hope the clippings put nutrients back into the soil. I could probably check out one of the many grass, plants and landscaping books I buy for the library and see if I’m on the right track, but so far I’m winging it!

This fall, I would like to transplant the shrubs that were once around the patio (hard to see in that photo because the tree is behind them) to along the fence line to provide better privacy.

Slowly but surely, I’ll make this yard a little prettier and possibly lower the maintenance.

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