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Old 03-25-2010, 11:36 PM   #1
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new home, help me build my yard


we bought a newly built home and dont know what to do with our front and backyard, dont have much of a budget right now, just want to get started with grass and some plants, but the problem is we dont know the ABC of gardening, hiring could be expensive, , the backyard is on northside , so there is no sun at all, except for an hour or so, how do we do it ? need help, how to do it ourselves

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Old 03-26-2010, 08:27 AM   #2
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You have an opportunity here....if you soil is not good, start with this. Find some organic material and work it in! Get your soil good, and your chances for success are much greater.

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Old 03-26-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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Choosing the right plant for each location, and proper spacing of the plants will ensure your landscape gets better with age. There is a ton of information on landscape design, both online and in books- take the time to educate yourself.

If you post a few pictures of your home, I'm sure you'll get more suggestions.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:28 AM   #4
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I'm also unfamiliar with gardening as I am also a new home owner but I did a little research. I know that it's important to know your hardy number...this determines which plants will grow better depending on where you live. Just do a google search for "find my hardy number by zip code" and it should direct you after that. Then, once you have your number, do a search for plants and find out which ones grow well in that zone. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by skittlebear View Post
I'm also unfamiliar with gardening as I am also a new home owner but I did a little research. I know that it's important to know your hardy number...this determines which plants will grow better depending on where you live. Just do a google search for "find my hardy number by zip code" and it should direct you after that. Then, once you have your number, do a search for plants and find out which ones grow well in that zone. Good luck!
Very helpful, Thank You for posting.

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Old 03-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #6
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I've put in a ton of plants, bushes & trees around the yard
I started out with one area...along the old driveway
Added Fall bulbs, some small trees (seedlings) etc
I have since added more....azeala bush, birch tree, another tree

I buy trees as seedlings - some only 6-12" tall
I planted a red leaf white birch 8' out from our old back patio (2004)
Looked kind of weird 8' away & sort of in the middle of the yard
Then in 07 I built a sunroom & new deck....the tree now borders the deck
Its also over 12' tall & provides some shade for the deck

Find your growing zone
Look online at plants, bushes & trees that will grow in your area
If there is anyone nearby (friends) see if they have perennials to give away
I weed & throw out perennials every year now
I try to give them away 1st if possible
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by skittlebear View Post
I'm also unfamiliar with gardening as I am also a new home owner but I did a little research. I know that it's important to know your hardy number...this determines which plants will grow better depending on where you live. Just do a google search for "find my hardy number by zip code" and it should direct you after that. Then, once you have your number, do a search for plants and find out which ones grow well in that zone. Good luck!
thank you so much for the input , i think this would help
and also the backyard is on the northside so i have to look for plants that grow well in shade,

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You have an opportunity here....if you soil is not good, start with this. Find some organic material and work it in! Get your soil good, and your chances for success are much greater.
Does Grass grow well in shade, the backyard being on the north side, i dont know if i want to spend money in sodding and it dries out not getting enough sun.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:32 AM   #8
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There are grasses that grow quite well in the shade, yes.
Zoysia comes to mind. Some seed mixes include both types, sun and shade seeds.

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Old 04-03-2010, 12:44 AM   #9
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If you have a little bit of time before you start everything out, consider setting up a compost heap. It takes a bit of time and effort, but in the end it's just as effective and much less expensive than buying "specialty soil" at a gardening store.

Dig up some of your soil and create a fenced off pile in one corner. Then add some worms and various bits of organic material such as apple cores, dead leaves, egg shells, orange peels. I don't recommend using meat or dairy products, because it will attract maggots.

Don't forget to keep the compost completely covered by dirt at all times. No scraps should be visible on the top of the pile, because that will attract unwanted and useless bugs, like cockroaches and silverfish, or possibly rodents and other pests. If you prefer, some people set up their compost in a lidded container to prevent "intruders".

If you decide to set up a compost container instead of a heap, sometimes it's better to keep it in some sort of storage shed, like the one in the link below. This will ensure that the neighbourhood cats and dogs don't try to tip it over. Or, you could try securing it to the ground or house by rigging up some sort of chain or wood attachment. If they do manage to knock down or open your composte bin, it would end up wasting your compost and leaving the scraps open for buggy business.

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Old 05-09-2010, 11:56 PM   #10
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I take it that your lot is just rough graded then correct ??

Make sure that the ground is sloped away from the house , I'm always

amazed at how many builders do a lousy job with that.

If your soil is poor now is the time to correct it by bringing in a load of black dirt.

Around here ( Midwest) you will want to look for grass seed with a 25% rye mix.

This annual rye will germinate fast to hold your soil together while the other grasses start to take hold.

You will need to reseed next season as the rye will die off during the winter.( no need for rye mix on reseed).

You can either rake or rent a drag ( depends how big a lawn) to smooth up your soil and scratch it for seeding.

Pick up some bales of Straw to lightly scatter on top the seed to help hold moisture and prevent erosion.

As far as plants the local nurseries will have the correct plants for your

area , not always so with the box stores.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
the backyard is on northside , so there is no sun at all, except for an hour or so
Are there trees in the yard, or neighbor's yard? Not quite clear on this point. Also, what other trees, buildings, etc that effect the amount of light?

But to your original question: Having good soil is indeed important. After that, start with your framework of permanent, larger materials, i.e. trees and shrubs. Remember that any tree planted small now will take several years to begin to take on size and shape. Somewhat the same with shrubs. Then work in flowers for more immediate effect.

And as already mentioned, absolutely keep in mind the mature size of your plants. They seem so "lost" when they are small but in 10-20 years they will be crowding sidewalks, the house, etc.

One good suggestion I heard was a designer who calculated the proper spacing distance of plants, then added another 2 feet for those planted near the house.

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