What to do with a sloping back yard with partial shade? - Knowledgebase Question

Ellijay, Ge
Question by djpart1230
April 10, 2010
I have concentrated on the gardens and now need to concentrate on the back yard which is a sloping mess. Partial shade, some grass, probably more weeds than grass. What should I do? It looks horrible... I want to add trees and plants,,, what kind? HELP!

Answer from NGA
April 10, 2010


There are a couple of ways to renovate your lawn. You can rototill it up and start all over, or you can rent a core aerator and aerate your lawn, then spread some sand or compost over the area and reseed. If you decide to begin anew, start by rototilling the area to break up the soil. Remove any debris (stones, sticks, weeds, etc.) and then spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the area and rototill it in, then rake the area smooth. Sod produces an almost instant lawn because the grass is mature with a healthy root system. After laying the sod and watering it down well, it only takes a week or two to become firmly established. Seeding takes a little longer, but the results are eventually the same - a lush, thick, healthy lawn. If you decide to seed your lawn, choose a mixture of perennial grasses. Or, you can rent a core aerator to help improve your current lawn. A core aerator will remove one inch by three inch plugs from the lawn. Leave the plugs on the lawn and they will dissolve in rain or water from the sprinklers. After aerating spread a thin layer of sand or compost over the area and water it in well. The sand or compost plus the soil from the plugs will work their way down into the holes left by the plugs. You can then overseed your entire lawn. Either approach should improve the soil beneath the lawn and help your lawn grow lush and thick, which will help crowd out any future weeds.

Georgia State cooperative extension has a nice publication detailing soil preparation and the best flowering perennials for your growing region. Download a copy by visiting: http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caesp...

Best wishes with your landscape!

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