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Old 01-20-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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Yard Cleanup and Improvement


I'm a new homeowner and I hope to find some guidance on clearing and improving the land the previous owner let get way out of hand.
I have a lot of questions - bear with me.

I live on 1/4 acre. 2/3 of the yard is fenced in.

I'm in the process of getting rid of nearly all the trees in my property. I hardly have any grass because of all the shade from the trees in the warm seasons and leaves in the cold seasons. Not to mention all the pine needles.
This means I have a good pile of mixed logs up for grabs. I'm not interested in splitting and sorting them.
Is it possible to sell these logs in a mixed bundle?

The yard holds a lot of water in random places. This mostly happens where there isn't a lot of grass. What's the best way to correct the drainage and get the grass to grow?

There is an enormous pile of pine needles, decomposing logs, Christmas trees, twigs, leaves and whatever else may have fallen there. Vines have grown all throughout and it's extremely difficult to handle. Since it's a bit too much for trashbags and not solid enough to be thrown at the road for pickup, what's the best way to remove this pile of mush and where do I dispose of it?

I may have more questions on this topic, but these are my hot spots at the moment. Removing or selling the larger logs the town won't pick up is priority.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


If you can get the logs to a spot where people can easily pick them up, you may be able to give them away on Craigslist or other but I would go in not expecting to make any money.

You may have to pay someone to haul this all away, including the pile you discussed.

Once clear, I would get a soil test done and take a look at the grading to see if you need to change anything. Once you're nearing the proper seeding time for your area, I would spray everything living with a 2% glyophosphate solution (RoundUp is a common brand), wait two weeks and then spray anything still alive again. Wait two more weeks and then rototil it all up while tilling in any amendments advised by the soil test. Then seed and keep the seed moist but not damp until it germinates.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


Rototil the entire yard???
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:51 PM   #4
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


I can't see your yard but your description made it sound like the majority of it is lousy and the rule of thumb is if your yard is more than 50% dead, weeds or undesired grasses, you kill everything growing and start over.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:03 PM   #5
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


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I can't see your yard but your description made it sound like the majority of it is lousy and the rule of thumb is if your yard is more than 50% dead, weeds or undesired grasses, you kill everything growing and start over.
That seems accurate. How big of a machine will I need to hand that size yard?
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


Ayuh,.... There's gonna be a pile of stumps, I'd hire a Bulldozer to clean up the mess, regrade the area, 'n export the waste in a dump truck,....

Ya can't rototill through tree roots,....
If ya don't loosen all the soils, regradin' is impossible, unless ya use only fill,.....
Anywhere ya fill, ya loose pitch above that spot,...
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:58 AM   #7
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leberbs View Post
I'm a new homeowner and I hope to find some guidance on clearing and improving the land the previous owner let get way out of hand.
I have a lot of questions - bear with me.

I live on 1/4 acre. 2/3 of the yard is fenced in.

I'm in the process of getting rid of nearly all the trees in my property. I hardly have any grass because of all the shade from the trees in the warm seasons and leaves in the cold seasons. Not to mention all the pine needles.
This means I have a good pile of mixed logs up for grabs. I'm not interested in splitting and sorting them.
Is it possible to sell these logs in a mixed bundle?

The yard holds a lot of water in random places. This mostly happens where there isn't a lot of grass. What's the best way to correct the drainage and get the grass to grow?

There is an enormous pile of pine needles, decomposing logs, Christmas trees, twigs, leaves and whatever else may have fallen there. Vines have grown all throughout and it's extremely difficult to handle. Since it's a bit too much for trashbags and not solid enough to be thrown at the road for pickup, what's the best way to remove this pile of mush and where do I dispose of it?

I may have more questions on this topic, but these are my hot spots at the moment. Removing or selling the larger logs the town won't pick up is priority.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
I'd just do some creative landscaping. An annoying low spot that collects water could be turned into a lovely rain garden. A big pile of garbage leaves and pine needles could turn into a gorgeous compost heap. Strategically keep a few specimen trees. Figure out how much lawn you really need and then the rest you could intentionally mow long and make that into the "meadow" area with some bluebird houses.

Otherwise, leveling that all out will be a project. You need some heavy machinery to take out those stumps and scrape everything smooth.
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:43 PM   #8
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


I agree that best way to get rid of a lot of yard waste is pay somebody with a loader and a truck. They will either take to a landfill site or find a private site. I also agree not to expect much for mixed wood, especially any that has been lying on the ground for a while.

If the ground has a lot of needles, you may need to add lime to the soil to lower the acidity so something else will grow. You should consider the amount of light the property sees when deciding what type of grass seed to put down (in addition to other factors).

Your proposed level of yardwork suggests hiring somebody - it's a ton of work. We had a neighbour who cut back his bush on one side about 30'x100' to expand his lawn. Lots of mature beech, poplar and birch plus some assorted other species. The crew was there about a week - all cleaned up, leveled and seeded. All he had to do was water.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


Thanks for all the replies.
This may or may not be a good option, but there's a pretty nice ditch between my lot and the neighbors on my right. I'm not sure if they dug it themselves or not. Anyway, could I bury a few lines of perforated PVC across my lot and discharge into the ditch? Same for the front yard except it would be going into a different ditch.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


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Originally Posted by Leberbs View Post
Thanks for all the replies.
This may or may not be a good option, but there's a pretty nice ditch between my lot and the neighbors on my right. I'm not sure if they dug it themselves or not. Anyway, could I bury a few lines of perforated PVC across my lot and discharge into the ditch? Same for the front yard except it would be going into a different ditch.

Thoughts?
If you're wanting to do all this "by the book", depending on where you live, you may need to get a permit and have an engineer approve or design your plan. Bureaucratic control to prevent changing the natural flow or course of water which can potentially be "harmful to the ecosystem" (as they define it).
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Last edited by ZZZZZ; 01-21-2017 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:31 PM   #11
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


That ditch or swale might have been put there as part of the site plan for the two lots. It might be the solution to part of your problem but might want to check with the municipality first. You should also check to find out who's property it is on - yours? neighbour's? municipal allowance? before doing any work with it or that impacts on it.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:10 AM   #12
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Re: Yard Cleanup and Improvement


Thanks for the replies.
I think I'm going to add some top soil in the low spots and get some weed and feed spread to get the grass growing again.
I've already cut down 8 or 9 trees. So, there won't be as thick of a blanket of shade and leaves anymore. Still have 5 more trees to remove before I'm satisfied.
Maybe later when we get the funds, we'll install proper drainage.
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