Ask a Question forum: Desperate help/advice needed for backyard transformation

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Brooklyn, NY
needhelpplz
Apr 13, 2018 5:53 PM CST

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I've recently moved into a small condo building. At the back of the building there is an overgrown yard infested with weeds I think. I volunteered to clean out the yard. My aim is to transform the space into an area where the tenants actually want to go outside! Currently it is a terrible eyesore. My gardening and landscaping knowledge is extremely amateur. Most of the help needed is centered around:
1. How to get rid of the weeds? Best tools, practices.
2. Which grass to plant?
The condo board is allocating a budget for tools and equipment, but I need to let them know which to get.
Any advice given over and above this is greatly appreciated. I am sure there is much more I need to do.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 13, 2018 8:50 PM CST
Looking at your photos I'd say one of the tools that would help would be a mattock.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 13, 2018 9:36 PM CST
Can you find some local ne'er-do-wells to throw some newspaper and lit matches in there.
By the time fire department got there the majority would be ashes easy to clean.

That being too risky -- depending on finances a bush hog type mower would turn eights hours work into two, if you have equipment rentals in your area.
You could use a mattock but I have found it is easier to take a good strong pointed sand shovel, you get what you pay for, and dig up the roots of the larges bushes first.
Do that and rip them out and stack them and often the job at hand does not look so bad as all the branches of one or two large bushes take up a lot of space.

I cleaned up a six by twelve area some years back that looked about like that and concentrating on the big ones made it easier as often the roots of the small ones were loosened or the dirt around them by pulling out the deeper large ones. Then you can just grab them and pull them out.
Took a lot of time but it was not as bad as I thought when I started.

Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Apr 14, 2018 5:51 AM CST
ner do well method LOL
I'm thinking you'll have to do it by hand, not be able to run any kind of mower on it. I would get a couple bags of mulch ready, a shovel, hand pruners, and a loppers (a cutter with a handle about 18 -24 inches long). Starting on the grassy end,or along the wall, start clearing stuff and cover the bare ground with mulch as you go. Most things need the roots removed to kill them. If you can't get the roots out, you may have to keep cutting new growth.
I doubt there is anything there you want to keep, but is there a chance it was once planted and you may uncover something worth keeping?
If you get the dry brown stuff off, you can add pictures close up of new growth and we can ID.
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