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Backyard questions

Posted by xica_da_silva (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 12:59

Hi all,

I have some ideas for my backyard and hoping to get some feedback.

As you can see in the photo, it's pretty much a blank slate, except for a small garden area that can be moved. Not sure if it comes through in the photo, but the backyard is rectangle-shaped, and is bordered by two alleys on the side and back, and is on the south side of my house. The dimensions are roughly 48 x 36ft.

Part of me rues the day that I installed the rocks, because Bermuda weeds have been a major issue. As many of you know, it's hard enough to kill them without any rocks because they root so deeply, and seed so readily, so much more so when you've got to rake the rocks away and then cut through cloth barrier underneath to get them pulled out properly (and even then...the mud is very thick and hard). The other issue is that the rocks probably make the backyard even hotter than it would be with just dirt.

So, my main 2 goals before even starting to fill in the garden with trees/plants: a) prevent Bermuda as much as possible without using ground-kill, etc. b) create shade, shade, shade

Here's what I'd like to do to start:

Surround the alley sides with tall oleanders (or similar- I know there's danger of blight, but...all the oleanders in my neighborhood look great so far, but I'm still deciding...I love the red and pink combo pretty! I've got some dwarf pinks in my front and they look great!). My question is: will strategically placed Oleanders a) produce enough shade and suck up enough water/soil/root space to 'crowd out' the Bermuda? b) will a wall of tall Oleanders around my backyard prevent a certain amount of Bermuda seeds from outside my yard getting into my yard via dust-storms, etc.? (assuming I can eventually get rid of all the Bermuda within my own backyard!). c) how long does it take the tall Oleanders to get that large? My dwarf ones grow fast, but not sure if it will take 2-3 years?

PS. I've tried solarizing soil and have had success with it, but I hate how unsightly it looks to have the black plastic covering large chunks of my yard for a couple of months. But having the Oleanders as 'cover' for my ugly backyard experiment might also be good.

Your thoughts? Suggestion? Also, if I get some Oleanders(or alternate)...should I wait till it cools down slightly, for example, the first week of October before planting, or can they even handle being transplanted now?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Backyard questions

My only thought is to start with the shade you want by planting 3-4 trees. I'd do it now. Another step I would take is break up the terrain with at least one good mound and several boulders. I would do that, then reassess.

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