The Q&A Archives: weeds and dry dirt.

Question: I bought my first home and the yard has alot of weeds and lots of dark patches of dirt. What can I do to make it a green yard? I am also in a budget.

Answer: The best thing you can do is remove the weeds (preferably before they flower and set seeds) and then amend the soil with lots of organic matter. Identify the places where you'd like to have flower beds or vegetable gardens and concentrate on them first. Stake out the beds, then place 4-5" of organic matter (compost, shredded leaves, aged-manure, etc.) over the top of the bed and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Then rake smooth and plant. After planting spread another 3-4 inches of organic matter over the bare soil. This mulching material will help suppress weeds and will release nutrients into the soil as it decomposes. At the end of the gardening season dig this into the bed then add another few inches of organic matter over the bare soil. After a few years of this intensive soil improvement practice you'll have rich, loamy garden soil.

Enjoy your new landscape!

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