Asked on Oct 11, 2017

What can I do with a back yard that has only dirt in it.



I live in a rental and my back yard is all dirt. I want to do something that is in inexpensive and my dogs can still play back there. Landlord said I can do anything I want at my own expensive. My son who is quadriplegic likes to sit outside and I would really like it to look at little better and to slow down all the dirt that finds it way into my house every day. I have tried grass but my area is plagued with gophers and they have won the war.

7 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Put down artificieel grass carpet,a small table and chairs,hang a wind chime,use some garden statues,If you like plants pot some up so your son can look at pretty flowers
  • Michele Pappagallo
    on Oct 11, 2017

    You could possibly cover a small area with pavers (about $1.25 each at most home centers) and make a small patio area. Add a couple of potted plants for color and freshness and perhaps a small bench or lawn chairs. A birdbath is always nice if you like to sit outside and maybe a bird feeder. It would give your son something to watch and bring some life into the yard as well.
    • I was thinking the same thing, and the pavers go on sale quite often at Home Depot and can be had for less than a dollar each. You can enlarge the paver space over time. Having the dogs back there will possibly make the gophers eventually move on if they are out there long enough and often enough. How about purchasing a length of fake grass? That would also help to keep the dust down. Once the gophers vacate, try sedum or creeping thyme, low to no maintenance.
  • Bobbi Lively
    on Oct 11, 2017

    what about inexpensive fake grass? It gives you green to look at and the gophers won't destroy it. The dogs can run on it, or keep an area of dirt for them as well. You can then roll it up and take it with you if you move. Plus you don't have to water or mow it.
  • Kor24924493
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Make a dirt track for kids with minibikes and charge them till you get enough scratch to have a grass man to come in and plant it.
  • KattywhampusLOL
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Hello Mary, The following link gives you some great advice and some good recipes (once you get past the intro where everyone says what they are experienceing with chipmunks). I certainly hope it works for you. Since you don't have any plants to spray the repellent on, perhaps you could fill a squirt gun with it and actually squirt the chipmunks with it. It won't hurt them, your son might get a few laughs at the chipmunks reaction, and hopefully they will dislike it enough that eventually their appearances will decrease. Then you could put potted vegetables (your son's favorite of course) and flowers on the back porch and he will be able to enjoy the scent of them as they grow. Make some windchimes that he likes and let him listen to their "music." Well, Mary, good luck in the battle of the chippies, and thanks for asking HOMETALK about how to go about it :)

  • Rus23465458
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I’m sorry but that landlord sucks. Why would it have to be your money to improve his property?
  • Sharon
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I would kill any weeds, then I would rake and till the earth loose, and spread grass seed on it. I would make a dog run for your dogs along one area, with shade at one end which can be polycarbonate panel, add pebble gravel on bottom, a nice dog bed under the awning area, water and food bowls. You can buy these runs premade at Walmart that you can take with you when you move. You could add a few trees in large pots, and smaller shrubs in pots that you can take with you.
    I would make an area for them to use as their toilet so they don't go over your new grass and kill it, train them by walking to that area on a lead till they get the hang of it. and have a pooper scooper and lined bucket for disposal.
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