Sooo, I am in the NW (Woodinville, WA) and have an approximately 1 acre back lot that is completely unusable, overgrown with weeds, saplings, and blackberry bushes. The blackberries have taken over about 85% of the field.
I know very little about gardening, landscaping etc, but I had an idea to have the field completely cleared and replaced with zero to very low maintenance natural grasses that would not need to be mowed and would act as a weed barrier/deterrent.
I had one landscaping service come and take a look, and they gave me a quote of something like $18,000.00 to completely Bobcat the field, removing all blackberry crowns/roots, hauling away the plants, light grading, and planting native grasses.
My first question is, is $18K too high? I'm in the process of getting other bids, but that really seems extremely high to me... I just need a field clearing and hydroseeding, basically...
My second question is, does anybody have any other recommendations or ideas on what to do with my field? Ideas on what to plant, design ideas, etc? I want something that will look nice and natural, that the dogs could go play in, and that will require very little maintenance. I don't want to mow it - ever - if I can get away with it. I already have a large fenced backyard with a lawn that is mowed regularly.
Please note that it's important to me that the blackberries are completely removed, which means the crowns will have to be dug up... so goats, bush hogs, etc, won't do the trick. Because of my dogs, I also would like to avoid chemicals, like RoundUp, etc.
Just kind of lost and looking for any ideas, thoughts, observations. Thanks in advance!