New Construction: Bare Backyard - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Landscaping & Lawn Care

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Like Tree5Likes
  • 1 Post By Bondo
  • 1 Post By Dave Sal
  • 2 Post By Colbyt
  • 1 Post By Oso954
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 08-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 4
Default

New construction: bare backyard


Hi all! We just closed on a new construction in the central valley California. And like other builder homes here, it is a bare backyard for us to landscape.

But because we are currently house poor and donít want to hire a landscaper. I want to know recommendation from other DIYers on where to start because I envision this will be 2-3 year project where we must prep the raw dirt for planting.

I was thinking of just mulching the entire area for half the year since we are going to be approaching fall and winter shortly.
bmwstephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-11-2019, 09:57 AM   #2
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 8,618
Rewards Points: 1,314
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Ayuh,.... Grade it to shed water, plant grass seed, 'n mulch it,.....

It oughta be a "Lawn" by spring,....
Dave Sal likes this.
Bondo is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #3
Member
 
Dave Sal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 2,129
Rewards Points: 1,138
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


I bought my home as new construction in the fall (September) with the backyard filled with weeds and some piles of dirt. I rented a tiller and smoothed everything out and raked up the weeds after a couple days. Spread Scotts grass seed and starter fertilizer topped with peat moss and some top soil, and kept it watered. There was enough time for the new grass to germinate before the cold temps arrived. The following spring I had a decent lawn and a couple years later my neighbor said that my grass "looked like a country club".
Bondo likes this.
Dave Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 3,514
Rewards Points: 6,951
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Grading should be done by the builder as most localities require that according to a master subdivision plan.


Don't know your climate but if grass is an option:
Layout on paper a master plan for the yard.
Mulch the areas where the plants will go someday
Do what Bondo said with the rest of it.


Then shop the clearance sales at the garden centers. Those death row plants and shrubs can be bought for a few cents on the spring dollar. Don't buy a bargain unless it fits in with you master plan.
Bondo and Dave Sal like this.
__________________
Colbyt
Retired drapery and home furnishings installer.
Colbyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 02:42 PM   #5
Member
 
Oso954's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern Calif.
Posts: 7,820
Rewards Points: 1,876
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


The definition of the Central Valley varies a little depending who is using it.

The one problem that will make a big difference in your landscaping plans is whether or not you have a hard pan layer where you are located.

It lays in a stripe that starts up north about the Butte/Sutter county line and runs down to just below the Tulare/Kern county line. The width of that stripe varies, as does the depth of the layer.

If you are in the hardpan area, the lawn will do OK. However deeper rooted bushes/trees may require that you breakup that layer. Depending on the method you choose, it may tear up any lawn or lawn sprinkler system you decide to put in now.

As a kid, I remember watching a contractor dynamiting a portion of the across-the-street neighbors front lawn. The neighbor was converting it to a rose garden.
Bondo likes this.
Oso954 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 11:10 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 295
Rewards Points: 570
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Reading your total of 4 posts.......two say you are in moderate northern CA. Or are you in Central Valley ?
Cedrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 11:21 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Id say moderate northern ca
bmwstephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 12:48 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


So figure i attach some pics on soil conditions to let everyone know what I am working with. Lmk if I require top soil or if sodding is probably better at this point

New construction: bare backyard-img_1270.jpg
New construction: bare backyard-img_1271.jpg
New construction: bare backyard-img_1272.jpg
New construction: bare backyard-img_1273.jpg
New construction: bare backyard-img_1274.jpg
New construction: bare backyard-img_1275.jpg
bmwstephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 01:09 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 4,235
Rewards Points: 7,390
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


That wouldn't pass for soil around here.
SPS-1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 01:32 PM   #10
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 8,618
Rewards Points: 1,314
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Ayuh,..... Looks like ya got enough reveal to put in an inch or so of top dirt, 'n seed it,....
Bondo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 01:37 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 4
Default

New construction: bare backyard


Either thats a good thing pr bad thing... is it simply just layer top soil or do i need to condition/remove anything in preparation?

Or will sod solve both of these?
bmwstephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 03:01 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 4,235
Rewards Points: 7,390
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Sod will not solve that.

I don't think one inch of topsoil is going to be enough. One inch might be what the cheapest builders put in. But the topsoil holds moisture for the grass. With only one inch I think you will be perpetually struggling with dry lawn if it don't rain every few days. I am no expert, maybe a landscaper will chime in, but I would think somewhere about 3" is where you should be shooting for. Which then means you probably have to remove some of that stuff. Sorry if I can't provide any good news.
SPS-1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2019, 03:25 PM   #13
Member
 
Dave Sal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 2,129
Rewards Points: 1,138
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


I'm sure you're probably itching to get this project started, but having a soil test done before you do anything will let you know what you are working with.

My lawn hasn't been doing too well the last few years in spite of a regular fertilizing schedule. I had a soil test done and learned that the soil was basically depleted of potassium. I corrected that and the lawn seems to have turned around, at least until a long dry spell with high temps made it go dormant for awhile.

Check with your county for soil testing services.
Dave Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today, 12:40 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 266
Rewards Points: 528
Default

Re: New construction: bare backyard


Rent a rototiller and go over the area while adding compost and oyster shells and other organic material. If there is a local recycle center they should have "mulch" that is free for the taking. Rent a trailer and haul it to your place.

For adding nitrogen to the soil the best product is plain old chicken manure which is better than steer manure. Without adequate nitrogen you will have a lot of opportunistic weeds growing in the yard.

The best approach would be to rent a bobcat and remove the top 6 inches of your subsoil that was left after the subdivision builder graded the sites and hauled off all the top soil. Adding real dirt that is often available to anyone that will haul it away is the quickest way to have a viable yard.


There are fast growing trees and shrubs that do not require a lot of water but still will take 3-5 years to have reach a good size. The sooner you can get these going the better. Nothing does more for resale value than nice trees and other plants.

Another option is to till in a lot of steer manure and then lay sod which will have its own topsoil in the grass roots.

Important to have a good start on a sprinkler or irrigation system before you put any plants in the ground. Be careful as to your planting choices as you do not want to have a big water bill to pay each month.

Last edited by Calson; Today at 12:42 AM.
Calson is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts