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New (to me) home, neglected yard

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New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Tical84 » Jul 20, 2013 5:45 pm

I just took possession of my first home and saying the yard needs some work is an understatement.

The home is in Edmonton, 3b, (I guess) there is a large coniferous...tree, on the south end and four more trees spaced throughout and a "flower bed" against the house. The attached photos are just after I moved in. I managed to get the weeds out of the garden area and raked 5 garbage bags of needles from under the big tree and left everything else as is for now. You can also see the concrete walk that I'd like to replace with something else.

The question is simple, the answer may not be. What do I do? Some people suggested top soil and seeding right over top everything, some suggest pull the weeds from the grass and seed the patches, some say I can, others say I can't grow anything under the coniferous, etc. etc., so I'm here for more expert advice.

Thank you in advance.
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Tical84 » Jul 24, 2013 1:10 am

Did I post this in the wrong spot? 132 views and no replies?
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Jersm » Jul 24, 2013 9:16 am

one of the nicest thing i find uner a tree is a large patch of big hosta's since they like shade its a perfect combination.

also the soil around the entrance seems quite state, ide till it up turn the dirth maybe add a layer or two of new top soil or just flip it.
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Countryboy » Jul 24, 2013 10:10 am

Tical84 wrote:Did I post this in the wrong spot? 132 views and no replies?


Not to worry, Tical84. At any point there could be 30 or 40 non-members of this forum viewing your post. Mostly quietly looking for general gardening knowledge and not able to reply.

I don't like 'digging things up'. My preference is to overseed, and improve the soil gradually... keeping what u have, and adding to it. It's easier to work with the lawn that's there than to create an entirely new lawn. *IMO*

Speaking of keeping what u have, a good, level walkway is a handy piece of hardscaping. If it's a useful path, I would think twice about removing it. Easier to soften the look of it by plantings on either side.
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Tical84 » Jul 24, 2013 2:12 pm

Countryboy wrote:I don't like 'digging things up'. My preference is to overseed, and improve the soil gradually... keeping what u have, and adding to it. It's easier to work with the lawn that's there than to create an entirely new lawn. *IMO*


By that do you mean just seed and water over what I have? Should I dig out the weeds that are there or just hope the new grass comes in and chokes them out instead of the other way around? I've been renting for 10 years, noobie doesn't begin to describe who you're dealing with here, and I apologize.

Countryboy wrote:Speaking of keeping what u have, a good, level walkway is a handy piece of hardscaping. If it's a useful path, I would think twice about removing it. Easier to soften the look of it by plantings on either side.


I didn't mean "remove" the walkway per se, as in turning it all into grass or other plant life of some kind, I meant replace it with either something else (but still using concrete, blocks, whatever, etc.) or at the very least leveling out what I currently have and replacing the broken blocks. A walkway of some kind will be there for sure.
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Countryboy » Jul 24, 2013 5:00 pm

Tical84 wrote:hope the new grass comes in and chokes them out instead of the other way around?

Ya... pretty much. It's not so much of a 'hope' as a gardening surety. Put down seeds in some good earth and they will grow. Have faith! :)

Always dig out weeds... when it's convenient... and if u like. But don't kill yrself trying to get all of them. Time, and well rooted grasses will eventually minimize them at least.

At least a good , hard raking before u scatter down seed. I like the idea too of scratching it up with a tiller, if possible. But if not, the raking should do.

Once the seed is down u can proceed to amend your soil. Scatter a covering/mulch of organics... peat moss is ok, compost is better. Cover the seed well with it. Water gently... that looks like quite a bank there.

Tical84 wrote:I didn't mean "remove" the walkway per se, as in turning it all into grass or other plant life of some kind, I meant replace it with either something else (but still using concrete, blocks, whatever, etc.) or at the very least leveling out what I currently have and replacing the broken blocks. A walkway of some kind will be there for sure.

'K... we'll deal with that later. :)
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Tical84 » Jul 25, 2013 9:57 am

I'm not sure what the slope is but ya, it's pretty steep.

Living in Edmonton, what's the latest and earliest I should be laying down the seed? Some things have come up and I may have to postpone until Spring.
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Countryboy » Jul 25, 2013 3:48 pm

I wouldn't put down grass seed at a time when the small shoots will be exposed to frost. Other than that???... whenever suits u. :)

http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-canada
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Jersm » Jul 26, 2013 12:39 pm

looks like the needles are acting like a mulch.
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Re: New (to me) home, neglected yard

Postby Tical84 » Jul 26, 2013 1:44 pm

Jersm wrote:looks like the needles are acting like a mulch.


Those needles are probably 4-5cm thick.
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