Outdoor Projects

Yard Repair Post Construction

After building a garage, the yard was destroyed! Read all about the yard repair post-construction, and how you can slowly get the grass back.

filling dirt in the yard

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!

yard repairs post construction before

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.

state of yard before

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.

garden bed before topsoil

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

pile of dirt in driveway

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

pile of dirt in stone driveway

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).

filling dirt in the yard

We started filling in the low spot in the front, and eventually our whole yard was covered in dirt.

adding dirt behind garage

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.

filled dirt in garden bed

When the Husband came home, he just dumped the rocks out, and the work went much quicker.

pile of dirt getting smaller

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). 

old sod in sideyard

We also moved some sod (I’ll talk about that next week).  And just filled in as much dirt around there as possible.

sideyard with garden

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.

prepping raised gardens for veggies

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

starting to grow 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!?

grass with weeds

Eventually, our whole yard was full!

grass in yard with weeds

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.

long grass in yard

By the start of July, we were finally ready to cut the new grass.

tall grass with feet

It’s pretty grass in some spots, but weedier in others.

long grass to be cut

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?).

long grass behind garage

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).

grass in sideyard

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.

grass and garden in sideyard

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.)

stone driveway after dirt

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

cut grass in yard

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.

grass next to garage

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.

garden beds along fence

Here’s a view of the gardens and how they grew.

garden beds filled with veggies

BUT I took these photos 2 weeks ago, so it’s surprisingly a lot more filled in. 

weeds in grass

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.

yard repair post construction after

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:

yard repairs 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 :)

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  • Reply
    Annette Leroux
    July 25, 2021 at 8:53 am

    another fabulous project. A lot of hard work but what a difference in the before and after photos. Hope to see your home/yard when I visit in August. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      July 26, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks! It’s a lot nicer with the grass compared to the mud :)

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