I just bought a house and want to get the back yard together. I hope
someone here might have some guidance. I live in Bergen County, New
Jersey. I think that is zone 6.
My back yard is about 1/4 acre or so and has never really been
maintained well. There is a light grass covering, but it's not really
consistent and thick. Also, there is a lot of both organic debris (
from leaves and crab apples, etc) and non-organic debris including some
plastic bits, some old piping, old wood slats, etc.
My first thought is to just get it cleaned up and then next to seed it.
I'm not sure when. It's a fairly shady yard, but it does have some
patches that get more sun.
My initial questions come down to:
1. Who do you hire for a general clean-up?
2. How do you go about getting ready for thickening the lawn in 2008.
If all the clean up was alreaady done, this would be a good time to
have the area plug core aerated and if a lot of thatch is built up
from poor watering practices, to have it dethatched before reseeding
with a quality mixture of fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial
rye. Fall is for planting.
So, since you don't have that done yet and unless you do it almost
immediately, I'd say you can search online for ideas to build a
compost bin. Get a good rake and after all your debris is picked up;
meaning the wood slats, plastic, etc. You can rent a core aerator and
dethatcher, but it's much less work to pay someone to do it and it is
worth it. If you have a bit of money, putting down a fourth inch of
compost after you have the soil aerated would be ideal preparation for
turf in the spring.
Before you make ready the soil for anything to grow, you have to clean
it all up. Hire someone if you can afford it, or do it slowly over
the winter months. For general clean up, look around in your local
paper or if you have the Yankee Trader which is a free paper, see if
there are ads for fall clean-up. Get a price, be very specific what
you want and do not pay a dime until it is finished. A ten percent
downpayment, maybe. Not a penny more.
Most of us are DIY'ers. Local trash laws may restrict what you can put
in garbage so if you have a big job, you may need to hire a local. Ask
neighbors and don't pay until job is done.
Now is best time to seed. Buy a local shade mix. Even just broadcasting
to overseed will make better looking is spring.
Thrown about the yard (in an even manner) and let to sprout without any
soil preparation. Do so before a few days of good rain and the rain will
do alot of the work of making sure the most seed contacts the soil and
germinates. Some seed may be lost to runoff if your yard slopes.
I'd be over seeding my own yard like this if it wasn't for the blasted
lack of rain around here.
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