Help Redoing Yard

gixx0rDecember 14, 2013

Hi all,

After years of neglect, it is time to renovate my yard to actually look like something worth seeing. So from the picture that I have attached, that tree is no longer there and it is just a stump that needs removal. There are two more trees along the wall to the right of the old tree (one apple and one plum).

The rest of the space is just old dirt where grass once sat as you can see in the picture. Now it is primarily hardened dirt with weeds here and there.

I have no idea where to start, do I till the entire area? Do I need to add some type of weed or grass killer?

I would love to be able to start some type of vegetable/herb garden, but want to make sure I'm not just throwing away money by planting or sowing seeds where the conditions are just poor. Please help my poor yard!

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

First thing is to determine what you want. If you want flowers, herbs, veggies, a combo of all those. Do some planning with paper and pencil. Move things around, figure where you might want to step to maintain your garden. Will there be some shade that needs to be considered?

The next BIG step is preparing the soil. That will take some time and energy. Weed seeds are everywhere and when you begin to work the soil, (I use a shovel and fork - no tiller for me), they will be distributed and will probably create more weeds. (Welcome to the fun part of this.) Pull them as they appear, the soil should be loose.

You should seriously consider getting your soil tested to determine what,if any, nutrients might be lacking. Amend as necessary.

Then, you will be ready to begin to start to commence the great part of gardening - setting your plants and/or seeds. Be prepared for some set-backs. Nature can be strange sometimes and provide wonderful things; and other times you curse the situation and then move on.

Take lots of pictures as you go along, you will want to remember all the whats and whens of this project.

Jim

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 10:54PM
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paleogardener(9)

gixx0r -
Jim-1 is spot on with tilling by spade & shovel. Till to a depth of 6 to 8 inches & remove any roots & weeds you encounter. Then cover with a heavy layer of mulch 3 to 4 inches thick. Any weeds that germinate will be weak & easy to pull after having to poke through a heavy organic barrier. In the photo I see leaves. Leave them, till them in or incorporate them into the mulch. Leaves should never be raked away & wasted.
When you are ready to plant simply push the mulch aside & plant at will. The mulch can then be formed into a ring around the plant several inches away from the crown. The mulch will help retain moisture & keep your plants feet cool in summer & be a warm blanket in winter.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:30PM
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