Remember how last year we built a garage? We also added some raised gardens to our main yard, but everything was looking messy. Considering our garage and driveway was finished closer to the fall (November!), it made sense that we couldn’t fix up the yard. Surprisingly, we hadn’t had any snow yet – but landscaping was still out of the question. Fast forward to this summer, and we finally tackled our yard repair post construction.
I mean, there are still a few things that need to be completed. But it’s a big difference already!
You can see how the rest of our yard looked at for the majority of the summer here. But really, just picture a mess ha. Obviously, once the garage was done, we had a place for all the “stuff”. But the big dirt pile still had to be hauled away.
It had left a dead spot in our grass. And the rest of the grass? It was just really rough and weed-y. I had someone quote the work, but we ended up doing it ourselves.
We needed enough dirt to fill in the holes in the yard, raise up the back a bit, and fill in the garden beds we built.
It was a somewhat quick decision to do it ourselves. (My mom was coming to plant our veggie gardens, so it had to be done before she came up). I think we ordered 20 yards of dirt? It was a full truck load, and cheaper to get it all then just a half load twice.
Filling in Topsoil
I laid a huge tarp down in the driveway, and had them dump it there. Yes, the new driveway! The Husband was NOT happy about that, and thought I could have just had it dumped on the other side of our yard.
(Ideally, we would have had it dumped right in the main grass part, but didn’t want to take down the whole fence).
We started filling in the low spot in the front, and eventually our whole yard was covered in dirt.
We also had a lot to build up behind the garage, and Zachary loved helping move as much dirt as possible.
Should I mention that I ordered a wheelbarrow for curbside pickup that NEVER came on time!? We did have our old wheelbarrow, but it was full of the extra gravel/stones for the driveway.
When the Husband came home, he just dumped the rocks out, and the work went much quicker.
Most of the dirt was scooped and moved in the main yard. Everything that was left was brought way over to the side yard. (You can see a better layout of our yard in this post).
We also moved some sod (I’ll talk about that next week). And just filled in as much dirt around there as possible.
I think there was an old gravel driveway on this side, so it wasn’t very grassy either. The neighbour said that in the 30+ years of him living there, he’d never seen anyone landscape this side.
My mom also planted/prepped the little garden we had here. We had a kale plant come back, but I think the rest is squash/cucumbers/vine things.
In our other two gardens, she planted an assortment of veggies. You can also see how dirt-filled the yard was at this point (end of May).
Growing New Grass
I set up and moved the sprinkler a while for the first week or so. Our neighbour also helped water the side yard, thanks! See those little specs of grass growing!?
Eventually, our whole yard was full!
There were a lot of weeds too… I tried pulling all the big ones but I think it’s going to be an ongoing process.
By the start of July, we were finally ready to cut the new grass.
It’s pretty grass in some spots, but weedier in others.
See that bare edge along the garage? We don’t have eaves on that side, and the rain falls there and makes a gap. I think we’ll have to add eaves (or always have a line of dead grass?).
We also have some patches directly behind the garage. The people who did the quote (and my dad?) said that we’d never get grass behind the garage. But it was actually one of the first places to grow (I didn’t really water back there either).
Things came in nicely in the sideyard too. I don’t know if the sod actually took, but the other seeds we planted seem okay.
You can see the area behind/around the garden is how this side used to look. (And a sneak peek at our landscaping that I’ll share next week.)
Most of the dirt in the driveway washed away in the rain. We can probably scoop/clean some more off, but it’s a lot better than what the Husband thought it would be.
Current Main Yard View
And here’s how it looks with a fresh cut! We still have to finish up the fence, so that square part that’s not grass will eventually be more driveway gravel.
I did fill in some more grass seeds on the empty patches (and where I pulled up a lot of weeds). BUT we will do another full reseeding in the fall.
Here’s a view of the gardens and how they grew.
BUT I took these photos 2 weeks ago, so it’s surprisingly a lot more filled in.
The worst area of our yard is near the compost bin. Our yard came with 2 random bins that I think were used for compost/garbage before. I’ve been using the one, and the plan is to empty the other one and move it back here too. So we’ll have to redirt/seed under it.
Not sure how exciting/relevant reading about our yard repair post construction was. (I left out all the riveting photos of dirt and grass growing – jk, I didn’t take that much). BUT I think it may be helpful if you have a yard with random dirt patches or missing grass and want to know if it can be salvaged.
The “problem” with yards/outdoor work is that it takes forever! It could be years before things you plant start to grow in nicely and look good. It’s a never-ending project and honestly, doesn’t feel like we did that much.
I guess until you compare the before and after:
Then it’s like holy, I remember when our yard was a bit construction zone! I had/have a lot of plans for everything else, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes :)