johnny_greenbeans
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Location: Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, Zone 3a

re-doing my yard, need advice!

So my story is, I just moved to the country, to a small yard. So right now the yard looks like a junk heap. most of the backyard has been turned into one big garden. Another part of the yard was used as a cow pen. There was only one cow there. The house on the outside doesn't look very nice either.

My plan is to really make the yard into something nice. Like my own little backyard park.
So my questions are:

1- I want to dig up grass (sort of like sod style) from one part of the yard and put it into the backyard, which now is garden. will this work?

2- what are some year round flowering plants?

3- anyone know any cheap good ideas to make a yard look really good?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

We can't answer those questions without knowing where you are located and what your climate is like. Is your yard sunny or shady?

The area where the cow was probably has really enriched soil. :)

Congratulations on the new house and welcome to the Forum!
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johnny_greenbeans
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Hey thanks. I live in Southern Manitoba, about 15 minutes from the north dakota border. My yard is mostly sunny, but have some nice areas that are shaded most of the day. There are some nice trees there that I plan to work with, some bush too. Two of my trees have grown almost completely sideways and the branches have grown horizontal, you could walk on them if you climbed up there.

imafan26
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Please update your profile with your location and zone. It makes it easier for future posts. It sounds like there is a lot of potential to make something really nice with a lot of hard work. Post pictures so it is easier for everyone to see what you have got and maybe a master plan for what you want.

Moving existing grass, depends on the grass and its' condition.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Naytcher Boi
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Okay, first off, sod is not a good idea if you really want to impress. Get some Buffalo grass seeds, and mix those seeds with Kentucky Bluegrass, that way no matter what weather, your grass will be green. Rake up you dead grass before you plant this, spray it for weeds, and wait a week until planting the grass. For a garden, use a variety of colorful cacti, all in rows from their varying colors. Also use other unique and colorful plants/flowers/trees, but keep it organized. Use small decorative trees, such as: Flowering Dogwood, Saucer Magnolia, Mountain Stewartia, Snowbell, Pagoda Dogwood, Chaste Trees, Powder Puff (Best one), etc. make walkways, and get professionals (A.K.A neighbors) to help you out.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Sorry, naycher boi, you must be writing from somewhere warm and south. Johnny-g specified Manitoba, Canada, zone 3. The pagoda dogwood might survive there, but it would be at the extreme edge of its range (it is rated to 3b and it looks like johnny is probably in 3a). Mountain stewartia might not survive north of zone 7, so not even for me in Ohio, much less johnny in Canada. And etc. basically none of your recommendations would apply. You are new here (welcome to the Forum!! :) ). It takes a little while to get used to the fact that people write in from all around the world. What you do in your climate probably doesn't apply to other climates.

johnny - I have moved sod before as you are suggesting and it has worked. You have to have the ground where it is going well prepared before you cut anything. Add compost, turn it in, rake it smooth and then let the ground settle for a week or so. Then cut your sod and lay it and compact it down to be sure roots are in contact. Water every day that you don't have rain for at least 6 weeks.

Year around flowering in Canada? I don't think so. Have you seen anything flowering in your neighborhood in winter, outside of a heated greenhouse? By careful selection of different plants, you can have something flowering through your growing season, but it will not be the same thing, different plants bloom in different seasons. Perennials that are hardy in zone 3 include iris, tulips, and bleeding heart for spring, daylilies and coneflowers for summer, campanulas bloom for a long season from late spring into fall, sedum and asters for fall. This is just the beginning of a list.

For colorful flowers through the growing season, fill in with some annuals. Things like impatiens (shade) and petunias (part sun to sun) pump out flowers for the whole season.

For your shady areas, many hostas are hardy in zone 3. They usually don't have showy flowers, but are grown for their big foliage, which comes in a range of colors and variegations, from yellows, greens, blues, whites, with different markings.

If what you are looking for is color through the year, be sure to think about things with colorful foliage (fall foliage shrubs), colorful stems - red twig dogwood should be hardy for you and its brilliant red stems are beautiful against snow, and other kinds of winter interest. Hydrangeas hold their dried blossoms through the winter, they are not colorful at that point, but it is still something going on in your garden. Ornamental grasses provide motion and interest in the winter garden. Flame grass, feather grass and others will be hardy for you. Evergreens of course, keep their foliage through the winter.

Be sure to put out bird feeders through the winter. Not only will your feathered friends thank you and be an asset to your garden, but cardinals and blue jays and other birds hopping around looking for dropped seeds on the snow, makes a landscape worthy of a Christmas card.

Think about the hardscape too. I have a patio that I stained terra cotta color. Except for when it is really buried in snow, it provides a big hit of color most of the year.

As imafan said, for any other landscaping advice, we would need to see pictures.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

PS. Here's a similar post I wrote for someone in zone 7:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=35084

since it was for zone 7, not all of the recommendations apply (many of the specific plants mentioned would not be cold hardy for you), but it does remind me, another bit of winter color you could have is things that have red berries and keep them for awhile. Holly is the classic example. I don't know if there are hollies for zone 3, but there are some that are rated for zone 4. Planted in the spring and given good winter protection, they might make it, assuming no more winters like the one just past.
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johnny_greenbeans
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Wow thanks for all the replies! I've been looking for a good and active gardening forum, but the two others i signed up for were not very good. Didn't get any responses!

Rainbow gardener - I looked into some hostas. Def will be getting some. I'm actually trying to do this on a budget. I'm renting this place so don't really want to spend too much into it, but still want a nice yard.

My main concern is the grass. The area I want to plant has very nice soil and has been used as a garden for the last two or three years. It's also quite large, and so seeding the area could get costly. I'm not shy of hard work though and transplanting grass (if possible) would be a great way to go for me.

My entire backyard, all the way up to my driveway is a garden. Even after I turn the backyard back into grass, the garden will still be quite large.

It shouldn't be too hard to transplant grass should it? as long as I take a good amount of the roots?

Thanks to everyone for the answers! Really nice to see an active forum!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

grass is shallow rooted, you basically want to take almost all the roots. Dig straight down with a sod cutter or sharp spade. Cut a strip loose from all the rest, by digging straight down along parallel lines. Once you have your strip cut free, dig down maybe 6" and lift it up from the bottom. Then you should be able to basically peel your sod strip off. You can then lay the strip down where you want it. Just be sure the place you want it is well prepared and ready to go, and watered, so that you can immediately lay the sod strip in its new location.

This is a wonderful forum and very active. But you may discover that the lawn section tends to be the least active. Tons of people here love growing tomatoes and peppers; many of us also like growing flowers and herbs. Not so many around here (including me) care much about a grass monoculture. Questions in the Lawn Forum often languish for awhile.

https://www.finegardening.com/how-to/art ... e-sod.aspx
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

johnny_greenbeans
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Thanks very much. I also do a lot of vegetable gardening as well. My favorite thing to grow is probably watermelon. Think I might plant some raspberry this year too. Not sure how long I will be living at this place but it's always good to plan ahead right?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: re-doing my yard, need advice!

Well maybe.... I have a bunch of rasberry brambles that I am painfully working on ripping out. They are taking over the yard and the birds get the berries anyway....
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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