robocop33
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Location: Los Angeles

What should I do with my backyard?

Here are a bunch of photos and a rough (not to scale) plan of my backyard.
I'm looking for any suggestions of what to do with the space. The yard is South facing and gets plenty of Southern California sunshine. Also, I should mention that this is a rental, so don't want to go too crazy with the investment, but also want to make the most of the space while we live here (hopefully for a while).

The main backyard area is currently filled with weeds. It was covered with decomposed granite, but I guess it wasn't installed properly, so now is overwhelmed with weeds. This is the area about which I'm most clueless. It would be cool to put in some raised fruit and vegetable beds, and maybe a seating area? And maybe cover up some of the uglier fences and shed? I was also considering moving the rocks around to use them more strategically.

Any ideas?

[url=https://s1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/?action=view&current=DSCN0220.jpg][img]https://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/th_DSCN0220.jpg[/img][/url]
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[url=https://s1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/?action=view&current=DSCN0216.jpg][img]https://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/th_DSCN0216.jpg[/img][/url]
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[url=https://s1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/?action=view&current=DSCN0209.jpg][img]https://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/th_DSCN0209.jpg[/img][/url]
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[url=https://s1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/?action=view&current=backyard.jpg][img]https://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/i413/robocop33/Backyard/th_backyard.jpg[/img][/url][/img]

bullthistle
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If you are renting I would get some containers and put woody plants in them around the deck area to block the focus of the backyard. Of course the exercise equipment doesn't help the vista. Roundup will kill the weeds. It all depends how long you are going to live there are remember plans do change so I wouldn't invest much in things that you cannot take with you. Some fruit trees in 15 gallon containers will close in the deck area, but if you entertain then that is something else to consider. It all depends how much money tyou want to put in and how much work you want to get involved in. That's your decision.

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tomf
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Mow the weeds short and put a few plants in buckets like bullthistle said. You could grow a few tomatos in buckets as well. Save your money for a down payment.

robocop33
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Thanks for the recommendations. We might be able to get the landlord to chip in if I come up with a good plan for the yard. Also, we'll probably be here for at least a few years if not more, so it's worth it to us to invest a bit to be able to take advantage of the space.

Questions. Does mowing the weeds mean to just use a regular mower to cut them down? Won't they just pop back up?

Also, is Roundup safe to use especially if I'm thinking of putting in some vegetable beds?

dirtyfingers
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Location: Left coast

Looks like lots of potential, but as others have said, probably your best bet is to minimize your outlay while there.

The best way I know of to control weeds is to pick them by the roots. It's is a long and tedious thing but essential. Weeds grow a lot faster than most other plants/grasses and will eventually choke out everything else.

The one thing that I recently found out that helps keep weeds down is wild flowers. My son recently bought a house next to a freeway bank which is loaded with weeds which eventually invades his lawn. I dug up a section of his lawn and spread wild flower seeds and there seems to be very little weeds in that section as compared to the rest of the yard, so I threw some wild flower seeds on the bank and now that section has very few weeds. Amazing!

robocop33
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Los Angeles

plans so far

Funny you say that... I just spent an hour today plucking out as many weeds as I could by hand.

I also bought an herbacide, but haven't used it yet.
I didn't feel to great about using the Monsanto product - Roundup, so I bought the eco alternative... Ecosmart weed killer:
Might try that on some of the remaining weeds.

Next I'm going to ....
-Paint the old shed and cover the window in it with a board.
-put it in a raised vegetable bed
-plant a few flowering shrubs in the back by the white wall to cover up some of the ugliness
-maybe try planting some grass and wildflowers in the other areas
-put some brick tiles in a few areas to break up the space and maybe rearrange some of the rocks
-Pick up some used, Craigslist furniture, maybe a firepit
-put a rubber tile floor in the gym (under the pergola)

I'm open to any other suggestions, especially on types of plants or materials. Any other ideas?

I'll post some more pictures as I go.

Glarprive1992
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Re: What should I do with my backyard?

Hi, I live at Hamilton. Before I suggest few ideas, how spacious is the backyard? There are many ways where you can make use of the backyard space and decorate it. One of the ways is to install a wooden outdoor storage shed inside which you can store garage equipment, gardening tools, etc. Another alternative is to raise garden beds on which you can do farming or gardening. This is more suitable to those having less space. Hope this would be helpful to you!!

imafan26
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Re: What should I do with my backyard?

I would talk to the landlord about the yard before you put anything in. Many rentals do not allow you to put anything in the ground. I cannot blame them too much, who wants to be stuck with having to remove a banyan tree.

Maybe you can work out a deal with the landlord to get a rent break if you take care of the yard but you would have to agree to what you put in.

Plain glyphosate is better than the long acting weed killers which contain 2,4,D or additives to sterilize the soil longer.

You can plant within a couple of weeks of using round up but pulling the weeds are better. I would cut them down with a weed whacker or bush whacker that can be rented. It is not a big space. If you can go to a carpet shop and ask for an old carpet they are going to throw out anyway it works well to smother the weeds and a carpet can cover a big area. Around the covered pavillion and the paved areas is where I would use the round up. It is hard to get between pavers and kill the roots. It looks like a fairly sunny space. I do agree with growing things in pots to start with

I haven't tried the ecosmart product. I have tried others like clove oil. It did not work and it had a horrible smell it gave me a headache. This sounds like a non-selective herbicide. It is worth giving it a try. but it does not say on the label that it can be used around vegetable gardens. Mostly around walkways and paths.

It has a lot of possibilities depending on how you plan to use the space. It can be a lawn, meadow or vegetable garden.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What should I do with my backyard?

Note that the original posts are from 2011.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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