The Q&A Archives: small back yard

Question: I have a small back yard. The ground is bumpy and neads some pruning. My question is how can a make a small back yard look like a great place to get out and enjoy the outdoors?

Answer: Since the yard is small, you should be able to work on it in sections to bring it up to par. I'd begin with the areas that need the most work. If you have a lawn and the ground is bumpy, you can either rototill it up, smooth it out, and replant grass, or you can fill in the low spots with topsoil and overseed to help your lawn look more even. Then I'd create some flower garden areas or areas for shrubs. You can begin by mapping out those areas (lay a garden hose on the ground to help you create just the right look) and then spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the top of each bed. Dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches and then plant flowers or shrubs. Be sure to choose the types of plants that will grow well in the site - sun lovers for sunny spots; shade lovers for shady spots. I find it easiest to sketch out the proposed planting beds on a piece of paper and choose plants, situating them so they have ample room to grow. If you need ideas for plants, visit a nursery or garden center and jot down the names. Look them up in a reference book or read the plant tags to see just how large they will get and what special care they might need. After you've sketched everything out and purchased your plants, you can set them in the yard and move them around until you're satisifed with the effect. Once you are, plant them, water them in well, and enjoy your new yard!

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